Story of PasiKuikka

Hello there!

My name is Tomi Kuikka and I am the CEO of PasiKuikka. I will tell you my business story here.

I wasn’t really that into studying after finishing primary school. I went through construction engineering basic studies, but dropped out of school when I got a job from a balcony glass factory. I worked there for 3 years, and I also did my military service during that time. Afterwards I eventually got through upper secondary school with a focus on business and accounting in 1997. (Thanks to Marianne!)

From 1997 to 2000 I worked in various occupations as an AC installer, vacuum cleaner driver, water driller and beer truck driver. In summer 2000 I found myself working at Säkkiväline Oy, with a job description of maintaining mostly construction site toilets, meaning the emptying and washing of the loos. The job itself was very autonomous, which was a fit for me for some reason.

A few years went by in the job, and after that I got a transfer to another division and to a process manager’s position. My first task was to accept orders and distribute them to the drivers. I received the same treatment as I had gotten at school, but as it was nothing new to me I quickly got over it. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

After about four years of working in that position, I experienced a life-changing crisis in my own health. After a month of sick leave, it felt difficult for me to return to the same position as I had been in. My superiors Jouni and Jaakko approved my plea for changing my job description, and so I found myself being an actual salesman! This was a job that I had no clue of, but luckily sales processes take some time to get to the handshake. I got some accounts, whose orders I passed on to the production. This position made me realize how little manual laborers actually worked, and for how little a customer is ready to pay significant amounts of money for.

After a few months I came to realize that I wasn’t going to become a real sales cannon. If I really had to sell something, I might as well do it under my own company. I thought that I could do the actual labor better than the drivers we had back then (Go Kössi and Pete!). My salesman’s career lasted for 10 months in total, of which about half I spent designing my own company. On March 17 in 2007 we had a lunch at MacDonald’s in Tammisto with my pals J&J, after which we had a short discussion that led to my contract termination at Lassila & Tikanoja.

Starting my own company

After a few days, I registered the business name Sewerex. With the help of the start-up money and the loan granted by Nordea, I got started. The operation started in the spring and the initial tasks included cleaning and describing the drains. After the difficulties at the beginning, things started to go well, “the work teaches the laborer”, as Erkki said. In the summer, the drainage works were fine, but in the winter it was more difficult.

Very soon I noticed that cleaning and photographing was not enough, I had to be prepared to do repair work as well. We started to provide cured-in-place pipings after training period in Germany at the end of 2008. In summer 2009 we already had noteworthy accounts. The operation developed well and there was a demand for it. Other partners also joined.

However, it was hard to keep business going. Among other things, scheduling and getting a competent workforce eventually led to the fact that I wanted to completely change the industry. There are an insane number of stages in Sewerex’s time. It wasn’t always praised, but anyway I got a little money before leaving.

Then came PasiKuikka

PasiKuikka’s story begins with the opening paragraph. As I told, working with toilets suited me well. Since running Sewerex was a pain, I planned to change the entire industry. I had already bought the first 10 toilets in 2010. However, in the midst of the rush, the toilet business was put on the back for many years. I even tried to sell the toilets I bought, because I felt that the business was not leading anywhere. Fortunately, Lassila & Tikanoja didn’t buy them, good job Mika!

In the toilet business, the opponent was Bajamaja – a common name for the public, a swear word for the competitor. I was wondering what would be a good name for a toilet company – a completely exceptional name, if you’re trying to enter the same market as Bajamaja, a listed company brand. The breakthrough happened in the spring of 2011. Once I was in the shower and thought about the name again. Somehow I remembered the bullying at school. The bullies would shout spoonerisms of my name, Tomi Kuikka, and then it flashed… Pasi Kuikka (a mix of another Finnish man’s name and my surname) with switched first morphemes on each word would make up a word in Finnish meaning a place to pee. That was it! The shower would have to wait as I sprinted to my computer and reserved the domain

It took another couple of years before I got the business up and running. In the spring of 2013, the website was opened. The toilets acquired through the corporate reorganization of Sewerex had gone, so in the first summer we didn’t have anything to sell. Then for the 2014 season we got enought toilet units so that we could get up to speed a bit. At that time there were about 30 units.

The beginning seemed easy. I managed construction sites and small events. Little by little, the business started to grow and we got with bigger events as well. The largest event has been Suviseurat where we delivered 620 toilet units. Later we’ve had other large projects as well, for example the Espoo metro. Since 2013, there have always been toilets in the tunnels, several dozen in the second phase. I believe that every one of Finland’s big construction companies has used our service at some point. Where we started with ten toilets, now there are 1,400 units.

The future looks bright and the goal is to become the number one in the industry in the capital region. New models are coming, such as a retro model for wedding guests. The entire industry will also change when vacuum toilets arrive in Finland.

At the end, I would like to send my greetings: PasiKuikka will bring a clean toilet to the place, so when you do your business there, behave as if you were at home, and the next one will have humane conditions as well.

We deliver clean and functional sanitary facilities throughout the Uusimaa region!