Interview with Dr Cetin Nazikkol
The RP APA regional team has gone through quite a change, with a shift in focus and a leaner set up. An interview with Dr Cetin Nazikkol on the current situation and how the region is working with the BU’s.
Q: The Middle East Africa, India and Asia Pacific Regional Platforms (previously RHQs) have recently merged into the RP APA (Asia Pacific Africa). What changes with this merger?
Dr Cetin Nazikkol: The merger first came about as a consequent of the GoC as there was a need to streamline resources. Given the current climate, it was the right move to make. Teams across the region have since shifted from working independently to collaborating on a closer level, allowing for increased efficiency and flexibility. I appreciate the fact that our teams are now more resilient as we are essentially one big team now. It has helped tremendously with matters such as market screening as we work with colleagues across other countries where some expertise might be based, instead of working as separate RPs.
Q: With these changes, there must be a new focus for the region. Could you share with us what this would be?
Dr Cetin Nazikkol: The region has since shifted its focus to business development. Specifically, in identifying new markets and the development of new technologies and services for potential business partnerships. We have already seen results such as with the TechCenters in both Singapore and India.
For example, as part of the Singapore government’s plan to solidify its image as a regional innovation hub, it proactively supports companies in Singapore, encouraging and equipping them with the necessary resources. We have capitalized on this through establishing thyssenkrupp Innovations and collaborating with Wilhelmsen Ship Services. With this partnership, we aim to become the largest supplier of additive manufacturing parts in the maritime sector by leveraging our technological expertise in 3D printing and having access to 50% of the world’s global merchant fleet with an almost asset-free digital business model.
We also have the Tech Center in India where we are focusing on being the digital talent and service hub for thyssenkrupp businesses. The center combines a niche-skillset in analytics, AI, mobile apps and digital solutions to name a few, with low cost and abundant availability of talents. I see a huge potential for our group here as the future is driven by digital solutions and business models.
What does not change with the new setup however, is the Region’s responsibility of handling crisis management at both a local and regional level. Handling a crisis well involves understanding the local culture, environment and law; and we have seen in the past how quickly small issues can evolve and turn into a crisis thus requiring quick action on the ground. I foresee the businesses continuing to rely on this expertise to prevent such happenings and minimize damage should the need arise.
Q: That sounds extremely exciting. But I have to ask – the BU’s too have business development as a core focus. How does this reconcile with the region’s efforts?
Dr Cetin Nazikkol: I think it’s important to note that the RP APA is not looking to replace the BU’s business development efforts. Rather, we are here to complement it. As the BUs cannot be represented in every region, the RPs offer a lot of opportunities and speed things up. As an example, having local networks is important for doing business in APA and these cannot be managed from the HQs of the BUs.
The RP APA represents thyssenkrupp’s permanent representation in a region that has massive future potential. The objective is clear – we want to position thyssenkrupp as a knowledge partner and support the BU’s through systematically screening markets and, identifying potential stakeholders and new business opportunities. This is a free-of-charge service for the BUs.
We have seen this with our collaboration with CarValoo. While the business came in with their expertise and know-how, we supported their Sales and Business Development team in shaping the regional business model and identifying the right partners in the region to bring their technology to.
Q: This is a good segue for us. On the topic of BU’s, it seems that buy-in from internal stakeholders is extremely important? Could you elaborate?
Dr Cetin Nazikkol: I will be honest; this model works best if and when there is trust-based collaboration. There are many past cases where the BUs have approached us for support on a specific project or where we have simply developed an idea together. We are working on continuing this trend and have already seen good outcomes like the collaboration we have between BU Marine Systems and our additive manufacturing partnership.
In the next two months, we intend on establishing concrete projects between the BU’s and the TechCenter for Analytics in Pune, India. With Industry 4.0, we are ramping up capacity to meet increasing service demand from both our internal and external clients.
Q: Thanks for being transparent. It sounds like a challenge but hopefully an optimistic one. What is RP APA’s next steps then?
Dr Cetin Nazikkol: Yes, it is indeed a challenge but I’m hopeful. The team has started looking into closely supporting the Green Hydrogen team in developing a local and regional strategy for green hydrogen and green molecules. Renewable energy is an economic agenda for many countries in the region and it is an opportunity for us to capitalize on it. We are also working on a Stakeholder Methodology with the Digital Sales Lab and CPT colleagues in the UAE to ensure there is a structured and holistic approach to stakeholder management in the region. And there is more in the pipeline.
Q: Fantastic, we look forward to it. Is there anything you would like to add?
Dr Cetin Nazikkol: thyssenkrupp is going through a major transformation process and its effects are felt throughout the organization. We all share the goal of making thyssenkrupp successful again and representing the region, I can confidently say we are adapting accordingly and doing what is needed.
Even as we currently assist BUs with exit plans in some markets, we are also seeing market entry plans which is encouraging. We have a way to go, but with the support for one another, I believe it will help thyssenkrupp go one step closer to where it wants to be.