Indian app developer launches European expansion from Helsinki
Indian software development company Geo Tech has been working with Scandinavian customers since 2008. Now with business booming the company has taken the next step: opening its first European operations in Helsinki, Finland.
As a mobile and web applications specialist, Geo Tech has been delivering cost-efficient high quality services to Scandinavian customers for the past seven years. Encouraged by a growing demand and finding the right partners, the company believes it is the right time to establish a stronger presence in the region.
Called ‘Geo Tech-IT’, its role is to act as Geo Tech’s first point of contact not only in Scandinavia but across Northern Europe. Geo Tech-IT is a joint venture headed up by Geo Tech’s existing Finnish partners Markku Saukkonen and Matti Suominen and opened its doors in Helsinki earlier this year. Initially Geo Tech-IT’s focus is on small and medium sized companies with the longer term aim of attracting larger corporations.
“Our main services are in web and mobile app development. We offer the whole package from mock-ups to the final product,” says Saukkonen, CTO of Geo Tech-IT. “We join the customer at an early stage and even help them in specifying the functionalities of the application which they intend to develop. We also solve many types of IT related problems.”
Kolkata-based Geo Tech rose to success with a hybrid development model where customer communication and coordination are done locally in the customer’s own language. Main software development is then carried out in India using in-house developers and vetted by a network of certified partners. The model of execution will be no different in the new Finnish joint venture.
“Currently we have a small core team of two people. This year we will probably grow to three or four people and in two to three years around 10 to 15 people would the right size for us,” explains Saukkonen. “We’ll mainly hire in project management and sales but also technical people. Having technical expertise in Finland makes the communication between our client and the programmers very easy.”
The right match
Geo Tech-IT may have officially opened its doors in Helsinki only a few months ago, but its Finnish origins date back to 2008. Kaushik Khasnobis, CEO of the 2002 established Geo Tech, was travelling to Finland two to three times a year to meet customers and met Saukkonen, who was working on an outsourcing project with the company in Finland. Over the years they formed a friendship which culminated in forming the Indian-Finnish joint venture.
“When I started working in Finland, I saw big potential in the country and that people are very friendly,” says Khasnobis. “Quite a lot of Indian people worked for Nokia and we heard lots of good things from them. Also we did our first business development project in Finland with good results. Opening up a joint venture in Finland was on the cards for quite a long time and things just fell into place.”
While a good location and appealing customer base attracted Geo Tech to Finland, they also received lots of support and information from different Finnish organisations before making the final decision.
“There were different levels of support, not only in the legalities of forming the joint venture but also in our individual business development,” Khasnobis says.
From startups to global networks
Geo Tech, which employs around 40 people altogether, sees the joint venture model as an attractive growth strategy and has a long term plan to establish a network of joint ventures around the world. It already has a 10-people joint venture in Tokyo and after Finland, the next stop is either the Middle East or South-East Asia.
While Geo Tech is planning its long-term global strategy, it is also looking into new service concepts. One of which includes helping interesting startups with their ideas.
“Many startups have a concept of what they want to build, but they might not have the funding required to build it. In that case, if we really find the idea interesting, we try to do it for them in a sweat equity-way where we only cover our direct expenses but don’t take any immediate profit,” explains Khasnobis. “So Geo Tech can help to build more business in Finland.”
Saukkonen adds they are already working with a few startups and hope to see positive results soon. But the current focus remains on growing Geo Tech-IT as a part of an expanding global software services network.
“Everything we do in the Northern European region, we will be doing it all through Geo Tech-IT,” Khasnobis concludes.
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