SENTHIL KUMAR SAMBANDAM
Popularizing Customized Indian-Made Polymer Solutions To Meet Global Demands
What makes engineers a notch above other entrepreneurs? Every entrepreneur is motivated by a dream and a purpose, but having intrinsic technical talent, cross-functional experience, and the ability to handle complex projects gives an edge. Engineers also bring a variety of intrapreneurial skills to the table, including teamwork, analytics, adaptability, resiliency, creativity, empathy, and the ability to spot and seize prospects. Wintech Polyso, a premier supplier of polymer solutions, is the brainchild of one such dedicated engineer, Mr. Senthil Kumar Sambandam (MD). The following excerpt focuses on his mission to make Wintech the leading solution provider for engineering polymers.
GERMINATING THE SEEDS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Like many aspiring engineers, Mr. Senthil found his knack for entrepreneurship during his days in Mechanical Engineering. Eventually, he grew an interest in possibilities in plastic while he was doing his postgraduation in plastic engineering following an MBA in marketing. His core interest led him to work with the world’s leading plastic raw material manufacturers, like DuPont, Royal DSM, Cincinnati Milacron, and Engel Austria, spending over a decade in leadership positions.
The tenure built multiple intrapreneurial skills, allowing him to experiment and course-correct based on experience. In simple words, it helped him understand the industry and identify gaps that needed to be filled. In 2015, Mr. Senthil took his first step as an entrepreneur and started manufacturing sophisticated polymeric bushes using unique polymer compounds. In 2017, he began polymer distribution and importing polyacetals and nylons from leading manufacturers and selling them locally, which marked the start of Wintech.
In 2018, he induced new product distribution verticals and never looked back. The firm found a prevailing gap between customer expectations and the technology available to meet them, and they began compounding activity in full swing, undertaking batches as low as 250 kg. With time and realizing further needs of the industry, they started building polymer stock shapes and machined parts, primarily used in aerospace, defense, medical, textiles, and other applications that require large wall thickness and small lot sizes where conventional molding techniques are not feasible.
Last but not least, there are Wintech Specialty Parts, sold under the Lubripol® trademark. This consists of high-performance bushes and bearings capable of replacing traditional bearing materials like copper, brass, bronze, gunmetal, and carbon, among others. Till now, the firm has partnered with 10 leading polymer manufacturers and has developed over 25 exotic and customized recipes, which were originally imported in large MOQs, blocking their working capital with long and inconsistent lead times.
WHAT KEEPS THEM UNDER SPOTLIGHT?
Wintech Polysol, which stands for “winning technologies + polymer solutions,” focuses on unique customer demands rather than generic products. It has a team of proficient mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, and polymer engineers with 100+ years of combined expertise. They are further trained to develop applications and compounds, capture sales, and serve customers in a unique manner. Its management also comprises adept individuals from different domains, and their symbiotic working methods differentiate the firm from its peers.
In addition, the expertise in offering products with shorter lead times, smaller MOQs, and custom colored and functional products help in carving a niche. The firm is more than just a trader of raw materials, and strives to be a complete solution provider. While they partner across every aspect of a business, from application development to commercialization, their objective is to bridge the gap between customer and end-user needs and cost-effective solutions. “Our endeavor is that any customer who walks in with a polymer problem should go back with a solution,” affirms Mr. Senthil.
They partner closely with customers, connecting standard offers and developing unique polymeric compounds and performance-centric parts to provide solutions that provide techno-commercial benefits to the end-user.
THE UNDERLYING STIMULANT
Being an innovation-driven firm, it’s no epiphany that R&D has an underlying significance in Wintech. According to Mr. Senthil, it helped them identify the existing gaps in the industry and set the premise of their firm. R&D also fuelled many flagships like:
- Polymers from Modified PP to PEEK (Distribution Products)
- Tailor-made compounds for better tribological properties, UV, Impact modified, Anti-shrink, FR, NyloRel, Lubripol Compounds, and many other pre-colored solutions (custom compounds)
- High-temperature stock shapes such as PEEK, PEI, PPS, PTFE, etc., along with standard stocks and engineering polymers (shaped and machined parts)
- Polymeric composite bushes made primarily out of their proprietary compounds to address wear & friction (Lubripol®)
The customized products make the firm a one-stop-shop for tool design solutions, raw materials, and state-of-the-art testing for polymer identification for reverse engineering of parts, which includes part validation. The endeavors in R&D also bolster their technological forte. Their cost-effective, sophisticated technology solutions are winning global markets, thus creating a ‘Win-Win’ scenario. Mr. Senthil asserts that technology is their driving force and that every aspect of business sustainability lies in innovation.
GENIUS PEOPLE – INGENIOUS CULTURE
Wintech runs like a well-oiled machine thanks to the harmonious interplay between technology and people. As mentioned earlier, the team consists of diverse talent from across the polymer industry and manufacturing space, with a track record of taking businesses to the next level. The firm has a distinct relationship model that stimulates inspiration and coaching, with everyone deliberating openly to create long-term solutions.
“We are a highly driven team with extensive experience in complex scenarios and are constantly open to ideas,” asserts Mr. Senthil. They also focus on learning from mistakes, which keeps them on a learning curve and prevents them from repeating the same mistakes. The team is categorized into manufacturing, sales, marketing, finance, and logistics, backed up by a solid backend. The workforce has thrived, and they expect to increase functionalities this year.
FIXATED TO REACH NEW HEIGHTS
“We at Wintech believe that success is defined by more than just the bottom line. We take a holistic approach, seeing a win-winwin situation develop between us, the customer, and the enduser. That is when real success is achieved,” explains Mr. Senthil. In 4.5 years, they have measured 100% client retention. They are growing at a 40% YOY and will continue by introducing new products into the portfolio. Mr. Senthil is proud of these feats that were attained with locally developed products that met global demands.
Alongside, the firm is working on path-breaking applications that’ll empower the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative by localizing the expensive imported wear and friction parts. Moreover, they are developing exotic compounds under the specialty compounds vertical, enabling customers to source them locally.
“Making a simple transaction with customer is the traditional way of doing business. Understanding their needs by connecting with them based on emotional disclosure and demonstration of character, values, philosophy & Humanity that they respect & identify with is the other way. Wintech chooses the later thereby making a permanent bond and creating an equity with customers by relationship,” asserts Mr. Senthil.
They have the necessary technical and business knowledge to meet a wide range of customer challenges. They also have global partnerships in all four verticals to help customers break into the global market.
A NOTE FROM THE FOUNDER
“We link our business with a noble ideal, and as a part of that, we are committed to helping the recycling industry upgrade its materials through the proper use of technology so that the industry will get better contributions and inspire entrepreneurs to take up this business and succeed.” – Senthil Kumar Sambandam, Managing Director
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