System Verification opened up in Germany in 2019. Last year, we established our first Polish office. Given that the world was fighting a pandemic, some would call such a venture brave. Others may label it foolhardy. So what happened? Group Chief Growth Officer Jonas Gyllenspetz is responsible for our international expansion. He gives us the full rundown of what has turned out to be quite a success story.
Our first office outside Sweden opened in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 2013. Jonas managed the startup and remembers:
“It happened in cooperation with one of our clients, Alfa Laval. Initially, our entire staff were working on Alfa Laval projects. We got off to a good start, things moved on, and today the Sarajevo office has about 50 employees servicing ten different clients across Europe.”
The Warsaw office is our latest non-Swedish endeavor. Poland is a big market, and somewhat of a competence hub when it comes to software development. From that perspective, starting up a Quality Assurance business there makes a lot of sense. But in the middle of a pandemic … ?
“Well, System Verification was founded just after the dotcom bubble burst, and we got through the financial crisis in 2008. So you could say that we’re used to handling hard times. But more importantly, we see these enterprises as long term efforts. If we were to wait until the pandemic abated, it would have been too late. We started building up our customer relations and database of candidates last year, and thanks to that we’re successful now. For example, we now have people in Poland working in a project for a bank in Stockholm,” says Jonas.
When it comes to attracting talent, challenging projects in an international environment has an obvious appeal to ambitious QA specialists. But that is far from the only drawing card.
“Diversity is our biggest strength and the key to our success. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, how old you are or what you look like. To work at System Verification, what matters is what’s in your head, and in your heart. And that you’re a match with our company culture and share our values about keeping an open mind, being inclusive and a team player. In Germany, we have 15 different nationalities among our 25 employees. I find that pretty impressive myself.”
Today, we have two German offices – one in Bonn and one in Frankfurt.
“We’ve grown rapidly there as well – after all, it’s only three years since we established ourselves. One of the things that have made this possible is that we brought a strong package to the market. Sweden as a whole, and System Verification in particular, are at the forefront of advanced quality assurance services. So we arrived in Germany with a state-of-the-art offering. Add to that a great local team, and we had – and have – a recipe for success,” explains Jonas.
To summarize, Jonas has been involved in new ventures in three different countries. In the future, there will, probably, be more. So are there any key learnings?
“All countries are different. That’s something we need to understand and appreciate. We do come in with a structure and we are ISO 9001-certified. But most of all, we bring a lot to the table: exciting projects, the possibility to work remotely, responsibility, respect and other great values. That’s appealing to both potential clients and employees. We enable a startup with a great backup.”
Any final words?
“I think we have Hamdija Jusufagic* to thank for a lot. His visionary spirit and yes-we-can attitude still permeate how we approach things,” concludes Jonas.
*Founder of System Verification. Today, Hamdija is the majority owner and chairman of the board of the System Verification Group.