Area Sales Manager Clifford Pereira
Hi, I'm Clifford Pereira. I work as Genelec's Area Sales Manager for the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.
Like several of my colleagues, my life at Genelec started with one of the company's distributors, in my case at CMM Ltd in India. It's an environment in which you get deep knowledge of the products and develop a close relationship with Genelec's personnel. I had regular dealings with a couple of guys called Lars-Olof Janflod and Ari Varla, whom I started to get to know around the year 1995. Lars-Olof, who was Head of International Sales at that point, is now Genelec's Strategic Advisory Officer, and Ari, a hugely important loudspeaker systems designer, sadly passed away about fifteen years ago after a long and celebrated career. Though I left CMM Ltd in 1997 to join Electro-Voice, I kept in touch with Lars-Olof, and in the year 2000 when I desired another change of scenery, he offered me a position at Genelec - I've been happy here ever since!
If I trace my career back further, there's a very distinct influence from my father who introduced me to life as a technician through his own career and interests. At 94 years old, he's seen huge changes in the tech industry, especially in his own field of marine engineering. He can remember the shift in ship propulsion from steam engines to diesel engines and gas turbines, as he worked for decades moving from ship to ship providing technical support. His experience, especially with MAN B&W in Germany, primed me for my own international career in tech support, which later included sales. For many years, I've been a key figure in Genelec's worldwide efforts to teach clients and partners about loudspeaker interaction with various room spaces, providing knowledge that's essential for optimal results when installing and calibrating our systems. I've also trained countless technicians to service our technology and provided high-quality support directly to clients. Ever since my days at Electro-voice, which is based in the USA, I've been used to this international style of working. My home is my office, and all my travelling and correspondence with teams across the world feels very natural to me.
Although my employment is technically based in Iisalmi, Finland, I live and work in Bandra, Bombay, India, where I grew up. I'm a bachelor with my own place, and I'm joined in the same city by my brother, his family, and my father. Of course, I visit my brother and father regularly, however I have three sisters that live in Canada with their families, so it requires some special arrangements to see my whole family. Sadly, my mother passed away in 2018. I have travelled far and wide in the past, but in recent times the global pandemic has changed things, so most of my contact with clients and partners is through telephone, video calls, social media and email. In previous years, my days were spent visiting customers to demonstrate our loudspeaker systems and providing a lot of in-person training. The change to remote working has meant that calls and emails now flow continuously, so in some ways I'm busier than ever despite the lack of travelling.
Of course, my journeys over the years have often led me to Genelec's factory in Iisalmi. Over time I've seen Iisalmi change, especially from a visitor's point of view. I've noticed a growth in the locals' confidence with speaking English and the quality of their speech has become excellent and very helpful for those of us who rely on English to communicate in Finland. It's been great to play badminton with my colleagues from the factory during the summer - the perfect way to catch up, and one of my biggest hobbies! Once again, I have my father to thank for my interest in the sport. As a player himself, he used to take me along to watch the games when I was young. As I grew up, I trained hard and eventually reached a level where I could enter competitions. These days however, I've slowed down a bit as I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 40. I continue to play for fun and I've actively given back to the community by teaching local kids about the game.
When I'm not being sporty, I really enjoy music. Naturally, a lot of the people that work at Genelec are musicians and music lovers, so we often share that in common. I play guitar and piano myself, although recently I haven't played them as much as I'd like to, I fully intend to get back to them. I really appreciate the art of performing with instruments and the traditional way of recording songs with skilled musicians. For that reason, I'm a huge fan of soft rock from the 70s, 80s and 90s. I can think of so many great artists and songs from those decades, so I'd find it very hard to choose a favourite.
Genelec's working culture has impressed me a lot over the years. I especially enjoy the democratic way that we operate inside the company, where everyone at every level is available for discussion. That way of doing things makes decision making and general working life much easier and it creates minimal stress for us all. That style is intrinsically linked to the company's late founder Ilpo Martikainen, whom I remember very fondly. I used to have a ritual of delivering a fresh box of fruit to Ilpo during my summer travels. He loved Indian Alphonso mangoes, so it was a pleasure to bring him some, and if I couldn't deliver them in person then I'd ask the Genelec team at one of our international exhibitions to deliver them to him when they got back to Finland. The name 'Alphonso' reminds me of the history of Bombay, one that is largely influenced by the Portuguese who settled here centuries ago. I encourage everyone to learn more about the diverse cultural history of India's many states and union territories.
The future of India and the wider world is something I consider as part of my work. For me, environmental issues are extremely important, and I want future generations to enjoy a healthy planet. I'm happy that Genelec has had a responsible approach to the environment since its earliest days, and I'm proud to be a part of that good work. Personally, I'd say the core of sustainability is minimising the waste and pollution produced by our business through the efficient use of energy and materials, and ensuring we factor the environment into all our decision making.
The growth of Genelec in my local area and the international areas I've overseen has been amazing to watch. At times, I've been the only tech guy providing support to these markets, so I feel a great sense of pride in my work, and I'm pleased with what I've helped to build. If I focus just on the situation in India, our customers have developed a genuine love for Genelec loudspeakers, and they adore the brand, which they feel is a symbol of performance and quality. Indian studios have really embraced Genelec monitors across the board, considering them to be the audio industry's standard reference. In recent years, we've seen a significant rise in interest from audio enthusiasts in India who've been impressed by Genelec loudspeakers at home. Positive words have spread from our satisfied customers, and it's meant that our products have found their way into the homes of Indian business owners, sports stars, and famous personalities from Indian radio, TV, film and music. Of course, it doesn't stop there as Genelec's doors are open to every sound engineer, musician or lover of music, so, welcome!
Greetings from a colleague:
Clifford visited the factory regularly before the pandemic, often several times a year. During his visits, I've enjoyed meeting Clifford after work, and he's joined my family a few times for dinner. Our discussions are great! The topics can be very wide-ranging, for instance motorcycles, analog electronics, world politics and the audio industry in general. Luckily, we've been able to keep our discussions going during the pandemic by exchanging WhatsApp messages.
One reason why I get along so well with Clifford is that we both have very clear ideas about things, and we're not shy to express them to others. Personally, I feel that's a very valuable kind of honesty. We've had a lot of adventures together while travelling for Genelec's distributor training events in the Middle East, and we've enjoyed some of the strangest foods you can imagine! Clifford is the best person you can have by your side in a tense business meeting, he knows his facts and he never gives up!
Your colleague, Markus Kahelin