Unicus’ founder on the next step after joining forces with auticon
Two businesses are becoming one, when Unicus and auticon are merging their operations. We talked to Unicus’ founder Lars Johansson-Kjellerød about the opportunities awaiting all employees and customers.
Lars Johansson-Kjellerød founded Unicus back in 2008 and is today, one of three business managers in the management team of the group auticon GmbH, with headquarters in Germany. In mid-June, auticon and Unicus announced that the two companies would merge.
– We will increase our delivery, says Lars when we talked to him from his office in Oslo. It benefits us in multiple ways; by increasing our customer base, we can hire more people. For our consultants, the merger enables us to take on larger clients that will provide us with more opportunities.
The merger began by starting to integrate various core processes that make the group function as one unit. Each country will continue with their winning concepts, while learning from each other. The joint group will also continue to use a Lean methodology that has been an integral part of Unicus’ successful work for the past several years. Lars says that the merger requires hard work, and the goal is to finish the first phase in the spring of 2024.
– If we experience any change at all, I am sure it will make us better. I hope to see the results of being a large global company fairly quickly, while balancing the integration of the two companies and continuing to serve our customers.
One strong culture
A merger often comes with big changes, but not for Unicus and auticon. Their focus lies in preserving the best parts of each team, while offering employees and consultants more opportunities. It all stems from their common vision that permeates throughout the entire organization; from managers to consultants.
– I find it interesting to see how a global company in 14 countries works together, says Lars. This normally comes with challenges, but I am not afraid. Our group shares the same values, and that is an extremely good starting point.
From the very first time that Lars met the CEO of auticon, Kurt Schöffer, it was evident that the two companies shared the same desire to create opportunities for greater inclusion in society. Today, the companies are situated under the same umbrella with one shared mission:
Address the inequalities in employment for neurodivergent adults and showcase the strengths of neurodiversity in society.
Together, Unicus and auticon are now becoming the world’s largest employer where more than 80 percent of the employees are on the autism spectrum. Consultants and leaders from 14 countries will meet to work towards a common goal. Lars emphasizes their shared values that makes the collaboration easier. He also adds that the shared understanding of autism is a foundational part of the company culture.
– Everyone working at Unicus and auticon is here for the same reason, says Lars.
How auticon makes Unicus stronger – and vice versa
No organizational changes are expected as a result of the merger. Instead, the companies complement each other both geographically and in regards to competence. While Unicus’ strength lies in their Lean-oriented approach, auticon offers several services that will now be available to Nordic customers as well.
– Neuro-Inclusion Services is an advisory service for large companies on how to include neurodivergent people in the workplace. We are not only talking about people with autism; this service also takes ADHD, dyslexia, ADD and other forms of neurodivergence into consideration. This is an excellent choice to boost competence for companies that want to be a more attractive employer in the future.
The training service is already in demand by Unicus’ customers. Together with auticon, Unicus is now strengthening their competence in all business areas. It creates a greater opportunity for personal and professional development. The group has a great sense of community and individual growth will continue to be an important guiding star – regardless of your role in the company. Lars is looking forward to developing a learning platform where data engineering, AI, data science, and other related development areas are available to all employees.
– This global approach is one area we can accelerate in to open up opportunities for those who want to learn new technologies, work with new customers and for those looking for a geographical change, says Lars.
Unicus + auticon
The company has operations in 14 countries with an expected turnover of EUR 50 million and over 600 employees. Unicus + auticon is the world’s largest employer where the majority of employees are on the autism spectrum.