Henkaus – My home town Lappeenranta

You will have all the ingredients for success

Lappeenranta attracts foreign university students every year with its high-quality study opportunities and entrepreneurial atmosphere. Indian-born Abhishek Jayaprakash and Soumyajit Chatterjee, the founders of Henkaus, fell in love with the city’s closeness to nature and the fact that everything you could possibly need is just a short distance away. 

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Abhishek and Soumyajit came to Lappeenranta in 2016 to study in the English-language Master’s programme in Industrial Engineering and Management at LUT University. The quality of teaching in particular inspired them to apply to Lappeenranta.

“I wanted to come here because I had heard that the teaching was of high quality. Also, studying here was free at the time, so applying to Lappeenranta seemed like the best option,” says Soumyajit.

It all started with a university project

Abhishek and Soumyajit have been working full-time in their Henkaus company since October 2019. The idea to start the company came from a project at LUT University. The options were to use an existing LUT patent or to come up with something of their own. The project resulted in a first viable product, a business plan and a strategy for the company.

“The university played a big role in us becoming entrepreneurs. The courses focused specifically on creating an entrepreneurial mindset. The environment is also great for entrepreneurship, as everyone knows each other in Lappeenranta,” says Soumyajit. 

Help despite the language barrier

Henkaus is a health technology company that creates contactless and wireless instruments for monitoring vital signs, such as heart rate and breathing. The entrepreneurs say they have received a lot of support from the City of Lappeenranta to set up the company.

“When we started, we first contacted Wirma. We didn’t speak Finnish very well at the time but, despite the language barrier, we were able to develop the business idea together with Wirma,” says Abhishek.

In addition to Wirma, the entrepreneurs also contacted Business Finland and Business Mill. Through Business Mill’s contacts, Abhishek and Soumyajit were able to secure start-up funding to support themselves for six months.

“The City of Lappeenranta has been very helpful in every way. Every party communicated with each other, which helped us a lot. It is easy for an entrepreneur to get help here,” says Soumyajit. The company’s long-term goal is to become known as a company that provides monitoring solutions for the healthcare industry. Future customers could be assisted living facilities, hospitals or anyone who wants to monitor their health.

Urban life and nature in balance

Leisure time is an important counterbalance to the everyday life of an entrepreneur, and Abhishek and Soumyajit often spend their weekends playing football at Sammonlahti sports field. Meeting friends and taking a sauna are also an integral part of the entrepreneurs’ leisure time. In summer in particular, there is a large number of opportunities for recreational activities.

“In Lappeenranta, the transition from urban to natural environment is seamless. When I leave my backyard and walk for 20 minutes, I’m in the middle of a forest. That’s one of the best things about Lappeenranta. Here you can find the perfect balance between city and nature,” says Soumyajit.
In addition to the bustling harbour, the entrepreneurs have been exploring the market and the local delicacy:

“I have been told that the vety meat pie is a speciality of Lappeenranta. It is served out of a cup, which I think is great. I don’t know who could refuse a vety and coffee,” Soumyajit laughs.

Sauna bathing and an atmosphere of trust

Abhishek and Soumyajit are interested in the Finnish sauna culture, but they did not yet understand its importance when they arrived in Finland.

“When we went to the sauna for the first time, it was only then that we realised that it is an essential part of the Finnish culture,” says Abhishek.

For the Indian-born Abhishek and Soumyajit, the lack of bureaucracy and trust in other people has been both surprising and welcome.

“The Nordic atmosphere of trust is clearly visible in Lappeenranta. It is refreshing that people trust each other so much. Someone is always there to help in Lappeenranta,” summarises Soumyajit. 



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