1/2013

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Haltian’s reliable growth: It’s all about connectivity.

CEO Pasi Leipälä is a firm believer in the “internet of things”, where devices connect to other devices; machine-to-machine interaction, and he has good reason to be. With the way things are developing, things are getting more connected than we usually think. “The idea of machine-to-machine interaction is nothing new, but it’s only recently that the technology has reached a point where it’s actually doable.” So why is he so excited about it?

The main reasons can be found in his company, Haltian. Having recently celebrated their first birthday, business is booming. Founded in September 2012 by five guys who decided to accept the Nokia leave package and use it wisely, the company is now 45-strong with revenues of six million euro. That’s in a year, from scratch. “Well, almost from scratch. We did have a good existing client network that we put to use. But there’s no VC funding, no outside exit plans.”

Taking the clients to the next level

The clients in question have expanded from that, addressing needs in several industries. Be it devices, the software needed to monitor those devices or both, they are now involved with companies great and small, in many fields or industries, except one. “We don’t want to enter the traditional mobile electronics space because there’s such over-competition there. We prefer to sell our connectivity solutions to logistics, agriculture, forestry, metal industries, you name it. Offering connectivity solutions in those sectors is much easier.”

So how does one find new clients from other industries, especially when they don’t necessarily know they need Haltian’s service? “We go to a lot of trade fairs”, says Haltian’s marketing director Heini Tuorila. “Those networks are basically one big potential that’s barely tapped.” Often the client-to-be doesn’t even realize that the methods used in, say, cargo tracking, are insufficient and cause losses, but since the existing method of tracking is established, they see no alternative – this is the way it’s done. Haltian offers them just that: an alternative, and they create it based on the client’s needs – once those needs are recognized. “Sometimes the client comes along with an idea and we start thinking about what could be done about it. We can handle the whole process of product development, from hardware design to software development. And as we are still SME-sized, we are very flexible and reliable.”

Growth in sight

Being able to create something like that by themselves doesn’t mean Haltian wants to do everything alone. They’ve recently established a strategic collaboration with Symbio, offering productization support in exchange for software engineering and a wide customer and co-operation base in the US. That should help them reach their growth expectations, which are not trivial. “We expect to double our personnel and increase our revenue base accordingly within a year, with local talent.”

Hiring locally is an example of their line of ethical business decisions. “The talent pool is great, the cost efficiency is good and getting better, and there are no problems with clashing working cultures or ethics. Plus, when you have actually worked with the person you’re hiring, you know that they are reliable – you know it’s going to work.”