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Episode 24: KTR worldwide - 20 years of KTR Brazil | KTR Systems


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Julia Ures: Hello to In Sight KTR, we are back and today we are celebrating an anniversary! Welcome to a new episode of our podcast In Sight KTR and as i told you, today we are celebrating an anniversary: 20 years of KTR Brazil. The subsidiary was founded in May 2002 and we are here to get to know it a little more in honor of the anniversary. Of course I have a guest who will help me get a little glimpse behind the scenes at KTR do Brasil, it's Felipe da Rocha, managing director at KTR Brazil and in the company for 17 years. Welcome Felipe, thank you for taking the time to join me today.

Felipe da Rocha:  Thank you it's my pleasure!

Julia Ures: Felipe, first of all congratulations to the anniversary. Are you guys celebrating this milestone a little bit?

Felipe da Rocha: Oh thank you very much! We didn't have time to celebrate yet, but we are preparing a very special celebration for our very special colleagues at KTR Brazil, so probably within next week we willmake our celebration, yeah. 20 years is something you really need to celebrate, so we are very happy for that.

Julia Ures: That's a long time and of course we want to know more about KTR Brasil and more about the team. Can you tell us about the company, how people work there and so on, please?

Felipe da Rocha: Yeah, so KTR Brasil was founded in 2002 by Mr Marcelo Marcos. You probably know him, he is actually the General Manager of KTR Corporation, United States of America, and we are located in Pinhais city, in the state of Perneta, the south region of Brazil, because great part of our customers are located in the south region of Brasil and southeast region. So we are 400 kilometers from São Paulo and 700 kilometers from Porto Alegre, so we are almost in the middle of the  the space, so it's easy to handle it. Today we are 23 people working here and our mission is to sell KTR products around our country and always focusing on solutions, not only selling products, so that's our mission and that's what makes us different from other companies abroad.

Julia Ures: As the colleagues in Germany told me, unlike most of the other subsidiaries, you also have a little production site and warehouse as well, is it right?

Felipe da Rocha: Yeah, yeah, that's right we have a little production and warehouse here, because as you know we are very far away from Germany and it doesn't make sense to offer products with delivery times of 60 or 75 days and with our own stock here available we can deliver within two or three days, standard products, and that's what makes us different and better. We are more flexible and when we have to offer some customized products or customized solutions, we can make it here, so that's a very big advantage. I don't think our customers would wait 60 days or more for standard parts, so to have our own stock here, it's a very big advantage.

Julia Ures: Yes, I understand. Let's talk about you personally. You have been with the company, as I said, for 17 years now. How did you start? What was your path to KTR and how did you become the General Manager?

Felipe da Rocha: Yeah, it's a long journey. I've started at KTR in 2004, I was hired as an engineer intern, so I was studying Mechanical Engineering at that time and I started being responsible for drawings and technical support to customers and other technical issues and when I finished my graduation I started working as a Sales Engineer and KTR Brazil was continually growing and in 2015 I was promoted to Sales Manager, a Country Sales Manager and in 2019 Marcelo, our former CEO moved to KTR Corporation, United States, and I took over his position and there is a interesting story behind that. When I had the job interview at KTR, at the very beginning, in the same week I had an interview with Bosch, the German company, but I was hired by KTR at that time and three weeks later the guys from Bosch called me and offered me the job. And i have to say that I was… I got  really confused, because Bosch is a big company, it was a good opportunity as well and i didn't know exactly what to do at the time. I decided to ask my father's opinion and I would never forget what he told me. ‚Felipe, you are a very young guy, you are at the very beginning of your career, so don't worry, you have a lot of opportunities. If you want to move to another company in the future, you will. You like the company, you like your boss, so if you… if I were you, I would stay at KTR‘ and look how is the destiny! Here I am 18 years, 17 years after, and yeah I only have to say thank you to my Dad and also thank you KTR for all opportunities I had.

Julia Ures: And it was an advice from a wise man.

Felipa da Rocha: Yeah, the most wise man for me.

Julia Ures: So from what I hear, you are the youngest General Manager at KTR right now. I'm curious, how do you feel about that?

Felipe da Rocha: Yes, I am. I think I took over the position from Timon, our CEO from Chile, so sorry buddy. I feel great about that. it's very nice to see that all my efforts were not in vain, so I think all opportunities given by KTR were good for me and were good for the company and i feel very grateful and very excited about the future of KTR Brazil. I know the great potential we have here and I'm very looking forward for the future and of course I need to say thank you for everyone that helped me to to get here so yeah, that's it.

Julia Ures: In this podcast In Sight KTR we try to answer as many questions as possible in up to  around about 20 minutes and I would like to thank all of you for sending us exciting questions um via email to Please continue to do so and follow us on Linkedin, on Instagram, Facebook, so you don't miss out on the news on our podcast. The next question we received is another question for you, Felipe. KTR offers lots of products for different industries. Can you tell us which industries or which products are most important for Brazil?

Felipe de la Rocha: So in KTR Brazil, we are selling products to OEM customers and also to  a distribution channel. We have a few of everything. Nowadays I consider the agriculture business in the spot, we are selling couplings to them and also some coolers and it's been a very important  market for us. Also I have to say that hydraulic components are very important for us we are selling hydraulic components for industry equipment, so it's a very strong market for us so consider these two markets the most important now.

Julia Ures: You talked about coolers. Coolers are a relatively new product area for KTR compared to power transmission products such as couplings. Felipe, would you say that this new product area has brought KTR Brazil forward or would the same success also be possible with couplings?

Felipe da Rocha: Yeah, for sure coolers are pushing us forward, because you know we we've been coupling experts for many many years. Everybody knows KTR by couplings and we are always present in different applications. So we are coupling experts, but coolers are giving us new opportunities. For example, we have customers that are already using our couplings in their machines, for example mobile machines, and now they have opportunity to use our coolers as well. And they know the company, they know the high quality products we can offer, they know the engineering solutions we can offer, so they trust us and it's been a very important market for us and we are trying to develop  more and more, but opportunities are coming more and more and, yeah. coolers now it's a very important product for us.

Julia Ures: KTR Brazil, your team is quite big, so i would like to get to know your colleagues a little bit better. Can you please describe how your team is set up, how are tasks split?

Felipe da Rocha: Yeah, we're not so big, we are 23 people. We are separated in four different areas: we have production, engineering, sales and material handling and I think we have a variant team. The average, the year average is 33 years old, so it's a bunch of young people, uh however that's not only

young guys, there is experienced guys, we have a lot of people working with us for ten or eight or five years, so I consider the combination of these young people and their experience are the key of our success.

Julia Ures: When we in europe think of Brazil, we always have the good weather and maybe wonderful beaches in mind. Now we have the chance to clear up um prejudices or cliches like that. What is Brazil really like, what should we all know about your country?

Felipe da Rocha: Yeah, well of course we have amazing beaches and uh very good weather, especially in the summer, right summertime. However, Brazil is a huge country in continental size, for example we are located in the south part of brazil and our weather is similar to some countries in Europe. Last week, for example we had minus one degrees, so yeah it's it's too hard for us, but we already have low temperatures. Something funny that in every global meeting i'm wearing a jacket someone asked me ‚Hey Felipe, what's happening, you're wearing a jacket‘ and I have to say ‚Sorry, guys, I don't live in here gelero, I live in the south part of brazil and our weather is not so hot as you imagine, Of course, the weather in the north in the north coast of brazil is always good, but inside the country things are a little bit different.

Julia Ures: I can imagine you have a lot of work. How often do you find the time um to go to the beach or maybe you dislike the beach?

Felipe da Rocha: Oh, I love to go to beach. I have a little daughter, Isabella, she's two, almost three years old and every time we can we try to go to the beaches. But of course we need to to handle with our work time, but we had, two weeks ago, uh five days and we went to the northwest, the northeast part of Brazil and we got a very good sunshine and it was great.

Julia Ures: That sounds very, very good. So the last question for today I already used in the podcast episode with our finnish colleagues. I asked them for a finnish word we all should know and their answers were quite funny. Is there a portuguese word that comes to your mind that we should know or that you need all the time maybe in your work?

Felipe da Rocha: Oh, honestly the finnish word is unbeatable. I've tried so many times to speak that and without success. Yeah, we don't have any complicated word like that, uh what do you have… we have here uh we have a word called saudade, yeah, there is no translation to other languages. So that is a word to express the feeling of missing someone or something, this is this express the feeling of missing and that's nothing compared to what our finnish friends offered but it's a curiosity, yeah.

Julia Ures: So thank you very much, and that, for today, was the last question. Thank you very much, Felipe, for joining me today to answer my questions and the questions we got to, questions about KTR Brasil and of course many thanks to you out there for watching and listening to In Sight KTR. Hope to see and to hear you again next time and all the best and take care. Bye.

Felipe da Rocha: Thank you.

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