Interview with Paulo Zanini

Paulo Zanini
Product Manager for Electronic Drives and Control Technology
With WEISS since 2016

Paulo Zanini works as a product manager at WEISS. The native Brazilian emigrated to Germany together with his wife in order to be able to shape the industry 4.0 at WEISS.

Berufseinsteiger | Karriere bei WEISS

What is your professional background?

I am a native Brazilian and lived in Brazil until recently. My previous professional career there was shaped by different subject areas. For example, I have worked as a control and cybernetics engineer. In addition to this, I was able to gain experience in automation technology, as a machine programmer and applications engineer for electrical drives and as a product manager. I also did academic research in the area of adaptive control and artificial intelligence. During this time I lived in Germany for two years and worked for a German company.

How did you end up at WEISS?

Once me and my wife were back in Brazil, we decided together to emigrate to Germany. We were simply inspired by the living and working conditions in Germany. The contact with WEISS then came via a former colleague. He told me that project mangers were wanted in Buchen. There was quite some bureaucracy to get through before I was able to start work. I had to undergo the emigration process, which included the recognition of my professional skills. In 2016, I was finally able to move to Buchen with my family to start as a product manager at WEISS.

What is your area of responsibility?

I am product manager for electric drives, control and software. In this role, I do not create or develop products, but represent the interface between sales, development, service and strategic planning. This includes tasks such as collecting market requirements through comprehensive market research and sales surveys. These requirements are translated into specifications for new products. This means ascertaining what WEISS products must offer in the area of control technology and software in the future, based on market requirements. The current market requirements are the benchmark for our growth opportunities, which in turn are converted into products. Once these products are developed and produced, it is important to position them on the market. In addition to this task, I am also responsible for the digitisation of the WEISS sales process. It is our goal to concentrate information about our products and make it accessible. That’s why we are working on a common database, which is available centrally for catalogues, websites or design tools, as well as software, commissioning and service.

What is the biggest challenge in your work?

I would say the biggest challenge is communication that functions well. In my work, a variety of topics, interfaces and contact partners have to be coordinated against very different backgrounds. Choosing the right means of communication alone is a real challenge. I would even go so far as to say that in my job it is not the technical issues that are most difficult, but simply dealing with many different people and their requirements. It gets even more interesting when you throw in the international work environment. Different nations have different cultural distinctions that must be taken into account. This is not always easy, but currently it is also my greatest passion.

Why did you choose WEISS as an employer?

For me as an engineer, Germany is the mother country of technology, especially in the field of automation. All major developments in my field originate in Germany. I would also like to make my contribution. And WEISS offers the perfect working environment just for this. In Brazil, I had a successful career ahead of me, but no chance to having a lasting effect on something. This is completely different at WEISS. Uwe Weiss is a visionary as CEO. In addition, this company has the resources and capability to shape developments in the industry. WEISS has a highly professional work environment, high growth rates, investment potential and visions for the future. This means that the company is on the right track to achieve stable and long-term growth. That was my motivation to go to Germany and ultimately choose WEISS as an employer.

How do you like life in rural areas?

One reason for me to emigrate to Germany was the quality of life on offer to people here. And I am convinced that quality of life has nothing to do with the concentrated economy of a location. Quality of life in Germany has something to do with the fact that every 20 to 50 kilometres there are small or larger cities that offer their inhabitants the opportunity to do good work in the industrial sector. It’s a great thing for me to be able to benefit from this structure, and to have found a challenging job, which I can reach from my flat in just 12 minutes by bicycle.  This to me is a pure quality of life that money cannot buy. If we want to do something at the weekend that isn't offered in Buchen, then we simply go to one of the surrounding larger cities. We have friends in Frankfurt, Würzburg and Mannheim, who we often visit. This is why both my wife and I have no problems at all with the rural life here in Buchen.

What is special about WEISS?

There are people at WEISS who are very special. The company has succeeded in putting together a very good team worldwide. There is a perfect balance between total experts, who have worked at WEISS for many years or joined from other well-known companies, and exceptional geeks, who have the ability to find and advance innovative solutions very quickly. This means that the company can draw on a great, well-mixed team. The second thing that inspires me is the ongoing transformation of the company. It’s about shaping the development of a business from a small company to a larger international company. We are therefore currently experiencing a constant process of change, which is accompanied by the development of new products and innovations. At the same time, WEISS stays true to its roots. I am very pleased to be part of this innovation.

What do you want to achieve with WEISS?

I would like to make my contribution to the 4th industrial revolution. And WEISS gives me everything I need for this. I have the means, the tasks, and the resources I need to help shape industry 4.0. With WEISS, as a member of various trade associations I can directly determine which standards will be applied in the future. If I worked at a large corporation, I wouldn't get the chance to participate in this standardisation process. This is one of the big advantages of working for a smaller company. The cycle of motivation comes full circle faster there.

What three terms do you think best describe WEISS?

Innovative, competent, impressive.

Paulo Zanini, thank you very much for the interview.