On a recent visit to the AVA Group headquarters in Herning, Denmark, we sat down with Alexander Vitus Mogenson and Lukas B. Eriksen to ask about their backgrounds and their vision for the company.
Alexander you’re obviously part of an audio family already but how did you first get introduced to things?
I began working for my father’s company when I was 13, after an initial introduction to labour by acquiring my own paper route; a job you quickly become disenchanted with during the cold winter months so I struck a deal with the devil and began working for my father in the company. This marked my true entry into the business side of things. Before that, I had merely been a spectator. Growing up in a house filled with speakers and other musical equipment music has always been a part of my life, and I never really thought deeply about it. It was just an inherent aspect.
I began with soldering, familiarising myself with various components throughout my school years. When I turned 18, I started my own company and financed production machinery for approximately €50.000 and became an EMS supplier for AVA Group. At this time it was a significant investment, which enhanced the quality and speed of our work. We ended up with a complete lineup of machinery, including a pick-and-place machine, a screener, and a small four-zone reflow oven for baking components and boards. In those days, it represented a serious commitment, proving faster and more precise than we’d been accustomed to even though those machines are by todays standard, considered hobbyist machines by us.
Previously, all components were soldered by hand but suddenly, we found ourselves in a whole new world to develop and grow into. Testing revealed that we preferred a lot of the sound and that certain aspects worked better with this new process. Scaling down also allowed us to make the most of our existing footprint.
I’m aware of your own brand Alluxity – how did this come about?
A handful of years after launching my own company, I started dreaming about making my own mark on the HiFi industry, causing me to design the brand Alluxity. This venture deepened my understanding of the high end audio business as I participated in trade shows and traveled with my family as well as independently. With Alluxity we offer a product line that integrates into your family system, eliminating the need for a dedicated listening space. I aimed for a brand that could be integrated into a TV system with just two speakers. This journey has been ongoing for ten years.
As the new CEO of the company how do you oversee and get involved in the running of things?
With myself as CEO, Lukas as the new COO, and Hans-Ole there are now three owners, and we make all decisions collaboratively. We function as a cohesive group, even when making minor decisions. It’s beneficial to have someone as involved as you but who thinks differently and brings forth ideas you might not have considered.
In this respect, I believe we have a particularly strong team. Whilst authority is necessary, We strive to be on a level with every employee, fostering a comfortable environment for open communication. We are open to receiving criticism or feedback as we believe this approach extracts the best from our people. As a CEO, I like to think the management should be approachable and unassuming. Our company’s success is evident in our high staff retention rate, with some team members having been with us for over ten years. Within our organizational culture, we foster a sense of camaraderie. Our workspace includes a vibrant games room, equipped with a pool table, an indoor golf simulator, and a dartboard. Additionally, a generously stocked fridge, with a variety of sodas and beers, serves as a hub for spontaneous gatherings. Fridays are frequently marked by dedicated time off, allowing our team to come together, relax, and unwind in each other’s company.
We aim to set new standards in the industry, constantly striving to be at the pinnacle. Our goal is to be as perfect as possible, continuously improving ourselves, and taking tremendous pride in doing that. We want to dictate our own path forward as a business and ensure that we evolve to be the best we can be. Our intention is always to lead and not to follow.
What about your partners and the supply chain?
We collaborate with exceptional suppliers with whom we maintain a very close relationship. On occasion, a supplier goes to extraordinary lengths to assist us, and we become professional friends. For example, I once contacted a supply partner who was on holiday in a hut in Sweden, and he still answered my call and tried to help. If he couldn’t assist, he would direct me to someone else who could.
How do you see things developing in the future?
Looking to the future, we aspire to grow the business while maintaining excellent quality, something we will never compromise on. This is a principle adhered to by the best luxury brands globally, and we share this commitment.
For my father, the goal was to build a strong brand. It was a remarkable experience for him to be at the Munich High-End Show, rubbing shoulders with the idols he grew up admiring. Ideally for me, acquiring a Vitus Audio product would be your last purchase for that specific part in your system – that’s our goal. Regarding the brand, we see it as conveying a tremendous sense of pride of ownership. We want the product to be like a special watch – a possession that’s inherited.
Lukas how did you get into this industry?
I have always had a deep interest in electronics and have consistently engaged in DIY electronics and basic software programming. This passion has been a driving force for me and likely a primary factor in my career choices.
Early on, I entered the professional audio and lighting industry, starting with lighting for concerts and theatres. Working in the lighting industry entails spending numerous hours setting up and being present during shows. The demanding hours would have been more challenging if the sound experience had not been so enjoyable. Consequently, when deciding on my career path, I aimed to integrate both specialized areas. Fortunately, I found a position at Vitus Audio / AVA Group A/S, allowing me to apply my electronics degree within my primary area of interest.
Currently, I have been with Vitus Audio for approximately ten years. In the initial four years, my focus was on constructing products, comprehending their intricacies, and troubleshooting new designs. However, after this period, I chose to shift away from production and electronics for a while. Instead, I sought greater involvement in the people and sales aspects of the business.
What are the aspects you enjoy the most?
As a sociable, outgoing individual, I had previously been involved in both internal and external sales for a couple of years. My experience was centred on the distribution side of the business. In 2020, I transitioned back to the factory setting, primarily to manage after-sales service responsibilities, attending to the needs of existing clients in the field and ensuring the maintenance of our products.
This shift reignited my passion for electronics, and now, almost a decade later, I hold the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO). In this role, I oversee day-to-day operations, which encompass purchasing, production, and planning.
Undoubtedly, it has been a remarkable journey, and I am confident that this journey will persist as we move forward.
How do you see the business and the brand itself?
I view the business as a family, and this is evident in how we operate as a cohesive group of people. Whilst Alexander and Britta are family, being part of the wider audio team also feels like being part of a family.
Our collective passion is to deliver the very best, especially considering our customers’ expectations for peak performance from a high-end product. A Vitus Audio product is often a lifelong possession for a customer. Our brand is synonymous with delivering the highest possible quality – our customers invest in excellence and expect nothing less.
Ensuring that customers feel a sense of belonging to the Vitus Audio family is crucial to us. We make it a point to respond to everyone who reaches out to us. We strive to collaborate with the best partners worldwide, those who can truly represent our brand in the most concise and consistent way possible.
Owning a Vitus Audio product is not just about the design; it’s about appreciating our overall approach. Our minimalistic external design is complemented by a profound focus on sound quality – emphasising naturalness and preventing listening fatigue. Only you should be the limiting factor in deciding when to stop listening, not the system, speakers, cables, or amplifiers.
How do you see things developing for the business?
Looking ahead, my hopes for the business are two fold. Firstly, to continue delivering exceptional quality products, and secondly, to enhance our existing quality, making things even more exciting. Importantly, we will never compromise on quality to increase quantities, as we’ve witnessed the pitfalls of such compromises in both high-end audio and other industries.