Electric Energy: Juha-Mikko Saviluoto
Having worked at Power Finland for nearly two decades, CEO Juha-Mikko Saviluoto knows a thing or two about the electronics sector and has big plans to take the retailer to the next level.
If anyone knows Power Finland like the back of their hand, its Juha-Mikko Saviluoto. He first joined the electronics retailer more than 19 years ago and has never looked back, steadily rising through the ranks to take up the role of CEO in 2019. Even as he climbed the ladder, with roles including salesperson, store manager, purchasing manager and sales director, Saviluoto had the top spot in his sights.
"It was my dream to become CEO," he tells The CEO Magazine. "I had plenty of ideas about how we could grow the business in a more efficient way.
"I had a great opportunity to change the way of working to be slightly different from what we had been doing before. There are always lots of areas to improve on in terms of sales and quality and that’s a never-ending game of improvement."
You have to be close to your colleagues while also keeping an eye on what is happening on the customer side as well.
Not only did he have a thorough knowledge of the company and its workings, but he possessed a strong love of the consumer electronics industry. "It’s one of the most interesting sectors," he reflects. "The competition is really tough but that means we are always challenged to do things better than our competitors are doing.
"We are always looking at how we can challenge the market and how we are able to do things in an even more customer-oriented way. Company-wise, we have a lot of potential to increase revenue even more in the coming years."
Regular product launches
Technological developments also keep things interesting. "When it comes to products and product groups that we are selling, we have something new all the time," he says. "Every month we launch a new product."
One of the key differentiators from its many competitors, in Saviluoto’s view, is Power Finland’s people. Then there is the company’s agility. "We are quick and we are able to make changes in the market if the market demands," he explains. "We are fast movers with fantastic employees."
His leadership style revolves around "energy and presence", he shares. "One of the most important things when leading people is that you generate good energy and a strong presence all the time you are working with them, because they will catch that energy from you."
As the leader of Power Finland, he therefore has to keep up the company energy levels, with giving team members appreciation where due and sharing responsibility playing into that, too.
Leading "from the front" is also key. "I like to lead by example," Saviluoto says. "You have to be close to your colleagues while also keeping an eye on what is happening on the customer side as well. Working together is the most effective way to do this."
The coming years will see Power Finland invest heavily in training to increase product knowledge among its staff in order to deliver the best customer service. "Of course, the past two years of COVID-19 have been fairly different, so it’s even more important to have a lot of live trainings," he stresses.
That customer focus will also see Power Finland enhance its stores to "exceed expectations", with a number of new stores to be fitted out with its new Power + concept that has been developed to deliver the "wow effect", he reveals. "That means that they will be actually two or three times bigger than existing stores."
These new stores are destined for the Helsinki region as well as big cities all over Finland, and are a sign of Saviluoto’s faith in a blended retail model. "We believe strongly in a combination of a strong store network with ecommerce," he says. "We have to make sure that we can serve customers in all channels, whether the purchase was made online, on the phone, in-store or chat."
We want to be the best in the industry in customer experience and in staff satisfaction.
Business-to-business sales are another priority for the company over the next 12–18 months. "In that time frame, we are aiming to increase the sales to a whole other level and make us the go-to place when it comes to electronic sales for companies," Saviluoto says.
Ultimately, it’s about helping its customers, with its products and services an important part of daily life across Finland. "We want to be the best in the industry in customer experience and in staff satisfaction."