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Meet the head of product development

Gefei Lu is looking forward to bringing her experience in the technology sector to "help make the world better through empowering more stories, better told"

Gefei Lu, head of product development, content creation, Vizrt 

Talk us through an average day in your role

While no day is exactly alike in such a creative and dynamic environment at Vizrt, my typical days include much of the following: 

  • Stakeholder management: connecting with product management, customer success teams, sales, marketing, communications, customers, and more to ensure we are aligned and are moving in the right direction with our product development. With such a robust product roadmap this year, and a change in how we go to market due to the pandemic, my role has been incredibly dynamic, fast-paced, and fun. 
  • People development: in a leadership position, working with people is part of my day-to-day. Not just working with, but helping motivate, recruit, develop, maintain, nurture, grow and inspire my team is a critical part of my role. We have world-class talent within our R&D teams and without developing them, we won’t be able to make the best products, so harnessing the best talent and developing our amazing engineers currently is one of the top priorities for me.
  • Team management: alongside the development of my team, it’s also important that I work to instil a quality culture that aligns with our values of collaboration, balance, and respect. We also work together to set and work toward goals, alongside improving our current practices, processes, and quality and identifying how we can remove roadblocks to streamline product delivery for our customers. 

How did you get started in the media industry?

I kind of fell into it. I’ve been in the technology industry for nearly 15 years but working most recently in the oil and gas industries. I am based in Norway, so it’s a massive market here. I wanted a new challenge, where I could take my skill set and expertise but apply it to another market. I was attracted to Vizrt for the ground-breaking technology and value it delivers to its customers. 

Over three billion people around the world watch stories enhanced by Vizrt solutions, every day. We work with the world’s biggest, and best broadcasters and media companies. To help drive that innovation from the inside, was incredibly appealing to me. Additionally, all the people I met during the interview process seriously impressed me. I might be biased, but we have such a diverse, experienced, passionate, and intelligent team. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?! 

What training did you have before entering the industry?

I have a bachelor’s degree in industrial economics, and a master’s degree in management science, specialising in system dynamics. With that experience, I worked as a consultant for many years for Accenture and SAP before focusing on the oil and gas industries. So, while I’ve held various senior roles in technology and business transformation, I’m not from the media and entertainment technology industry.  

But I do believe my experience gives me an edge and a fresh perspective to the industry and how we can improve upon some of the processes and streamline to better deliver for the industry because I came outside of it. 

Prior to starting my role as well, Vizrt was very thorough and thoughtful in providing me access to Viz University, our training platform, to train and skill me up on all our products, solutions, and the wider industry. I was also meeting with our team on a regular basis to maximise my onboarding and determine what I needed to be brought up to speed to right away. 

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

Influence: every individual is inevitably engaged with the media industry intensively. And we all need information, data, facts, and sharing. I am very enthusiastic about joining this consistently evolving industry and being a part of the energetic team at Vizrt. We make the impossible, possible every day. Seeing how and what technologies and services are implemented to create amazing stories to inform the world and individuals and shed light on darkness at times, is a vocation that I feel proud to get up and do. Put simply, I love the fact that I, in a small part, help make the world better through empowering more stories, better told. 

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

I would give this advice to anyone for any role they are aspiring for: stay visionary, don’t downplay your dreams, if you look toward the future and keep making small moves, no matter where you are today, one day you will get there.