Finnish Tietoviikko (“IT Weekly”) publishes annual statistics on local Top-250 IT companies’ financial performance. The 2013 results just came out, hot off the press. The article was headlined “A Tough Year”. Every tenth job had been made redundant and almost a sixth of the top 250 companies’ compound revenue had evaporated compared to the previous year.
According to the author, a couple of years ago this article was easy to write. The introduction was always about the success of the Nokia cluster. And then for a couple of years, it was about the cluster’s collapse. Nokia, even without the crown-jewel mobile business, is still the largest ICT company in Finland. Unsurprisingly Microsoft Mobile shadowing closely behind in second place. Then there is a wide gap to the runners-up, Tieto and Telecom giants TeliaSonera Finland and Elisa. 35 companies fit into the >100 M€ park and then a long tail winds down to 6M€ and the 250th position. .
Size matters of course, but in a struggling industry, growth rates are more interesting. Celebrated Clash of Clans superstar Supercell was naturally #1 with a staggering 562% growth from 2012. And this was a nosedive from their previous figure 51.900%. This year, the growth-rate rankings take a sharper fall compared to the previous year – consistent with the industry’s demise – 15th fastest growing IT company grew with 57% compared to 2011, this year 15th position was rewarded with only 44% growth Year-over-Year.
The Top 250 list is great quick reference to compare our proceedings with our peers and our rivals. Our performance stuck out this year and yielded a small insert with an anecdotal headline: “Bilot Picked the Cherries”. A reporter asked me for an explanation for us being in #25th position in the growth rankings with 32% growth YoY. Interestingly enough, this was the first time we “made the news” so to say. For those who read the short article, here is some additional insight.
Firstly, we didn’t pick any cherries. Our formula has consistently been one where our offering must be relevantly adapted to changing business requirements. That has meant that we develop and deliver solutions based on the most current technologies – with a strong appetite for pioneering. We are surely not in a position where we can choose our customers. But we seem to have a good formula and we are quite often selected as a business partner.
Secondly, getting attention for our growth now was somewhat of a delayed reaction, to say the least. We have grown at the same rate the past three years and much much faster before that. Our average annual growth rate for the past eight years has been over 50%, so the current figure was not expected to raise any brows.
And lastly, our future strategy is not to “continue to pick cherries”, but to consistently align our solution offering with the megatrends of our industry. To capitalize on our skills, experience and intuition in developing the best solutions on the market. This is a transformation strategy which is fundamentally based on our original formula – stay ahead and stay relevant. And to live up to our promise – we stand for more.