Viope’s collaboration with higher education institutions to recruit international experts began with Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Kwame Afreh, a student from Ghana, came to Viope as an intern to survey the company’s potential market in his home country. Staff at Viope realized that in order to gain access into the challenging markets of Africa, they would need an expert who is familiar with the local customs, language, and culture. Afreh brought exactly the right kind of competence to Viope. “Without him, we would hardly have dared to venture into Africa,” says Mika Lackman, Chairman of the Board of Viope.
Positive experiences with Afreh and Laurea encouraged Viope to enhance its collaboration with higher education institutions with both Laurea and other universities. The expanding network produces more international contacts for Viope, allowing the company to continue to pursue new markets. Hiring international skills expedites entry into new markets and saves considerable amounts of company resources.
Foreign personnel create a positive, international atmosphere in the entire organization, which inspires personnel and improves everyone’s language skills. “Without a doubt, the main benefit of international employees is the everyday encounters with different cultures,” says Lackman. “This has significantly lowered our threshold to further expand our operations, all over the world.”
The collaboration model constructed with Viope is also productive for the higher education institution, and the aim is to introduce it to other businesses as well, says Senior Lecturer and Job Placement Coordinator Jouni Takala from Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Such cooperation allows the institution to offer its students interesting internship placements and topics for their final theses.
“The company, on the other hand, receives a highly motivated, international expert who is extremely enthusiastic about working in an authentic environment. International students are invariably courageous, broad-minded, and open personalities,” says Takala. This is absolutely crucial in a world where the ability to reform decides the fate of more and more businesses. An international intern provides the company with the fresh approach needed in order to develop products, services, and business.
Viope’s and Kwame Afreh’s joint success story continues. Afreh convinced his employer of his capabilities and, after internship, he was hired in marketing and programming training tasks. Viope’s experiences in Ghana encouraged the company to expand its negotiations to Nigeria. The situation in the African market is still open, but positive. “I believe that this year Viope Solutions can announce that it is expanding its operations also to Africa,” Mika Lackman reveals.