Genelec – Over Four Decades In Search of The Most Truthful Sound
More than 40 years ago, in spring 1976, Juhani Borenius, an acoustician at the Finnish Broadcast Company YLE, asked Ilpo Martikainen and Topi Partanen if they could design and produce a reliable, high quality active monitor for the technical and artistic evaluation of radio programs. For the two old friends, for whom sound technology was a passion, this question represented the first step on a new life path. They grabbed the opportunity without hesitation, and soon Sami Muilu and Ritva Leinonen, the current Chairman of the Board, had also joined the core team.
The key factor in this journey of exploration was the attitude of this core team. They had an internal fire and faith, the will to realize their dreams. With the fairy-tale-like serendipity of their coming together, the first words were written in the story of Genelec. They didn’t wait for some grand vision to appear, they simply rolled up their sleeves and began working.
The results of that hard work soon proved promising enough to consider commercializing their talents - and so a company was founded. When promise of financial reward was uncertain, they simply trusted in their own faith, strength and abilities, putting their homes and lives at stake.
Their belief in the path that they had chosen was reinforced by a banker whose confidence in them was absolute – he believed in Genelec, and so a loan was granted. Still, the lack of resources focused the minds of the founders. They knew they could not succeed at everything, so instead focused their energies on attaining true excellence and deep expertise in one field, achieved through strength of character and a long-term perspective. They overcame the trials and insecurities of those early years and despite the challenges, they succeeded. Through it all they were buoyed by the joy of discovery. It is a state of mind most beautifully described by physicist and Nobel laureate, Marie Curie: “A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician, he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale”.
These past 40 years represent an astonishing contribution of work now inextricable from the history of sound reproduction, music and the broader world of audio. As a happy consequence, it also inspired the creation of a company and a unique international brand whose story is itself fascinating.
On this journey, we have learned that survival forces you to swim upstream or simply wander in the right direction, filled with curiosity and creativity. By doing things in our own way and acting in accordance with our beliefs, we have been able to see the world differently. We have found unique solutions, the best in the world, to the challenges that our users face. While we have explored the technology and its potential, we have learned the most from our customers – their problems and their dreams. The deep understanding, genuine respect and empathy that we feel towards our customers has been at the heart of our business. Over time, the successes of this exciting journey have honed our own humility to become the jewel of our business philosophy.
The core business of our company is very niche within highly specialized segments. In addition to a deep understanding of the company’s business environment, success in international markets is, above all, about building trust and operating as part of a long-term cooperative network of partners. We are well aware that we could not have succeeded in our endeavours without the many people who help us each day, from transforming raw materials into products to then bringing them to our users around the world. Suppliers, distributors, resellers, peers, decision-makers, society partners and decision-makers, users, and many other people have all made it possible for us to test our own limits and grow as people and professionals. Everyone’s effort has been meaningful.
At the same time, it is gratifying to realize how many thousands of people within the company and our network of partners have experienced a sense of personal appreciation for having the opportunity, earned by their own efforts, to work and make a living, and to make themselves and their loved ones happy. In addition, and as the result of such an amazing journey, countless people around the world have been able to experience the magic of listening to truthful sound. Fulfilling their dream has also made our life meaningful.
We are very grateful for this opportunity and for the trust that our customers place in us.
The experiences that we give to people with our everyday actions in our operations and our products are the only sustainable measure of our success. The world will not change much in this respect. I would like to warmly thank every colleague – former and present – for their wonderful work and commitment. Without them, this achievement would not have been possible. I also wish to thank their families.
We are delighted and honoured by such a wonderful recognition - Company Of The Year by PSNE. This award belongs to all the passionate audio professionals, business partners and audio societies who have inspired us to continuously push the boundaries and bring new innovations to the audio industry during the last four decades. It is also a tribute to the incredible Genelec team, and I am both proud and extremely grateful for their commitment to making our life more meaningful through their limitless imagination and hard work.
We warmly thank all those who have helped us in creating such a wonderful fairy-tale!
"But the extinct volcanoes can wake up," interrupted the little prince…"Whether volcanoes are extinct or active comes down to the same thing for us," said the geographer. "For us what counts is the mountain. That doesn't change.”
Not without love!