The Lendo journey – “We have tried, failed and succeeded”

After travelling the world while competing in ballroom dancing, Mikael Leppänen started working in Lendo, Finland. A couple of years and several different roles later, an opportunity for his role opened up in Portugal. As the Head of Product, Mikael strives to make the products even better, and says that the culture is one of the main reasons why he enjoys his time at Lendo so much.

Hi Mikael Leppänen, Head of Product in Lendo Portugal, tell us about your background and what you work with.
I am a 32 years old sports enthusiast who started doing sports before learning to walk. This shaped me to be a very competitive personality. I have travelled the world while competing in ballroom dancing. After high school I was wondering what I wanted to do with my life and natural path was to continue within the sports and ended up graduating as a physiotherapist. Right after graduation I realised it wasn’t for me and had to do some soul-searching to understand my interests. Soon after, it was crystal clear I was interested in different areas in business, finance and data. I ended up studying finance as my major meanwhile I found this interesting opportunity to work at Lendo in Finland. 

Tell us about your Lendo journey; you previously worked in Lendo, Finland and then moved to Lendo, Portugal?
I have worked in several different roles at Lendo since 2015 such as a Customer Service Agent, a Customer Service Team Lead and as a Product Manager. A really interesting opportunity turned out in Portugal for my role. This was a great opportunity both to expand my knowledge on different products and broaden my horizon. I joined the team this year in January and it’s been very exciting to learn about new products.

What does the team in Portugal look like? Which roles do you work with the most?
We have such a great team in Portugal and I’m surrounded by amazing people; give or take 40 total. It’s very difficult to say who I work closest with because we have a very strong team who collaborates closely. If I would mention a few names I would say that the CTO and Data Science Lead are my daily go-to-persons who help me everyday to resolve the product challenges and together we shape the product to be the best in the market. You might think that by knowing the Finnish product you wouldn’t learn anything new in this private loan sector. I couldn’t be more wrong. Our Head of Credit has been extremely helpful and guided me through to learn all these new market specific aspects and new nuances with the bank partners. 

What is the most interesting feature you are currently working on?
I would say our energy vertical and building a new feature in that vertical has been an extremely interesting learning curve for me. Let’s call the feature a bill upload feature where customers need to upload their energy bill in order for us to generate the saving results and calculate estimates based on customer data with machine learning. 

That said, I’m really looking forward to making our products even better to help even more customers. 

How would you describe the work culture in Lendo?
I believe this is one of the main reasons why I have enjoyed my time so much working at Lendo; the culture. To build a culture is a long process and requires everyone to participate in this joint mission. One of our core values at Lendo, “Win as a Team”, is an important factor to build a strong and solid culture where everyone is equal, everyone is being seen and heard and where help is always out there whoever needs it. 

I started my Lendo journey when Lendo had only a handful of employees and we have outgrown a company operating in several markets with almost 300 employees. We have tried and failed. We have tried and succeeded. We have always done this as one team by embracing the fact that we have a one joint goal.