Behind the Swedish award for entrepreneurs Gasell 2022, ambitious plans hides in the to-do lists.
"We are not an ordinary company with ordinary employees. We're never settled", says Stefan Trailovic, CEO at QueensLab.
QueensLab's growth journey has been at a breathtaking pace. Since the start in 2017, turnover has doubled every year while the company has shown a positive result. Today, the company has 70 employees and offices in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Lisbon.
QueensLab has just landed after a kick-off in Portugal where the latest office was opened a year ago. Now they aim to open offices in Silicon Valley, New York, or Tokyo before the end of 2023.
- The Gasell 2022 award is, of course, a receipt that we have done something right and it should be dedicated to all our awesome employees, says Stefan.
"The award means a lot. But it is the fact that we have been profitable while
being nice, fair and responsible, that really makes me happy."
Stefan Trailovic, CEO, QueensLab
The result of a relentless culture building
The recipe for QueensLab's success story is a relentless culture building. To question conventions, never settle and build an environment where innovation is one of the strongest building blocks.
- For me, it is important that you stand for something - both as a person and as a company. It must be 100 percent clear what QueensLab is and what we are not. Our goal is not to be a company for everyone. On the contrary. Instead, it's about finding niche people who are real Queens. Then invest 110 percent in them, says Stefan.
Dare to choose the right people over CV
Hiring the right skills is always important - but in the long run - personality is more important.
- One thing that all employees at QueensLab have in common is curiosity, and that they never feel fully educated. There's no one who thinks, 'Damn, now I'm fully learned - and that's one of the most important things. Having a built-in humility combined with a drive.
Realize that it is profitable to do differently
The other piece is innovation - that is, the art of doing things differently. Even in the little things. If other consulting companies send white CVs, we send black ones.
- You have to constantly do things differently, otherwise you are stuck with the classic growth of 10 percent per year. Having many employees is not a goal for us, says Stefan and continues:
- The big corporate style is not our thing. I actually think something bad happens with the culture when you get too many people in an office, something gets lost. We have set a ceiling of a maximum of 50 consultants, per office, he says.
Dare to invest in the office when the big companies are downsizing
People who like each other wants to meet. It is easy. Otherwise, the entire company will be built as a distance relationship. Theoretically possible but quite boring.
- We have a policy where people can choose to work from home if they want - but they choose to come in anyway. For me, QueensLab is a personal journey. I will never settle, no matter what we achieve. At the same time, I am 100 percent grateful for all the skilled employees we have at QueensLab, says Stefan.
Criteria for the Gasell 2022 award
In order to be named Gasell, the company must meet all criteria below. Gasell also make an overall assessment of the company where additional parameters that show healthy operations are weighed.
A Gasell 2022 must have:
A net turnover that exceeds SEK 10 million, according to the latest annual report.
At least ten employees, according to the latest annual report.
At least doubled its turnover, if you compare the first and last financial year of the four-year investigation period.
Increased its turnover every year for the last three years.
A positive overall operating result for the last four financial years.
Essentially grown organically, not through acquisitions or mergers.