Timo Harju, who are you and where do you come from?
I was born in Tikkakoski which, at that time, was a part of Jyväskylä rural district. However, our family moved to Jyväskylä at the beginning of primary school. As the school level changed, so did the school in Jyväskylä and I graduated from Kilpinen high School. After the military service, I continued my studies at the Jyväskylä Institute Of Technology, where I graduated as an IT engineer.
At some point, my career took me to Pietarsaari to work in software development. After 3 years I returned to my home grounds, and took up a job in Nokia in Äänekoski, and settled in Tikkakoski which lays nicely between Jyväskylä and Äänekoski. It was the start of my career in critical professional communication and has continued till this day in various roles. In 1999, when working on Nokia´s payroll, I moved to Singapore to expand TETRA technology business in the region. The trip continued via Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong eventually back to Finland in 2005. I originally left for two years, but the trip to Asia took a little over six years. The family situation had also evolved on the way: I left for Singapore as a bachelor in 1999, and in December 2005 I returned home with my wife and one-year-old daughter. And how convenient, the residence was found in Tikkakoski again.
The career continued in Jyväskylä Mattilanniemi with Airbus Defense and Space Oy, which acquired the Professional Mobile Radio business unit from Nokia in 2005, at the time under the name EADS. I started as a product manager, and later the tasks turned into business development. In November 2021, I moved to Secapp from those positions.
In the meantime, I have moved from Tikkakoski to Vehniä, although my residence is still in the postal code area of Tikkakoski. Why? Well, Tikkakoski region has played an important role in my life in many ways and there are also my family ties. My grandparents lived on a farm where I as a kid spent all my summer vacations. My parents’ summer cottage is also right here, where I´ve spent a lot of time in my childhood and also in later years. In addition, there are good possibilities for my favorite leisure time activities close by.
Today, in addition to myself, the family includes two teenagers and a 3-year-old Finnish Spitz.
As a Head of Partnerships, what is your work about?
My responsibility is to build and ramp up the partnerships team operations and develop it in the future. The activities of the partnerships team can be roughly divided into three areas: managing existing partnerships, increasing the volume of resulting business and the partner network, and building internal policies and processes to acquire, support, and manage partners.
What expertise did you bring to Secapp?
Over the years, the jobs have been diverse, covering a wide range of roles in product development, sales, product management, building and managing a partner network, and business development mostly in an international environment with a demanding clientele. The communication needs, solutions, and practices of the customer base have also become quite familiar, although, for example, a lot is happening at the moment and the business environment and its technologies are changing.
What is it like working at Secapp?
Different in a great way. My previous employers were all quite large. The attraction of Secapp is the flat organization, its openness, and the way of doing things. This is a place of business with very few obstacles to working. In addition, the company is in an interesting phase of growth, and a lot of right things are being done in the company to enable growth and development. It’s great to be here.
What is the best thing about working at Secapp?
Definitely the great feeling of doing and being in the mood for pushing business forward determinedly. If something doesn’t work, we try to do something about it and not just let matters rest. It is possible to really make a difference.
In addition, the product itself serves an important purpose. There are all kinds of IT systems, but the minutes and seconds that Secapp saves in emergency situations of health care, for example, can really save someone’s life or give them a new chance at a good life.
And what, perhaps, something special would you like to say about yourself?
Why have I ended up in Tikkakoski every time I return home? Well, in addition to the ties mentioned above, I have two hobbies that I can easily practice here. I took up & passed the test required for a hunting license as soon as I turned 15. The local hunting association I also am a member of has its land area nearby so I can get out there even on a daily basis during hunting season. In addition, it is a must to visit the State lands of Northern Finland annually. Since the mid-90s, there must have been only two autumns left without a Northern outing. Even while living in Asia, I “popped in” every fall for a week on a bird hunt.
There is also an airport in Tikkakoski, on the edge of which I have spent many, many summer days. I did my first skydive in 1988 and since then I´ve been hooked. At times there have been more quiet periods and sometimes more active, but every spring as the snow melts and the sun begins to warm, my gaze turns to the sky. In the last couple of years, I haven’t been very active, but I´ve been skydiving enough to maintain the qualification. The last really active period was in 2014 – 2017, which culminated in the Finnish record in formation skydiving. And probably also this spring, when the sky is blue and the sun is warm, I’m drawn to the edge of the airport, to the plane, and finally to the free fall.
Learn more about skydiving:
Finnish formation skydiving record: (Lentoposti, in Finnish)
Klatovy 80-way Finnish record: (YouTube)
Finnish formation skydiving record 2017 (Facebook)
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