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Halonen sings the praises of New Zealand

Halonen sings the praises of New Zealand

To start his marathon running he had to lose weight and says he was a “heavier bloke”, because he had previously spent time at the gym weightlifting.

“I was about 160 kilograms and someone told me that a marathon was something I would never do. I thought ‘let’s see about that’ and started running more and more.”

Pure determination has kept him going and he plans to do more marathons in the future.

He has also taken up roganing while in Wellington - an activity that combines orienteering and running. The sport originated in Australia and involves running in teams to try and score maximum points in different areas. The easiest challenge is three hours with the activity at times lasting up to 24 hours.

Halonen became hooked after his first event and through the sport has met many locals who are interested in outdoor pursuits.

Although he has been in the IT industry since 1999, Halonen had no wish to have a technology career when he graduated from Vaasa University in Finland with a degree in international marketing.

“It just happened that the first place I worked was Fujitsu in Finland, as a mobile solutions development manager in 1999.”

After meeting his future wife at Fujitsu, he stayed there until 2002 before moving to IBM Finland as a Websphere sales leader.

It was after IBM that he landed work with Compuware.

His strategy for the company locally is to build its relationship with partners such as Gen-i and Fronde, as well as growing staff numbers.

Although it has been an easy transition, Halonen has experienced differences between Finland and New Zealand in the way business meetings are done.

“In Finland meetings are often organised two or three weeks beforehand and you know who is going to be there. The agenda is approved, everyone agrees on the minutes and it is very organised.”

Halonen says he likes the quicker approach to meetings in New Zealand.

“I was advised that having a meeting in the office is the wrong way to go because most people do business over coffee in Wellington. I’ve found some of the best meetings I have had were organised 20 minutes beforehand to meet in a café.”

To start his marathon running he had to lose weight and says he was a “heavier bloke”, because he had previously spent time at the gym weightlifting.

“I was about 160 kilograms and someone told me that a marathon was something I would never do. I thought ‘let’s see about that’ and started running more and more.”

Pure determination has kept him going and he plans to do more marathons in the future.

He has also taken up roganing while in Wellington - an activity that combines orienteering and running. The sport originated in Australia and involves running in teams to try and score maximum points in different areas. The easiest challenge is three hours with the activity at times lasting up to 24 hours.

Halonen became hooked after his first event and through the sport has met many locals who are interested in outdoor pursuits.

Although he has been in the IT industry since 1999, Halonen had no wish to have a technology career when he graduated from Vaasa University in Finland with a degree in international marketing.

“It just happened that the first place I worked was Fujitsu in Finland, as a mobile solutions development manager in 1999.”

After meeting his future wife at Fujitsu, he stayed there until 2002 before moving to IBM Finland as a Websphere sales leader.

It was after IBM that he landed work with Compuware.

His strategy for the company locally is to build its relationship with partners such as Gen-i and Fronde, as well as growing staff numbers.

Although it has been an easy transition, Halonen has experienced differences between Finland and New Zealand in the way business meetings are done.

“In Finland meetings are often organised two or three weeks beforehand and you know who is going to be there. The agenda is approved, everyone agrees on the minutes and it is very organised.”

Halonen says he likes the quicker approach to meetings in New Zealand.

“I was advised that having a meeting in the office is the wrong way to go because most people do business over coffee in Wellington. I’ve found some of the best meetings I have had were organised 20 minutes beforehand to meet in a café.”


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