Bespoke solutions for global business




Samarkand Capital is a boutique international business development and advisory firm focused on emerging markets. Our founders have successfully advised over 100 companies to enter and grow in emerging markets in Africa, The Middle East and CIS Countries.

In addition Samarkand Capital advises early stage start-up companies and delivers concrete results for their international growth, fundraising, sales and business development.

Why Samarkand Capital

  • No nonsense market research reports but result-orientated hands-on approach and focus on sales
  • Excellent results and customer satisfaction
  • Over 100 satisfied clients and successfully delivered market entries
  • Strong experience in the emerging markets since 2004
  • Reliable partners in all the key markets
  • High-level personal contact network
  • Deep understanding of different business cultures and practices
  • Experience in working with start-ups to large multinational corporations


Kristian Ylinen, CEO


Kristian has an extensive experience in business development for European companies in emerging markets. He has worked in Africa, The Middle East and CIS countries for the last 20 years.


During his career Kristian has advised over 100 companies in their fundraising, emerging market strategy and international business development.


He has a vast contact network to key business leaders, politicians and government officials in the developing world.


Kristian has served on the board of several privately held companies and is the former chairman of Finnish-African Trade Association (FATA) and a former board member of European Chamber of Commerce for Africa and the Mediterranean (EBCAM).

Clinton Pierce, VP Africa


Clinton has been in the hi-tech telecoms field for over twenty-five years and has a wealth of experience in many diverse telecom projects and technologies, including RF, Microwave, VAS, OSS/BSS, GSM, VSAT and Fibre Optics.

He has been operating in the African business environment for the last fifteen years and has been involved in many ICT, energy and service business development projects and has established excellent contacts in many African countries including Zambia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar and Kenya.

He travels extensively throughout the African continent and is experienced in the challenges of developing & creating business opportunities as well as managing accounts & projects in the region.

Jukka Laikari, VP PR & Communications


Jukka is a technology, marketing and PR professional with over 20 years of experience of working internationally.

He has been working in 10 European countries and with a broad range of industries.

Jukka´s core comptences are limited to solving complex communication challenges and creating the perfect matches between Western companies and the very best Eastern European counterparts.

His geographical expertise covers Eastern Europe in general and Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries in particular.

Markku Tanninen, Senior Advisor


Markku is an investment banker with over 40 years of experience from various management positions and board memberships in in the apparel and retail business in Scandinavia and Central Europe.


During the last 25 years Markku has been advising companies as an investment banker in Singapore and Switzerland.


Markku´s core competence is complex financial transactions in international trade and real estate sectors and geographical coverage includes Scandinavia, Europe, Russia and Far East Asia.

Matti Mäkinen, Senior Advisor


Matti has over 3 decades of experience of international business development and running day-to-day operations in demanding markets such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia and the Gulf Region.


During his career Matti has successfully advised numerous companies in their strategic planning, market entry, business development and operations management activities in telecom, technology and building industries.


Matti´s core competence is in the deep understanding of customer needs and extensive personal contact network in the target markets. He has also served as an advisory board member to several emerging market ventures.

Sari Brandt, Sales Associate


Sari is a very experienced b-to-b sales executive having a long-standing experience in customer interaction.