Wille Eerola Hon. Consul General of Pakistan in Finland and Chairman – FPBC (Finland Pakistan Business Council), in his own words, is “Running a one-man mission to change the image of Pakistan for the better since the last 16 years”.
The Global Marketer & New Business Developer spoke to our Editor at AdAsia Lahore 2019 about the importance of developing cultural exchange.
You have facilitated international business partnerships, including those with Pakistan. In your opinion, what is the key to forming long term partnerships?
That’s a challenging question. Partnerships – whether business or private – take a lot of work; it may be easy to find businesses – product, service, company etc. – that one may want to get involved in, but a long-term partnership takes a lot more work.
For instance, the Finnish culture and Pakistani culture are very different. When establishing business partnerships between our two countries, I have seen many times that the expectations of Finnish people, and those of Pakistanis are quite different. So when establishing international or even local partnerships and businesses, understanding each other’s culture and working out cultural differences should be our first priority. This is the only way we can communicate or else, nothing happens.
How do you think Pakistan’s industry dynamics differ?
I think Pakistanis are extremely passionate – for everything. People here tend to engage with their heart and soul — but unfortunately, it often creates problems because you tend to start running before you even learn to walk. In my experience, taking baby steps and understanding the work, carrying out cultural exchange and communicating effectively are critical for long term sustainability.