Sales and Export Specialist Ismo Katainen

Hi, I'm Ismo Katainen, and I work as Sales and Export Specialist at Genelec.

It was in the autumn of 1998 that I first came to Genelec. I worked a five-week internship here while studying at vocational school. Several others in my class applied for the place, yet, luckily, I was the one chosen by then Genelec Production Manager, Väinö Iso-Markku. I remember my first job was to assemble and test our 1030A loudspeakers.

I immediately liked the atmosphere and working style at Genelec, so I came back to work every summer between studies and my Finnish Army conscription. Then, in 2002, I accepted a permanent role here. During the first ten years, I was tasked with assembling our 7000 Series subwoofers, I then spent five years in dispatch and the next three as a demo stock operator. I've now been working around three years in our logistics team. When I first started at the company, there were only about 70 staff. When I turned up in the morning, I could see from the parked cars who had arrived already. Now, the team has grown so much that it's hard to know everyone's names, let alone spot their cars in the car park.

These days, during an average shift, I receive sales orders, enter orders into our system, respond to delivery time enquiries, get loudspeaker shipments on the road – creating all kinds of logistical solutions for our customers. I've always had a keen interest in logistics, and our team does the work with a great spirit, so it's fantastic to be a part of it.

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What I like most about my job is the versatility and the importance of solving customer problems quickly, which is something I enjoy doing. Over the years, many customers have become my acquaintances via e-mail. I have known a significant number of them for many years, and it's a pleasure to do business with them. All our importers in Western Europe and dealers in Sweden fall under my responsibility.

In my work, I often get satisfaction from simple everyday successes or a nice coffee with colleagues, but there's also been a lot of special and memorable moments over the course of my career. One that sticks in my mind is the Christmas party we had in Helsinki in 2016, which I'll never forget!

I live in Iisalmi, near to the Genelec factory. My partner and I have an apartment in an around-100-year-old wooden building. My family is small, since I have no children or siblings and both my parents have passed. Luckily, I have a lot of good friends and fine colleagues surrounding me in my life. My mother, who died last summer, was always very proud of my job at Genelec. Some years ago, she came by car to pick me up from work. She was left very impressed by the way our staff had happily greeted her as they left work, even though they didn't know her. Afterwards, she often mentioned that "there are few workplaces where the managers leave with such a polite greeting for strangers".

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In my free time, I do quite a lot of activities, including ice hole bathing, mountain biking, floorball, skiing, gym classes and travelling. Long-distance biking trips are always fun to plan. Last summer, I cycled my longest trip so far – from Finnish Lapland to Helsinki. Cycling is a great way to fuse travel and exercise, and the scenery is always more memorable by bike than when you're looking out of a car window. It's also a fantastic way to relax and gather your thoughts. For a long time, I've been planning a special bike trip to Southeast Asia, and it's now finally going to happen in February. For that, I'll take a four-month leave from work. The plan is to cycle at least in Thailand and Cambodia, possibly also Vietnam. I've always been fascinated by covering long distances on my own, whether it's by bike, skiing or even on foot. With this upcoming trip to Asia, one of my biggest dreams will become a reality.

As I have travelled around the world, I've seen many problems caused by climate change, and I feel it's time for everyone to take a certain level of responsibility for sustainable development, according to their own capabilities. Politicians and companies clearly have a great responsibility in this matter. Fortunately, at Genelec, we've been addressing these issues with a great deal of dedication for a long time already, and this has become part of our daily work.

At home, we avoid consumption wherever possible. All our waste is recycled, I always travel short distances on foot or bicycle, I take longer domestic trips using the train, and I don't even own a car. Nowadays we see bad news from all over the world every day, but I see also positive developments and good things happening all the time in the bigger picture, so I feel like it's good for everyone to remain open to that also.

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Greetings from a colleague

Ismo is a great colleague. He provides help whenever it's needed and is always willing to learn something new – it’s such a great pleasure to work with him! Ismo is also a great example of how we can maintain a perfectly harmonious relationship between work and personal life. Thank you for always throwing me your ideas about how to relax when I've struggled with keeping that balance myself. I’m so thankful and beyond proud of knowing you and having you as my colleague.

Your colleague, Meiqi Chen