Niklas Österberg is LTU alumni View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Niklas Österberg - entrepreneur who runs Masoko AB

Published: 27 May 2011

Education: International Marketing 2001/2003

What have you been working with since you graduated?
After I graduated, I worked primarily as CEO or marketing manager in everything from small companies to the latest job as marketing manager at IKEA. At IKEA, I was responsible for analysis and segmentation of IKEA HaparandaTornios market area, which included Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Russian Kola Peninsula. Centrally, I worked with issues; Which customers are there? and how can we optimize our marketing mix towards them? To analyze and look at the competitors was an everyday part of work. I was also responsible for driving traffic to the store and that I was responsible for all external contacts. Before that I worked as CEO of Origonet where I was responsible for building a säljorganistation in Scandinavia and worked with the financing.

Generally, I've worked a lot with statistics and key figures in the jobs I had. A constant search for the answer to the question how the company should reach the right customers as reasonable a cost as possible. Much work has consisted of structuring the market work and get more people involved in the parts of it. Environmental work was a very important part of IKEA, for example. I have also worked on Norrbottensteatern and where I worked a lot with press relations and how we got our message in the media. This did not mean that I personally appeared in the press but all the preparation and review of the one who would do that were important parts of the work. As Marketing Director for it also to keep track of, inter alia, advertising agencies, printers, web, what their competencies are in and how they work together to create good partnerships. Intern's role is often to be a spider in the web and take responsibility for the management of external messages are synchronized with what the employer actually wants to get across. This can apply to very small things in everyday life of employees to marketing plans and brainstorming with a view to finding some exciting approach. I think my job is to save money for employers with background of simply getting as much as possible for as little resources as possible!

What are you working today?
Today I run the consultancy Masoko AB, where I primarily hire me as President / Marketing.

In addition to that owns and operates I also have two hotels and a safari company in Tanzania; Loasistanzania and Stainbokadventures. We currently have 70 employees in Tanzania and the main challenges has been the different bureaucracy, and that staff are familiar with the head pointing with the whole hand. We believe that any decision should be made as close to the customer as possible. This is and has been a challenge. The biggest challenge was and still is to fund the entire operation. How you present a business plan in which they operate in an area of ​​the world where many have never been and where most people believe that war and chaos there? Great patience and humility have been required during the work. Derisive comments we have received. Dreamer, we have been called. It feels pretty good now that actually shows that you can. We now have a staff president and an executive committee with different responsibilities. We are currently in the process of working up various processes and procedures.

How is it that you started the business in Africa? What did you dare to take the opportunity?
We are brought up in Tanzania, I came back to Sweden when I was seven. We talked about this, I and my three brothers for years. For me it was ultimately a must, so me and my oldest brother gave us hell to achieve this. That I finally dared was probably thought that I did not want to sit on old people's home and say that "Hey Niklas the coward you were, why dare you not to proceed with what you dreamed of." No matter what happens I will not have to allfall it. I do not live in Tanzania, which is why I still run my own company Masoko, where do I get the opportunity to give of my experience to others in my case, growing small businesses.

I dared to believe in myself, and worked very hard with an idea that I believe in! It is important to consider the advice as just good advice and not knowing the facts. Anyone who tells you not to do things, do it for your own good. They probably love you and want you to go badly. Have bakhuvet in terms of "good advice". Respect them but sometimes dare to do exactly what you think. It can actually go well ... Is it bad someone might still want to enjoy the experience you have built up. Failure in business is really just a very profitable experience. That experience has your next employer is probably very useful!

Tip for those who want to start their own business?
Just do it! Think and plan but get the thumb out and do it well! Everything need not be perfect from the beginning, you learn from their mistakes and develop in time. For our investment in Tanzania has been key to never give up, it's important not to getdiscouraged but dare to talk about your (in the eyes of others) crazy ideas. Can not findthe way, do it yourself!

What was the best with their studies at the university?
Most of the study was to get to know new people. LTU was for me a stable and secure environment and provided a good basis to study and a major benefit was that teacherswere always close at hand.

Tip for anyone thinking of studying at LTU?
Experience Norrbotten! Partying can be done anywhere but there is so much to see andexperience in northern Sweden and northern neighbors to take the chance while you study in Luleå.

 

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