Paavo leads TactoTek’s research and development functions. He is one of the first TactoTek’s employees, and since 2012 he has played an important role in our core manufacturing team as we commercialized IMSE technology. Out of working hours Paavo is a sport enthusiast who loves food.
Paavo started working on different construction sites all summers since he was 15 years old. After finishing high school and military service, he started engineering studies at University of Oulu in late 90s. Again, he worked all summers, but now on jobs related to his studies on electronics manufacturing. After an educational exchange student year in Germany, Paavo did his diploma thesis for Nokia Networks, but he turned down an offer of a permanent position as a component engineer.
“I wanted to see the world, and when a job opportunity in Nokia Mobile Phones sourcing was offered to me, even though it was a fixed term contract, I took it. I knew I was going to learn stuff they don't teach at school. And I truly did. Working daily on a global supply chain in Asia with like minded mechanical engineers was an eye-opening experience. To witness what mass production of consumer electronics really meant, what was needed to solve availability issues under high pressure, and the most important lesson - how to work with people from totally different kinds of cultures - was carved into my muscle memory. Working at Nokia made daily work automatically global for me, and you were forced to think big.”
Paavo ended up working in Nokia for nearly a decade in various positions. Then the evident happened and he was going to be laid off when Nokia Mobile Phones in Oulu was basically shut down.
“Of course it felt bad to lose a job I liked and especially to lose colleagues I had worked hard with for years, but I had many plans and options what I was going to do. And basically everything fell into place when I contacted TactoTek. They were looking for a guy who would ramp up production of injection molded touch panels in Asia. I felt it was a job made for me. I joined TactoTek the next day I left Nokia in 2012, and by then TactoTek had five employees. We had the ideas of our founders, a small lab and a passion to go forward.”
Shortly after Paavo joined the team, TactoTek pivoted and the initial task assigned to Paavo changed along with the business model of the company. In the beginning the future of TactoTek was naturally unclear, but bit by bit the focus of TactoTek started to clear up and the pioneer team was able to develop IMSE technology forward with huge leaps. Paavo describes the first years of TactoTek like a second manufacturing degree, since he was privileged to learn manufacturing processes, methods and materials hands-on, tutored by the experts and pioneers of printed electronics and In-Mold-Label injection molding.
“Building the first IMSE production line together with my colleagues was a once in a lifetime project experience. Also the content of working days varied constantly; I remember one occasion when I was building air condition ducts to our lab when our CTO told me that: “Paavo - You will be presenting in a conference tomorrow!” - Roger that sir, a transition from dirty plumbing work to suited up sales work was an natural thing to do, every man and woman did what was needed to do.”
Paavo’s responsibilities have grown with the company. He has always liked to work with people and considers social skills as one of his strengths. As TactoTek has grown from start-up to growth company, constant in-job learning has been needed.
“Throughout the TactoTek years I’ve been fortunate to get more and more responsibility. From quality responsibility I transitioned to run the manufacturing builds and reliability testing, and currently I am leading TactoTek’s Advanced Engineering team. I’ve gone through a transition process from operative work to a more strategic work, as well as to more sales oriented work. This is a constant learning process for me. As happened in factory shop floor, also in management level work I’ve been privileged to being tutored by the seasoned professionals. Leading a team of highly competent specialists is a dream come true for me. Every day when I enter the work place I need to humble myself, think how I can help my team and our company to achieve the goals we have set. I see by working hard and smart, working as a team closely with our customers, IMSE will conquer the world. We at TactoTek have the best people in house, and I have full confidence in us.”