As the Helsinki tech market continues to heat up, fast-growing startups and scale-ups are competing with established players like Nokia, Microsoft, and Tieto in finding the right talent and skillsets to fuel their growth. While the cost of a good developer hasn’t quite reached the extreme levels of Silicon Valley, there’s so much demand that it has caused managers to re-evaluate their budgets and priorities when they are putting together developer teams.
On one hand, Helsinki Business Hub is looking to fix this problem by helping high quality talent move to Helsinki. But as the world goes more remote, another solution for some projects is to work with an IT management and consulting firm that focuses on providing well executed IT projects. As Dilip Srivastava, CEO and Founder of SAI tells us, “Remote working is going to be the business model and it doesn’t matter where in the world you’re sitting, the job can still be done.”
SAI is a 12 year old Liverpool-based company that has been working with Finnish companies since 2008. Since entering the Finnish market, SAI have focused their business model as subcontractors for OP’s Insurance group and have ever since kept the connections within the Finnish tech scene alive by recently adding Ilkka Yli-Ojanpera (ex-Deloitte and HP) and Mikko Piirtola (Rödl & Partners Law Company) as directors of SAI Finland. Having set up their first office, SAI views Finland as a strong growing tech sector that still has an untapped market for the kind of IT outsourcing consulting services SAI have set up in Helsinki.
A “Soft off-shore” approach is the company’s business model, which the company describes as a fully commissioned remote software and IT services delivery set up for customers. Here each project is looked at within three stages; understanding, building and managing IT critical projects along with clients existing team in order to deliver profitable solutions.
As CEO Dilip Srivastava explains, “Rather than taking over the projects completely, we are accustomed to working side by-side with the client, by providing companies with a quality offshore centre along with efficient resources that deliver impactful IT projects for businesses, we provide commercially successful solutions through a resourceful team.”
According to Devika Patel, Director at SAI, each company has an IT requirement that needs a solution and that is where outsourcing projects come into place. Outsourcing is now slowly becoming a vital strategical movement especially as companies are focusing more within the IT sector. Not only is there a cost benefit but more so having the access to skilled resources and with SAI being able to expand the efficiency of working through two time zones. As Devika Patel explains, “With intensive workshops we make sure that we understand our customers from A to Z in order for us to deliver the project. They become part of our company as well.”
Now with SAI Finland established with the help of Helsinki Business Hub, the company is targeting mid- to large-size companies. Their most typical client is in the IT sector, but in the past SAI has carried out large projects in the retail, healthcare and automotive sectors in both B2B and B2C settings. A few of their projects within Europe include working with Safran, OP Group, and TRW to name a few.
Continued support, continued growth
After getting established here in Finland, Helsinki Business Hub is working with SAI to help them best engage local customers and overall fully leverage the local business and innovation ecosystem, planning to grow their Finnish presence to at least three employees.
“We really do want to ensure that our client companies succeed here in Helsinki,” says Sandeep Shah, Senior Business Advisor at HBH. “Helping the companies to get established here is only one of the initial steps in their Finland journey. It is key that we continue supporting them in any which way we can. And this means engaging with the client by continuing to be their advisor, facilitator, connector, navigator and guide, at least until their growth path is on a more solid footing”.
Working with Sandeep, Devika Patel says that they have weekly calls to strategies how to move things forward. “One thing we realised is that we need to build up our visibility and credibility in the Finnish market,” says Director Devika Patel. “We look at the companies we want to focus on and believe are looking to build a gap in their solutions. Together we see how to approach them with the right kind of value-adding offering”.
SAI is on the lookout for hiring more local talent on the business development side. Stay tuned to the company’s website for more information.
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