As Safer Society Group prepares to accelerate growth, CEO Pelle Garå discusses the company’s next steps.
What is your main focus as CEO?
I’m focused on rapidly growing the three companies that we own. Which means looking at each one individually to see how we can make them even more competitive. Specifically, I’m going to look for scalability in every aspect of our operations, because I want our three subsidiary companies to make as big an impact as possible in each of their territories.
Tech4Good is a hot topic right now. Well, that’s been our mission for 15 years and we already have three viable companies founded on it. Our focus now is on increasing our impact.
What does Carl Kistenmacher, the new Board Chair, bring to the table in this effort?
With Carl as our new Chairman, we’re in a great position. He was Managing Director for many years at EQT, which is a best-in-class private equity firm, so he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on how to accelerate growth. And he’s sharp as a knife. What’s more, he sees the potential here. The simple fact that he accepted the Chair position is a huge vote of confidence for us, because he wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t believe in what we’re doing.
How will you work together to achieve your goals?
Together with the board, we are going to set the strategy. And my job, along with the CEOs of our different companies, will be to make sure the strategy is implemented. This means that my relationship with them is going to be extremely important in the coming years. Just as Carl has confidence in me, I have confidence that the CEOs of NetClean, Griffeye and Paliscope are the right people for the job.
What does growth look like?
A key part of this is investing in resources. As an illustration, we’re substantially increasing the number of employees we have.
When it comes to our three subsidiary companies, our goal is to scale each of them in a short amount of time so that each one gets the reach it’s supposed to have. For example, Griffeye is on a super trajectory right now. They have to manage decisions like which markets to focus on, and how to allocate resources most effectively to really scale the business. With NetClean, it’s about maximising efficiency in the sales process. And Paliscope is more of a start-up, so you have to put on your start-up hat and think about how best to align that company’s journey with what we want to do with Safer Society Group. Because the potential market is huge and they can do so much, but it has to be done the right way.
What’s first on your agenda?
To make sure we have understood our customers’ needs and that we have solutions in our pipeline to meet them. In other words, customer satisfaction. We’re a company of engineers, and historically we’ve been driven by product development. I’ve been with this company since the beginning, and my area has been in sales and marketing as well as business development and packaging – what is it that we’re selling to whom, what is lacking, how do we add to it. I’m a business-oriented person, and as CEO I’m going to be very focused on satisfying our customers. We want to be the obvious choice in each space, so we have to do all we can to meet and surpass their demands.
At the same time, I’m going to see to it that we continue to take care of our employees – that they feel heard, that they have what they need to develop and feel that they’re part of the team. Our company culture is extremely important, because the people who work here want to do good and make a difference. So we have to make sure we don’t lose sight of that as we grow.
What’s your hope for NetClean, Griffeye and Paliscope over the long term?
We’re very proud of our subsidiaries. They are young, vibrant, meaningful tech companies, and it’s our job to ensure that they can make the biggest possible impact on the world we live in. That’s really what Safer Society Group is all about: Helping people, ideas and companies reach their full potential and achieve maximum impact.