For a long time we had yearned for the peace and quiet of our home district. Although our work had gone smoothly in Southern Finland, deep down there was a feeling that this was not the way to continue. Creative work needs space, silence and nature. In 2007, we finally decided to relocate to Mänttä.

Naturally, living in Southern Finland had its good points; the short distances involved helped when we visited customers. Before going through with the move, I did discuss how it would affect our cooperation with my customers. The most common answer was “It doesn’t matter where you are located, as long as the level of service remains top notch! And it will be awesome if you can work where your soul yearns to be”.

MW-Kehitys, the City of Mänttä’s development company, took my enquiries about office premises in the area seriously. It was also a matter of destiny that I got to know Klaus Kaarre by chance when I went over to negotiate with them. My intuition said “hire Klasu”, and this is what happened in August 2007.

Oh wait, what did I just do? I did not intend to hire anyone – my network had worked just fine until then. And when I was alone in the office, it was difficult to get into an argument…

Furthermore, I was not the best possible teacher to train him on office procedures: what did we do when work orders came in? Klasu is tech savvy, whereas I barely understand anything in that area.

Today it is easy to say that hiring that first employee was a crucially important step for Pelismo. I have since understood that one man cannot master everything, or even very much. But when you have colleagues whom you can trust, it is easy to learn new things and cope with the most difficult challenges.

Russia is big, in the world of railways as well as in other respects

The length of the Russian railway network is 87,400km (Finland has 5,919km). Therefore, a company that manages railway transport for such a huge amount of rail must truly be unique. Espoo-based RailCraft’s business is based around the transportation of liquid substances by rail in Russia. The company has ordered various services from us since 1997, starting with designing a logo. The railway network diagram on the meeting room wall is memorable, and the RailCraft professionals have all mastered it: the company helps other players in the industry to find lost trains!

Pertti Kaikkonen, Director and partner, has always been a calm negotiation partner. Quite pedantically, we had focused on even the smallest brochure projects or website details for our own marketing materials.

When I attended a meeting in autumn 2007, Pertti was a couple of minutes late. He was also a bit nervous, so I plucked up the courage to ask if something was worrying him.

“Nothing much, one of our trains has been derailed in Kazakhstan. Six carriages fell off the track, caught fire and exploded.”

“A train exploded and you act as if nothing had happened,” I cried.

“Well, luckily there were no injuries. And the good part is that Kazakhstan Railways will cover the costs.”

This is a good example of handing events in a classy manner. How would rushing around in Espoo Kivilahti help when something was burning in Kazakhstan? RailCraft was sold to a major German railway company in spring 2011.

Safety is a growth domain

Living in Southern Finland, one can easily believe that there are no high-class companies or competences in the countryside. But the first local company to invite us to negotiations was (and is) one of the leaders in its domain.

KMV-Turvapalvelut is known throughout Finland, and it was a great challenge to start creating quality marketing for this company through their websites and brochures. Raimo Maakanen, Managing Director, had the idea that in nature a bevy of swans is very close, and the little ones are taken care of warmly. In addition, the whooper swan is the national bird of Finland. We picked one great shot from Raimo’s photo archives, and thus swans became the foundation of the corporate image.

Patience pays off, particularly in the security and guarding business. It was memorable when we went through the prerequisites of operations and, based on his solid experience, Raimo Maakanen stated: “Tex Willers won’t make it in this business. One must enter all situations with confidence and consideration; most often talking is the best solution. Getting into an argument is no way to handle things!”

KMVOY is still a private security service company, a leader in its field, and is Finnish-owned.