New Managing Director, Global Business.
Osterode - 1st September, 2022.
Piller Power Systems, Europe's leading producer of mission-critical electrical equipment and power stabilisation solutions, has appointed Dr. Zaki Slgini Managing Director, Global Business.
Dr. Slgini joins Piller from Marelli Motori, a sister company within the global engineering and industrial group, Langley Holdings plc.
He takes over from outgoing Managing Director, Global Business, Mr Andrew Dyke. After 25 years with the Piller group, Andrew moves on to his next chapter with sincere thanks and best wishes from the Piller family.
Piller’s new incumbent talks to Ambrose McNevin about his leadership style, new partnerships and the emerging hybrid renewables microgrid sector.
Tell us about your previous roles.
"Previously I have worked in the electrical machines and power generation businesses and from 2014 I have worked for Marelli Motori. I have worked in sales and marketing of large power generators and electrically machines across Europe and globally.
I moved over to Piller from Marelli Motori where I was the Managing Director Central Europe, based in Germany. Our company was looking after the market in central, eastern and northern Europe.
Among the key customers in the region were large power suppliers for marine applications who we supplied with alternators and motors for different kinds of vessels. We also built a strong co-generation and hybrid renewable energy business.
The synergies between the companies and the roles are there. I knew Piller both as a customer and from work done together under the umbrella of Langley Holdings. We, as Marelli, were supplying Piller with alternators. My journey with Mr Langley started back in 2019 when Marelli was acquired by Langley Holdings.
I have over 25 years of experience in terms of electrical machines and because of my background as an electrical engineer, don’t have to acquire a lot of UPS knowledge around the Piller business".
Over the next 5 years the microgrid sector is forecast to be a total addressable market of $40bn-$50bn. As an emerging opportunity for Piller and Power Solutions Division where does Piller sits inside that ecosystem?
"I recognised when I joined Piller that the definition of Microgrids is not clear for a lot of people. From the Power Solutions Division perspective (which comprises Piller, Bergen Engines and Marelli Motori), we are addressing large scale projects above 50MWs to 100MWs. There are some areas where Bergen Engines will take the lead because they are key suppliers and Piller will be supplying stabilisation for frequency and voltage.
We have excellent experience in terms of conversion, stabilisation and protecting the load. This is where we have world beating levels of expertise and solutions within Piller and we can see where they will be applied in microgrids and smart grids.
We are building partnerships with engineering and consultancy companies and working with Bergen on the controller side of the business.
We will engage the market directly and indirectly as appropriate through our own expertise, through new channels, new partnerships and through Power Solution Division with Bergen Engines.
The second part is as a standalone business for Piller to work close with partners such as system integrators that are taking control of microgrid developments. We can ensure the right kind of technologies that are required to stabilise the load frequency.
These are the challenges for us as a business to promote our solutions. The market opportunity size is vast and exists in Europe, USA with big potential in China and in developing economies across Southeast Asia through battery solutions, hybrid solutions and solar."
What do you see as the other growth opportunities for Piller as a standalone business?
"There is synergy between both Marelli and Piller in terms of electrical machines and the motor business. I see synergy in the marine sector because for Piller its strength today is in defence while for Marelli it is more in the commercial business. Defence and naval applications were a niche sector for Marelli but now in partnership can present a big opportunity for both to extend the business.
Elsewhere for Piller we are very successful in industrial applications specifically in semiconductors and the pharmaceutical manufacturing sectors. There is good growth potential in Singapore and in Italy where we had success with a large-scale semiconductor maker for multiple phases of a big manufacturing project.
We expect in Singapore we will be very successful this year along with a strong pipeline in pharmaceutical continuing there and in Italy, Germany and the US in the medium term.
In data centres we are securing business with NEXTDC in Australia, and more large colocation customers in Germany and the US."
Let’s talk about leadership. How do you build trust?
"For me as a leader in an organisation I would like the key thing to be to get my team on the journey with me so buy in can be generated through trust.
It is vital to make sure the people reporting to you have the right competencies. One thing I do directly is influence people in a positive manner to motivate and drive themselves forward. I identify these kind of people, and in helping them to develop, I know I can delegate important tasks.
I respect every single person in the organisation. All deserve respect. In order to motivate people I show them what they are contributing, that they are very useful and that we take care of them."
How important is youth in the culture and development of the business?
"I like to coach young people to develop their skills. Diversity is key for any big organisation and for a global organisation such as Piller understanding all cultures is a must.
From day one it is vital to build honest relationships. True creativity and problem solving comes from new ways of thinking and through that cultivation of young people as the problem solvers of tomorrow".
Tell us something about your management style?
"What I have done in the past is that when issues arise in customer relationships then leadership is key. It is not enough to send a team to the customer. My view is hit me with this problem and we will solve it. I join them. I like to be at the front".
Ambrose McNevin is an independent journalist specialising in the electrical infrastructure sector. He is a former editor of Data Centre Dynamics.
Piller was founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1909 by engineer Anton Piller. Employing around 1000 people worldwide, Piller is headquartered in Osterode, near Hanover, Germany, with subsidiaries across Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Piller occupies a unique position, being the only company to produce both types of electrically coupled UPS technologies and with kinetic energy storage or battery options. The company also manufactures aircraft ground power units, 50/60Hz frequency converters, static transfer switches and specialist marine generators. With more than 7000 kinetic energy storage devices and over 6000 high power UPS units installed, Piller has more than 300 service personnel taking care of clients across 24 countries. The Piller group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the multi-disciplined global UK engineering and industrial group, Langley Holdings plc. In 2016, Piller acquired Active Power Inc., the flywheel energy storage specialist.
About Power Solutions
The Power Solutions division was formed in January 2022 to pursue opportunities in the emerging hybrid renewables microgrid sector, whilst continuing to serve traditional markets.
Bergen Engines medium speed engines, fuelled by low-carbon fuels, coupled with Marelli Motori alternators, combined with Piller Power Systems power stabilisation technology, are central to Langley Holdings’ net zero and long-term growth strategies.
In 2022 the Power Solutions division is expected to account for around half of the group’s €1.3bn revenues.