Prepared by Dr. Cansu Tayaksi and Dr. Josué C. Velázquez Martínez from the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics

Founded in 1978 in Izmir, Turkey, Viking Cleaning and Cosmetics has grown from a micro firm into a global chemical brand with operations on five continents. Today, the company is a leading home- and laundry-care products manufacturer and is listed among the 1,000 biggest companies in Turkey.

Its product portfolio includes more than 100 different products, such as fabric softeners, eco-friendly products, general cleaning products, liquid soap, corrosive products, surface cleaners, dishwashing detergents, and room deodorizers. Today, Viking exports these product families to 60 countries through four sales channels (retail, export, private label, and non-household consumption), mostly under the “Sailor Viking” brand.

How did Viking grow in nearly 40 years from a micro firm into an export leader? What strategy did its management follow? If Viking’s leaders had followed a different strategy, would the company still be as large as it is today, or would it even have stayed in business?

This case discusses business strategy with a focus on growth in a small business in a developing country.