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Sending it Forward: Turkka Kuusisto

Three years into his role as CEO of Posti, Turkka Kuusisto tells The CEO Magazine about how he’s ensuring the 400-year-old Finnish company is at the forefront of modernity and endures for centuries to come.

When asked what makes Posti, originally Finland’s national postal service and today a leading delivery and fulfillment business, so special, CEO Turkka Kuusisto says it all boils down to three key ingredients. "Our people – the community of Postians, more than 20,000 colleagues of mine – our focus on the planet, and our digitalization. They’re what separates us from the rest of the pack."

Indeed, Kuusisto explains that Posti has been on a journey towards self-improvement since implementing a new strategy in 2021, one that saw the company take a more holistic approach to expanding and evolving.

"2020 was in many ways a bit of an inflection point for us," Kuusisto tells The CEO Magazine. "We realized that we needed to accelerate our transformation from being a traditional postal company to becoming a modern delivery and fulfillment company, where digitalization plays a pivotal role.

"So thereby we basically reset the whole agenda of the company, starting from the purpose statement. We asked, ‘Why do we exist? What is the vision for the company, what do we want to become?’ We ended up with the motto ‘responsibly delivering what matters to you – on your terms’."

Given the instability of the past two years thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent Russian invasion of Ukraine, many businesses have had to rethink how they operate and their ability to adapt and adjust.

We realized that we needed to accelerate our transformation from being a traditional postal company to becoming a modern delivery and fulfillment company, where digitalization plays a pivotal role.

Building on heritage

"It’s been kind of a rollercoaster," Kuusisto explains. "The world around us has changed very rapidly, and it’s been a very volatile and fast-changing market environment for Posti. When you put that into the context of an institution with a heritage of almost 400 years, there is a tremendous need for speed to transform into a modern delivery and fulfillment company because of the industrial change.

"Once you have such changes in your macro environment, it makes it even more complex, and even more accelerated from the point of view of energizing the organization to really change."

When Kuusisto took the reins as CEO nearly three years ago, after three years in the company, he brought with him a wealth of experience as well as a fresh perspective as to how to ensure that Posti’s legacy continues for decades still to come.

"What we have seen over the years of Posti’s transformation is that we have had great assets in terms of being a reliable, traditional mail service provider for our customers," Kuusisto says. "The challenge that we faced, and at the same time the opportunity we faced, was how do we translate that very positive heritage into the new era to really become an ecommerce-driven delivery company, while also growing our space in the logistics industry."

Digital partnerships

Kuusisto goes on to explain that once their digital offerings are capable of matching the digital-native companies across the globe, then the sky is truly the limit for Posti. He views partnerships as an important resource, especially in times of uncertainty.

"If you look at certain partners that we are utilizing, for instance in the field of digital development, then you can access a pool of global resources and global knowledge," he explains.

"Partnerships are an extremely important component, in addition to having a very strong in-house capabilities to manage your procedures or processes, because supply chains and logistics processes by nature have a certain amount of volatility, so thereby, you need to have good partners or subcontractors to overcome the need for flexibility."

In my opinion, sustainability is a choice.

A priority for Posti has also been focusing significant attention on its sustainability agenda and plan of action.

"In my opinion, sustainability is a choice. Logistics is the third most harmful industry sector in terms of CO2 emissions," Kuusisto sats. "Big companies like Posti need to have a decisive role to make logistics greener. Now, for the first time, we have an economically viable vehicle roadmap that shows how we can transport fossil-free by 2030.

"In June we were recognized as the first company in Finland, and as the first logistics company in the world, to qualify for the SBTI net zero target setting qualifications. So that’s something that we are taking extremely seriously, and at the same time very proudly."

From here, Posti will continue to live through its purpose: responsibly delivering what matters to you – on your terms. "It’s about having a continuous hunger for better customer experience," Kuusisto concludes.

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