Photo: Helis archive
Just in a few years, the startup “Helis”, which has started its first steps in KTU “Startup Space”, has grown into a serious player not only in Lithuania but also in the global market: a company specializing in a software for businesses connected with computer games and electronic sports has built a solid team of over hundred people and, at the end of last year, it decided to turn to its own product development path and will soon be launching a platform for distributing new generation computer games. Not only Lithuanian talents contribute to the growth and development of the company, but also successfully attracted foreign talents.
The sincerity and openness were the keys to success
One of those talents is Daniel Postiga, the Head of Marketing at “Helis” Group. He was born in Portugal. In Lisbon he graduated in business communication degree and he worked as a professional in the field of marketing in Budapest and Warsaw. And, finally, due to the high enthusiasm and warm personal approach of “Helis” executives, he was drawn to Kaunas. Today, Daniel shares his wealth of experiences with the “Helis” team and leads the entire group marketing.
“In the last job in Poland, during an event, I met “Helis” executives. Soon the Lithuanians offered me to come to Kaunas and work together. Of course, at that time my answer was short ‒ no. I did not have a slightest wish to live in Lithuania, a country that I didn’t knew at all,” Daniel remembers the first conversation. “When I googled Lithuania, I first saw the information that did not seem very appealing to me: for example, when I wrote “Lithuania” in the Youtube search, I saw videos about taxi drivers in Vilnius, who were ripping off naive foreigners.”
It was a sincere and personal appeal of “Helis” executives that surprised Daniel and made him change his mind.
“They invited me to a non-binding visit to Kaunas: just to get acquainted with the company, the city, Lithuania, and its people ‒ and then to think about my decision again. Such a warm and personal approach to a recruit seemed extremely unique to me. I do not know whether this is a Lithuanian way, or if it’s a specific quality of the “Helis” executives, but it has worked for me and here I am ‒ in Lithuania.”
When he arrived in Kaunas, Daniel was welcomed by even more surprises, which completely denied skeptical prejudices: “I saw a modern office full of young, enthusiastic people. Everyone around spoke good English ‒ their accent is even lower than mine! I’ve never regretted the decision to go to Kaunas. I work with extremely talented people, open to new ideas, boldly testing innovations. I live in a comfortable city which satisfies all my needs, I have my favorite places and friends. Moreover, even my wife says that there are all conditions for living a quality life and for creating a family,” a Portuguese shares some nice words about Kaunas.
International experience is essential for successful growth of the company
According to Vytis Uogintas, the Director of “Helis”, the creation of a complex, large-scale product requires competencies, experience and connections in the industry of development and distribution of computer games, and there are not so many people who can boast of it in Lithuania.
“Helis” is always interested in professional programmers, product developers, international marketing specialists, designers, user experience experts, payment and security experts and business development professionals with expertise in the gaming sector, and it is not easy to find such specialists in Lithuania. Finally, the company plans to launch the new gaming platform in cooperation with the partners in South Korea and possibly in China, which is why we find more specialists who understand these markets outside of Lithuania. For these reasons, we are interested in attracting foreign specialists to Lithuania and Kaunas,” says Vytis Uogintas.
The company attracts foreigners both through personal relationships and through other more traditional channels.
“The difficult thing is that many still know nothing about the quality of life in Lithuania: leisure time, entertainment, infrastructure for families and other important things outside the office. Lithuania is still not perceived as a country where foreigners would “automatically” want to live. We are sure that in many aspects the quality of life here is equal to such countries as Sweden or Switzerland, there are plenty of international career opportunities, but we have to tell everyone about it and try to persuade them probably a hundred times more than companies from the countries mentioned. Finally, while it might sound trivially, efficient transportation is important for foreign specialists: starting from public and ending with air and land transport, and these matters still must be taken care of” says V. Uogintas, talking about the challenges of attracting employees from abroad.
Still, according to the interviewer, it is encouraging that the professional side of Lithuania is already quite well-known in the world, constantly mentioned as a strong state of information technology and as one of the pioneers of blockchain. This is a great news not only for already existing businesses but also for startups or young people who are just dreaming about the business: “Being a part of the Kaunas Startup Development Incubator “KTU StartupSpace” Alumni, and having felt a strong support from the university and the city during the first years of our company, we still have very positive feelings about the program of “Kaunas Startups”. We can only confirm that due to its strong and abundant academic community and technical competence, Kaunas is extremely promising to develop both startups and mature technology-based businesses. We are also delighted with the fast development of service centers: this is a great platform for young people to gain competences, to see the technological business experience, uniting decades of activity and hundreds of markets. And with the desire, the opportunities and the passion – with all this experience to start your own business in an excellent environment.”
Information by Kaunas IN Business Division