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David Klint

Meet David Klint - Founder of Tough Viking and Le Pacte and MSc alum. In May 2022, David became the 35th Swede ever to summit Mount Everest and perhaps the first SSE alum? What are the similarities between SSE and Mount Everest? What effect have athletics had on David's career? Read more below to find out!

Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis.

I am the founder and CEO of the companies Le Pacte and Tough Viking. Le Pacte is one of Sweden’s largest and most rewarded Brand Experience agencies (115 MSEK) and Tough Viking is the Nordic's first-launched and one of the largest running races (20 MSEK, 18.000 participants). My day-to-day work consists of meeting clients, coaching colleagues, and following up on our business and trying to find new possibilities and improvement ideas. 

During the pasy two years, I have also developed a new interest: high altitude mountaineering. I succeeded in summitting Mount Everest the 15th of May 2022. As far as I know as the first SSE student ever.


What excites you about your work? Where do you think your field is going in the next 5-10 years?

I have run my own businesses since 2003. To create, develop and maximize the potential of those companies is what I am passionate about and what drives me. I also want to create the best possible work place for my +50 full time employees. Brand Experience is a people- and trust-business, and I am passionate about taking things to the next level, for our clients and our employees.

The field I work in is going to evolve and become even more important. More and more companies want to diversify themselves and create experiences and memories that last.  More companies realize the potential in brand-building by experience through live interaction rather than traditional advertising and marketing. It's the way forward, especially when attracting younger target groups.


How did you become involved in mountaineering?

I have always been climbing. For me as a person it feels natural to take everything I do as far as I can and to finish what I start. Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world (and SSE is the highest ranked business school in Sweden). Mountaineering in itself demands full focus, physical and mental strength and stamina.


Having climbed Mount Everest in May 2022, what were the biggest challenges? What type of grit is necessary to be able to do that?

The physical challenge for the 45-day expedition was intense, but for me the waiting game for the climbing and all the external non-controllable factors, such as altitude sickness, other viruses, weather conditions etc., was the hardest part.

To do this you need to know why you want to summit and you need to be truly committed over a long period of time. There are no rooms for mistake on the mountain.


How have athletics affected your professional career (or vice versa)?

I have done physical training and trained hard all my life. It is big part of how I live my life. The training part of my life led me to the mountains and to create one of my companies, Tough Viking.

Training also makes me feel on top, concentrated and mission-focused. If I miss training some days I feel like another, not-as-good, person. It is also a fun way to do things together with your family or with friends.


What was so appealing about studying at SSE when you were considering where to study?

For me it was an easy choice since it was the top business school in Sweden. The location in central Stockholm is also fantastic, as well as the opportunities to study abroad at other top business schools. To meet and study together with highly committed students also fascinated me.  


How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to the career journey you have embarked on? What lessons did you learn at SSE that could be applied to mountaineering?

I started as management consultant at Cap Gemini and in parallel to this I started my own businesses. At SSE, you have to work hard and are surrounded by high achievers. This is the same for high altitude mountaineering. Base line at SSE and Mount Everest is to give your best at all given times.


Following your time studying, do you have any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with our current students?

Try to find your own path, find what triggers you and what you enjoy. You will have higher probability of success if you do something you like. For me the freedom of running your own business is also a cornerstone, it is both fun and rewarding, even though it is of course hard sometimes and maybe not perceived as such a safe choice as being an employee somewhere. I hope many SSE students today look at the option to become entrepreneurs and to create their own futures and develop something new or improve the world we live in.


What are three words that sum up your time at SSE?

Drive, commitment and fun.