Talking your language
As Sales Director (Europe) for Taewoong, Michael Birk Petersen is a familiar face to many in the industry. The company specialises in seamless rolled rings and open die forgings, and from its satellite office in Denmark, serves all of Europe. We spoke to Michael about the company, the stability of the sector, and future growth.
PES: Welcome to PES magazine. Can you begin by explaining a little about the company and how you serve the wind industry?
Michael Birk Petersen: We supply the world with forgings, seamless rolled rings, and the raw material for gears and bearings. We have a production base in South Korea, and from here we have a global logistics system that transports from door to door.
The company is 31 years this year (the oldest forging company in the wind industry), is listed on various stock exchanges, and enjoys a healthy financial turnover of around 550 million euros.
PES: The company's primarily Korea-based. How do you manage to service your clients within Europe?
MBP: We have taken a strategy to stay close to the market, in the same time zone, and to share the culture of our customers - and that's why we set up an office in Denmark. (We also have offices in Mumbai and China.) We do business all over Europe and I am personally responsible for the global accounts - clients such as Siemens.
We offer one point of contact for our clients, and this helps them because it can be a big step for local manufacturers to buy from the Far East. We speak the same language, share the same culture, and can go and visit them pretty much anywhere in Europe in an hour or two. The customer is more reassured, and it eases communication.
PES: And what level of service do you offer to European customers?
MBP: We take care of everything from certification through to delivery. We understand the needs and the specifics involved of delivering what's needed. We follow-up to make sure that the delivery is on track and on time - it's not just a one-off sale.
PES: Similarly, how important is Europe to your worldwide wind operation? Is it an area where you see future growth?