Socialising and networking with people, while promoting a premier brand are highlights of Genevieve Robinson’s job at Toshiba.
As business development manger of the laptop maker’s southern region, based in Wellington, Robinson is charged with looking after Toshiba’s channel partners from Taranaki to Dunedin.
This involves building and nurturing relationships with resellers and understanding the issues they face in their business.
Robinson joined Toshiba last September from Fujitsu where she was an account manager.
Her experience working for one of Toshiba’s channel partners helped Robinson hit the ground running in her current role, she says.
“Even though it took a bit of getting used to being on the vendor side I understood how the channel works. I understood their pain points, the tools they need to do their job and the limitations around the time they have to be across every single product and every single vendor.” Her existing relationships with people in the channel have also been a benefit.
“Because I had been at Fujitsu for so long, I had a lot of relationships within the channel already. I also had a good relationship with our distributor Ingram Micro. Those relationships have helped me greatly in my current job.”
Robinson started her career at Fujitsu in 1999 as a part-time receptionist and worked her way up through the ranks moving into procurement then to sales. “I really enjoyed my time at Fujitsu – there were always new responsibilities to keep me interested. And the people were fantastic – working with such a big team was a highlight.”
Moving to Toshiba presented Robinson with a new set of challenges and responsibilities.
Her job now involves ensuring channel partners have the tools and information they need to confidently promote Toshiba products to their clients.
“I get involved in everything from product information and training through to meeting with customers and building those relationships. My main goal is to make sure Toshiba is front of mind for the channel.”
Building relationship is an essential part of Robinson’s job. This involves making sure people know her and that she is available when they need her. “Being responsive is really important, because the channel is so busy, they don’t have time chasing you up.”
Robinson enjoys the social aspect of her role.
“There is a lot of opportunity to get out and relate with my customers socially – I like being out with people.”
The team she works with at Toshiba is another highlight of her job.
“The team was very welcoming – everyone was really helpful right from the word go. I think that helped me get up to speed much quicker.”
Robinson also likes working for Toshiba because she regards it as a quality brand, supported by top quality service.
“I can hand on my heart go and talk about the products and know they are among the best. We’ve also got a fantastic service offering, ProCare, and [resellers] are able to provide Toshiba warranty support.”
And because Toshiba is a research and development company, there are always new products to talk about, says Robinson.
Robinson works closely with Toshiba’s corporate business development manager in Wellington Andrew Mote, who deals with end-users, to ensure the company has matching channel and customer strategies.
“We have to work as a team to make sure the channel is well enabled to sell to our customers and that our end-users know our products.”
Robinson reports directly to Toshiba country manager Gary Wicks. As the company has no national channel manager, she needs to ensure her objectives for the channel aligns with that of her two Auckland-based counterparts.
“Because the team is quite small, it is easy to make sure we are all working from the same page.”
In her spare time, Robinson enjoys going to the gym and spending time with family and friends. “I go to a lot of social occasions with friends such as the Sevens. That’s why I like being at Toshiba, because I get to do that as a job.”