Once one of the world’s best badminton players, Swedish legend Pär-Gunnar Jönsson has put his badminton rackets on the shelf and is now slowly but...
Head-to-head with MATCHi's Chief Commercial Officer Helena Joelsson
BOHUSLÄN. At a small local padel venue, just a few kilometers from the family holiday home on the Swedish West Coast, we catch up with Helena Joelsson. Helena, who most recently comes from the parking intelligence company Inteleon, joined MATCHi as our new Chief Commercial Officer almost six months ago. We had a little chat with her to hear what she thinks of the journey so far and to get to know her even better.
From parking to padel
Born and raised in Mölndal, Helena knows Gothenburg like the back of her hand. Having spent countless hours in what she refers to as her second home – the swimming pool – Helena was very familiar with the sports facilities and organizations in and around Gothenburg even before joining MATCHi.
“Back in my swimming days, I sometimes practiced several times per day. Needless to say, I know what it’s like to be a part of something bigger than yourself and be in it to win it. It’s a special kind of passion that’s hard to explain but it’s a wonderful feeling. One of the great things about MATCHi is that we all want people to get a chance to explore and feel this kind of raw passion when it comes to racket sports”.
After exiting the pool once and for all, she stepped into the telecom industry where she spent many years before entering the start-up scene at Inteleon. After 3 years as CMO at the Gothenburg-based start-up, she was ready to take on new challenges and when the opportunity opened up at MATCHi it felt like a perfect fit.
“Before joining MATCHi, I worked a few years in different sales- and marketing positions within the telecom business, followed by three years in one of Sweden’s fastest-growing scale-ups. A factor that all companies I’ve worked for during the last couple of years have in common is that they all experienced rapid growth together with a changing market landscape. It’s a situation that is much similar to where MATCHi is today and it’s in this kind of work environment where I personally thrive and get the most satisfaction”, says Helena. Smiling, she also adds:
“Compared to parking, MATCHi exists in a very exciting environment where racket sports venues, enthusiasts, and athletes are interconnected and shape the market in unison. Take for example the massive growth in padel. The excitement of following this growth and knowing that we at MATCHi will be able to contribute to making it even bigger and visible to players all over the world really gets me going. Together with our network, we’re building an international company. All while at the same time keeping the love for the sport and the close relations with the venues. I think that’s why MATCHi is growing as fast as it is”.
Quickly adapting to change is key for success
When we asked her which key skills she brings with her into MATCHi, the answer was clear: Change management and keeping a clear vision: “I’ve learned a lot about leading teams in companies undergoing constant change, which I think benefits me now. I also understand the impact the ability to think bigger from the beginning can have on performance in companies moving from start-up to scale up-mode.”
Helena elaborates her thoughts by arguing that fast-growing companies are sometimes limited by their own capacity to think beyond today. “I’m trying to keep a mindset that will take us even further. One example is to always think about scalability in new initiatives, which saves both time and money further down the line”, she adds.
Just as the game is about to start and the sun lights up the court, we fire our last question: How good are you at padel – really? While playfully balancing the ball on her padel racket she cracks a smile and says: “When joining MATCHi, I had only played tennis and padel a few times before. So, I decided this was a good time to start increasing my time on the padel court. I guess I could best describe myself as a happy amateur at the moment but with an accelerating love for the sport I’m slowly but surely improving my game”.
And then, the game was on.