[Image above] Credit: Surmet

Suri Sastri, president and founder of Surmet Corporation, shares insights about the company’s journey to success with ACerS in this video interview. Surmet won the ACerS Corporate Technical Achievement Award in October 2013.

Founded in 1982 and based in Burlington, Mass., Surmet provides cost-effective advanced material solutions to its industrial customers with a focus on next-generation machines, systems, and applications. For nearly 30 years, the company has specialized in commercializing and scaling-up manufacturing of advanced material components. The company conducts R&D in its labs, where it has company capabilities in ceramic processing, precision polishing, advanced coatings, and surface treatments.

When Sastri was bitten by the “entrepreneurial bug” about three decades ago, he was working for Gillette as a director of chemical and materials research.

“For a few years before I left Gillette, I had been thinking about doing something on my own. With my wife’s encouragement, I decided to leave… with no particular plan, no particular backing. I just knew that what I had been doing at Gillette would be useful in many industrial applications,” Sastri says in the video.

He left Gillette on great terms—the company was sad to see him go, but urged him to follow his dreams. Emboldened with Gillette’s moral support and armed with the applicable knowledge required to fulfill a need in the advanced materials manufacturing industry, Sastri struck out on his own.

“I started out trying to help industrial customers with improving their products, so they would have an advantage in the marketplace. My premise was that today’s materials are not adequate enough to meet the needs of tomorrow’s machines, devices, and applications,” Sastri says. “I always went into this business knowing that I wanted to work on the next-generation requirements that other companies may not be able to do.”

Watch the full interview with Sastri below.

Credit: ACerS