'You can’t aim to play in the second league. You have to aim for the top.'
Founded in 2018, TMC Sweden has already become the fastest growing consultancy company in their country. We talked to CEO Åsa Åhlander about the beginnings, the challenges of dealing with the Corona pandemic and the reasons behind their success.
Talk about a fast growing company. In just over two years TMC Sweden has opened up three offices. Last year their turnover grew with 421%, making them the fastest growing consultancy company in Sweden. They’re also the most successful consultancy employer, as their labour pool expanded from 15 to 40 Employeneurs, a growth of 167%.
TMC Sweden’s CEO Åsa Åhlander, aside from being an ambitious consultancy professional, is a people’s person. To her it’s the Employeneurs that define the company and its success. Speaking to us through a Zoom call from her office in Göteborg, she sparkles with the enthusiasm of someone who has really found her calling.
What was your strategy starting out with TMC Sweden?
“We started out with nothing, really. We were just pioneering the employeneurship model and its values. But people did resonate with it, as after a few months we could recruit the first Employeneurs and clients were interested to buy from us. So there was a match.
Our strategy was not to start with business cells, but just to hire the best people we knew and offer them a contract with TMC. That has paid off, as we now have 45 Employeneurs and five business cells.”
How do you explain the success of being the fastest growing consultancy firm?
“It’s all due to the people. We’ve built a really strong team that trusts each other. We know the objective that we’re trying to reach and although it’s hard and nothing comes for free, we have each other’s back. I’m really amazed about the Employeneurs we have. They not only look at their own projects, but they’re also concerned with projects from their fellow Employeneurs. And it goes to show how often they recommend other engineers to TMC. Forty percent of our Employeneurs has come through referrals.”
Do you feel that TMC’s model attracts a special kind of engineer?
“The special breed we’re talking about is people with a mission. They want to excel, they want to be on a journey and to grow. In the first job interview they often ask a lot about profit sharing, but after some time I see that they really start appreciating the Employeneurship model in its totality.”
How has the coronavirus impacted your business?
“Although Sweden as a country did not go into lockdown, our industry and clients did. Volvo sent all their 25.000 employees home, including our Employeneurs. We had 17 projects at Volvo at the time. Many of our other big clients also went into total lockdown. So from one day to the next we lost half of our revenue. Fortunately we didn’t have to fire people. We took the decision that we would stand our ground and take care of our people as long as we could. And we kept in very close dialogue with our clients so we knew what they were planning. I’m glad we made those decisions, as now we have gained back eight projects.”
What are some of the current developments at TMC Sweden?
“We started the Stockholm office during the Corona pandemic and we have to develop that further. But we’re constantly developing ourselves because the people are developing. I can make a lot of strategies, but if I don’t listen to the Employeneurs, what goals they want to reach and which companies they want to be involved with, I don’t do my job properly. So I need to balance these two types of strategies, that of the company and that of the Employeneurs.”
Do you find that a struggle?
“No, not really. The Employeneurs are all intelligent people who want to be in leading sectors. I think that CEO’s and managers need to listen to the people they manage and balance out their objectives.”
What is your vision for the future? Where do you want to be in five years?
“I want to have one percent of market share in Sweden. That means employing 300 people. I also want to be the most profitable company with the most engaged people.”
That sounds very ambitious.
“Yes, but objectives need to be ambitious. You can’t aim to play in the second league. You have to aim for the top.”