Julius Haukkasalo appointed CEO
Big news – Julius has been appointed as our CEO! With Jaakko and Mikael, he’s one of Evermade’s founders and knows the business like the back of his hand. He has a strong background in designing digital services, strategy, sales and client work, and he has worked as the CEO before between 2015 and 2017. What does Julle have up his sleeve for Evermade’s future?
How does it feel to be back in the role?
It feels very exciting after a two-year break! Spending a couple of years on client work has been very refreshing and eye-opening. I’ve met hundreds of people from different companies, which has allowed me to get very familiar with the challenges organizations come across on the digital side of their business. The past few years have taught me to focus on really creating more value for our clients.
We are in an exciting phase of the company’s development – we’ve experienced strong growth in recent years and managed to find excellent developers, designers and analysts to be part of this team. I’ve learned a lot from leading a team – I’m now better at recognizing possible pain points and responding to them. In the end, all that matters is your clients and the people you get to work with.
What does Evermade’s future strategy look like?
In the past couple of years, we’ve shifted from a website-making company to a more holistic digital agency that designs, implements, further develops and optimizes all kinds of digital services. In addition to websites, we create progressive web apps, e-commerce stores, intranets and so on… basically larger and more challenging digital entities. Data-oriented design will gain even more significance in the coming years, and we have strengthened our expertise in this field with great recruitments over the past year. Combining different people and skills allows us to help our customers in an efficient way.
We’re in a good position financially too: last year our turnover increased to approximately 2.4 million euros and the number of employees to 32. The size of our team makes allows us to take on a project of pretty much any size, but also allows us to still be agile and move fast – which is super important in this industry.
What are the most important qualities of a CEO?
One of the most important traits of a CEO is to know when to put the pedal to the metal and when to hit the brakes. Sometimes it’s time to grow and sometimes it’s time to optimize what you already have. If you have the ability to see what to focus on, you will successfully avoid most problems. Not all, but most.
I’m not the type of manager that gets all jazzed up about numbers. What fascinates me more is how people grow. Creating systematic personal and professional growth is more sustainable (and more fulfilling) than just growth by numbers. When you hire the best people and do everything to create the best possible working atmosphere for them, you plant seeds for success.
I believe in a lot of individual freedom but it requires a well-communicated vision of the future, clear responsibilities, systematic follow-through and continuous coaching to work properly. I love seeing our people conquer obstacles, learn from their mistakes and thrive.
I’ve heard you say “everyone should be an entrepreneur for a year”. What’s that all about?
When you begin your entrepreneurial journey you start seeing the world in a completely new way. As a business owner, you need to be on top of everything; being realistic about your own limitations, understanding the importance of clients and deadlines, considering how the changes in macroeconomics affect your business and so on… But you also need to be a team player and care about your buddies if and when they’re struggling with something – whether it’s about work or personal life. You have to understand things both at a grassroots level and see the big picture. Everyone should try entrepreneurship at some point because it would help people understand a different side to things.
So what’s this guy really like?
Iina Nuottimäki, Office manager: Julius is a people person who listens to everyone, values the opinions of others and cares about the feedback we give as employees. He’s a great speaker and performer, a skill I think every CEO should possess! Julius is great at motivating people to do their best and he really lifts up the team spirit. He knows how to give constructive feedback and advice.
Roosa Säävälä, Marketing specialist: Whatever Julius does, he does thoroughly! He never leaves things halfway. He has a lot of business intelligence and he’s a super approachable and relaxed dude. I appreciate the fact that he’s straightforward with what he says to both his clients and his team. Julius is also very optimistic – even if things look bad, he finds something nice to say.
The CEO himself: “What’s my best quality as a CEO?” Thanks for putting me on the spot here. I would say my best quality is probably the constant self-reflection I put myself under (which might sometimes be my downfall too). But I do analyze others thoroughly as well. I think I’m pretty good with people and always interested in the motives behind their behavior and thought process.
I’ve also worked in pretty much every possible role at Evermade – from visual design to concepts, managing projects, creating marketing campaigns, executing sales, leading account teams, scrubbing toilets, and making coffee. And let’s not forget I’ve developed a couple of sites all on my own too. Let’s not go there though, it was a pretty painful process – I’m no master developer!