Interview with Mintra’s CEO Kevin Short


CEO Kevin Short

For those who have not previously heard of Mintra, can you tell us a little more about your business, what you do, and which markets you address?

Mintra is a Norwegian company founded in 1996 and are a combination of several acquisitions. Our company have two products for digital learning and human capital management, where we help our customers develop and deploy their workforce to ensure they are safe, compliant with legislation and as efficient as they can be. The market we focus on are the safety-critical industries, with a special focus on the maritime- and energy sector. We have around 200 employees and have grown both organically and through acquisitions historically. The last acquisition was Seably, a Swedish maritime e-learning company, which was completed in the end of August.

Can you tell us a little more about your digital learning platform, the advantages of it and how the platform compares to competitors with other solutions?

Our platform is an intuitive immersive platform, designed for both administrators of enterprise accounts, that can ensure that their training matrices are complete, and that the level of competence is both tracked and improved. We also have a light system on our platform, which allows for smaller companies to join and get immersed to the world of e-learning. Our platform is focused to address the maritime- and energy sector.

We are a e-learning company, but we know that our customers require blended training, some training must be completed face to face. In our platform we have a marketplace which offers 60+ other providers of training, both physical and digital. This allows for our customers to get all their training needs in one place at the same time as our suppliers have access to our 4000+ customers. We provide the technology for this marketplace to happen and therefore it gives us a unique view on training trends, both from the suppliers and the customers perspective. The advantage of our platform is that it is agnostic, which means that we can bring our competitors’ products into our platform, trying to always serve the customer, making it as easy as possible to have the training and competency base information, in one space. Our human capital management system is connected to our e-learning platform, which also includes a competency module, which makes it possible for customers to track their employee’s competency. The customers can when they have identified gaps in the competency module use the e-learning platform to improve the level of competency. This connection between our systems gives us a strong position against our competitors.

What do you see as the benefit of focusing on the safety-critical industry? Do you see this industry having a larger need of digital learning and competence management systems?

The safety-critical industry is important and vital. We try to make sure that people don’t harm themselves, harm the assets or stop the production. It is critical that people have a level of competence to complete their tasks. Most of our revenue is derived from the compliance-based courses which are critical for the successful and safe operation of the individual or function that they are in. The nature of the industry that we focus on leads to the requirement for constant demonstration of competence, therefore consistent learning is important. In the safety-critical industry there are standards and accreditations from independent governing bodies, both in the maritime- and energy sector, which we do everything we can to make sure that our courses, and our platforms, are certified by these bodies. This is important so that our customers can have the comfort that when they are consuming our courses, it complies with international standards that are appropriate to their function. In the safety-critical industry, courses are not only a nice to have, they are a must have, in order to complete the tasks in a safe and effective manner. 

During H1-23 Mintra released 400 new courses, what where your primary focus in launching and how has the response, as well as the result, been? What is your expansion strategy going forward and could you elaborate regarding the process of creating courses?

For us the most important is to have the most relevant library, the right courses for our customers to be successful. The 400 courses that were released through our platform was done through 3 ways. It could be customers who are requesting us for a new course about a new subject, which we then create and distribute to our users. The second way could be that legislations or certifications change which requires us to create and update courses. The third way could be a tailor-made course that a customer is requesting.

At Mintra we have an innovation team that looks at the way the market is moving to make sure that our platform covers the needs of our users. Going forward we see that security of supply is becoming more important, we see a lot of investments in energy for security and the renewable energy market is growing fast. Inside these industries we see a learning change towards digital learning, because it´s more efficient and can be more effective for users. Going forward we must make sure that we offer the right courses so that the customers get the relevant information, and make sure the courses are legislative compliant and make them as immersive as we can. In the industries we are covering we see that the owners of those industries are looking for a wider labor pool as there is a skill shortage in e.g. seafarer. They are trying to bring new people to the companies where the new recruitments are generally younger people. The learning behaviors of the younger generation are slightly different, and they are more used to technology, which requires us to make sure that the technology is as immersive and intuitive as possible. We must be vigilant of what our customers want, what technologies are available and what the new learner wants. In our company we have a learner first team, we must think about what we need to do in order make sure that the transferable skill or knowledge happens, because it´s safety critical.

In 3 years, where do you see Mintra then?

We see ourselves as the number one player, the number one provider of learning technology to the maritime and energy industry on a global scale.

Could you name three reasons as to why Mintra is a good investment today?

Firstly, the markets that we focus on, both the maritime and energy are growing markets, because of the surety of supply and the importance of maritime.

Secondly, is the impact of what we do. We are focused on ESG, we digitalize, thus the companies can save cost and time of travel whilst reducing their carbon footprint. We are a very relevant company in accordance to climate change, we know that using our platform will help customers reach their climate goals.

Thirdly, if we are successful in reaching our goal as the number one global provider of learning technology in energy and maritime, we can pivot into next spaces. If we can demonstrate that we have the understanding, technology and the capability to serve these industries, we don’t see any reason why we would not be able to expand to other safety-critical industries.