Mature. Competitive. Early adopters. These are just some characteristics that give businesses in the Nordic countries an edge. The trend towards Nordification, however, goes beyond company traits. It’s the rapid transformation of national markets into one Nordic economy – a place we call the New North.
For investors, the Nordic countries are often seen as one. If you take in the Baltics and Western Russia, the marketplace includes 40 million consumers. It is no wonder then that more than half of the region’s companies have ditched the country-specific model.
Business and opportunities – just like Amcham – are borderless. We spoke to leading executives from within the Amcham community about what Nordification means to them, the future, and why the New North Forum is their network for growth.
Managing Director Nordics
Q. How do you manage a region of different countries and nationalities?
The Nordic countries have many similarities that we can leverage. At the same time we have more differences than people may think, which requires localized execution. Multi-country teams have a greater chance of succeeding thanks to diverse experiences that drive innovative solutions.
Q. How do Nordic managers exchange ideas to improve the business environment?
Leaders are very often alone and have few speaking partners. As humans, we risk thinking that we know everything at a local level. Our customers are operating in multiple countries, we need to know what they want. Nordic-level interaction among executives allows us to learn about our business and leadership. It’s better to be a small fish in a large pond than the opposite.
Q. What is the potential of the New North Forum?
To brand the Nordic region as an investment destination. The New North is a high-level discussion forum with a policy component. We want to see the most dynamic business leaders, top politicians and visiting dignitaries in our midst!
Orange Business Services
Managing Director Nordics, Baltics
Q. What does the Nordic structure mean for your company?
We are a true Nordic organization. We do NOT operate by country but as a Nordic cluster. Being Nordified helps our employees work to better support both Nordic and global customers.
Q. What are the challenges?
We are different Nordic countries with different cultures, languages and heritage. Then there’s the member state regulatory considerations as well.
Q. Why is it important that Nordic CEOs have their own Nordic-wide network?
Nordic countries are mature, competitive and early adopters. Amcham can play a vital role for exchanging ideas and best practices to keep a competitive advantage in our part of the world.
Q How is the Nordic market changing?
Market changes are similar to other leading world economies with certain twists. Nordic companies tend to have their main markets outside their home country. Many sectors are going through a pan-Nordic consolidation. After all, as one, the Nordic marketplace is significant in size.
Q Why is the Nordic context important for companies’ success?
The Nordic region is seen as a relatively stable and uniform market, both financially and politically, to operate in. In addition, Nordic countries share key characteristics that make the region attractive: strong innovative culture, early-adopter mindsets in business leadership, high-quality and high-levels of education. If you succeed in the Nordic countries you are likely to succeed elsewhere!
Q Why are you part of the New North Forum?
It gives us the possibility to network and discuss with executives that also find the Nordic dimension important, exchange thoughts and share our experiences.
Managed jointly by Amcham Finland and AmCham Sweden, the New North Forum is open to all Nordic-level executives. The next session, Leadership: 2020, is taking place in Helsinki on Thursday May 7. For more information about how you can get involved visit the website.