Get to know Norman; the versatile and energetic CEO at Singleton

Kadri Kasterpalu
Kadri Kasterpalu
Published: 25.06.2021

Norman is one of the founders of Singleton and the one always keeping an eye out for the “people part” of things.

“The people are the greatest asset a company has so it is no small job taking care of them. But that is only one part of being the CEO of Singleton. I also worry about money so others don't have to and dream about the future so the others can pitch in and we can make big plans together.”

Norman has studied environmental management and law at the University of Tartu. He has worked as an account manager at a bank; as a product, connectivity, and key account manager at Fortumo, and as an analyst for Nortal. But then: Singleton was born!

Norman enjoying the artsy atmosphere of Singleton’s Tartu office

What are your primary responsibilities at Singleton and what does your day-to-day look like?

I am the people person at Singleton. When it comes to the people who work here as well as concerning our existing and potential clients.

We have always aimed towards creating a well-functioning team that consists of people who are different in skills and knowledge but who have the same vibe. I think we have managed that well so far and try to keep an eye on the happiness of those people every day.

I try to offer my experience and help to our tech leads and project managers when it comes to interacting with clients. So that it would always be a “win-win-win” situation at the end of the day - for the clients, the client's clients, and for Singleton as well.

Keeping an eye on the future, making plans for expanding to new markets, and having a concrete long-term plan for Singleton is also something I'm very passionate about.

What’s been the most memorable experience during your tenure so far at the company?

This whole thing has been quite a ride actually. Looking back on the first three years then I´m really amazed and proud that we didn't give up and pulled through. We literally had nothing. No connections, no money, no recommendations...and now we are here!

What advice do you have for prospective Singleton Group candidates?

We value the eagerness to learn, the courage to take responsibility, and to step a little out of your comfort zone every day. Be who you are but challenge yourself.

Potential candidates who fail at applying for a position at Singleton are always the ones who try to be someone they are really not - whether as a person or in their professional capacity. But it always comes out eventually so there's no point.

All of us at Singleton have a certain “twist” but in a good way. We vibe well together and keeping that going is essential. So the best candidates can be very versatile but have to connect with that Singleton vibe.

What is on your wishlist for the next 5 years with Singleton?

We always wanted to build a company that we ourselves would want to work at. A company where everything can be said out loud and honestly. A company that consists of people who are interesting to talk to on subjects other than software development as well.

Right now we have succeeded in that and it is the most important thing to keep going while we grow.

We have ambitious growth plans and dreams but we try to keep in mind the original idea and vibe of Singleton. And that's not just for the next 5 years.

Norman and the other vibrant Singleton people planning for the future and discussing ideas

How do you spend your time outside of the office?

Luckily in Estonia, we have four seasons and I have managed to find a captivating hobby for all of them.

During the winter months, I try to go downhill skiing as much as possible. This year unfortunately the fun was cut short due to a fall that broke my shoulder in multiple places.

Summer is for sailing. As much as possible. And occasional kite-surfing as well.

And then there is painting, playing some instruments, and doing all sorts of things outside. Actually, I have a whole list of hobbies I still want to try out: bouldering, building ship models inside of bottles, motocross... .the list is endless, to be honest.

I have two kids who I spend time with as much as possible and try to engage them in my hobbies.

The whole family wins from one hobby in particular: cooking! That is something I am very passionate about! And frankly - I'm quite good at it as well!

How do you define success in life?

That's a good question. I guess success is if you manage to live a long and healthy life together with the people who are important and close to you.

And also if you manage to achieve a point in your life where you have enough time to do the things you really like: travel, sail, ski, cook, etc.

What is the next life milestone you want to achieve?

I want to build a summer cottage on the island of Saaremaa. It's a big project that takes time and resources but I'm sure it'll become a reality in the near future.

Also, a bigger sailing yacht is a true dream of mine. A kind that would easily accommodate the whole family for longer trips.

When are you the happiest?

When I can combine my hobbies and my family life.

For example, going sailing with my wife and kids. Everyone who is most important to me is with me, I don't have to think about any obligations and I can do what I love - it's the best!

Norman enjoying a sunny day on his yacht with his daughter

What is the best vacation you’ve been to?

Sometimes the best vacation is just staying at home, fixing something I've been meaning to fix for a long time, or building something with my own hands.

Other times the best vacation is when I can actively practice one of my hobbies. Like sailing on the Mediterranean.

If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

Actually, I never think that I'd like to be someone else. I'd rather be the best version of myself. I like people who are passionate about what they do and I am that.

But if I had to pick someone then maybe I'd like to be Salvador Dali for a day. It could be quite interesting to experience the mind of someone who is able to create the kind of art that he did.

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Oh...I have so-so-so many foods that I like. Some are very traditional (like tuna pasta) but I also like to experiment and try all sorts of weird things (bugs, plants, frogs - you name it).

But if I had to pick one meal that I like but that I can also imagine eating for the rest of my life then maybe a classic Caprese salad (with high-quality mozzarella of course) would be it.

If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?

I am very interested in different great discoveries. For example the discovery of the South Pole. Or the North Pole. Or the first conquering of Everest.

But what I would really like to experience first hand is the era between WWI and WWII in Europe. It is very captivating for me to imagine the cultural scene of that time - what went on, how people lived their lives, how different artists created their masterpieces etc.

I guess one day in that era wouldn't be enough to get the hang of it. Maybe a month instead?

This was Norman with his wide array of hobbies and an enviable amount of enthusiasm for life and business. Get to know more of the great people at Singleton!

If you would like to ask Norman about his job at Singleton or meet any of the other team members, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Let's work together

You made it this far! Thank you for reading this article. We hope you found it useful. Please feel free to share it with your peers if you feel like supporting us.

Work with us See Singleton Group Profile