Even the knowledgeable folk who frequent HEXUS.net might not be overly familiar with the Lite-On name. If they are, few are likely to realise just how massive the company has become. It now claims to be the No.2 maker of optical-disc hardware worldwide and reckons it's one percentage point behind the leader, having recently taken on all of BenQ's optical manufacturing earlier in the year. Jelmer Veldman is the rangy, young* Dutchman whose job it is to build Lite-On's own-brand sales in Europe and he took time out on the first day of this week's Computer Trade Show to answers our questions.
Bob Crabtree sets the scene: The following article is transcribed from my hand-written notes taken during the interview at CTS. The write up is non-linear. I have re-arranged the order of some questions and their accompanying replies, intending to make the whole thing flow more easily.
I'd had a couple of briefing meetings last year with Jelmer - whose title is marketing supervisor - but this was the first formal interview. A 12:30 appointment had been arranged for the Wednesday but, that morning, I looked closely at the confirmatory email and realised that it said Thursday - and I was only going to be at the show for a day! So, on arriving at CTS, I hurried over to the Ingram Micro's stand where Lite-On was showing - in a tiny little corner it has to be said - hoping to get confirmation that this was just a typo and our meeting was still on.
Turns out that it was indeed a simple error but, better than that, Jelmer was happy to get started right away. That was good news since I had a 12 o'clock planned and know how easy it is for meetings to run over. We adjourned to a table outside the show's café – never miss the opportunity to take a sit down at an exhibition, is my firm belief – and the notebook and pens came out.