Text: Sandeep Shah
I am writing this piece on an airplane, leaving behind the mayhem and magic of Delhi. This largest and most populous city in the country is rich with cultures and diversity, full of monuments and history. It is also known as the heart of India. What better moment and place than this to reflect on the past few years of working with forward-looking, technologically savvy Indian companies whom we have helped to achieve a competitive edge, join the Finnish business community and create success in the capital region of Finland.
When you look at what kind of companies have been visiting from India and what Finland has to offer them, the match seems like a no-brainer. Technology companies with a strong background in innovative software know-how find in Finland a great launch pad for developing solutions to the next level and building them into globally successful products. Companies include the likes of GrayMatter, an expert in business intelligence and data analytics, and Rsmart, which creates cloud-based solutions for enterprise resource planning for ground handling. Both companies cater to the aviation industry. A truly unique case is Aggrigator, which is building the world’s first app-based “aggregated on-line marketplace” for sellers and buyers of fresh local produce.
In addition to leveraging Finland’s robust ICT ecosystem, the cleantech offering is also a compelling point of attraction for Indian companies. To take one example, a company called VayuGrid is transferring their research and development to Finland. Transforming unproductive wastelands into productive bioenergy assets, they are making a positive environmental, social and economic impact on the globe.
All of these companies are either in various stages of setting up or have already begun operating their research and product development units in Finland. According to our Indian clients, the Helsinki region boasts some clear strengths as a business environment with its innovation, world-class ecosystems and exceptional talent base. Loyalty and good work ethic are attributes associated with the Finnish workforce, and these are very much appreciated. As the Indian innovations are further developed in Finland, they also gain a “made in Finland” brand image. This gives the products a high status in terms of quality, making them more attractive and better recognized, and thereby warranting higher pricing. This, in turn, leads to better business and higher profits.
With its partners, Helsinki Business Hub has been helping to facilitate the set-up and success of Indian companies in Finland. Finding the right funding alternatives, offering world-class talent for hire and providing an investor-friendly location has enabled companies to reach the next steps in product development and success globally.
Although ease of doing business and creating positive business results are key, quality of life is equally important. In addition to hiring Finnish experts, these Indian companies need to relocate Indian personnel and their families to Finland. The many lakes, parks, bike lanes, great transportation, clean air and overall ease of living are clear positives. Many Indians are happy with their lives in Finland and feel welcomed.
Indeed, it has been great experience working with inspiring, technologically advanced Indian companies and helping them leverage all the best that Finland has to offer. Building value for client companies from India, my country of origin, while at the same time creating jobs that have a positive impact on the economy of Finland, my home for more than 30 years, makes this job exciting and fulfilling.
The plane has begun its descent. Excited about working with inspiring Indian companies in the future, I am also looking forward to returning to springtime in Helsinki, with the days growing longer, the people warmer and the streets busier.
Sandeep Shah is a Senior Business Advisor at Helsinki Business Hub. He has dedicated the past eight years to make Helsinki one of Europe’s hottest investment locations, helping international companies leverage the local ecosystems and find success in Finland.