Interview with Nikolas Kallas Chief Market Analyst of StormGeo from Norway

19 May, 2017


Pantras interviulease briefly introduce yourself, tell me more about your company

My name is Nikolas Kallas and I work as Chief Market Analyst for StormGeo. We are an international services company providing decision support for weather critical operations. We are 400 employees, operating out of 22 offices in 16 countries worldwide. We serve clients in offshore, onshore, shipping and renewables. We have a large Research and Development (R&D) department with 55 analysts were about 15 of them work out of our Vilnius office.

What kind of business do you have in Lithuania?

Our office here in Lithuanian is focused on R&D. Therefore, they develop and designe systems that are then sold globally. In particular, they develop systems mainly for the shipping industry. Our sales offices manages the sale of these solutions to the shipping industry in Asia, Europe and USA


Are you planning to do more investments in Lithuania?

Yes, we may hire more people. We do not know yet how many, and this depends by the market situation but for the time being we are around 15 and we plan to employ about five more resources.


Have you signed any contracts with any of Lithuanian companies? If yes, what kind of, are they big, long-lasting contracts? If no, are you planning to do that?


Well honestly, I do not think we have any Lithuanian companies for any of our services. Though we have of course office related contracts locally here in Vilnius with different providers serving our office and the city here.
We have long-term plan to be here in Lithuania in Vilnius. We are dedicated to be present here for a long time.

What is the most important criteria when you are looking for partners?

The reason we set up an office here, is that we employ local resources and with knowledge in computers science, of course together with the very competitive condition in terms of living costs that is an important factor for international companies like ours.
In addition I can tell you that the people are highly skilled in Lithuania and Vilnius. They are dedicated, motivated and very knowledgeable. In general I think the Lithuania competence base don’t stand back from any other places in the world, including hot spots like Silicon Valley, California.

One thing that is of focus for us now here in Vilnius is to establish a tighter collaboration with one of the excellent universities in the city. We are specifically looking for cooperation in the fields of computer science and hereby advanced analytics, machine learning and big data.

Loyalty in business – how often do you change your partners?

I prefer long-term contracts.
Yes, trust is important and helps to make business. This is also one of the reason why we open business in Lithuania. Trust is the key word.

What build trust in business?


I believe quality, credibility, being on time and honesty is part of trust in business.

How long do you usually work together until you build the trust?

Well that depends and can take time but if you look at our business that we have here I will say after 3-6 months. It was like a test case for us at the beginning to be here but after around 6 months, we have seen that it was beneficial for us as company and we decided to hire more. We have hired 5/6 people in the first 6 months and that has given us the basis of trust to actually expand more the next six months.


Cultural differences in business, have you noticed any of them, comparing Lithuania and your country?


One think I have actually noted today in the office is that Lithuanians greet in the morning by sha
king hands with all colleagues.. In Scandinavian, we do not do that, for example we say hey, or we go to grab a cup of coffee. So I have noted and learned that everybody shake hands and maybe I will bring back this to my office in Norway and perhaps I will shake hands to my colleagues too.

What particular actions do you do/ does your company to be socially responsible?


We have different initiatives in order to support the local community in each of our offices. It can be charity or participating and supporting local events.

What do you usually do while having a flight?

Listen music and update my Spotify account.

What is your opinion about the EXPO Center?


It is very nice and give a good overview of different businesses in Lithuania.