The CEO interview
How would you describe your work at Omuus?
I am one of the founding members of Omuus, all the way since the beginning of 2011. At the beginning my work was more related to finances and business strategy. Through the years it has evolved into my current role as CEO of the company. Today my typical day involves client relationships, taking care of our personnel as in the HR role and future strategy planning with our team in Finland, China and UK. I also frequently cook for the team here in Helsinki. As a family company this is very important for us as families eat together.
Can you tell us about your journey to Omuus?
I am actually an airline pilot. I’m here by accident.
Jokes aside – the other two co-founding members of Omuus, my wife Annina together with her sister Janina had careers at Nokia, where they were working as CMF designers. After Nokia they wanted to start up their own company offering CMF expertise, and I was there to support them in their mission. In a few years the company has grown from the CMF design origins to offer full range of design services, and I have had a chance to grow together with it.
Today I speak fluently design while still flying part time airplanes. I love both of my works as they nicely balance each other: my work as airline captain has trained me in decision making and to trust your people when the going gets tough. These principles apply to my work as the CEO of Omuus – fly, navigate, communicate.
Please describe some highlight of your career?
Omuus is a people business. We believe having the right people on right positions and enabling them to do great design will bring success to the company as well. The summer of 2016 Microsoft announced massive layoffs and end mobile phone business. The very day I told Annina to pick her phone and call through the best designers she worked together with during her Nokia time. Today those people are working with us at Omuus. I am proud to say our employees are our greatest asset.
Which are customers most frequently asked questions and how do you answer?
We don’t design only aspirational things. Some clients have said that our designs look expensive. We say that we possess the capability to create beautiful designs that are massproductionable with cost effectiveness. This is doable with our experience.
Most expensive product is the one that does not sell. Design really means business.
What excites you about the future of your field?
The boundaries of design are blurring. We started our company from CMF design and today along with CMF we offer industrial design, animations, service design and marketing, into studying the principles of science to the design methods. The field is expanding all the time, because brands need holistic services for their brand experience.
The evolution of design.
We started 8 years ago – almost nobody knew about CMF design. Today this discipline is mandatory for companies that want to succeed, whether in business to consumers or business to business.
The system thinking is growing as a trend, brands realize they need more than just a beautiful design – they need brand, portfolio and design strategies that address the needs of the future consumers who challenge our thinking. Omuus design is in evolution all the time, we continuously seek to evolve in our methods.
Future consumer groups.
In the next years the Millenials and Generation Z are the most influential consumer groups. During Omuus last years we have hired young talents and that has proven to be a strategic decision as we need to have the combination of expertise and understand the future consumer behaviors that influence innovative design.
Future of Omuus.
Today we work in the Europe and Asia markets, and are strongly investing in our China operations. Nordic design today is very aspirational globally and we are proud ambassadors of Finnish design.