Meet the HARMAN Luxury Audio Team
Name: George Robertson
Position/Job Title: Export Sales Manager
With Arcam Since June 2005
With HARMAN Since July 2017
With Meet The HARMAN Luxury Team, our goal is for you to get to know us better. Each edition we’ll be featuring a different member of the team, and this month it’s George Robertson, Export Sales Manager.
How would you describe what you do in your current role?
I work with distributors throughout the world on all Luxury Audio brands, and also at the dealer level in Germany where I am responsible for sales, support and training. To quote an old mentor (CB) I try to save the world from bad sound, and it helps when you represent such amazing brands.
What did you study in school? Did you always imagine yourself doing something like what you’re doing now or did the fates just take you in that direction?
From an early age, I knew I was destined to be in sales, for the only thing that I was good at in school was making friends. At the age of 15 I had a Saturday job working in a Hi-Fi / Photographic store and I knew this was for me. (Nothing to do with never passing an exam while at school, I promise!)
How did your career path lead you to HARMAN?
I did retail Hi-Fi Cinema for a number of years and then got out on the road working for the likes of Pioneer and Kenwood throughout the UK. Then I got my export break with Tannoy before joining Arcam back in 2005, and the rest, as they say, was a bit of good luck.
What is the most important thing you have learned over your career?
I suppose the old cliché of having two ears one mouth and using them in proportion (never been easy for me). Seriously, for me it’s all about the people and relationships, and always making the extra effort to find a solution to any situation. I suppose in sales you have to have a “never say never” attitude.
Any other advice you would offer people just starting out in this industry?
You have to have a passion for what you are doing with a love for music and movies — that’s a given. Be prepared to work outside the normal 9 – 5 when it dictates, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and the relationships with your colleagues are as important as the ones with your customers. And finally, HAVE FUN!
What are you most proud of in your life?
Proud that I’ve enjoyed the career path that I’ve been on and have no regrets with what I’ve achieved so far. Being a father and bringing up my kids. Something had to keep me on the straight and narrow, and it’s given me a sensible and responsible side that many of you won’t have seen!
When did you first realize you had a passion for music or audio? Was there any one song, band or movie that did it for you?
My late father was a photographer and always had a good Hi-Fi system in the house. My first memory of great sound was Buddy Holly’s album in stereo and apart from wanting to meet a Peggy Sue (still dreaming), I was hooked on music. With movies, it was Star Wars and Top Gun.
What gear are you rocking at home these days?
I’m in the middle of moving house at present, but for years it’s been an Arcam AVR, the only product on the market for me that does music and movies beautifully. It would be difficult to contemplate anything else (Maybe a JBL Synthesis). I have big plans for the new house but will need Mr. Tovissi to sharpen his pencil!
What current technology impresses you the most?
G-Class amplification. Why? Because it’s not a gimmick. It’s true engineering and really does deliver a performance advantage over the competition. Dirac in the right hands is also a game changer when it comes to performance advantages. (See JT for training – he really is a guru on this stuff).
What’s your favorite music genre?
I am old enough and ugly enough to love it all from blues to techno. But I’m a closet disco fan. Yes I still have the Saturday Night Fever outfit!
The desert island question of course. If you were marooned for eternity and could only listen to three albums, what would they be?
Van Morrison – Moondance
Michael McDonald – If That’s What it Takes
Phil Collins – Face Value
You have the floor. In closing, tell us anything else you want to about yourself.
The one thing traveling has given me is an appreciation for world food with the chance to try different types of cuisine from all over the world. I got into cooking six years ago and enjoy pushing myself in pursuit of a special plate of food. Not only am I enjoying the journey, I find it a great way to relax after returning from a road trip. Two essential ingredients that one should always have while in the kitchen is a fine glass of wine and a HARMAN Luxury Audio System.