Student project investigated new solar business models for Helen
An interdisciplinary student group from the Aalto University School of Business and School of Electrical Engineering conducted research into the solar energy market as part of a customized student project for Helen Oy. Based on this research, students Axel Juslin, Taavi Leikola, and John Black were able to pitch new innovative business models for Helen, allowing the company to explore new opportunities to grow their solar business within Finland.
The students focused the project on determining a solar market analysis in Finland, Helen’s position, and a competitor analysis. Then, honed in on comparisons to other business models they could provide Helen with new innovative approaches to growing their solar services. Research methods entailed interviewing industry experts, as well as each student conducting desk research in order to provide Helen with worthwhile recommendations.
‘The world is undergoing a fundamental energy transformation, which is accelerated by rapid changes in consumer preferences, technological advancements, regulatory mandates, and business models. Finland is also striving to be carbon neutral by 2035 so there are many fast-moving variables that need to be understood in order to gain a better understanding in terms of where solar lies in the overall energy mix,’ the students tell.
Helen’s Head of Marketing, Tanja Kaasinen, who was the project owner, was very satisfied with the results of the project.
‘From marketing side, the students blew me away with how professional they were. They really brought me more than I expected. My intention was that our solar team would have feedback on their work, consolidation of the roadmap and a platform from the project team. This would help us with our sales and marketing and the solar team to identify different possibilities and themes which should be focused on as well as finding out how to win in the market as they are sort of R&D team inside Helen. It may take us a while that we can really absorb all the information that you have brought us. Thank you so much,’ says Tanja Kaasinen.
Amidst the COVID-19 quarantine, the student team was equally happy with the results as well as being able to bring value for Helen and were thrilled to be part of a real business project.
‘We were given a lot of freedom to carry out this project the way we saw fit. Right from day one, Helen allowed us to really take control over this project while providing us with the necessary resources. That sense of freedom allowed us to explore new perspectives and pitch fresh ideas’, the students reported.
The project was supervised by Professor of Practice Jouni Juntunen. He tells that this was the first time for him to supervise a student project of this size that takes virtual form without physical meetings. The group was very motivated and organized and provided results result that exceeded both the expectations that I had but also customer's expectations.
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