Ulla Sommerfelt is a Norwegian CEO and Founder at EGGS, a multidisciplinary design and innovation consultancy. Established in 2012, EGGS has offices in Norway, Brazil and very soon, Denmark. Since, Ulla and her team of 70 creatives, have boasted an impressive revenue growth of 15-30% annually, reaching 62 million NOK in 2016…
What is EGGS?
EGGS helps clients innovate. We are a multidisciplinary consultancy housing designers, brand builders and creative technologists. Our value proposition is to create products and services your customers will love. Our approach is people and business centric, we love projects with high complexity and to make simplification happen. Our clients are start-ups and big corps in industries such as health, bank & finance, retail, consumer goods, ocean technology, connected world, and public services.
My focus as a leader is to create the world’s best workplace. A workplace where our people develop both professionally and personally.
What are your go-to markets?
We currently have offices in 4 cities: Curitiba in Brazil, Oslo, Stavanger and Trondheim in Norway.
We plan to create an eco-system of offices around the world. EGGS was born global with 15 in-house nationalities. We want to expand on this multicultural, cross-disciplinary basis, as diversity is the birthplace for innovation and creativity. We want to make sure that our people develop both professionally and personally, and we have programs in place for that. Also, people grow when they travel and live in new places of the world. Our eco-system will draw in competences, inspiration and different perspectives.
Our leadership model and work culture is well suited to attract and retain creative talent within design and technology across the globe, and we strive to create excellent employee experiences.
We are world leader in design and innovation in heavy industries like oil & gas, aqua culture, maritime and various areas of industrial automation. We also are specialists in creating professional user interfaces and work environments that have strong requirements for efficiency, security, and safety. There is a huge potential for digitization and innovation in these global industries, so we seek to export this knowledge to other places with similar industries.
We are also looking for opportunities in other sectors where we have excellent capabilities, for example financial technology, telecom, healthcare, and large-scale consumer services. We have helped more than 100 start-ups succeed with their ideas, but we also work with large corps. We have great potential to grow!
We learn that our success in exporting Norwegian competence and business culture comes from local knowledge and adjustment. Therefore, we will create powercouples from existing EGGS and people with local knowledge and network, thus merging local competence with the EGGS culture, a driver for our success.
How is it like to internationalize in Norway?
Internationalization requires a lot of research. In Norway we are getting excellent help from the governmental agency Innovation Norway who has the skills and infrastructure to support Norwegian companies on their internationalization journey. But we must do the work ourselves, of course, as well as finance it.
Any successful business today needs to internationalize. We live in a global world, 95% of our clients operate in a global market and it is essential to have a global mindset to succeed.
What are the main mistakes to avoid when developing there?
Not taking the local business culture seriously, and not appreciating or straining towards integrating in local culture can make it very difficult to succeed in business. You must place yourself inside the business environment, not stay on the outside.
Ulla’s advice to the community
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Establish a good network of people. Reach out on Linkedin, attend business forums, contact institutions that help companies go international.
Listen to these people’s advice. Listen to your local contacts’ advice. And question the advice people give you. How can you use their insight and advice in a smarter way for your local offices and colleagues?