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BI-MONTHLY INTERNAL NEWSLETTER OF RUNWAY BALTICS Interview Interview people are performing at our Christ- OUR CEO ABOUT THE PAST, PRESENT mas parties. At work it’s important to “For me it’s really important that AND THE FUTURE develop yourself, but even more im- people enjoy working here and that BY JAN ERICSSON portant to help others become better. To use a football analogy: it’s better to we take care of each other.” be eleven professional players on the ne can say that the Runway ad- ment, or take a leap of faith and accept the fact that the Norwegian Air CEO pitch than being a one-star team.” for a couple of years and in 2011 the rent exciting project is the recruitment venture started on a cold No- this new challenge. Bjorn Kjos came to us in 2006 with goal is to realize that ambition. When of cabin crew for Norwegian Air in Tal- vember day in Tallinn back in their customer service business is as- Since the start in 2004 the company acquired it was important to show linn to be based in Helsinki. 2003, but let’s turn back the clock Nils spent the next ﬁve years develop- tounding, considering our small size has developed in the bigger picture strength through several countries/of- even further. Our CEO, Nils Sundling, ing contact centres in Europe for C3; at that point. Honestly, I still haven’t as follows: The Norwegian Air project ﬁces, but recently the focus has been Accounting and other back-ofﬁce ser- started his career in the bank sector, around 70 projects dealing with all found the answer to that question.” made Riga the biggest ofﬁce in 2006 on ﬁlling up existing ofﬁces. The focus vices in general can be the most ex- working for Sparbanken Nord assisting customer service that wasn’t face to as Tallinn had a number of smaller proj- for the Kiev ofﬁce will be on attract- citing prospects for the next couple of customers at an ofﬁce in Moss, Nor- face, mostly within the Bank and Tele- According to Nils, Bjorn Kjos has been ects. That year both DKV/Storebrand ing British and German (maybe even years. It’s a utopian situation come to way. What you might not know either is communication sectors. He acquired the best spokesperson for Runway. “He and Genpact also started in Tallinn. In Russian) projects. In Ukraine the cost reality as Runway not only can provide that Nils used to play football at a high the Nordic branch of the company and is a much respected business pro- 2007 the ERGO project started in Riga situation is that it could be competitive the services to a lower rate, but also level, playing on the right wing for Moss clients started enquiring if additional ﬁle in Norway thanks to the growth of and the Kaunas ofﬁce was opened. At also to outsourcing providers in India. at a higher quality level. The company Fotballklubb in the highest division. services could be provided as there Norwegian and his positive words are that point the numbers of Scandinavian- Costs are escalating there and other is- has a lot of hard-working people that However, as they weren’t paid sala- was a need to focus more on their core more worth than any advertising could speakers were more in Kaunas com- sues such as time difference, different make the clients look even better to ries in those days, Nils was also business activities. The idea of Runway achieve.” The ﬁrst couple of years were pared to Vilnius, hence the reason for culture and long trips make Ukraine an their markets/customers. working for the bank. was born when Nils visited Tallinn at a challenge as would be expected when starting ﬁrst in Kaunas. The year after attractive alternative. “We are look- the end of 2003. Nils recalls: “I was starting a new business. In 2005 the the Vilnius ofﬁce was opened when the ing at the British, German and Rus- Nils says: “The power within this or- He spent 20 years in the bank invited to Tallinn to develop a contact Riga ofﬁce was opened and for example company acquired an existing call-centre sian markets, but also on the idea of ganization is exciting to see. For ex- sector ending up as the Manager centre for Hilton Hotels. It was a cold knowing where to recruit was a difﬁcult and the Color Line project was launched multi-lingual projects. The whole idea ample, seeing all the employees at for the ﬁrst 2 24/7 tele- November day and I just wanted to get task in the beginning. When Norwegian in 2009. In 2008, the currently biggest is to have all languages under one roof the Summer Games in August was phone bank in Nor- back home. It was my ﬁrst visit in this came into the picture, things started project opened its doors in Tallinn, mak- instead of having them spread out in amazing. It’s also a thrill to see what way. The board of part of Europe. However, I started to looking brighter and two years ago a ing it the biggest Runway ofﬁce: Hur- various countries, to create central kind of clients we are dealing with, for Sparbanken Nord Sparbank realize that this was an exciting place paradigm shift occurred. Runway expe- tigruten. Nils says: “Except for Dell we and multi-lingual environments.” example going to London and present had bee to the been and didn’t match my picture of a city rienced proﬁts for the ﬁrst time and Nils haven’t lost any projects and that was Runway to Samsung. It shows that we United States and S stuck in old Eastern European mental- could ﬁnally see an opportunity to start because of a central decision to move The most important thing for Runway have achieved something and that we noticed the banks ity. It was a city with excellent infra- investing more seriously in the most val- their customer service to another loca- in 2011 is to offer more services to are going places. 2010 has been an were open longer o structure, hard-working people and a ued asset at Runway: its people. tion, not because we did a bad job. I become a true BPO provider. Nils sees amazing year and 2011 should be than the stan- much better cost level than in West- think that’s proof enough that we are the accounting area as one of the most even more amazing.” dard bank hours b ern Europe. Simply put: a place with Nils continues: “These last two years providing a great service.” exciting and proﬁtable areas. It’s im- and wa wanted this huge potential.” we have been able to focus more on portant to have more legs to stand on Nils would like to take the opportunity extended service to be serv creating a working environment that Runway also has an ofﬁce in Kiev, and by offering more services Runway to wish you all a Merry Christmas and established in N Norway as Nils saw that this was the place to start provides something extra, something Ukraine, that still awaits its ofﬁcial can tie existing and future clients closer a Happy New Year! well. Nils was asked to offering the clients what they were ask- more than just paying a salary. We opening. It has been on the agenda to the company. For example one cur- be in charge in coop- e i ing for. Runway was established to- have two visions: 1) to be the biggest eration with an English rat a gether with a Norwegian partner and outsourcing provider in the Baltics company called C3, as cal a few British partners. Some initial and a major player in Europe, and 2) this kind of compe- o market research was carried out before create the best work place in the Bal- tence didn’t exist at didn’ business commenced in 2004 with tics. For me it’s really important that that point in Norway. i eight employees selling lottery tickets people enjoy working here and that we He held th position this for humanitarian organizations. This take care of each other. From the bank for three years and was very challenging business over the industry I realized how it shouldn’t be, received an offer phone, but at least the ball had started more vertical and more cold environ- from C3 to build up t to roll. The ﬁrst major client was Net- ment. After leaving Runway I want their Scandinavian Sca Com, a mobile phone company in Nor- people to think fondly of the time they branch. Nils had way. This was equally tough as they spent here. I can do my best acting to make a decision had plenty of customers calling with as a role model through actions, but at that point to ei- p complaints and this project was slowly it’s everyone’s duty to make this place 12/201012/201012/201012/201012/201 ther continue in the conti disabled as Norwegian came onboard. the best place. I’m for example happy bank sector, most se Nils about Norwegian: “Building up a to see that bowling evenings are ar- likely until retire- u business like Runway takes time and ranged and that bands with Runway 8 THE RUNWAY DIGEST - ISSUE #12 THE RUNWAY DIGEST - ISSUE #12 9