Employee Spotlight: Luke Kannike




luKe Kannike

Business Line Manager, West & Central Region at TÜV SÜD America

#FutureInYourHands – This motto properly describes how TÜV SÜD empowers its employees. It’s best to hear from TÜV SÜD executives and staff members what their personal experiences are working for TÜV SÜD.

Can you describe your role within TÜV SÜD?
I’m the Business Line Manager for Industrial and Electrical Products (IEP), which includes any service that is related to industrial product certification, ITE product certification, EMC testing, SEMI, global market access, RF wireless testing, electrical safety testing, and field evaluations. The regions that I’m responsible for are West and Central, specifically the two labs in San Diego, CA and the New Brighton, MN lab. I have a sales team that is selling into those labs, and I’m also selling into those labs as a business line/sales manager. My primary responsibilities are to help drive revenue, to increase the portfolio of services that we sell to our current client base, and to win new business in the marketplace.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
What I enjoy the most is helping my sales team help their end customers. When you look across the TIC industry and our competitors, all the labs pretty much offer the same services and test to the same standards. But the people I think are the service differentiator. I like finding ways to add value to my sales team’s process and to make things easier for them. That’s really what gives me a sense of accomplishment and that’s why I enjoy the business.

And at TÜV SÜD, our global footprint allows us to be able to offer a wide range of services to clients.

How did you choose this career path?
I started working in the Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) industry in 2011. I’ve always been fascinated with electronics and cutting-edge technology. Once I saw the testing services and the safety initiatives to make products better and safer for the world and consumers, it really became something I wanted to do. I became a salesperson and eventually a sales manager. As a sales manager, I really enjoy helping my sales team achieve their goals.

Are there any challenges you've faced during your career that have taught you important lessons?
Most of the time clients come to us with a concept of what they’re thinking of developing. They share with us their product specification sheets and their intended markets, so we need to partner with and guide them to enter their targeted markets timely and cost effectively. There are various challenges that come up along the way. For us, it is usually failures and products not communicating as they should while in test mode. It’s always important to remain calm while dealing with a challenge.

What do you think the industry will look like 20 years from now?
The technology is dictating the length of time it takes to test and some of the wireless and connected technologies are causing some countries to change their certification requirements. So, hopefully as some of the new cutting-edge technology becomes easier and more controllable as far as causing interference in the communication protocols, the requirements to get products into various countries will relax a little bit.

I think from an overall consumer side, with the way things are with the pandemic, everyone has turned to web witness testing or live sessions over Zoom or MS Teams.

It is difficult to forecast how the industry will be impacted beyond 5 years. In the late 1990s, you had 3G. From 3G, came the internet and web capabilities into the phones, and then 4G. Between 4G and 5G, it’s has been about 10 to 12 years. Now, 5G is the hot topic. Probably within another 10 to 12 years, or even sooner, you’re going to be talking about the next evolution or even going into 6G.

What is your driving mission in your role?
My mission is to solidify TÜV SÜD as the most trusted testing partner, and to have my sales team establish better relationships with clients and take a consultative approach to help our clients be successful. Some of our clients also have end customers that they service. So, helping our clients be successful with their client base through our efforts is really my mission.

When not working, how do you spend your spare time?
I enjoy traveling, but obviously, that’s been a little bit of a challenge. So, I’ve found different ways to stay busy with the family. I enjoy cooking for my family.
I am fascinated with different cultures and cuisines. I was born in Nigeria and grew up with different languages and dialects around me. Through my travels and my career, I’ve learned several languages that have helped me along the way. One that has helped me tremendously is Spanish. So, whenever I have some free time, I try to learn a little bit of every language that I think would be useful in my role or help me to just interact globally with people outside of my role. My mom always said to me that when you speak to someone, they hear you, but when you speak to them in their language, you go to their heart. Being culturally diverse and understanding that every situation is different, and every person is different, has really helped me in my career.

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