Hugo Jönsson, the founder of Polykemi, has at an age of 83 years passed away. Hugo Jönsson was active and until the last day and visited daily his lifework Polykemi. Hugo was as senior advisor to the management well informed about the development and daily work at the company.
Hugo Jönsson was born in the village of Ingelstorp east of Ystad. He began his career at Persöner, the at the time largest company in Ystad. There he advanced to deputy manager of the textile recycling department. In his own book, My own story, which he wrote after his retirement, does he recount how he proposed for the management of Persöner to close the textile department and to grow in the field of plastics. The answer was a short no.
Hugo Jönsson didn’t give up his idea, borrowed money and founded Polykemi 1968. A few years later did the company expand outside the borders of Ystad and Sweden. Today Polykemi have approximately 250 employees with foreign subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany and China and with agents or distributors in 7 countries. The subsidiaries Rondo Plast (recycling) and Scanfill (packaging compounds) are both located in Ystad. The plant in China was opened in 2007 and Hugo Jönsson was instrumental in the process for establishing Polykemi in the Chinese market, as it was his conviction that it was necessary for Polykemi to be present there.
During the 70-ties did Polykemi enjoy a substantial positive growth. Despite a devastating fire in 1975 did Hugo Jönsson not give up and continued insistently the work on his lifework. Part of this was the venture into mineral reinforced PP in 1979, which turned out to be more complicated and expensive than calculated and which almost made the company go under. The breakthrough of POLYfill in 1982/1983 gave the company a long term financial stability. In the mid-80-ies did Hugo Jönsson invest in a customer friendly R&D department and this in combination with establishing of the foreign subsidiaries grew into a financially strong platform for Polykemi.
In 1997 did Hugo Jönsson retire as managing director and gave the responsibility for the daily operations to his sons Ola and Lars and took himself the roll as chairman of the board in the Polykemi which is the largest private employer in Ystad and in the southeast of Scania (Skåne).Outside of the work at Polykemi did Hugo Jönsson also involve himself in the local politics and was for three years Chairman for the Ystad Harbour, where he managed to convince the Polish ferry line operating the “Polonia” to choose Ystad as its Swedish harbor.
Hugo Jönsson was intensely fond of non-profit sports and in particularly Ystad IF team handball. Hugo Jönsson was the person who transformed YIF into the major club of today and was behind the club’s first Swedish Championship in 1976 and many other great achievements.