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YC Felin
Venture Advisor

 

 

 

“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 SecurelyShare at Helsinki Business Hub’s event on 24th August in Bangalore.  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 from NCrypted Technologies

“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.

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

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 centre 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 from Inteliment Technologies

“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.”

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