Business in Scandinavia – Stockholm – Part 2

We had a wonderful dinner at the “name of the island and hotel”. It was a great Viking experience, our friend Bjorn took us to this restaurant which replicated the Vikings dinner. It had no electricity and the whole room was lit with candle lights. They had the ancient type of dinner tables with animal fur and ancient crockeries and cutleries. It was a great dinner and more than that an unforgettable experience. As promised in the previous blog, we would be sharing about our experiences and learnings about the international culture.


As mentioned in the previous blog, Keolis is a French owned company. Though it is a French owned company, the culture at Keolis’ head office in Sweden has its local culture. Since Keolis is a company, where they have business across the globe, they work with different kind of people from different countries. The major factor of the company is that they believe in people as their main resource and these people are from different parts of the world who have diverse culture to adapt and work with their team, clients and counterparts from different countries. The unique part of having diverse culture and different kind of people is that leads to difference of opinions and solutions to solve one particular problem. Keolis in Sweden have maintained 99.09% error free that is just 10 errors out of 10000 buses operated.

Sqore, a start up that provides a gamification platform that connects potential job seekers and employers. We were lucky to meet and spend some quality time with the founders and few project managers of the company. Their approach is very similar to Keolis in hiring people based on their skills from different parts of the world.  They had a spread of 20 international employees in a team of 50. It was a great learning about Startups to have diversification in the team and workplace. It was easy for them to business in different continents because of their team that consists of different people. 2016-06-06-PHOTO-00000002

We did learn not only having diversification can help a company progress over time but also to have integration in a team to make it a strong better innovative company/business/team/entity. This was emphasized by Bettina, VP of Human resource in Sandvik. She also mentioned that diversity and inclusion is the key to innovation and success. These few visits to the companies in Sweden made us understand the key reasons to success and reaching global market is valuing people as their important resource and having a diversified team that truly respects each other and works well together.

We would be discussing about the similarities in Swedish work culture from the all the organizations we have visited so far. The first visual thing that everyone noticed when we were in the companies were the factory or company layout. They were so colorful, very neatly organized and very creative. Any time you step into such offices you feel like you want to work there. We have been noticing this right from the first company we visited in Gothenburg (Lindholmen Science Park) to the last one in Stockholm (The Central Bank of Sweden). This enhances the productivity of the employees in the organization. They tend to think more positively and creatively.


The top down hierarchy is less prominent in most of the companies. By implementing these the higher level managers would be available at all times for any questions, comments or concerns, there by arriving at the solution at a much faster pace. Also due to the easy access of the higher level managers, the skills would be transferred to the employees from the higher level managers thereby increasing the productivity. We experienced this at Keolis and Conversionista. As discussed in the previous blog the the higher level managers did not have a separate work space or cubicle. The flexible working hours is another thing to be mentioned here about their culture. We feel that the organizations here value the employee’s personal life. In Conversionistas, we observed employees coming and going at various times and not having to show up at 8 or 9 and stay in the office until 5. This gives the employees the feeling that the company is caring for them and in return they would give their best effort back to the company. Their dressing culture in workplaces are usually business casuals. In Volvo, our presentation was given by the Vice President who was wearing jeans and a nice shirt with a tie and jacket instead of full formal attire. Most of the companies had this dressing patterns except for the banks.

Oops, we hear the cruise honking on the shore ready to take off from Stockholm to Tallinn. We are excited to go on 15-hour journey on the Baltic sea. Will post you more about the journey and the culture in Estonia, one of the world’s most advanced countries when it comes to integrating the Internet in everyday life. Till then take care and signing off by Adi, Esh and Nate.