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A robot missionary on a scooter

Anyone who has ever passed through central Vilnius may have seen him: KUKA Nordic's country manager on his way to work on his Vespa from the 70s. "A pure pleasure to drive, at least in the summer months," says Dalius Grakavinas.

14 December 2022

Increased robotization in the Baltics

Once at the office, he takes care of himself. - "Yes, I'm a lone wolf here, it's just me," says Dalius Grakavinas. Which isn´t so bad. Dalius Grakavinas has a solid background in the industry. In addition to being well-educated – with a master's degree in electronic automation and a master's degree in business management – he has worked for ten years for a Lithuanian company in the semiconductor industry, plus seven years with a well-known German manufacturer of industrial connectivity. A year ago, he started his position as KUKA Nordic as country manager for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, with a mission to contribute to increased robotization in the three Baltic countries. "It's all about creating an awareness of the great benefits that come with automatization. Right now, I'm in a position where I'm working to bring the brand out to manufacturers and system integrators.”

But we're on our way!

According to Dalius Grakavinas, the potential is great in this market, where robotization has not yet really taken off yet. The Baltics are generally far behind the rest of the continent when it comes to the degree of automation. "The robot density within the EU is four times higher than in, for example, Lithuania." The ecosystem of robots, programmers and integrators is still under construction in the Baltics and, according to Dalius Grakavinas, they still suffer a little from the Soviet era. "If the rest of Europe is approaching industry 5.0, we may be at 3.0. But we're on our way!” 
Dalius Grakavinas and KUKA Nordic's office in the background in Lithuania 

The possibilities within automation

A large part of the job as a country manager involves traveling around and teaching about the possibilities of automation – a kind of mixture of sales and information.
“Something that comes quite naturally to me.” If Europe is marked by the war in Ukraine, it is especially noticeable in a country like Lithuania, with borders both to Belarus and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. This can be seen, among other things, in inflation, which is sky-high: around 20 percent. "But it appears to be stabilizing, and the opportunities to do business continue to be good," he says.

A culture of craft

Dalius Grakavinas about...
... the image of Lithuania as a country with a lot of craft culture: "That's right, it's strong. Especially with a focus on furniture manufacturing, which has received a boost now that the demand for sustainability is increasing."
Facts: Dalius Grakavinas
Age: 41 years.
Lives: House in Vilnius.
Family: Wife, two daughters and a dog.
Interests: Travels, and older scooters.
Listening to: Sisters on Wire, U2.
Drives: A scooter in the summer, a Skoda Superb during the winter.