Steering a growth company in the EV charging market

Written by:

Jukka Kainulainen, CFO Kempower, LinkedIn


Electric vehicle (EV) charging is the fifth industry I have been involved in and it is definitely moving forward faster than any of the others. For example, if you just look around the Helsinki Metropolitan area, you will notice how fast the number of electric vehicles has increased in the last six months. In a rapidly evolving market, both speed and agility are required to stay ahead of competitors.

Company growth requires constant planning for the future

We at Kempower can honestly call ourselves a growth company no matter which KPI you look at from the year 2021.  An interesting question that we are asked from time to time is ‘why didn’t you make profit in 2021’. The answer to the question is simple: we decided not to focus on profit, but to deliver more than 700% annual growth. Would you have decided a 2% growth and profit for the year 2021 instead?

In a growth company, it is not enough to be prepared for the current growth. You have to constantly plan and build your operations for the future growth as well.  You need have enough people in marketing and sales to open new markets, find new customers, and serve a constantly growing customer base. You need to have enough people in R&D to develop the existing portfolio and future pipeline. You need to have enough people in production to deliver all orders according to customer requirements. On top of that, you need to have enough people in the support functions to create a better and more effective management system.

What about our profits, have we forgotten them? No, we have not – you can always check our financial targets at Financial and sustainability targets – Kempower.

People growth

In a growth company, managers are spending lots of time in recruiting and onboarding. These processes are critical success factors for a growth company. The difficult question is the timing of the new recruitment: when is the correct time to recruit? Let’s look at it this way: if you think your unit is well resourced, and no new hires are needed, you are probably already late! The decision to recruit should be done well in advance in order to have proper time for the recruitment and onboarding process.  This timing is not easy, and I believe this is where most of the managers fail first time – including me.

People growth is not only about increasing the number of people. Employees, managers, and leaders should grow in their jobs. A private company with 3 million euros revenue, operating in one country is quite different than a listed company with 200 million euros revenue and operating in several continents. To steer this change in just a couple of years may be challenging. At the same time this is what makes working at Kempower so exciting – together with all the great colleagues.

Kempower’s 2021 listing in the Nasdaq First North Growth Market was record-breaking: it was the most popular listing in history among the Finnish retail investors.