Companies who think multi-culturally and provide a stimulating and innovative environment for their employees come out winners.
You have been CEO since 2007, what is your ambition for Knightec?
Knightec should transform the industry. We said that from the start and I think that we have evolved continuously, but of course, the larger we are the greater the impact. With 500 employees we are now a real contender in the industry and still growing in Sweden.
In what way will Knightec transform the industry and why is it necessary?
The reality for our customers is constantly changing, which means that they need to evolve. We want to be the best at helping them reach their maximum potential. Long lasting trends which now seem like old truths – such as globalization and faster technological advancements are the source of this changing reality. These things have a big impact! They are what have led to competitive pricing and the fallout of larger failures and achievements. For example, more advanced products need to come onto the market faster.
We can choose to just go along for the ride or to influence progress and effect our position. We choose the latter and have an idea about what it takes, the benefits and where we need to go.
So where are you going?
It is important for us that we build on our employees’ growth and ability to collaborate. Customers need specialists, people who are best in their focus area, but many solutions require cross disciplinary teams. This is why we develop specialist areas together with complementary disciplines as a team, whereas many others in the industry go towards individual consult staffing. Customers notice that we support and complement each other.
For very advanced solutions it can be vital and I see that this development continues. All assignments are not super complex or advanced and that is where we really have pricing pressure and competition from staffing agencies. We see those assignments as a great opportunity for more inexperienced consults to develop.
A common solution is that a senior consultant is a mentor to a junior consultant who is responsible to carry out the assignment. The customer can be secure and know that they are being provided the best possible solution while at the same time developing a junior consultant. This allows us to be more competitive. Development generates satisfaction – you become better and are challenged. That is what we strive after more than any other consulting firm.
Another thing that is a very important part of Knightec is diversity. This is an area where I have difficulty in understanding how many companies can afford to not broaden their recruitment base. In society I see many competent individuals who find themselves outside of the workforce due to their foreign background, lacking the right contacts, are too old or too young.
It can be normal for a consulting firm, for example, to be afraid to hire consultants with foreign names. For Knightec, it is important that you are passionate for technology/engineering and business, not what your name is. The future is even more global, our customers are already global and we need to work even more with our global contacts and with our understanding for other cultures. Here we have today and will continue to have a huge advantage.
Have you personally experienced discrimination due to your name and background?
Of course I have. Both privately and professionally. These experiences have been quite explicit and likely, motivation for me now. Of course this has also affected our view of diversity, but from a business perspective it does not have to do with goodwill. It has to do with giving us a competitive advantage for collaboration, as well as a widened recruiting base. This is our strategy, collaboration and diversity.
So how does the perfect consult look like to you?
You must, in your way, want to develop yourself. A company can only provide you with opportunities, but the responsibility to develop and create your future lies in your hands. So drive and teamwork, along with collaboration, passion for technology/engineering and the ability to see new ways we can help our customers are common denominators of Knightec consultants!