Martin Roos – New Board Member of Nexam Chemical
Martin Roos was elected as a new member of Nexam Chemicals’ Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting in May 2021. Let’s get to know Martin a little better.
Tell us a little about your background.
I have a master’s degree in chemical engineering, as well as a master’s degree in economics. I launched my career at Ericsson, where I worked for 12 years. I spent most of that time abroad – in Italy, South Africa, Brazil, Panama, and Puerto Rico among other places. My last position at Ericsson was Head of Caribbean and Central American markets. After that, I moved to one of my clients, Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), where I took on the role as CEO in the 14 English-speaking islands of the Caribbean. After having done that for a few years, I continued on the operating side as CEO of telecom operator Altice in the Dominican Republic. In 2018, I moved back home to Sweden, where I am currently working on a number of board assignments and investments.
How did you come to be part of Nexam’s board?
I had my eye on the company and thought it was interesting. I am already on the board of Seamless Distribution Systems, and some of the people associated with SDS also have connections to Nexam. They appreciated my contributions on the other board and thought I could be of value for Nexam as well. It’s a good fit given my international background and the fact that I put a lot of focus on marketing, sales, and strategy. I also have a background in chemistry, but it’s been more than 20 years since I was in a lab.
What do you think of Nexam’s journey so far?
It has been an incredibly exciting journey. Nexam has gone from being a bit of an aspirational company with a few specialty chemicals, to turning some of these into successful products that are growing rapidly. It has also added masterbatch productions to its business, an interesting complementary niche. It’s amazing to see companies develop like this. Nexam is a great example of Sweden’s entrepreneurial spirit. There are many smaller companies with great expertise in specific areas that manage to become international on a small scale while still growing. It’s great to see. Few countries have that kind of dynamism. There is a great deal of ambition and drive here.
The timing couldn’t be better for Nexam, as our motto is to make better plastics for the future. There are many things we wish we could do without, but plastic is a material that is definitely here to stay. So, it’s incredibly interesting to be involved in a company that can make the material better and more recyclable. It’s very motivating that the company has a higher purpose.
What are the things Nexam must focus on going forward?
One of the most important things is that the company can play a big and significant role in making plastics greener. Partly by facilitating increased recycling, for which we’ve just launched new products, and partly by improving the performance of standard plastics, like our successful PET foam, and perhaps also bioplastics. Demand for green plastics is growing in the market, but a lot of the plastics that come from sugar canes or forests do not have the same mechanical or physical performance as traditional plastics. Nexam’s reactive chemistry can improve the mechanical properties and physical performance of plastics. If we can achieve this with bioplastics as well, we can make them a more realistic option for many industries.
Although Nexam has had great success in recent years, it is a relatively small company. This requires a continued focus on flexibility, speed and keeping costs as low as possible. When the volumes are low, we need to be efficient. In the long term, the company needs to grow to be able to gain economy of scale for some products.
Who are you in your everyday life?
After having lived abroad for almost 20 years, I’m back in Stockholm again, and I really like it here. I am married and have two children aged 13 and 11. My family likes to travel, cook and eat, and we recently got a cat.