Sonja Korhonen and Juha Viljakainen implemented several joint client projects over the past two years. Their diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and working methods enriched the collaboration and improved the project outcomes.
Increasing business value for clients is at the core of VALOR’s operations. It comprises deep industry expertise, structural thinking, efficiency, and surpassing expectations.
In each project a team that best meets the client’s needs is assembled. The composition of the team is also influenced by the individual members’ areas of expertise and topics of interest.
Juha has decades of leadership experience in the financial sector. He has managed business units, been heavily involved in business development, IT development programs, and strategy formulation. Over his twenty-five-year career in the financial sector, Juha has developed an extensive network and solid expertise.
Sonja, on the other hand, has worked in consulting since her student days. Her typical projects have focused on market analyses and operational improvement projects, including procurement and pricing. Over five years, Sonja has acquired strong expertise in conducting analyses and utilising various data collection approaches in client projects.
Efficient methods bring new information
Sonja’s and Juha’s joint projects have all been closely related to the financial sector, such as wealth management and health insurance. Through their collaboration, they have developed efficient working models and methods.
“VALOR’s clients are well-versed in their respective industries and have a sense of where the market is heading,” Sonja explains.
“However, they need facts to base their decisions on, which we aim to provide through our research. We don’t rely only on public sources; in each project we strive to bring genuinely new information, through for instance market research,” she emphasizes.
According to Juha, the layered nature and intertwining of service layers are prominent in many projects, such as in health insurance.
“We consider aspects from multiple perspectives and levels to ensure the strategy covers all layers. We also work closely with the client throughout the process, helping to prioritize the identified improvement measures into a clear implementation plan,” Juha highlights.
Low hierarchy in project teams
In their joint projects, Juha has naturally assumed overall responsibility due to his extensive industry experience. Sonja is responsible for conducting analyses, while conclusions are reached collaboratively. Depending on the need, the project team may also include additional members.
“When a project starts, we brainstorm ideas together, after which everyone is given relatively free rein to move things forward. The most important is to utilize the full potential of our expertise,” says Juha.
Sonja adds that they meet up regularly to ensure that all streams work seamlessly together.
Project teams usually comprise individuals from various organisational levels, allowing knowledge, skills and best practices to spread throughout the company.
“We cross-collaborate as much as possible so that the best expert is the one who has investigated or has prior knowledge of the issue, not the highest-ranking person. This ensures a low hierarchy in project teams,” Juha notes.
Acquaintances welcomed to VALOR
Both Sonja and Juha became interested in joining VALOR through old acquaintances.
“The high level of ambition at both the individual and company levels persuaded me to join VALOR,” Sonja says and praises the work atmosphere. “Additionally, there is flexibility in the amount and content of work within agreed schedules.”
Juha joined VALOR to build the financial sector consulting from scratch. Moving from a large organisation was a new challenge, and after the initial phase, he has truly enjoyed the entrepreneurial work.
“Although the workload is substantial at times, we all find the work meaningful and strive to get things done,” Juha highlights. “We aim to continually improve our operations and therefore, after each project, we evaluate if we could have done something even better.”
VALOR is growing rapidly and regularly hires new talents to join the team.
“The consulting industry offers excellent opportunities for career development,” Sonja reflects. “Additionally, working closely with partners and seniors, who have deep industry experience and extensive networks, is a valuable learning opportunity.”
An educational background in finance or industrial engineering is common at VALOR. These fields prepare well for consulting work, but other higher education degrees are also valued.
“VALOR is a combination of different profiles working together. Our broad expertise and diverse backgrounds enhance our capabilities and ensure the best outcome for our clients,” Juha concludes.