It isn’t worth making compromises when recruiting for growth businesses
It was in the midst of the worldwide financial crisis at the end of 2008 when four friends – Tero Salminen, Sanna Lahti, Kai Lyytinen and Antti Kosunen – founded their own business Efima. Efima develops and implements digital business and financial processes for large and medium-sized organizations.
‘We had been friends already for a long time, and we had worked together. We shared the same ideas and views on doing business, so starting up our own business was a smooth process. During our year with the Start-Up Center, we got our product development into good shape and we managed to obtain our first customers. The Start-Up Center was a good place to work on a detailed business plan because we were able to bounce our ideas off other entrepreneurs who were in the same situation. The business accelerator's service package was good,’ shares CEO Tero Salminen as he recalls the company’s beginnings seven years ago.
Customers must be listened to carefully
‘Our goal is for Efima to be a different kind of service company and the best in its field. I think this is very realistic because we have very strong expertise in cloud services and digital business development. In order to succeed, we ensure that our customers’ satisfaction is also at the highest level, and to this end we seek to serve our customer with high quality and with passion. One must listen carefully to the customer before making any recommendations,’ Mr Salminen explains.
Efima’s rapid growth has meant that new people have been joining the company at a steady rate. Now there are around 100 employees and the company’s turnover is around €10 million.
‘A successful formula for us has been relaxed time together – which helps us to be creative and to find the best solutions for our customers’ different situations – combined with robust processes. We want to offer our employees a great place to work that we continue to develop together. We are united by our desire to learn new things.’ The company was rated as Finland's sixth best workplace in the medium-sized companies category (50–499 employees) of the Best Workplaces in Finland 2016 report.
Entrepreneurship is a great team game
Tero Salminen thinks entrepreneurship is fantastic.
‘I can say this because I have also been in so-called normal employment relationships Entrepreneurship involves solving big challenges and problems. It doesn't pay to make compromises when recruiting, because it is the team which builds success, growth and the business culture. At its best, entrepreneurship is a team game that brings success and a place where one can achieve great things and reach one’s goals,’ Mr Salminen says with enthusiasm.
Many successful companies got their start in the Aalto Start-Up Center and its predecessors. Efima is one of them.