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An interview with Jukka Viitasalo – Acting Managing Director & Head of Ex-Lighting Solutions at Atexor OYPosted on: 13.3.2019 by Team Atexor
Continuing with our series of interviews to help you get to know some of the Atexor employees, we recently met with our Acting Managing Director & Head of the Ex-Lighting Solutions team, Jukka Viitasalo. Joining the team in 2014, Jukka explains what attracted him to Atexor, how his role has changed over the years and the opportunities to progress his own career development as well as the chance to drive and develop the Ex lighting solutions of the future to meet the needs of our evolving and growing international client base.
Tell us about your role and key responsibilities at Atexor
Five years ago, I began my career with Atexor starting as a Product Development Manager before progressing to Director for Product Development & Operations in 2014. Since then I have proceeded to my current position as Vice President, leading the EX-lighting Solutions team. My main responsibility is to manage and deliver Atexor’s customised EX-lighting Solution approach which includes the integration of our customers as a key component of our business process. Furthermore, I also lead the Ex-lighting Solutions global sales and business development, customer projects and product development teams.
I get a great sense of satisfaction supporting customers to find optimized solutions to meet their specific needs whilst adding value to all stakeholders. And that is exactly what my role involves. I focus heavily on synergizing a deep understanding of customer needs with existing solutions but look at how we can further develop the products and services to meet specific client requirements and introduce bespoke solutions without compromising on quality. By applying Atexor’s solution-based sales and business development approach, we integrate all internal and external teams to create common understanding followed by a robust action plan for solution design, approvals and project delivery to our customers.
It sounds like you are a busy man, how did you get into this line of work?
My working background includes many years working across a variety of departments and functions, gaining experience managing teams including product development, technology, supply chain as well as sales and marketing for companies including ABB for over 14 years and The Switch (Yaskawa Group) for 3 years. This has allowed me to steadily expand my skill set in leading international teams providing energy products and systems, power transmission and distribution, measurement and protection products and systems.
Over the years, I have honed my knowledge and gained a solid understanding of the best way to create and implement effective strategies for international businesses as well as how to streamline and integrate cross-functional teams as well as customers, partners and wider external stakeholders linking product development with quality engineering and efficient operations.
What are you enjoying most about your role currently?
My work is extremely rewarding. I particularly enjoy working closely with customers, partners and the many specialist personnel at Atexor to build, maintain and strengthen relationships.
However, I most enjoy solving complex customer challenges and leading an experienced team to develop fit for purpose solutions. This requires excellent team work and I am proud of my team’s development work that consistently deliver the ultimate solution for our clients.
Recently, we have brought a new product to market which has been an exciting time for the team. The new SEMIC product meets the demanding needs for semiconductor and machine lamp applications and we have created a very small and lightweight versatile fixed and portable Ex machine lamp, developed specifically for working in confined spaces. As part of this project, we had to learn new market requirements and introduce specific operational processes to meet challenging time schedules and client demand.
Atexor’s agility and ability to respond flexibly is a huge part of our success which not only allows us to evolve with our clients but also provide constant learning experiences for our employees. This has been extremely beneficial when compiling my thesis as part of my Executive MBA studies at Henley Business School whereby I can demonstrate daily business learnings.
So, you have been studying at Henley Business School, tell us more about your MBA.
Atexor has been great in supporting my studies and it links directly to support some of our business needs. I have been working on an integrated business project which involves investigating Atexor’s growth opportunities. My thesis on improving and developing the business culture as part of the overall business strategy for growth and future development is very important as we continue to grow and be the very best we can be.
Although a lot of hard work and dedication has been required to complete my studies, it has been extremely beneficial not only for my own personal training but also for supporting Atexor’s continued evolution.
Why did you choose to work with Atexor?
When considering moving companies, I was genuinely impressed by the capabilities, ambition and future potential of Atexor. The international angle was also very appealing as I could bring my global experience to the role which I have always enjoyed.
I could clearly see the opportunities for future growth, coupled with the chance to work with a team of experts that really knew their stuff, it just felt like the right next step for me. Now five years in, I know it was the correct decision as I am extremely proud to be part of the team enhancing our solutions-based approach to our global customer base.
As a leader in a solutions driven organisation, how do you ensure you get the most out of your team?
I am a very proactive and encouraging leader who believes strongly in positive engagement and empowerment to help motivate and drive teams forward to succeed. This approach works extremely well at Atexor and is very much part of our culture meaning that our people deliver exceptional results, each and every time.
What do you think the future holds for Atexor?
The sectors in which we operate must always be driven by safety. Our clients’ hazardous working environments require the safest possible conditions in order to protect people and minimise risk. As a business, it is vital for Atexor to continue solving challenges in order to maintain the highest standards of safety whilst adding value to our customers’ operations.
As we move forward, I see Atexor becoming an embedded extension of our customers’ teams supporting their projects seamlessly. Furthermore, as technology evolves and improves, we remain committed to staying at the top of our game to ensure we deliver the most up to date solutions and continue to build our knowledge base and expertise. This will see us uniquely positioned as the ATEX lighting partner of choice, recognised for our reliable safety products and innovative solutions and approach.