Vide President, PPP Projects

During his long career Esa Kemppainen has been involved in many variety of projects and assignments in over 50 countries.

Name, title/tasks and ageEsa Kemppainen

Esa Kemppainen
Vice President, PPP Projects
63 years

What kind of training and education do you have?

M.Sc. (Econ.), Helsinki School of Economics, 1979; eMBA, Aalto University, 2004; several special training programmes in leadership and management (LIFIM)

What were the reasons behind your choice of employer?

When I was still in school, my goal was to work on the international stage, and I had already worked at Citibank in Zürich before my university studies. Lemminkäinen represented an excellent opportunity to achieve this goal, as the company was expanding its international operations at the time.

What positions have you held in Lemminkäinen Group during your 37-year career?

1979–1983 Monrovia, Liberia: Head of Finance and Procurement; 1983–1985 Financial Manager, Long Distance Export Department; 1985–1987 Nairobi, Kenya: Financial and Regional Manager; 1987–1989 LMK Group Controller; 1989–1991 SVP, Long Distance Export Department; 1991–2008 Vice President, Administration and Business Development, Rakennus Oy Lemminkäinen; 2008– Vice President, Lemminkäinen Talo Oy

What have been your most memorable experiences?

Without question, the best ones are related to team building and the development of spirit on various levels of the organisation. Our “core team for Africa” from my days in Liberia deserves a special mention, as we still keep in touch on a regular basis. Also the entire LEMCON Oy organisation as well as the internal cohesion and spirit of teamwork among those who are currently part of the PPP project business.

At the project level, my fondest memories relate to certain fascinating projects, such as the Pangani Falls power plant in Tanzania, the Moi’s Bridge grain silo in Kenya, the Mongstad underground liquefied gas tanks in Norway, water treatment plants in China, the Novotel Hotel in Tallinn, the Lohja-Muurla motorway, the world’s largest timber frame school in Pudasjärvi, etc.

At the administrative level, I recall the successful management of certain very significant disputes related to international operations.

In general, just having had the opportunity to visit more than 50 countries on business during my time at Lemminkäinen.

What is the secret behind your long career at Lemminkäinen?

Diverse, challenging and autonomous duties with a high degree of responsibility and occasional changes in the job description, which was made possible by the fact that the company has grown and become more international throughout my time here. Another secret behind my long career here is that I am a bit of a “lone rider” but I have nevertheless received reasonable treatment from both management and colleagues, which has helped me always maintain a high level of motivation.

What do you like most about your job?

Being on the front line of changing the market, developing business and related processes, ensuring that knowledge and competencies are shared, and hopefully building a better tomorrow for everyone.

What kind of a person achieves success in your position?

The PPP project business involves launching a new kind of operating model and philosophy. It requires market creation and competence development. In order to be successful in facilitating this development, the individual should have the required technical competence, but also the ability to be a convincing, credible and reliable partner in the eyes of customers and cooperation partners.

Do you have a personal maxim?

“You make your way around the world looking for that which is new and necessary, only to return home and realise that everything you need is already there.”