The second generation of the family Uusitalo helps run the family business

Reino Uusitalo’s children liked drawing, and there was never a shortage of drawing paper at their home. However, their father’s entrepreneurship does not play a major role in their childhood memories; although they did go to marvel at the large rolls of paper at the factory every now and then.

Eeva, Aleksi, Reino and Kaisa Uusitalo with Irene Isotalo

The offspring of the entrepreneurial Uusitalo family have picked a wealth of knowledge and skills by following their father’s career. Their interest in business economics, careers in business, and entrepreneurship stem at least partially from their growth environment. Even though all the children except Irene are currently building their careers outside of Pyroll, they are still very interested in the family business affairs. All of them take part in the company’s operations as members of the Board.

“It is an incredible asset that we all have work experience outside of Pyroll. It also gives versatile tools for understanding Pyroll’s affairs”, Irene states while the others nod approvingly. Having grown up alongside Pyroll, the company is more than familiar to all of them. They all have also worked there during summers and other occasions.

Everything started from pine cones

”The first chore for each of us has most likely been pine cone picking”, Aleksi laughs. They all remember mowing the lawn and archiving during summers. They also think fondly of the ducks that swam in the pond next to the main office and wintered in an old cattle shed.

This cattle shed was also used as the company’s first business premises. ”It sure was rather homely. We were really young back then. I also vaguely remember that when the new office was being built, I ran straight on the newly laid concrete floor, and my footprints were embedded into it. I think I was about five back then. I guess it was smoothed after all”, Aleksi reminisces. He was also eager to build huts out of boards meant for pallets, which their father brought home.

Kaisa’s first memories about Pyroll are related to small chores in the company. ”Our biggest amusement was to earn money for sweets by picking pine cones. Sometimes we went to throw balls and play badminton on the tennis court, and sometimes we drank Coca-Cola at the ground floor of the office building. In addition to our own stuff, we also sold Pyroll’s Christmas paper at the flea market. It sold really well when we offered three for ten Finnish marks”, Kaisa remembers. The children still know many of the employees and greet them when bumping into them on the street. ”We’ve had Christmas parties and other events during which we have got to know each other”, Eeva says when talking about the warm spirit of the company.

Interesting work brings experience

Years have gone by since pine cone picking and duck spotting. Since that time, Pyroll has grown into a significant player in its field in Finland and Europe, and the children have completed their education and acquired jobs.

Irene and Aleksi have acquired the MBA degrees. Eeva in turn has graduated from the university of applied sciences in the field of commodification of services and marketing. Kaisa has a Bachelor’s degree of Hospitality Management in nature and adventure tourism.

Nowadays Irene works as Pyroll’s Communications Manager, handling the group’s communications and marketing. She has acquired marketing experience by, e.g. handling Lumene Oy’s marketing duties. And Aleksi has his own company, but he visits Pyroll nearly daily, because his own company is located in the same premises in Siltakylä. ”I take care of a lot of things at Pyroll that are nobody else’s responsibility”, he laughs.

Eeva has worked, e.g. at Pyroll Kouvola, but after moving across the sea to Sweden, she found work in another company. Kaisa, on the other hand, tells that she mainly worked at Pyroll during summers. ”I have always tried to find a bit different kind of work. While studying, I had summer jobs at Pyroll just like my siblings. However, I have always been more of an outdoors person”, she says.

Support from home carries a long way into the future

Kaisa states that business affairs took a lot of their father’s time, which was then compensated during unforgettable holiday trips together. ”I have always been extremely proud of my father. He started the company all on his own, made great sacrifices for it and dedicated his life to his work.

I admire him greatly. My father has always supported me and respected my decisions even during busier times. He has always had time for the family”, Kaisa says.

Each of Reino Uusitalo’s children feels that their father plays an active role as an advisor. His advice and support are extremely valuable. However, the children have never been forced into some sort of a Pyroll mould. ”We have always been encouraged to acquire education and work experience the way we want. Our father has indeed encouraged us to choose our own careers”, Irene emphasises. ”On the other hand, we have always been able to ask for advice and help in financial decisions. I still ask him to read nearly all the papers related to my business operations”, Aleksi adds. And Kaisa reveals that management, office work or the business world have never been her thing. ”However, the most important thing is to listen and to self-actualise and fulfil one’s dreams”, she sums up.

They all say that they follow Pyroll’s affairs keenly and believe that their role within the company will become stronger in the future. ”Pyroll is my father’s life’s work, a very large part of his life. For me the company is still somewhat of a mystery that I have little by little unravelled in the course of my life. I guess I will learn more and more as I grow older and when the time is right”, Kaisa contemplates.