North America Regional President Vitor Gregório talks tech, plans for growth.
On June 11, Bosch Thermotechnology invited trade media and local dignitaries to tour its new facility in Watertown, Massachusetts. During the event Vitor Gregório, regional president of Bosch Thermotechnology North America, provided insight into the company’s growing North American operations. pme had a chance to catch up with Gregório — this is what he had to say.
pme: How long have you been with Bosch and how did you enter this industry?
VG: I’ve been with Bosch for about 19 years. I’ve worked in three different Bosch divisions: HVAC, Automotive Aftermarket, Power Tools and back to HVAC. I entered the HVAC industry in the beginning of my career when I joined Bosch in Portugal.
pme: Can you tell us about the new Watertown facility?
VG: We want to put Watertown on the map, both in the industry and with local authorities in Massachusetts. Watertown is an important investment for our company. It’s not just about new offices or a new headquarters, it’s a research and development investment in terms of people and infrastructure. We’ve been here since July 2017, but the facility has been evolving. We’re very excited to showcase our Experience Center and lab space.
pme: Can you tell us about the Experience Center?
VG: The purpose of the Experience Center is to give our visitors the look and feel of our products and technology. Our offices are pretty different from the industry standard. We have a modern setup — everything is an open space, and we have integrated teams between sales, marketing and the engineering group. We also have the lab space, which includes three labs.
pme: Bosch works with FIRST robotics — is that also a personal interest of yours?
VG: FIRST Robotics is a Robert Bosch North American initiative that we in Thermotechnology North America (TTNA) are directly involved and interested in because we believe in STEM education support. Here in TTNA, we sponsor and mentor a specific FIRST Robotics team, Team 238. Bosch Thermotechnology senior executive George Berg is a mentor and coach of this team from a financial, leadership and team working standpoint.
pme: How does (or will) the lack of new talent coming into this industry affect Bosch?
VG: I don’t think there is necessarily a lack of talent coming into the industry; instead, I’d say there is a rougher fight for talent. There definitely is an opportunity for us, as industry leaders, to do a better job promoting the attractiveness of this industry. Bosch, as a company, offers a trainee/junior-management program. TTNA is one of the most requested divisions for rotation of the junior-management participants.
pme: How would you describe Bosch’s company culture?
VG: We are the largest privately-held company in the world. It’s very unique, especially by U.S. and North American standards, to have an $18 billion company not publically traded. That shapes and influences the company’s culture. With a 135-year history, Bosch is a long-legacy company that is present across the globe. It’s difficult to summarize a culture, but long-term orientation, diversity and innovation are words that stand out.
pme: Where do you see Bosch heading in the next few years as a company?
VG: On a global scale, we are trying to reinvent ourselves in a very structured and smooth way. We’re investing heavily in research and development, and startups. We have strong ties into trending topics such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity and autonomous driving. As a company, we’re ahead of the curve in several or most of the industries we play in.
pme: What’s one thing you want our readers to know about Bosch?
VG: That Bosch is a good place to work. It’s an interesting company and different from other comparably sized companies. We are a global company with German roots — the company has been in the U.S. more than 110 years. Bosch knows the U.S. very well and has been here long enough to understand the North American people and culture.
This article was originally titled “Bosch Thermotechnology invests in the North American market” in the September 2018 print edition of PM Engineer.