The high-tech company Trumpf, with headquarters in Ditzingen, offers production solutions in the machine tool, laser and electronics sectors. It is a driving force of digital connectivity in the manufacturing industry with consulting platform and software solutions. These services and machines are particularly in demand in developing countries in South East Asia, where efficiency and quality manufacturing play an ever greater role - especially when competing on a global scale.
Thailand, as one of the largest markets in South East Asia and a manufacturing hub for mainly Japanese automotive industry, creates a market for second tier manufacturers who require high-end technology. Here, as well as in the electronics industry, the high-tech laser systems of the German enterprise Trumpf are in demand.
Setting up a business from scratch
Having been represented through an agency for almost 20 years, Trumpf decided that it needs to commit further to the market with its own (fully-owned) presence: Trumpf Ltd Thailand. This is how Florian Zock came to leave his position as assistant to the President and Chairwoman of the Managing Board, Dr. Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller, and of course his private life behind in order to begin setting up the company in Bangkok as the General Manager and Head of Business Development of Trumpf Pte. Ltd. Singapore.
After the first year of operation, the 32-year old summarizes its quick development: "In an established company such as Trumpf - with over 70 subsidiaries - it is a unique opportunity to get the chance to set up a business from scratch! The last year has been full of excitement, surprises, challenges but also many success stories."
Setting up the legal structure of the company was comparatively easy as the first big challenge, Zock remembers: "On the one hand, all the internal structures had to be put in place, but at the same time we took around 100 long-term Trumpf customers with more than 180 installed machines in the country! Our utmost concern was of course getting the right team on board to ensure a smooth transition in servicing all the machines."
Together with the local General Manager, Tawiwat Reongpunyaroj, Zock managed to put together a strong team and win the trust of the customers regarding the new set-up.
Surprises and cultural lessons
But Florian Zock was not only facing all these challenges that a new venture brings, at the same time he also had to adapt to a completely new culture and new life in one of South East Asia's biggest cities.
All in all, in Thailand everything is done by the motto: "Same, same, but different." This includes new surprises and cultural lessons for Florian Zock, who was elected to the Board of Directors of the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce: "We are currently in the midst of moving our office to larger premises which will include our own showroom, application and training center as well as a refurbishment center for pre-owned Trumpf machines. For its opening, we are including a monk ceremony. The daily processions of monks are not only a common sight in the streets of Thailand during the early hours of the morning, but also form an integral part of the blessings within the business environment."
Even though some cultural aspects are quite different (and sometimes challenging to understand), there are also many similarities to be found. Thailand is a country where family and honor are valued above all else. People are extremely friendly and always see the bright side of life. Establishing the culture of a German medium-sized and family-owned company in this environment has proven not as difficult, since the team behind Trumpf Thailand has adapted the corporate culture quickly. The team has also established its own identity by putting in all the effort required to make customers happy and Trumpf Thailand a success. Florian Zock is looking forward to the next years to work together with the team to further develop the company.