From a local company to an innovative Nordic expert
Mika Alatalo followed in his father’s footsteps until he decided to create his own path. During his studies, Mika befriended Jussi Kempus, with whom he also founded NEPower in 2016. Today, Mika serves as the CEO of the company, which employs 70 people, in both Finland and Sweden. The journey has been successful but by no means easy – and it is only the beginning.
NEPower was founded by two electricians and engineers who shared the same vision. Mika Alatalo and Jussi Kempus studied together in the electrical industry, and Mika worked in his father’s electric company. Gradually, he started his own electric company, as did Jussi. The friends stayed in touch, and at some point, the idea of establishing a company that provides electrical installation services to businesses together emerged. They are still on that path.
“NEPower’s employees came from both companies. Jussi wanted to work in a practical role and wasn’t interested in administrative tasks, so I took on the role of CEO. The vision has been big from the beginning, but we couldn’t have imagined that NEPower would become this large,” says Mika Alatalo.
Potential in Sweden
NEPower has performed various electrical works for companies in Finland and also subcontracting works in Sweden. In Västerbotten, Sweden, there was seen a tremendous potential due to significant investments, which also brought interesting job opportunities for NEPower.
A subsidiary was established in 2020, and in May 2021, an office was opened in Skellefteå with Joakim Sundström leading the Swedish company. “Skellefteå in northern Sweden was chosen as the location because it is a developing area with substantial investments. One difference between the industries in Finland and Sweden is, that Sweden gets considerably more and larger investments,” says Mika.
Developing business in two countries hasn’t been without challenges, and Mika acknowledges that success requires effort and hard work. Alatalo is also the CEO of the Swedish subsidiary and mentions that the Finnish and Swedish teams have common projects as well. However, the more employees there are, the more there is to monitor and manage.
Entrepreneur-led electrical company – pros and cons
“NEPower is entrepreneur-led, as all shareholders work in the company operationally, which reduces bureaucracy. Decision-making can happen more quickly, and that is a significant advantage in many aspects. But now, with us being spread across different departments, we need to develop operating models to ensure smooth collaboration. It is necessary to monitor not only our own projects but also what others are doing in the company,” Mika states.
Nowadays, NEPower provides expert electrical services to energy companies, electrical companies, industries, and the real estate sector throughout the Nordic countries. The company specializes in industrial and high-voltage installations and continues to refine its expertise in these areas. NEPower has experienced strong growth in recent years, and there are no plans to slow down this growth.
Electrification creates jobs
In the energy industry, there is a lot happening in terms of both renewable electricity production and electrification of transportation. Expanding the electricity grid is a prerequisite for widespread electrification of society, and it brings along a lot of work in power distribution. Therefore, there are plenty of job opportunities for electricians.
“We are investing in electrification systems based on renewable energy sources. We are already working towards it, but it will become an increasingly important part of our business. We continue to focus on our own product development and aim to attract more domestic and international customers.”
NEPower has been successful in recruiting both young and experienced professionals in the field of electricity who value the opportunity to have an impact on their own work. To increase growth, the company needs more skilled professionals, particularly those interested in taking responsibility and making their own decisions.
Just a brief moment of pride
Mika Alatalo enjoys his role as a part-owner and CEO, even when things get busy.
“The best part is that I get to participate in and develop a lot of new things. In a growing company, there are several things happening simultaneously, and there is always a lot to do. Of course, there is also a lot of responsibility, and sometimes it can be challenging to find enough time for everything.”
There are moments when Mika Alatalo feels that “now we did well”. Like the time, when NEPower was chosen as the Company of the Year in Vaasa in November 2022. However, he does not enjoy such moments of joy for long.
“Of course, the feeling of pride sometimes emerges, but I quickly brush it off and continue focusing on my work. If I reach a point where I constantly feel that way, I think it’s time to quit,” Mika says with a smile.
NEPower in a nutshell
- Founded in Vaasa in 2016 and established operations in Skellefteå in 2021.
- Currently has 70 employees and a turnover of EUR 12 million (in 2022).
- Head office and product development is located in Vaasa, other offices in Seinäjoki, Oulu and Skellefteå.
- Works mainly in Finland and Sweden, but also in other Nordic countries.