Interview with Makoto Sambongi (Managing Director SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE B.V.)
As a group of companies, SEKISUI in Europe provides a vast array of innovative products and services, engages around 1,000 diverse employees and combines the strength of various great companies.The newest of these companies is SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE – with its Managing Director Makoto Sambongi. We met him for a personal interview to talk about the newly established company in Roermond, his position as well as the cooperation amongst SEKISUI companies in Europe.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us about your career at SEKISUI so far?
My name is Makoto Sambongi, I am the Managing Director of SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE B.V., which is located in Roermond. I started working for Polymatech in 1997. Back then, I was working in the Sales and Marketing Department – also gaining a lot of experience overseas in Singapore, Thailand and the USA. In August 2018, one year after Polymatech became part of SEKISUI, I took over my current position.
You are working at SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE. What is the company doing?
We are specialized on thermal interface materials. Thermal interface materials are materials that are inserted between two components in order to enhance the thermal coupling between them. A common use is heat dissipation, meaning when the thermal interface material is inserted as protection between a heat-producing device and a heat-dissipating device such as the bottom of lithium-ion batteries where the materials help to cool down the batteries that produce a lot of heat and could cause burning.
What benefits do you offer to your customers?
We offer a variety of customized products with several advantages. To name only two of them: Our products offer low abrasion which results in less machine damage and a higher equipment life. On top, the low specific gravity reduces the weight of electric vehicles.
What is your role as Managing Director of SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE?
My first task was and still is setting-up of the company in Roermond – this includes the factory but also a team for Production, Sales and Engineering.
I would like to make the company successful in Europe and known by car manufacturer and battery makers. I want SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE to be profitable through a good business management. And of course, health and safety are key. The manufacturing side needs to stay safe.
Are there any challenges you are facing?
It is actually the first time I am responsible for manufacturing – this is a new area for me. On top, my work is done in Europe and not Japan. Starting a new company in Europe is a rewarding experience. I am looking forward to the challenge and to work with the team in a respectful way.
How do you think the different SEKISUI companies in Europe could work together?
I think that the group of SEKISUI companies in Europe is very helpful and can work together closely. The group experience can help all of us in different situations. We can learn from each other.
You moved to Düsseldorf last year. How do you feel about this?
I like living in Düsseldorf. I enjoy the atmosphere and lifestyle with people walking on the streets, riding bikes and going shopping or dining. Some areas are very similar to Japan. The people are very kind and I also like the food. The only thing I need to get used to is the weather: It can get quite cold and the winter can be long. My family also moved to Düsseldorf and we are looking forward to exploring Europe with all its historic places.
What was the best advice someone ever gave to you?
It was actually given by someone from SEKISUI EUROPE. Uwe Keller (HR Manager) told me to always be careful on the streets and at public places. He is right. I have always been careful as good health and safety are also important for yourself.
SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE, located in Roermond (Netherlands), is the newest member of the SEKISUI family in Europe. Founded in 2018, the company is specialised on the production and sales of thermal interface materials in Europe.
Thermal interface materials are materials that are inserted between two components in order to enhance the thermal coupling between them. A common use is heat dissipation, meaning when the thermal interface material is inserted as protection between a heat-producing device and a heat-dissipating device. SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE will produce a range of both sheet-type and grease-type thermal interface materials for this usage.
SEKISUI POLYMATECH EUROPE’s thermal interface materials do not only offer high thermal conductivity, but also excellent abrasion resistance for dispensing equipment and low outgassing for the product itself.