Summary about Pigge Werkelin
Stig Lars Gustav ”Pigge” Werkelin was born on February 24, 1961 in Burgsvik on the southern tip of Sweden’s largest island of Gotland. Pigge Werkelin is a Swedish entrepreneur who still lives on Gotland, even if he also runs businesses in several other places in Sweden.
He has played pivotal parts in the development of the Kneippbyn Resort and of multiple startups such as Gotlandsflyg, Drömstugan, and Gotlandsbåten. Werkelin is both a highly valued and colorful businessman who often participates in the official debate.
Starting off with bread buns, and disco
He started off his business career with home delivery of fresh baked bread buns, then he started Disco Space – a discotheque he ran at Kneippbyn which was owned by his parents at the time. As the years went by, Pigge became the CEO of Kneippbyn and ran it together with his sister Eva, and brother Bobbo.
One of his first projects outside Kneippbyn was when he bought the apartments at Snäck. The place was bankrupt and the Gotland Community had taken over the responsibility for the whole house and didn’t know what to do with it. Pigge’s company Korken AB bought the place in 1998 and started a positive development for the 106 cooperative apartments bringing it to its status as a healthy business today.
Leaving Kneippbyn to work on his own projects
In 2004 his sister Eva became the CEO for Kneippbyn and Pigge moved on to other enterprises. One of these was the airline Gotlandsflyg that was started in 2001 and grew into one of Sweden’s most important domestic airlines with up to seven local airlines under the main company Sverigeflyg. In 2011 the whole corporate group was sold to Braathens Aviation.
Drömstugan – a smart idea for building cottages at resorts
Another enterprise is Drömstugan that started in 2006 on Gotland. It’s an idea about selling small summer cottages with the best positions by the sea or by the ski slope as ”cooperative apartments” which means that the owner is obliged to rent out the cottage during times they are not using the cottage by themselves. The owner gets income from the rent, but doesn’t have to take care of the cottage or the rental management. The resort gets a good turnover from all the guests that visits and the model makes it possible to build many cottages in a short time, because it’s financed with all the private cottages.
Drömstugan is represented on Gotland (Slite, Björkhaga and Kneippbyn), in Dalarna ( Falun), and in Jämtland (Åre) while future expansions are planned on several other places.
Tott Hotel Visby
Pigge initiated the building of Tott Hotel Visby which was built together with four other entrepreneurs and it opened in 2008. The hotel is built with the same idea as Drömstugan: every suite has a private owner and it’s available for other hotel guests during the time the owner isn’t using it. The hotel is owned by the housing society Resort Visby.
Entrepreneur of the Year 2005
In 2005 Pigge was awarded by Ernst & Young when he became the Entrepreneur of the Year in the areas of Stockholm and Gotland.
Pigge’s way to develop business is based on his talent of seeing possibilities where others only see difficulties. He has a big network with contacts in Sweden and abroad. He does not have a specific business philosophy but says that ”It’s okay to get only 80 percent right”, meaning that it’s better to try and get most of it right, rather than to strive for perfection and maybe never be able to get the business moving.