Indian IT, Health-Tech & Clean-tech Companies eyeing Finland

Helsinki Business Hub, PrEver Consulting & Tekes event in Bangalore in August 2017

The India event showcasing the Finnish business ecosystem in partnership with PrEver, Helsinki Business Hub and Tekes concluded on a win-win note for all stakeholders. Sterling’s Mac Hotel was abuzz with the whole family of these. They did not miss a chance to lavish their praises on PrEver and its Finland based Govt. agencies. Narrating a fascinating picture of their satisfying perambulating journey into Finland, a compilation of the clients’ testimonials adds a jewel in the crown for PrEver and these. But first, here’s the unfolding of the event.

Simonelle Dsouza, Event M.C. & Engagement Manager – Prever.

The whole event was anchored by Simonelle Dsouza who was zestful and a vibrant host. She was the smiling face of the PrEver brigade.

Pekka Ollikainen & Kari Ruutu of Tekes.

The speakers- Stanny JD, Sandeep Shah, Pekka Ollikainen, Kari Ruutu and Muhaimin Saidu created a buzz with some solid data points.

Stanny JD spoke with gusto, while Pekka and Kari Ruutu said, “We use the project plan as a tool to discuss the progress together. It is the basis for interim reports, a great chance to talk about good and bad results. There is no penalty. Our focus is to reach the aim of the project together.

Sandeep Shah said, “We started with helping one Indian company to Finland and more have followed. The trend will continue and we will welcome them.” Shah gave some pertinent insights about Helsinki, Finland and the Nordics to the companies who wanted to venture into Finland. More so, he was armed to the teeth with data regarding the Finland ecosystem.

Sandeep Shah of Helsinki Business Hub.

The scores of data he shared included: Finland being the most attractive country for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in Europe, according to FDI attractiveness scoreboard, Copenhagen Economics for European Commission 2016; 71% of Finns speak English as a language, 5th in the World Economic Forum’s Enabling Trends Index (2014); Helsinki being the #3 city in the world to support tech, innovation and entrepreneurship; #2 in digital economy and society index (European Commission 2017); Most (7482) R&D professionals in the world per 1 million population; Finland ranked #1 in World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Index; most employed population (#2 in Europe) in high tech services and manufacturing; 50% of 25-64 year olds have tertiary education (Eurostat 2014). What transpired was a great presentation from Sandeep Shah indeed.

What took the cake was an invigorating ‘panel discussion’ of companies who have traversed the Finland journey with some ‘success stories’.

Esteemed Panelists at the Event.

Here are some Indian Companies CEO’s and Founders who spoke their experiences openly during the event. The panel discussion started off  by Mohan Krishna, CEO, of PrEver felicitating the esteemed panelists.

Nitin Shah of Allied Digital, Special Guest.

Nitin Shah was a special guest of this event. He represents ‘Allied Digital’. It has a vast and global presence in across 35 countries. This IT Company’s chairman, Mr. Nitin is bestowed with many awards: ‘Innovation- New initiatives in Infrastructure management’ at the Data Center Summit 2017; ‘Order of Merit Innovative Smart Solution- Infrastructure’, Dec. 2016; ‘Digital transformation leaders awards- infrastructure’, 2016 and more. This IT stalwart has also received the ‘Lifetime achievement award- Information technology’ by 24 MRC/IBN7.

Prakash Baskaran, Panelist, from Securely Share.

I studied in US and have lots of business connection there, it is my second home. Still we came to Finland. The biggest difference? Speed and talent. We are very R&D oriented with a profile of a high-tech company. We need to recruit top talent. I can hire the talent much faster in Finland than elsewhere. I’ve brought talent from Israel to India, now I don’t have to anymore. Yes, the salary is higher but it is nothing compared to Israel and Silicon Valley.” These words were said by Prakash Baskaran from ‘Securely Share’ at Helsinki Business Hub’s event on 24th August in Bangalore.

He is a serial entrepreneur and being a CEO, built his company as a Delaware C-Corp, known to be the gold standard for Startups. Securely Share has 6 US patents to its name. The event, co-organised with The Finnish Fund for Innovation Tekes and PrEver Consulting, brought together a bunch of Indian mid-sized tech companies exploring doing R&D in Finland and market access to Europe.

Three Indian companies SecurelyShare, Inteliment Technologies, NCrypted Technologies and the advisory partner JCSS Consulting shared about their personal experiences in setting up business in Finland. The audience was especially interested in the talent pool, ecosystem and operational costs in Finland.

Here are the key reasons for “why Finland” from the panel:

YOUR VALUATION GOES UP

“Why it is beneficial for us to get funding from Tekes, when we can get funding from India? With the R&D funding we receive from Tekes, we get our product developed in Europe. And having an European IPR is a distinct advantage.

Kunal Pandya, Panelist, from NCrypted Technologies

Kunal Pandya from NCrypted Technologies

His company boasts of IT services and software developed to over 700+ clients across 75+ countries. It’s clients include Hyatt and OYO rooms among many others.

With startups the challenge is to build the trust with investors. In a situation when a foreign government agent like Tekes have done a comprehensive valuation of a startup and decided to fund it, it adds value to company’s future valuation. A company once mentioned about how it is tiring that the Tekes people are asking so many questions. I told them it is good that you need to answer these questions now, because investors will ask the same questions from you in the future. 

Srikanth Srinivasan, Panelist, from JSS Consulting.

I’ve heard in a few occasions that I’m an Indian company, I stay in India. It doesn’t matter where your IPR is as long as it is secured and protected and you own it. In fact you protect your IPR better in Finland and Europe.”

Srikanth Srinivasan from JSS Consulting

Srikanth Srinivasan is a renowned Financial Advisor. His company caters to many Startups and Fortune 500 companies.

PROFESSIONAL TALENT AT A REASONABLE COST LEVEL

We’ve considered Singapore, Netherland and Qatar. I agree that speed is the main factor in setting up business in Finland. Also if you are focusing in Europe & Nordic, Finland is the place for you. The talent pool is large. On my first trip we visited the Aalto University and we can see the variety of talent they have in ICT.

– Kunal Pandya from NCrypted Technologies

Costs in US hiring varies greatly from city to city. For me the talent in cyber security are in the higher scale of the salary ladder. In US the visa and other relocation costs are expensive and the process is difficult, it is cheaper and simpler to move workforce from India to Finland.

I appreciate the Finnish working ethic, no up-selling, no BS – what you see is what you get. We want to hire more. My staff in India are highly skilled and they are used to a research environment, the culture is similar in Finland. Compared to other European regions, 70% of the Finns speak good English, which makes a huge difference.

– Prakash Baskaran from SecurelyShare

Companies are worried about taxation outside India. My answer is that taxation is more and more neutralized by cross-country treaties. And tax is mainly applicable when you make profit. Funding from Tekes helps to kickstart your operations in Finland. For Indian startups and SMEs, working capital is a more important issue than taxation.

– Srikanth Srinivasan from JSS Consulting

STOP-OVER IN FINLAND BEFORE YOU LAND IN US – YOU MIGHT EVEN STAY FOR GOOD

It surprised me how fast and smooth it is to set up operations in Finland. I have to compliment Tekes and HBH, because during our interactions, it feels like dealing with friends. This instilled our confidence to set up an innovation center in Finland. We’ve signed up few customers there, so business looks good.

Prashant Pansare from Inteliment Technologies

I was asked by my American friend: “Your company decided to go out of loop to a faraway Finland, why not Silicon Valley?” I answered: “In today’s world, it is not big fish that eat the small fish, it is the faster fish that eat the smaller fish.

Prashant Pansare, Panelist, from Inteliment Technologies

– Prashant Pansare from Inteliment Technologies

Prashant Pansare is a client of PrEver, having served 100+ of his own clientele. His company has an international presence too. The latest entrant from their repertoire countries  include Finland. Within a short time of its presence in Finland, the company has grown considerably.

Another advantage is the time difference and communication. No more working in two shifts when time-wise we are closer to each other than with US.

– Prakash Baskaran from SecurelyShare

I’m also impressed by the speed. You know that startups and SME’s run much faster, 3 months or 6 months is a lifetime. We discussed about Finland and its opportunities in March. The first visit was beginning of April. Our first stop was Helsinki Business Hub, and we met with the national players Finpro, Tekes, it was very pleasant to deal with the government agencies. My next trip was the end of April to set up the bank account and the company. I also met our future staff member. Multiple things happened with the speed that would be slower elsewhere. On July 3rd I got the term sheet and I wanted to make sure this is a good financial decision. My advisor said it is obvious, this is a brilliant way for us to get started much faster.

– Prakash Baskaran from SecurelyShare

Post the event and the panel discussion, there was a flurry of discussions among the success story Companies from India and the aspiring Indian IT, Clean-tech and Software product Companies during cocktails and dinner. It was a milestone based event wherein participants were focused on what they want and a right mix of ecosystem players with stakeholders mingled to create more avenues of business acceleration using the Finland, Nordics and EU advantage.

For more queries and information please contact:

Stanny JD, Director – Prever, welcomes one & all.

Stanny JD

+91 9986594215

stannyjd@preverconsulting.com