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We gained a deeper understanding of him through a series of questions.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Briefly, I am based in Helsinki, Finland where I grew up. During my business university studies, at the age of 21, I co-founded a company that eventually grew into Global Intelligence Alliance (GIA). Our primary focus was in the field of market and competitive intelligence, and we successfully established ourselves in that area. We managed to grow it to about 15 million euros of revenue and with around 150 people, internationally. Eventually we made the decision to sell our company to M-Brain in 2014.
More recently, I have been working as an entrepreneurial freelance consultant providing my services to both SaaS companies and professional service firms.
Why did you decide to join the Board of Comintelli?
I have basically known Comintelli as a company since the early 2000s. We were friendly competitors during my time at GIA. Recently, I did a little consulting for Comintelli. It refreshed my memory about the industry and I got along very well with the team. I like the people at Comintelli and the fact that there is a strong ambition level to take the company to the next level. So in that sense, it felt like a good moment for me to join. I also enjoy the fact that I get to apply my competencies with a Swedish company as most of my work experience is very international, but most of my recent customers have been based in Finland.
What do you feel you bring to the table?
What I bring to the table is a strong background in the market and competitive intelligence industry along with a deep understanding of SaaS businesses. Over the past eight years I’ve actively worked with dozens of SaaS companies understanding how to stimulate growth. In addition, my experience with GIA has allowed me to understand what it takes to grow up to 15 million euros of revenue. I am familiar with the different steps and challenges there might be along the way, and I hope I can bring that to the table as well.
How do you see the future of Competitive Intelligence?
I think maybe one year ago, I would have answered it differently. The biggest thing is generative artificial intelligence like chat GPT and different things now that are coming to the table. This means that lot of the basic secondary research from public sources can be automated. So it is interesting to see how that evolves and see what AI can do. On the other hand, there’s still going to be room for the human element and the so-called “primary research” and “primary intelligence” that is not available in the public domain. I think those techniques and methodologies will become even more appreciated I think the published information will become more of a commodity and the challenge is to be able to integrate the right information with decision making at the right time.
Finally, tell us something personal about yourself!
I am working on an interesting hotel project which is something totally different from the SaaS business or professional services. I acquired a small hotel in Indonesia in February. Now, together with my partner, we have been converting that into a high end boutique hotel that is due to open in about three weeks time, in August. So I am finalizing that project, which is called Hani Hideaway. It’s a very exciting project for me personally.