Export expert and mother of two little princesses
Taina Hujo-Oittinen came to work at Kirami by boldly calling to ask for work, and as a result, she came to visit the factory and got the job. This happened almost 15 years ago. Taina lives with her family in Keikyä, a stone's throw away from the hot tub factory. "I am a happy person with a good sense of humour," she says with a smile on her face.
Taina's many duties include export sales and other export trade related tasks, as well as planning and implementing export marketing strategies. She is responsible for Germany and Italy. Taina is fluent in German and English and uses both languages every day. Swedish, on the other hand, has been used less recently. "My interest in Germany has come from my interest in the language. I am happy to have the chance to use my language skills in my work. Unfortunately, I can't speak Italian, but I'm interested in the culture and the market potential of the country from a work perspective," explains Taina.
The work tasks have changed slightly over the years. "At the start, I did almost everything that comes up in a small company. I've done marketing, sales and purchasing, payroll, domestic sales, export and other tasks." As the business has expanded, she focused more on export tasks and is actively involved in planning marketing strategies in the countries she is responsible for. "Lately, I've become particularly familiar with saunas and related products. It's been an interesting variety, as I've been dealing with hot tubs for a long time," says Taina.
In Taina's opinion, most days are anything but ordinary. Her work day starts with reading emails, then she takes care of things in order of urgency. After that she looks at what the day will bring. Typical tasks during the day include writing quotations and dealing with orders and shipments. Customer contact regarding the above mentioned business matters is also part of her work.
Taina likes her job because every day is different. She also mentions all the nice customers and colleagues as a contributing factor to her enjoyment of her job. According to Taina, Kirami has a relaxed and fun working environment. "There is a lot of variety. I can use my language skills and get to know different cultures. I always have a good time with my colleagues, but everyone is committed to their work and I can count on everyone."
What advice would Taina give to a novice Kirami retailer? "The most important thing is to be courageous. If you have questions you don't know the answer to, you can always say you'll find out. We have a good export team here at Kirami just for our resellers, and we're always happy to help with anything." And what should a novice export salesperson keep in mind for his or her future career? "Pretty much the same as mentioned above: ask and you will not lose your way. With courage you will make it far. It's also worth investing in language studies. Companies are internationalising fast, so language skills are always useful. English is taken for granted these days, and it's good to speak at least one more foreign language."
As a mother of two little princesses, Taina always has plenty to do after work, but when she's not driving the kids to activities, she likes to go outdoors, read and do crafts. "I suppose I could also call taking a sauna a hobby, as it is also a common leisure activity in our family. We have two saunas: an electric sauna inside the house and a wood-fired sauna in the yard," says Taina. Both are used every week by the family. They have also had a hot tub for about ten years, and since last autumn there is a brand new, bigger hot tub in the yard. "It's a better place for the kids to play and have fun, and hopefully the adults will be able to join in too," Taina laughs.