The first Lady
Wantana Somcharoenwattana joined Wärtsilä in April 2009 as Business Development Manager for the first Wärtsilä branch office in Thailand. Despite working in quite a male-oriented environment, she says gender is no boundary. Her biggest challenge is rather to change the mindset of utilities that still tend to favour gas turbine technology.
How do you work your way around utilities’ tendency towards choosing gas turbine technology?
“Gas turbine technology was first in entering the power utility business, and fear of change stands in the way for them to choose other technologies. But now the time is right to draw the attention of power plant designers and grid operators to Wärtsilä’s internal combustion engine (ICE) technology. I try to educate utilities on how our technology performs and how it will bring the biggest benefits. My job is not just about marketing and branding, it also involves conducting grid studies and presenting real cases and references.”
What motivates you the most and what situations do you find particularly rewarding?
“My motivator is to be ‘the first one’: the first who makes change in the country, the first who changes utilities’ mindset and the first to create Wärtsilä brand and technology acknowledgement in this market.
Securing the first Wärtsilä power plant order here in Thailand was very rewarding as my role in that tender was instrumental.
I also find professional situations where I am recognised and remembered by utilities, authorities and clients as the ‘face’ of Wärtsilä Thailand rewarding. But the biggest feelings of achievement come when I feel that I’m contributing to the value-adding solution for our customers and Wärtsilä.”
How do you make sure that you cater to customers’ needs in the best way?
“The goal of our business must be set according to our customers’ needs. To achieve this goal, customer relationship, trust and their business understanding are key. We must understand our customers’ business in order to give them the right solution. We have to earn their trust to make them comfortable to discuss the existing situation, problems and their needs at a very detailed level.
However, building the relationship and trust will not happen overnight – it may take months or even years. The best way is to always sincerely provide the best solution and actively respond to their requests and, equally important, to their complaints.”