On September the 13th 1937 Peter Burgers and Jacob Steven Stenfert (Jaap) decide to start a trading company in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. They name the company Peja, abreviated from their first names Peter and Jaap. A small company with a big future is born.
From the 50s to the 80s of the last century Peja was responsible for the Dutch export of capital and consumption goods with a total value of over two billion German Marks by closing deals and contracts for exclusive representation with Heineken, Douwe Egberts / Sarah Lee, Stork and Nutricia.
EAST & WEST
Trading with the COMECOM countries was bound to barter obligations which stated that no transfer of money was allowed and goods could only be bought or sold with other goods. In Kazachstan machines were traded for cotton. In Kenia the cotton was traded for green beans which were sold to the European food industry.
Over time Peja developed specialized departments for the import of household machines, furniture, agricultural machinery, small airplanes and industrial electric motors. At this time 60% of the Dutch East-West trade went through Peja for a total amount of about 500 million German Marks per year.
VEM, Glasnost & Perestroika
Soon Peja became the biggest importer of furniture for the Benelux and acquired in 1964 the exclusive rights for importing and selling VEM electric motors from East Germany. To extend her network Peja founded companies in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Czechoslovakia, Mozambique, Angola, Vietnam, Cuba, the Sovjet Union and East Germany. Up until 1990 Peja employed about 500 FTE. After Glasnost, Perestroika and the fall of the Berlin wall, Peja was restructured into a financial holding. Today all commercial activities have shifted to the Peja daughter companies.
After the fall of the Wall Peja focussed her activities on the global electric motor sector which lead to a joint venture with a large Chinese factory. Dutchi Motors was born.
Within a few years Dutchi became the largest stockholding distributor in the world of low, medium and high voltage electric motors with sales departments and affiliate distributors in over 90 countries.
In 2008 Dutchi Motors was sold to Regal Beloit; now world market leader in electric motors.
1937: founding of Peja Producten in Rotterdam. Company activity: selling houshold appliances imported from Germany.
1940: start of WWII forces Peja to stop activities in Rotterdam. The founders decide to go their seperate ways. Peter Burgers goes to Deventer and starts his own company for bakingpowder “Panko” for making pancakes. Jaap Stenfert builds a business in the trade of wooden products in Dieren (Gelderland). When Peter dies during a bombardment of the Germans on his factory, Jaap decides to continue his company’s activities under the original name they started with: Peja.
October 1945: Peja is moved to the AVM-building in Arnhem. The demand for furniture and household appliances after the war is huge. Business is blooming for Peja.
1947: trade is expanded to mattresses, iron beds and copper smoking sets.
1948: large amounts of Christmas decoration, brooms and brushes were imported from East Germany. Yearly turnover is around Hfl. 3 million. In the 50s sales dramatically drop and Peja is forced to shrink to 4 FTE.
1949: purchase of 300 second hand trailers. Peja sells them to SAG Wismuth in Chemnitz.
During the 50s Peja intermediates succesfully for a number of Dutch companies with the purchase of capital goods. Peja searches for the right Dutch supplier and claims sole representation in Eastern Europe, the basis for a new and solid business model.
1953: Peja enables the sale of two ships to the Dutch East Indies built in France.
1956: Peja sells the “Turbulent” and the “Condor” (small consumer airplanes) and attracts national attention. The first deal with VMF Stork (Verenigde Machine Fabriek Stork) is closed; a complete STORK dairy installation is built and sold with the help of Peja.
Peja supplies 12 coastal ships to the Deutsche Seerederei Rostock.
1965: large contract of over Hfl. 40 million for the development of 3 large freighters with STORK engines for the Deutsche Seerederei Rostock. During the 60s about 30% of VMF STORK export goes to Eastern Europe with the help of Peja, a vital cooperation for both companies.
Peja starts an office in Berlin. Cooperation between Peja & Akzo for the supply of chemicals to the Sovjet Union and the supply of agricultural machines from STORK to Cuba.
1971: Peja is restructured. From the mother company Peja Holding, 6 daughters are created: Peja export, Peja import, Peja machines, Peja electronics, Peja technical trade and Peja packaging.
1976: start of the construction of a new company office at Van Oldenbarneveldtstraat.
1978: official opening of the new Peja office in Arnhem.
1979: takeover of Peja Holding NV by Holec (52%). This enables Peja to create an even larger turnover in Eastern Europe.
90% of the turnover in the 80s comes from Eastern Europe and the Sovjet Union. Thanks to Peja, Russians can buy beer and brandy from Heineken at the Russian Intershops.
1980: new countries and markets are entered in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
1982: Peja buys all stocks back from Holec.
1982: import of furniture from East Germany (kitchens, cabinets and appliances)
1987: Peja exists 50 years.
1989: The fall of the Berlin wall. Doing business with Eastern Europe becomes very difficult for Peja.
Difficult times for Peja that struggles to keep her market position. Peja starts a joint venture with a large Chinese electric motor manufacturer for the import and sale of electric motors in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Dutchi Benelux BV is founded.
1992: Peja reorganises and sells Peja export to STORK. All other daughters are sold or disbanded and Peja decides to focus only on the electric motor group: Dutchi Motors.
1990-2008: Dutchi Motors becomes very active and succesful in the global electric motor industry and sells in over 60 countries through sales offices or affiliate distributors.
2008: Dutchi Motors is sold to Regal Beloit in the USA. Peja shifts her focus to the purchase and development of real estate and capital investment.
2010: Peja extends her real estate activities in the U.S.A., Germany, China and Russia.
2012: Peja decides to re-enter the electric motor business by investing in a new factory and sales organisation in Arnhem. Omec Motors is founded.