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“How to trust someone you’ve not met in person?” – Solved’s Santtu Hulkkonen at “Roast of Solved”


Blog, Solved

Solved’s CEO Santtu Hulkkonen was roasted on Wednesday in Helsinki when Pöyry celebrated its 60th anniversary at the Finlandia Hall. Here are some highlights from the roast.

Juuso Pajunen, CFO, Pöyry: I have difficulties to trust anyone I have not at least shaked hands with, how do you see the need of trust in virtual expert networks?

Santtu Hulkkonen: Trust is the key in any relationship, including business relationship. It is the backbone of own business to systematically build and maintain a trusted and validated expert network, and naturally the platform has those functionalities, which support the trust building, feedback systems, ratings, reviews etc.

I would even turn it around and say that virtual expert networks and platforms can bring more transparency to the work, which can then even increase the trust – you know who is really working for your case. Same thing as you jump into Uber at new airport or taking a normal taxi.

Juuso: Platform economy is hottest of the hot, seems that everyone is there now, how do you follow the market, competition and parallel development tracks?

Santtu: Three things: team, client focus and peer companies.

We have gathered a team and advisors around us, who follow and know the advisory platform business. For example, former CEO and founder of 10EQS, management consulting platform, has been in our advisory board from the very beginning.

Secondly, we do the business development in very close collaboration with the clients and partners, who share the same vision.

Thirdly, we of course constantly benchmark and test other peer services in the freelancing advisory business, like Catalant, gomatch, UpWork etc.

In addition, many experts at the Solved platform are using other expert platforms, so we also learn from the experts.

Juuso Pajunen and Santtu Hulkkonen.

Juuso: Now that I hear what you are up to, are you planning to revolutionize whole engineering services? As the CFO of Pöyry, should I get worried?

Santtu: As you know, many big consulting companies have predicted that the freelance economy will continue to grow. Yes, Solved is part of the trend to change the expert industry from big consultancies and heavy consulting assignments to flexible networked and temporary expert teams providing low threshold “advisory on-demand”.

The phenomenon is not only strengthened by advanced technology platforms and employer goals to strive efficiency, but also by the changing preferences of the employees. This is a challenge for both “virtual” and “traditional” organizations. How to create leadership patterns and working practices that adapt to new employee preferences and strengthen their work motivation?

Juuso: Being a small company from Finland, how can you ensure that you grasp the experts and markets for your collaboration platform?

Santtu: The origin of the country doesn’t play a big role,  being a from Finland in the field of green economy, is a good starting point. We have had a head start with business model and Solved is still fresh and something new and exciting. It has been a tough 5-year journey so far, however, we have been managed to have well-known top companies and organizations as partners and clients with vast networks.

The success comes by enabling true network effects to take place, when more and more organisations and companies are using the platform. About year ago, we made a decision that in order to secure resources for the growth, we will also look opportunities to partner up with more established players in the field, who share the same vision.

Santtu Hulkkonen.