Small cultural differences generate better solutions
Digitalization globally has made the tech sector one of the main engines for employment and economic growth. However, the growth of the digital economy is hampered by a severe shortage of IT professionals. In the digital transformation era finding the right IT professionals for all countries is becoming the number one challenge. The decision of the Nordic countries to relocate part of their business operations to the neighboring countries, which have a close work culture, similar values, and are in the same time zone, became very successful.
Swedish businesses found an answer to this challenge in the Baltic Countries. Pandemic proved once again that the location of the digital company is almost irrelevant, and more and more companies are just moving the whole operation to another country. “Syno” is a perfect example. Established in 2014 this software company is working to meet the consumer data needs of their clients – allowing them to make better, more informed decisions using technology-driven solutions. In less than 7 years of working in the field, “Syno” grew in all dimensions: they provide its service in 60+ countries for 500+ companies across the globe with the help of an incredibly diverse team, with more than 15 nationalities. There are 55 people are working at “Syno” worldwide out of which 26 are in the HQ in Vilnius.
“Lithuania is a very good place to hire IT or general personnel. My employees and I have a similar, Nordic mentality resembling mindset and it was important to me” – says Jokke Pertti Nurminen, CEO of SYNO. In hindsight, he admits, Vilnius has been a very good place to develop his company.
Sweden the biggest investor
According to the data from the Bank of Lithuania, Sweden was the biggest investor in Lithuania in 2020 and stood for 17.6% of total foreign direct investment. Almost 200 Swedish capital-owned companies employ approximately 22 000 Lithuanians and dominate Lithuanian telecommunications, financial markets. They are important players in the manufacturing, retail and wholesale, logistics, and IT industries. The latter is expected to continue growing and reach 11.8 billion USD by 2023 in Sweden alone. To keep up with the increasing demand, new businesses are popping up, and existing companies are growing. However, this kind of growth comes with its own challenges, mostly – the workforce shortage.
A similar cultural identity
Swedish businesses have deep roots in the Lithuanian economy and it’s mostly people-related: Scandinavians and Lithuanians share a similar mindset – they focus on achieving goals, having ownership and responsibility for what they do. “Besides, Lithuanians are great professionals. In Lithuania, you get way more than just a workforce. You get people, who are willing and able to do the job well because they take pride in what they do,” – says the CEO of SYNO.
Easy communication and understanding are essential to successful collaboration. Team members’ interactions are made much more comfortable as they are happening in real-time. Good knowledge of a common language means clear understanding between parties and ensuring the result of work regarding the expectations.
“Vilnius has become so popular, especially among IT specialists. We have our main team in here and looking to expand, even though it’s not that simple anymore” – adds J. Nurminen, CEO of SYNO.
Lithuania has become a center of excellence for global companies looking to expand in the fields of software engineering, AI-driven solutions, fintech product development, compliance & AML. Besides that, Lithuania has one of the fastest-growing start-up ecosystems in the region with over 1000 startups and over 200 Fintechs operating here, making it the 2nd largest Fintech hub in Europe by the number of licensed companies.
Lithuania’s life sciences sector has been rising to prominence internationally for the past decade. Boosted by world-leading biotechnology research and strong educational institutions that supply businesses with top-notch talent, the sector is accelerating faster than almost anywhere else in Europe. Growing by a record 87% in 2020, Lithuania’s robust life sciences ecosystem, which includes both established players and up-and-coming startups, contributes an impressive 2.5% to Lithuania‘s GDP.