7 OCT 2021

Fortumon Chris: “Fewer poisonous snakes, spiders & sandstorms in Estonia – so that’s nice”

POSTED UNDER Fortumons
image of Mattias Liivak

Mattias Liivak

Head of Marketing & PR, Fortumo

image for Fortumon Chris: “Fewer poisonous snakes, spiders & sandstorms in Estonia – so that’s nice”

In this series of interviews, we explore some of the people behind Fortumo AKA Fortumons. This time, we interviewed Christopher (Chris) who moved to the opposite end of the world from Australia.

Chris is Fortumo’s Partner Relation Manager and works with our telco partners to make sure connections between the platforms are running smoothly. Read about his thoughts on the team, rattlesnakes and getting the management to wrestle each other below. If you’re looking for a new challenge, head over to our Careers Portal.

When and why did you decide to join Fortumo?

I was recommended Fortumo by a friend and former employee of the company (who has since returned). I was moving to Estonia and looking for work. He had asked what kind of job I was looking for and thought that the company would be a good fit based on my skills and aspirations. He was not wrong.

How would you describe Fortumo’s work culture?

Fortumo has an incredible work culture. They encourage independence while cultivating a strong team dynamic and support network. The inter-team communication and cooperation is incredible compared to other companies I have worked in. 

On top of that, we have a rich community within the company. In the short time I have worked here I have been involved in movie nights, internal talk shows & podcasts, sports days and numerous other events.

Do you feel your work is global? How?

I would say my work is definitely global. I am an Englishman working in an office in Estonia with Hungarian, Bosnian, Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, American and Australian colleagues (as well as many more nationalities, and even a few Estonians). My day-to-day duties include working with companies in 6 countries. I work closely with colleagues in Dubai, Singapore and Vietnam.

Why have you picked fintech as a sector to work in?

The global nature of the work was the main appeal to me. Prior to my employment with Fortumo, I was a full-time traveler for 3 years. I have always enjoyed meeting and conversing with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Fintech is an industry that transcends borders and that appeals to me.

What makes one team a successful one?

In my opinion strong leadership and diversity create successful teams. Different strengths, expertise, viewpoints and opinions are all fundamental elements of a creative and effective team. These can be an asset, if properly managed. A strong leader needs to know how to support their team; when to push them or leave them to it. They should understand the strengths and requirements of each team member and allocate those resources accordingly.

How has your experience working in Estonia differed from working abroad? How have the experiences been similar?

Compared to my experience in England, Estonia has a much more involved work culture. People cultivate friendships and have fun together. In the UK, you might occasionally go for a pint with colleagues but nothing like this. Having said that, I’m not sure if that’s Estonia or just Fortumo. 

Compared to Australia, there are far fewer poisonous snakes, spiders or sandstorms, so that’s nice too.

Tell us your craziest or funniest Fortumo story so far. 

During lockdown it was suggested that we arrange a series of presentations for the company about our passions outside of work. I was asked to be one of the first speakers in what went on to become a series of talks. I chose to tell people about my hobby: martial ats, particularly Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. 

A month or so after the presentation we had the company sports day. Everyone from the company suggests activities and a few are chosen and arranged. The HR team reached out and told me that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu had been recommended by quite a few people. On top of that many of the people had recommended that I should coach it. 

A colleague who also trains in the sport helped me to put together two hour and a half long training sessions introducing many of our colleagues to the sport. We also arranged a competition for each class. I had the (former) CFO and the COO of the company wrestling each other. That was cool.

If you want to join the team, peek at our open positions.

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