A Finnish high-tech company VRT Finland Ltd has been discovering the secrets of invisible underwater world already for ten years
This year VRT Finland Ltd is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The journey has been interesting, from trailblazing the new technology to winning start-up competitions, establishing profitable business and making new innovations.The company was the first in the world to inspect vertical underwater structures with echosounders and it is now expanding the business by improving their clients’ asset management with the online 3D platform GISGRO. VRT’s founders, Kirsi Hänninen and Olli Auer, have a principle of always doing things better and more efficiently, which is still an integral part of the company’s culture.
”As engineers we are very solution-oriented and always figuring out new ways of doing things. The idea behind the company stem from the cumbersome diving videos, which you had to watch for hours while doing a bridge inspection. There had to be a better way! And there was -the technology already existed but we revised the use of it”, Auer describes the first steps of VRT.
The life cycle of the company has evolved from echosounder bridge inspections to various kinds of underwater structural inspections and finally software development. The two entrepreneurs have admitted the limitations of their knowledge early on.
”The most important lesson of entrepreneurship is that you need to surround yourself with people smarter than you”, Hänninen laughs. VRT has grown from two engineers’ idea to a company of over thirty experts and expanded its business from Europe to global markets. Hänninen and Auer think that good team spirit is one of the most important achievements of the company. ”We have an exceptional team in which leaders play an important role guiding the company forward. We trust everyone to do their best using their own expertise”, Hänninen continues.
Last year VRT launched an online platform for 3D data management and utilisation, which strenghtens the company’s endeavor to do things better. ”We discovered a challenge with our clients; the 3D data we produced could rarely be opened or utilised, because of the lack of suitable software or knowhow”, Auer explains the well-recognized challenge in the industry. VRT’s software developers are building a solution for the challenge together with VRT’s engineers and clients.
The global pandemic is somehow hindering the business of internationally operating company, but the big plans still exist. The foundation of VRT’s success lies in the passion for quality. “Sometimes we might spend a bit more time on-site just to ensure the quality of data matches our high standards”, Auer confesses. The great quality of the data and a turn-key service are VRT’s trademarks also in the future, when the pioneers bring the 3D asset management of their clients to the 21st century.