International hearing aid manufacturer, Oticon, was built on care and empathy from the very beginning. Celebrating its 20-year anniversary in South Africa, country manager, Lezanie Bakker, gave us some insight into what this predominantly female company has been up to in 2017.
Q: You’re celebrating 20 years of ‘putting people first’ in South Africa. How will you commemorate this milestone?
LB: This milestone would not be possible without our staff and customers so we plan to celebrate with them through several upcoming promotions and celebratory functions. Watch this space…
Q: How does Oticon’s slogan of ‘people first’ apply to the company’s core values?
LB: It’s integrated in the way we think, work and act. Every action and decision is made against the background of the impact it will have on various stakeholders, including staff, customers and the users of our product.
Q: You’re regarded as a company on the forefront of technology and innovation. What innovative technology do you currently have in development and any exciting plans in the pipeline?
LB: Hearing instruments with BrainHearing™ technology, such as the new Oticon Opn™ process sound at extreme speed to remove distracting noise, even between words. This enables users to easily follow conversation even in environments with multiple people speaking, such as crowded restaurants. The newest BrainHearing™ solution also connects directly to mobile phones and other external devices with just a tap of the fingertips, streaming audio directly to the hearing aids. Opn is the world’s first hearing device that is connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Q: Any female leaders you admire?
LB: I admire women who stand for what they believe is right, even when faced with adversity and massive opposition. Inspiring female that come to mind are Joan of Arc, Malala Yousafzai and even former public protector, Thuli Madonsela.
Q: Advice for aspiring women leaders looking to break into the industry?
LB: Decide what you want to achieve, establish what you need to get there and get down to work to achieve it. You have to be willing to work hard to get what you want.
Telephone: +27 11 675 6104
Address: Warich Close Office Park, 39 Van Vuuren Street, Constantia Kloof, 1709, Gauteng