Proxion, a Finnish provider of railway infrastructure design, digital and training services, is expanding its operations to Estonia. At the moment, the company has headquarters in Helsinki, and the other offices are located in Kuopio, Oulu, Tampere, Mikkeli and Pieksämäki. Now Proxion is looking for a CEO for a subsidiary to be located in Tallinn.
Proxion’s core competencies are demanding public and private rail infrastructure projects. The aim is to build an expert organization in Estonia, which will enable Proxion to access Pan-European rail transport projects through the Baltics.
“The first task of the Estonian CEO is to recruit 20 experts and to build an expert organization with the support of Proxion. He or she must draw up a long-term strategy and action plan to expand operations through the Baltic projects to other parts of Europe. In addition, the CEO participates strongly in the development of Proxion’s entire operations as a member of the management team”, summarizes CEO Timo Savolainen.
Proxion’s aim is to enable the doubling of rail traffic in Finland. The goal is the same in Estonia. The strengths are the strong design expertise in railway infrastructure and open-minded development projects.
“Green values have a strong impact on our background. We focus on promoting the full potential of rail transport. We want to make bold new openings to develop all rail transport. Success depends on the expertise of our experts, and therefore the importance of a functioning team is also crucial in Estonia,” says Petri Puikkonen, Proxion’s founder and chairman of the board.
Extensive survey behind the expansion into Estonia
Proxion’s expansion into Estonia is a justified step. The establishment of the subsidiary is paved by an extensive survey: an extensive safety device design project for Eesti Raudtee implemented in 2019‒2020. The 20-person project team was led by Jussi Nieminen, Proxion’s Baltic Regional Manager.
“The project covered almost the entire Estonian railway network with its stations. Eesti Raudtee successfully used the preliminary plan in its call for tenders to upgrade the safety device system. Thanks to this work, we can say that we know the special features of the Estonian rail transport system the best compared to all other actors,” Nieminen estimates.
“Major railway projects are currently underway in the Baltic region, which will be linked to wider, Pan-European railway network reforms,” claims Petri Puikkonen.
“We want to be at the forefront of developing Estonian and Baltic railway culture and thus systematically advance to the European market. We are assembling a design team of top experts in Estonia, which will participate in Pan-European projects under the leadership of the new CEO.”
In 15 years, Proxion has grown into an expert company employing more than 100 professionals. Growth is based on professionals who are enthusiastic about their work and dare to think boldly in a new way.
“We have, in a sense, reached critical mass. It means that we have so many different experts working that we are constantly giving birth to something new. The number of experts guarantees innovations and bold openings. It is very important for us to be able to transfer the way we work and think to Estonia. Of course, we also want to learn a new kind of work culture from our Estonian colleagues,” says CEO Timo Savolainen.
Each new employee at Proxion is assigned a mentor who has worked for the company for a longer period of time. He or she helps with both the work tasks and adopting the work culture. “Learning is always two-way – that is why expanding to Estonia also develops Proxion’s way of working,” believes Puikkonen, Chairman of the Board.
“Estonia has a strong political will to digitize common services. This can also mean that we focus more strongly on the development and productization of the digital business and software. Cooperation with Estonian educational institutions will play an important role, as in Finland. I look forward to everything we learn along the way on both sides.”
Proxion works like a family business in the sense that unnecessary hierarchy and bureaucracy are always sought to be eliminated. It is absolutely essential that anyone can ask for help or ideas from anyone. The management team from the CEO to the Chairman of the Board participates in the day-to-day operations just like everyone else.
“Petri is a visionary who encourages us to move forward with his own fearless attitude. Timo, on the other hand, can be called and asked about something on a very low threshold. They are a great duo to guide us forward,” Jussi Nieminen praises.