Introduce yourself shortly
I’m 29 years old, super self-critical, strong-headed, orientated on gameplay and outcomes – Southern Estonian. I got my high school education at Tarvastu Gümnaasium, in Viljandi. It’s quite important at this point, because this school’s economics orientation is where I got my entrepreneurship and investment “bug”.
My career took off at Harju Elekter Teletehnika, where I started out as a production engineer. Soon, I got an opportunity to be a production manager of fibre optical cables’ division. A bigger breakthrough came in May 2017 – when Mr. S. Määttä reached out to me and introduced me to an idea that they plan on creating a company here in Estonia and whether I’d be interested in joining them – of course, I took the offer.
3 facts about you that people wouldn’t guess if they were to meet you for the first time
- I know nothing about sales or marketing
- I’ve been a singer and a guitar player in a metal band Under The Glory. (Check out: Under The Glory – “Redemption Theory” and “End of Her” @ YouTube
- I don’t like taking vacations and being away from work is stressful for me
You mentioned before that you have sang and played a guitar in a metal band Under The Glory. Tell us more about joining the band; are you a part of it now; and when and where could the band be seen on the stage?
I got into Under The Glory because every member had their previous projects, so we practiced in the same rehearsal rooms and we just clicked at some point. Under The Glory was more of a project that we put out leftover energy into and unfortunately we are not active anymore as a band.
Our highest point was when we had a stability of at least one live performance on every weekend and we made a professional music video for “Redemption Theory”, which was put together by American company named SalTor Production, which consisted of my high school classmates.
What’s the main difference between discussing business with Finns comparing to Estonians?
Doing business with Finns I’ve learned to plan ahead longer, to see and to create a long-term perspective – their “Excel skills” are light years ahead, budget and goals are always on point, well-reasoned and thorough. One con is that they divide their responsibilities too much so making decisions can take too much time. Finns don’t have that same Start-up-like fast thinking like Estonians do and they don’t like the possibility of making mistakes – they prefer to avoid errors and to delegate a lot of the decision making because they don’t want to take the responsibility for mistakes and they avoid the “reputation” that comes with it.
What is Nestor Cables and what connection do you have with it?
Nestor Cables is a fibre-optical cables’ production company that was created in 2008. Its roots reach the Finland’s Nokia cables and the company is run by Finland’s greatest professionals in that field.
Its fleet is the most modern one that you could find in Europe and apart from other cable producers they are really flexible regarding production. While creating a selection of products they consider market trends and the high needs of their customers.
I am the head of Nestor Cables Estonian subsidiary Nestor Cables Baltics OÜ (Ltd) which was established in 2017.
You have also studied Electrical Engineering, why did you choose Entrepreneurship and EBS?
The choice to study Engineering has been a great influence to my career and it has taken me where I am now. Science, mathematical analysis, linear algebra and visual geometry have an important place in production. Most of the time I don’t need to consult with anyone if I want to change the dimensions of the production rooms, to rearrange equipment, to calculate the weight distribution of heavy objects to the floor beams, to better the efficiency and capability of production process etc. It gives a great impulse to my brain on some hard days.
In business, however, the “softer values” are more important: like social-skills, communication, reading people, motivation employees, working with a bigger picture etc. That’s what I came to study at EBS. It’s also important to notice yourself and keeping yourself motivated – I’ve reached a point when I can’t handle myself for a couple of times and then I’ve gotten some help from the Finnish leading figures who have helped me with reflecting the problems. As a leader it’s important to test yourself and find yourself a coach who can help you with reflecting yourself.
What kind of an advice would you give to a starting entrepreneur?
– Don’t be afraid of big challenges. If I would have known that I’d be working for 14-16 hours a day at first, in an environment with limited information and that I had to sometimes sacrifice my friends and family (and their nerves) to my work, I would have stayed in my comfort zone and would’ve not taken this step
– Develop constantly and adapt; if you only have on skill set then you’ll miss the train tomorrow.
– Get along with yourself so that others (family and employees) won’t suffer.
– Build a team that isn’t only motivated by money – when you’re just starting your business, money is burning really fast. And if you don’t have passion within your team then you’ll be left with a demotivated team in no time.
What’s the craziest thing in your bucket list?
To be in the Estonia’s Unicorn’s club with my company.
Translator: Marlen Kuusk
Editor: Tea Teesalu