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88 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2020 Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 Epoch International is an EMS company specializing in front-end engineering. Barry Matties speaks with Epoch President Foad Ghalili at productronica 2019 about the compa- ny's ability to maintain low employee turnover, challenges they're facing, and expected growth in the U.S. market. Barry Matties: Foad, we're in Munich right now, but where is your headquarters located? Foad Ghalili: Our headquarters is in Fremont, California, and we have other facilities around the world, including Dalian, China. Matties: Talk a little bit about what you do. Ghalili: Epoch is an engineering services manu- facturing company. We put a lot of emphasis on front-end engineering. Most of the custom- ers that we work with are looking for IP protec- tion, and that also gives us leverage to bring about socially responsible companies because I think they are interlinked. You cannot segre- gate IP from socially responsible companies, so that is one of the areas where we're strong. We've been at the forefront of that industry. We are working with large corporations where IP becomes a key element for them. At our company, we have had zero turnover on our manufacturing floor. In the entire company, we have about 4% turnover, which dictates how we run the operation. That gives you an idea of our company culture and environment. Matties: For reference, how many people are in your organization? Ghalili: We have 150 people in China and about 10–15 running the Fremont operations. We bring value to the employees because the company shares its profit. About 25% of the profits are distributed with the employees. They have free education. For example, our produc- tion manager started as a technical high school employee on a production floor. She now has her MBA degree through the company, and she's running our production department. We have a lot of those stories where employees have grown with the company and have been able to bring a lot of value to the organization. Market Insights From Epoch International's President Foad Ghalili

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