Kai Saksela of NL ACOUSTICS tells us how they turn sound into waves.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Kai Saksela: We are doing very well. The situation in Finland has been quite good so far. We’ve managed to get used to working remotely with no major disputes in our household.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded NL ACOUSTICS.
Kai Saksela: We met with my co-founder Jonas in 2014 and discussed ideas around some new types of products for finding problems using sound. We founded the company in 2015, back then, with just some rough prototypes to work with.
How does NL ACOUSTICS innovate?
Kai Saksela: Staying flexible and innovative requires constant work. For us, it’s a balance between giving people enough freedom to enable creativity while still keeping things systematic enough to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Kai Saksela: At the beginning of 2020, there was a dramatic decrease in sales. We’re selling globally, so we noticed that there were always some countries on lockdown, while it was possible to make sales in other countries.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Kai Saksela: We have actually been able to recruit during the pandemic, so we’ve been lucky in that sense.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Kai Saksela: We started investing heavily in building remote support systems as soon as the pandemic started. They started paying off towards the end of the year.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Kai Saksela: Business Finland did help us during the toughest times. We’re lucky to have a system in Finland which is very effective in situations such as these. The government has, in general, been very helpful in our growth.