Ola Ejnarsson, Aptio Group
Good quality assurance begins at home.
There are a number of ways one could begin a presentation of Ola Ejnarsson, CEO of the Aptio Group. We could start with his career racing boats in the T4 class, for boats with 400 cc engines and a top speed of just under 50 knots, in which Ola competed in the Swedish national championships.
He went into the final heat needing a place among the points to win the championship. Unfortunately, the boat capsized and suffered engine failure. A potential gold medal turned into an honourable silver.
Or we could start with his service in the UN’s peacekeeping force. Wearing the blue beret was a childhood dream that came true in 1994 when he applied successfully for the post of squad leader in the peacekeeping force in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, today North Macedonia. This proved to be an instructive six months during which he gained many useful experiences.
But, of course, we could also start in Växjö from where Ola, who was born in Gävle and brought up in Eskilstuna, graduated with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 1994. Ola may well have concluded his studies in 1990 with a degree in system analysis but for Sweden’s plummeting GDP and unemployment that soared from 2 to 10 per cent. The always farsighted Ola saw the recession as an opportunity to gain more knowledge.
“My master’s dissertation was titled How to Measure Quality, and it was while working on this that I realised that this would be my future industry. I have now learned from experience that quality can’t be measured, because it’s subjective,” says Ola concerning how he ended up specialising in quality assurance.
Ola initially thought that he might make a career in automated data processing and that, once there, he would revolutionise the IT industry. Although this idea fell by the wayside when he did his national service in the Swedish Navy, on returning from serving with the UN, his second job after a stint in marketing was as a data consultant. He still saw himself working with quality, however, and in the early 2000s he took his first job in quality assurance.
“I’ve been working with this for over 20 years and I still love it. At first, I travelled a great deal, basically living out of a suitcase. I kept a home in Skåne and commuted weekly, first to Kalmar and then to Stockholm and after that Gothenburg. There were also frequent trips abroad, particularly to England but also to Turkey and Lebanon,” says Ola of the first hectic but educational years in the industry.
I’ve been working with this for over 20 years and I still love it.
– Ola Ejnarsson
Ola is someone who is always looking to streamline, thus increasing his clients’ profitability. And, if one wishes to change something, one must have the courage to question and challenge clients who have ‘always done it this way’.
“While I’m not afraid to question or challenge clients about their processes, I’m also a good listener. And, of course, listening is the most important thing if you want to learn about and familiarise yourself with something,” says Ola, who understands that one must be willing to leave one’s comfort zone if analysis shows that this is necessary in order to identify effective solutions.
In 2017, after many years as a manager in quality assurance and business development, the time came for Ola to start a business that he could shape himself. One of Ola’s objectives was to be a highly flexible employer who gives his staff the leeway to decide how to do their jobs, both in order to provide clients with the best results and to make everyday life easier for employees at Aptio. Initially Sigma Quality & Compliance, in April 2021 the company changed its name to Aptio Group. The name may have been new, but the focus remained the same: business development and efficiency through quality assurance.
Ola makes no demands of others that he does not make of himself, and he always strives to lead by example and be a good role model when it comes to showing compassion and respect. He is naturally upbeat and has a splendid knack of building relationships and trust.
“I hire employees because they’re good at their jobs and I have a strong conviction that one should tell them what needs to be done rather than how to go about it. I allow employees to use their intellect to figure out how to identify the best and most efficient solution,” says Ola of his leadership style. This is very much in line with Ola’s servant leadership philosophy; he sees his task as serving the needs of his employees so they can perform their duties.
As with so many Danir holdings, Aptio Group is thriving. Ola and his colleagues have reached sensible, well-analysed decisions that have led them to work increasingly with life science beyond Sweden’s borders. Their journey continues and goals for the future include continuing to innovate and package more services, expanding geographically, approaching a couple of new industries and passing half a billion kronor in turnover.
“We continue to make the most of the freedom that Danir gives us to not be like everyone else, a freedom that allows us to be unique,” says Ola regarding the benefits of being a Danir company.
Ola is positive about a future in which he and his senior consultants continue to assist their clients to quality assure and streamline their businesses.