How did you come into the industry? A little indirectly through a parallel industry. I was working for Mitsubishi Electric, but within the automotive sector. My history was in total 10 years of working in the automotive division for Mitsubishi Electric and for eight years I ran that division in the UK. I’m an engineer, but I’m an automotive engineer, so I’m a cam shaft and piston guy, not a heat, cool and compressor guy. The principles are fairly similar though.

From automotive I moved into what we call Living Environmental Systems at Mitsubishi Electric. I ran the solar business, which was a start-up, for three and a half years, and then I moved into the air conditioning, heating and ventilation part of the business, and managed business development, functions and specification sales. It’s quite common in Japanese companies for people to be moved around and that’s been very beneficial for me to work in different industries and have different challenges.

What do you think is the biggest challenge ahead for industry as a whole?

We’ve got some legislation issues with Brexit that are hovering in the background, but for me personally, I think it’s about getting the right people in place and making the industry attractive to those people.

Anything connected with construction, has a boom-bust cyclical reputation and, dare I say it, a lack of investment in people. So it’s about attracting and retaining. You have to look at related, alternative industries because it’s about finding the people with the right drive and will to succeed. We can teach them about the products, and I would be quite happy as a manager in a business to do that.

Within that, what’s the biggest challenge for Samsung?

Building a platform and building and developing a team. That’s not an overnight thing. From a business

18 November 2017 Head of Air Conditioning at Samsung.


perspective, you can’t take short-term decisions. I think the customer is expecting us to have a stable business and it’s about having the right people in the right places, doing the right jobs.

I’m very much learning the organisational culture. There is a perceived structure at the moment, and after engagement with customers, partners and the rest of the industry, that will most likely change and the most appropriate structure will emerge based on that context. You need the time to allow that to happen and to have the best outcome.

What’s the biggest opportunity ahead? Things are changing. We’ve got housing shortages, but also, we’ve got people living differently. When you look at London and some of the major cities, people are using buildings differently. We’re seeing a lot of schemes where people are living in smaller apartments with communal spaces which they share and in which they socialise. These are uses of buildings which we didn’t necessarily predict a few years ago.

There’s a bigger requirement now for connectivity. Our equipment needs to connect to other systems within the building, be it control systems, security, TVs. There’s a lot up for grabs now for players that can provide the Internet of Things or added services or benefits around equipment which at the moment is heating or cooling or ventilating. It’s about going beyond that, and that’s the biggest opportunity.

We’ve found that the consumer is more interested in some of our products now. When you look at things like the 360 Cassette, it stands out and helps make people a little bit more involved or connected to its integration into the building fabric through its design and aesthetics. There are a lot of areas where Samsung brings in a b2c process or thought pattern, which can be really nicely combined with b2b areas.

What’s your five year plan for Samsung? I would look to significantly increase sales. There

will be a big investment in the team. We’ve got 16 people and we’re looking for more to fill out a couple of roles within the business, so we’ll be around 20 by the end of the year.

I’m looking to double our turnover certainly in the next two years and then by the end of five years have a turnover of between three and four times what it currently is.

I think Samsung needs to compete a bit more. The product range is there and the performance and the USPs of those products are there, but we don’t have enough touch points in the industry and the market to benefit. It’s about creating a structure to increase our visibility and spread our support to our existing partners as well as bring in new partners.

Is legislation doing enough of the right things? I think it is. It’s always nice to be moving forward and sometimes these things are an impetus to improve. F-Gas, for example, is a significant game- changer and a significant test for the industry from a technical perspective and a test of its ability to respond.

However, it’s important to phase legislation because you don’t want to get into a situation where there’s so much overlapping legislation that it’s not promoting a positive drive for innovation. F-Gas, now, is driving innovation across the industry, but we’ve got to be aware that it has a cost. The industry has either got to deploy or develop technology, which has a cost, in order to meet that legislation. It’s a balancing act. We can only consume so much legislation at any given time, before it becomes too costly and difficult for businesses to actually respond and deliver products which are viable and meeting the requirements of the end- users. We want to avoid being crippled by legislation.

Which area of legislation do you find the most challenging?

F-Gas! The good thing is that it’s quite clear what we need to do. There’s no silver bullet, so it’s going

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