Global Protector of Masonry - Wacker Chemie AG


Global Protector of Masonry

During Udo Goedeckeʼs first internship in Japan in the 1980s, he went out for sushi during his lunch break – and found himself under close observation. Many Japanese approached him and wanted to know whether he liked sushi. “Back then, Europeans were still a rarity in Japan,” recalls Udo Goedecke. He has many entertaining anecdotes about Japan at that time.

Udo Goedecke – pictured here in front of the Old Pinakothek art museum in Munich – advises customers on WACKER silicone products that protect buildings against the elements.

Over the past 18 years, the WACKER marketing manager has traveled to a great many countries around the world. When the Iron Curtain fell, he immediately packed his bags and headed to Russia to establish business ties there. Whenever new opportunities open up to introduce customers to the advantages of silicone technology and acquire new business, anywhere in the world, there is no stopping him.

Udo Goedecke works in a team responsible for masonry protection silicones. Available across the globe, WACKER silicones deliver water-repellent properties and protect buildings against decay. For example, Goedecke markets silicone emulsions to roof tile manufacturers, who use them as hydrophobic impregnation agents on their products. Goedecke calls it “Goretex for buildings,” and going to the closet, fetches a road show kit which has been instrumental in convincingly demonstrating the benefits of WACKER products to a large number of roof tile manufacturers around the world.

With specialty silicone-based coatings, the water droplets virtually roll off.

Already during his student days, the materials scientist who also has a Masters in Business Marketing, was a keen traveler and completed internships in both Japan and the USA. His curiosity about foreign cultures and people has stood him in good stead in the course of his career at WACKER. “The human element is very important in our job,” says the native from Cologne, with a tell-tale Rhineland dialect despite the many years he has spent in Bavaria. “If you win over the person, you get the business,” he says. This is sometimes forgotten in the digital world. For him, one of the nicest things about his job is that even when he travels privately, all over he has business partners he can call and meet up with, “even if it’s just for a coffee.”

For Goedecke, inter-cultural understanding is not an empty phrase; it is a decisive factor in the global business world. You have to adapt well to foreign cultures and be able to empathize with people, he explains. After all, there are considerable differences between negotiating business with someone from India, an Arab or an American. “And thereʼs no place for a sensitive stomach in my line of work,” he adds. “Otherwise, business trips can quickly lead to health problems.”

He has always had a soft spot for Japan, dating back to Japanese classes he attended while still at school. “Back in the 1980s, Kaizen, Sony, everything that came from Japan was fantastic,” he recalls. The country and the language continue to fascinate him. Udo Goedecke has close ties to the Munich Japan Club and every year, he looks forward to spending time with his Japanese friends at the Japanfest, which is held at the Tea House in Munich’s English Garden.