Providing Excellent Customer Support: “Our service team is as diverse as our product range”
In our new blog interview we speak to Dr. Prasad Bhalerao, Director Industrial Sales at ROHM Semiconductor Europe, about the special spirit of his diverse team.
Prasad, could you please kindly give us first of all some insights into your team's customer lanscape: Which kind of customers does your team support? From which industries are they?
Our industry group supports the complete EMEA region including Turkey and Israel – covering all industrial customers with applications such as drives, power supplies, solar, automation, EV charging, as well consumer and white good customers. In addition, ROHM is a pioneer in silicon carbide (SiC) technology and we serve our SiC MOSFETs and SiC Diodes bare-dies to our module maker partners. Additionally, ROHM – as a leader in thermal printheads – supports all major printhead companies, too.
Dr. Prasad Bhalerao leads ROHM’s European Industrial Sales team
Sounds like a diverse portfolio. How does your team support ROHM’s European customers? What are typical customer requests? Could you please provide us with a vivid, recent example?
In terms of support, ROHM follows the strategy ‘Thinking Globally & Acting Locally’: Most of our customers have footprints in different regions of the world. We have established several sales offices throughout Europe to offer local support to our customers. The local knowledge of the market, their needs, business ethics and our technical competence are key to our approach. Needless to say, the local language and understanding of the culture makes things easier and effective for the success of our customers.
How do you simplify customer support?
In ROHM’s global structure, our Sales Managers act as internal coordinators. Along with engineering and operational teams they communicate the requirements with our Japanese Headquarters to receive maximum support.
ROHM’s European Industrial Sales team is very diverse – originating from 10 different countries.
When it comes to customer requests, we need to understand applications profoundly. The product / solution offering, and its requirements differ from one application to the other. ROHM offers a standard product line up in Power as well Analog LSI products to our industry customers. On top, we offer customized product development for customer benefits –addressing special application requirements.
Continuous and timely follow-ups with our customers and at the same time a careful watch on market dynamics help us to understand and simplify customer requests.
During your daily work: What are your team's typical challenges and what are your strategies to tackle them?
We are all aware that the semiconductor market has gained tremendous momentum over last couple of years. In this context, ROHM pioneered in the field of SiC technology/products. SiC growth, especially in the renewables and automotive sector, is very fast and dynamic.
Strategy meeting: ROHM’s European Sales team members regularly consult with each other to provide targeted customer support.
In my opinion, the biggest challenge is to react timely or even proactively to the dynamic changes in semiconductor market. Locally, in Europe, we need to transform customer requests along with market trends to HQ in a very efficient and timely manner so that best support can be achieved.
Your team is very diverse. From which countries do your team members come from?
Indeed, our service team is as diverse as our product range. I’m proud to mention that ROHM’s Industrial Sales team in Europe has representatives from ten countries such as Germany, India, China, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Turkey, France, Finland, Hungary and Japan.
Therefore, our team has a special feeling concerning our customers’ philosophy and their cultural values. On top, offering support in our customers’ local language paves the way to success together much easier.
As the leader of your team, how do you manage such a diverse team? Is it different to lead a very diverse team compared to a very homogeneous group?
Definitely! It’s a challenge but at the same it’s exciting, too. I strongly feel by being culturally sensitive and at the same time competent in a globalized world can open new markets and networks. It’s important to cultivate the common goals in team members to improve productivity and efficiency and at the same time promote mutual enrichment is essential in managing a multicultural team.
Could you please describe the age structure of your team? How does it benefit your team?
I am happy to see a good mix of experienced members with a long history of working at ROHM who have knowledge of the market, technology and equally young members who are motivated to learn and ready to take on new challenges. Besides different cultural backgrounds, the level of experience adds a special flavor to supporting customers.
Could you please describe the special spirit of your team?
Our credo is ‘Unity in diversity’. All of us believe in ROHM’s success and to achieve it we cooperate respecting each other in a highly professional manner.
From your point of view: What is special about our company? Why are you motivated to work for ROHM?
ROHM pioneered in new SiC technology, which is opening new horizons of markets and applications. This attracts me predominantly. The persistent thrust for success in every situation and working in open global team keeps me highly motivated to work for ROHM.