Evertiq Expo: There is an abundance of “Sisu” in the Finnish industry

“Finland lives on its forests”, was a saying that was quite common some time ago. Then came a time when you had to add “..and on Nokia”. But that doesn’t really cut it anymore – the country has a strong technology-based economy all together.

Sisu is a Finnish concept best described as stoic determination, tenacity of purpose, grit, bravery, resilience, and hardiness – it is also a good adjective to describe the Finnish industry’s ability to roll with the punches, face hardship, and bounce back.

When talking about the Finnish electronics industry it is hard not to think of Nokia. After all, the company has been developing mobile phones since the 70s and dominated the market in the 90s. While the company’s days as the top dog amongst mobile phone companies may have passed, but Nokia is still a household name and a dominant force in telecommunications and information technology.

The Finnish technology industry is comprised of five sub-sectors; the Electronics and electrotechnical industry; the Metals industry; Information technology; Mechanical engineering and Consulting engineering. These five industries combined are the largest export sector in Finland – and some 336,000 people are employed directly in the sector, including the indirect effects of 705,000 people.

According to a report from the Technology Industries of Finland, 10 jobs in the technology industry bring an additional 11 jobs to the rest of the Finnish economy. To say that the Finnish technology industry is important is an understatement.

The Technology Industry has, since 2014, outperformed the country’s general industry and grew 17% during the first half of 2022 when compared to the same period the year before. The Electronics and Electrotechnical Industry might be the smallest among the five in terms of turnover – but the other four are dependent on electronics to function.

Looking at employment numbers the Electronics and Electrotechnical industry was the second largest among the five back in 2010. However, over the years the industry has dropped in numbers and is now the second smallest among the five – but growing by the looks of things.

If we look outside of the Finnish borders though, the story is completely different. The Finnish Electronics and Electrotechnical industry employs far more abroad at subsidiaries than it does domestically – and it dwarfs the Consulting Engineering and Information technology sectors which had it beat back home.

In 2021, the Turnover in Finland from the technology industry totalled EUR 91 billion, up 11% from 2020. As stated earlier, turnover for the first half of 2022 was 17% higher than the same period in 2021, and according to the report, turnover for the second half of 2022 is expected to outperform that of the second half of last year.