Business acumen based on sportsmanship
Tennis player, engineer, business developer, and an entrepreneur with an ever-developing business. What sounds like a real American dream is actually part true. For example, at his peak he was ranked among the top 600 male tennis players in the world. And now he is running one of Siemens’ best partnership companies.
During his time at Tulane University (New Orleans, US) he also earned the prestigious ITA/Rafael Osuna Sportsmanship Award, given annually to only one player – a player that displays sportsmanship, character, and excellent academics. That mindset has now brought him all the way to the success of Volupe.
Robert Samuelsson has quite a colorful background, before being the founder of Volupe. After a college education and a few years in a tennis career based in the US, he eventually went back to Sweden. He holds a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, but his career was in the beginning in fact in car sales, as a business developer for the auto retailer Hedin Bil. After seven years with Hedin Bil he was headhunted to work with software and business developing, a job he enjoyed doing all the way up to the start-up of Volupe.
Volupe got started after an inquiry from Siemens Digital Industries Software representatives if he was interested in starting a partner company, working with and adapting Siemens software for simulation.
“My whole career has been a repeat of “sliding doors”. I’ve never been late to take the chances as doors open to me, and here we are.”
What’s your average day’s work like?
– I obviously run the company, today it’s a lot about building a solid foundation for future growth. I also work with technical sales, both with new customers and with prospects. A normal day can hold lots of tasks, but my main focus is the development of Volupe.
Why do you do what you do?
– I enjoy, a lot, to be close to the technical part of the business even if I’m not doing it on an everyday basis. I also really like to see how our market matures, changes and to see us being agile, credible, and able to deliver new and coveted products. In our main segments (marine, energy efficiency and infrastructure) lots happen and develop all the time. I like to be on top of that.
What’s your driving force?
– It is really nice to work closely with our competent co-workers and to be able to facilitate our common successes. I want to work hard to build an agile and able team of experts. I also like us to have fun, while working. Having fun at the office matters much, as we also want to be an attractive place to work.
When are you satisfied with something?
– I’m not sure I ever will be totally content with anything, as I always strive for development and a built-in capacity of being better. Though, I am somewhat pleased with what we accomplished so far at Volupe, and with what we are about to accomplish.
– It was fun and satisfactory to all of us to be awarded the Siemens’ award Best Partner at the Nordic market as well as the award Best Simulations Partner in Europe last year (2019). That kind of made me proud all over.
How do you go about things?
– I often use my experience from being an athlete, setting long-term goals, as well as smaller goals to check off along the way. But it’s important to not have too many goals. To prioritize is essential, being able to trim away those things that might blur your focus. And then, it’s important to me to surround myself with good and competent people. Both the people themselves, and the team dynamics is of great importance to me.
What matters when you meet others?
– I like that personal touch and to connect on a personal level, both with staff and with customers. All long-term partnerships need that openess for a healthy longevity. I also like to be an inviting and honest person, in private and at work.
“Opportunities provide possibilities, and it is important to dare to exploit them.”
Anything special you are proud of?
– I am proud of myself, for taking the chances that have been offered to me. For example, starting a totally new business, even if I had a safe and comfortable job before that. I’m proud of the courage it takes to take that uncertain step into the unknown. Opportunities provide possibilities, and it is important to dare to exploit them.
– I’m also proud of the ongoing development of my co-workers, that I maybe helped facilitate them so that their efforts produce tangible results. I’m proud of having created this company, the team and their possibilities.
So, what’s in the future?
– I see a steady, organic business growth, and that we may expand in other segments of industry. It might happen that I hand over the baton to someone else, and that this person will take Volupe to the next level. But right now, I’d like to continue to develop Volupe into being an even more important partner in the ecosystem of Siemens. And as I have pointed out earlier, I feel lucky to have been given a certain set of opportunities. Because, opportunities provide possibilities, and it is important to dare to exploit them
– On a personal note, I hope to be able to have a healthy and a physically active life. To be able to work out and to, of course, have a good life together with my family.