Past three years, Prohoc has been successfully building new partnerships and services in the domestic market, and at the same time growing its global presence by establishing business entities in Italy, Chile, Portugal and Sweden. Next, it’s time to learn the details of British afternoon tea and the Guatemalan local customs with its spicy delicacies. Luckily the leaders taking positions in these new subsidiaries are equipped with a vast amount of experience in these markets. Both Markku Aspholm and Pekka Mustonen are not fresh off the boat when it comes to working in their new territories.
Prohoc has started developing global field service resourcing business to support partner OEM’s with their lifecycle business. Jari Saaranen and Markku Aspholm are looking to build a global service business to support mainly Prohoc’s key accounts and the first step beyond our Nordic presence is the establishment of a new subsidiary in Guatemala. As the country is currently in a transition phase with the recent elections and the new president taking office in 14 January, there’s surely still a need to see that the transition will go smoothly, but there’s a workaround if that’s not the case. Central Americas hub will anyway be operational during Q1 2024 and the business outlook is promising for the region.
In the Central Americas region, there is a large installed technology base with Prohoc’s current key accounts, and it also offers a good location to serve customers elsewhere in the Americas region. Prohoc has, through Markku’s knowledge in the region, access to capable technicians and engineers having the ability to work even around the world. As an example, Prohoc had 4 Guatemalan mechanical technicians working in the production unit in Vaasa during latter part of this year. The experience was super positive, and the aim is to continue bringing engine experts from time to time if needed to balance the workload of the Vaasa production operations team.
The feedback from key account customers is that the future need for capable engineers and technicians, both mechanical and electrical, is rising and it’s becoming more difficult to find the needed skills available when the increasing lifecycle business creates surging resource needs during scheduled maintenance breaks and during the operations in general. Central Americas is the first global hub while more will follow during the next two years when Prohoc aims to establish hubs in eastern Europe and Asia.
Entering the UK is on the other hand more of a combined effort for Prohoc’s O/M and Project services businesses. The UK market, post-Brexit, now has quite some opportunities in the energy and industrial sectors. Investments in renewables have created a demand for balancing and backup power generation and investments in commodities production is also active. Brexit also brought a loss in foreign workers in the UK while foreign direct investments and investments into decarbonization and infrastructure keeps the demand for skilled professionals on the high side.
“Combining our Finnish project services operations with the local presence in UK will open good opportunities to grow our project business”, says Iiro Wesslin, Head of Business Unit, Project Services at Prohoc.
Today it’s basically impossible to do business in the UK without a local subsidiary. Bringing experts to work on customer projects requires presence and a sponsor license to operate in UK. Prohoc’s UK subsidiary is already incorporated. Besides the new investments, there is an abundance of opportunities in the asset management side, offering business opportunities for Prohoc’s O/M business. Several of Prohoc’s current customers have ongoing sites and new projects starting in the UK creating opportunities to join forces in the new market.
Having a strong background in global large capital-intensive industrial projects in different roles, Pekka Mustonen brings a great deal of expertise to Prohoc’s UK business development and service delivery. Having worked at Prohoc as a consultant for the first time more than 15 years ago, Pekka rejoined Prohoc as a senior project manager in 2018 and has been since then leading several different customer projects. Pekka’s experience in delivering projects in the UK, combined with understanding Prohoc’s key account customers businesses and Prohoc’s services, makes a unique skillset to establish Prohoc in the UK market.
While the business environment in many of the European countries, Finland in the forefront, is not looking that good, Prohoc aims to seek growth from new markets. This is primarily being done by listening closely and following key account customers to markets where the opportunities still exist. It is never easy to enter new markets, but having great customers, the right talent and courage to try new things is a good start and the results you get is what you deserve. We’ll dive deeper into what is cooking for Prohoc both in the UK and in the Central Americas later this year.