Photo: Otso Alasko.
RELEX Solutions provides customers across the world with software for planning and optimizing retail processes. The company was founded in 2005, and today it has 1,000 employees and 13 offices around the world.
"When I joined the company nine years ago, we had 40 employees, and now there are 1,000 of us. We're no longer a startup but an established growth company. In the Nordics, for instance, we became the market leader years ago," says Jukka Uskonen, who is responsible for the company's accounts and operations in Asia and the Pacific region.
Business Finland has supported RELEX Solutions from the outset by providing funding for research, product development and international growth. Business Finland's international contacts have also been helpful in opening doors and discussions with customers. Currently, negotiations are ongoing in Thailand and Singapore.
"The support from Business Finland has played a significant role, especially in the beginning. With the funding, we were able to expedite our product development and international growth," Uskonen says.
Eero Toivainen from Business Finland has been helping Finnish companies in Australia for the last few years. According to Toivainen, Australia is a great market: a large and wealthy country with 25 million residents and very little local competition in many industries.
"We offer Finnish companies information and support in entering the Australian market," Toivainen explains and lists how this is done:
Knowing the right people is also important, especially in Asia.
"In Southeast Asia, building trust and business relationships is a long-term process that requires effort, faith and perseverance," Uskonen explains.
RELEX has large well-known clients such as S Group in Finland, ICA in Sweden, Marks & Spencer in the UK and Ahold Delhaize in the USA.
In April, RELEX closed a deal with the Australian company Coles, which has a 40% market share of the country's retail market. The procurement process was long. From the first discussions to closing the deal, it took a total of two years. In the middle of the process, the world was also hit with the Covid-19 pandemic.
"During the process, we noticed that the Finnish work culture and mindset clearly resonated with the locals. We bring significant added value to the customer, keep our promises and never promise something we cannot deliver. This forms a good basis for developing our relationship and cooperation with the customer," Uskonen says.
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