Mio Technology and Navman look to expand their European sales force to achieve 2008 vision (Advertorial)

An interview with Paul Notteboom, President of Mio Technology



Mio C620
Mio C620
Both Mio Technology and Navman develop and market products designed to liberate users, enabling them to enjoy and embrace today’s mobile revolution in terms of travel, ntertainment, leisure, information and professional services. Their product ranges include PNDs, GPS PDA phones, PDA GPS and PTA (Personal Travel Assistant) navigation.

Mio was established in May 2002 and now has operations located in Taiwan, Belgium, China, US, Japan and South Korea. Based on the second quarter 2007 Canalys figures, Mio Technology is the number three vendor of mobile satellite navigation devices with integrated GPS receivers across EMEA, with a market share of 10% and recording growth of 93.1% in terms of sales volumes compared to the same period in 2006. Combined, Navman and Mio employ 1,750 staff worldwide, including over 700 staff dedicated to research and development. The company’s European operations are based in Belgium and the UK.

Mio Technology and Navman are separate entities of the parent company Mitac. Mitac is a Taiwan-based manufacturing company whose core business is the manufacture of computer hardware – servers, laptops, PDAs, PND’s etc… Following the recent acquisition of Navman by Mitac, Mio Technology and Navman are now expanding their sales and marketing operations within Europe to meet the challenges of a rapidly growing market and to increase an already significant market share in the region.

In the coming months they will appoint over 30 senior Sales and Marketing Managers across 10 countries in Europe. They will work together to develop distribution and retail strategies for both Mio and Navman to increase brand awareness and maximise sales with a range of channel partners which includes electronics retailers, supermarket chains and car accessory merchandisers.

Paul Notteboom
Paul Notteboom
GPS Business News: Can you explain the Mio Technology/Navman vision?
Paul Notteboom: Mitac - owners of Mio Technology - purchased Navman in the second quarter of 2007. This acquisition brings these two successful and complementary brands under one roof. The Mitac vision is therefore to leverage these brand values whilst gaining the efficiencies associated with “one team”. We will ensure that the two brands continue their strong growth in Europe and become the #1 or #2 brand in the markets we operate in.

GBN: How are you looking at growing the business in line with this vision?
PN: Without good people, we have no business. It goes without saying that you need a strong delivery organization, products that answer customer needs, but people are the key. If people do not believe in the company, the company can not succeed.

To deliver our vision, we need to increase our business focus at the regional level and are therefore conducting a talent search through our HR partner, UNITE. The success of both Mio Technology and Navman is purely based on employee engagement.We are looking for individuals with a hands-on approach, adapting quickly in this very fluid environment. It is a very competitive business requiring our people to lead by example. They need to understand in a few words what is expected of them and have the ability to deliver. These individuals will also need to have a good relationship with their customer base and already have had that experience before joining us. Ultimately, our people need to work at the detail level and have the ability to deliver consistently.

Navman S90i
Navman S90i
GBN: How did you develop the business in Europe?
PN: My strategy has been two-fold; I have built my professional, hands-on experience during the day, always based on my existing knowledge of the market. In the evenings, I would work on future strategies and how I would apply this to the changing market. I started Mitac Benelux, 15 years ago; built on the foundations of my previous IT company. We developed the structure of the company methodically; ensuring that money was in the bank prior to investing in development. The company was also built on hiring good people for their skills and moving them on for their attitude. We want results and are very happy to reward these results. I always say that you can get “boter bij de vis”: we recognize hard work and thank this hard work through remuneration or bonuses. Our first 15 years have been built on a very flat organization, but we need now to ramp up the organization and grow the sales force to over 50. That said, we have planned this expansion carefully and have put strict processes in place to ensure stable growth of the company.

Mitac bought Navman because they recognized a similar culture within the company. Navman also has a solid work ethic, rewarding those who work hard. My goal is to harness the strengths of these 2 brands and significantly grow our combined share within the Western European market.

Mio C220
Mio C220
Mio C220
Mio C220
GBN: Who will lead the hiring process?
PN: Good people are hard to find. To ensure that we attract the right level of candidate to our company, we have appointed our trusted HR partner, UNITE Executive Search . UNITE (contact jobs@unite-eu.net) is located across Europe and recruit leadership, management and sales functions for leading IT and retail organisations. Mio Technology and Navman will work in partnership with UNITE, to attract and hire outstanding teams of talented IT professionals who have the ability to win market share in existing sectors, or successfully launch innovative products and services into new markets. UNITE consultants are specialist recruiters, dedicated to specific technology segments. This ensures that the individual consultant allocated to a client project understands in detail the client, industry, technology, competitor’s strengths and weakness’ and most importantly the top 20% of talent in that particular sector. In addition, I have a dedicated team within the business, in the UK and Brussels who will ensure that we deliver against our high standards.

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Monday, November 26th 2007
Alexandre Saltiel

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