Who are you?
I am Kenjiro Suzuki and I work as Brand Manager for Gitzo which is Vitec’s premium brand of photographic tripods and heads. My hobbies include baseball, traveling and cooking. I joined Vitec in May 2008 as part of Manfrotto Distribution in Japan and have been in my current position in Italy since November 2012.
What do you do at Vitec?
In my job I plan and market new tripod products for the Gitzo brand. I create the initial product plan and then follow through the whole development and marketing phases. The Gitzo brand has 95 years of history, so it is important for me to keep the identity of the brand and listen to both the expert users and my experienced colleagues.
Why did you join Vitec?
I decided to join Vitec’s distribution arm in Japan after working for a large Japanese corporation, I wanted to work for a smaller more dynamic company and most importantly to enjoy my work. As soon as I started my role at Vitec I was excited by working with global brands with long histories and heritage. One of the challenges of my new role was to expand sales in a mature market with well-established Japanese brands; thanks to our innovative, high quality products and with help from energetic colleagues I was able to grow sales and develop myself as a marketer. One of my successful projects was a trade-in promotion; my German colleague shared with me her experience of a similar project, my Italian colleague helped me to arrange a professional photographer to endorse the product and my well-experienced Japanese colleagues gave me advice on how to sell to the Japanese market. This is one example how Vitec works as a global team across multiple companies.
What development have you had at Vitec?
I have been given the opportunity to experience many brands including Gitzo, Manfrotto, Kata and National Geographic and to manage many roles from new product introduction, store displays and educational seminars. Recently I was given the chance to further develop my skills via working in Italy where Gitzo products are developed, manufactured and marketed. I was nervous about moving to a new country but working with my new colleagues in Italy was much easier than I anticipated as they are very supportive and helpful.
How would you describe the Vitec culture?
I feel that the culture of Vitec has a nice blend of old and new. Many of our brands, product lines and people have longer histories than Vitec itself, it is important to keep this identity and for our people to maintain long-term relationships with external partners and users. Alongside this we are evolving and changing in a positive way, which is not always easy in a growing company.
Now that I work in Italy, in the Imaging HQ, where the Manfrotto brand was born, I feel the 40 year old history and culture of the company. Alongside this heritage the company accepts all nationalities, cultures and practices, using these different experiences and skills to make it better.
Vitec is open to new and different people; it accepts new values while also maintaining the culture specific to each of its brands. The high quality of the products means that the work is enjoyable whether you’re involved in manufacture or selling. The great history of Vitec’s many brands means that even if you are very experienced in your field you will still gain new knowledge from working here.