Sergey Naumov, SDM ’11: Systems Thinking for the Technical Professional

Andrea Ippolito By Eileen McCluskey
April 28, 2011

"When I stared in my career I was 100 percent technical," says Sergey Naumov, 38, and a first-year SDM student who earned his MS in mechanical engineering from Bauman Moscow State Technical University. "As I progressed in my career and started dealing with complex operational and financial issues, I realized I needed a cutting-edge, systems thinking perspective on these challenges, from establishing a multinational company to managing teams during fast-paced expansions."

Naumov, who grew up in Moscow and whose parents and grandparents are also engineers, thoroughly researched MBA programs worldwide. But he felt they missed the mark. "I didn’t want to sacrifice my technical expertise or focus too narrowly on finances," he notes.

While exploring MIT’s Sloan School of Management website, Naumov discovered SDM. "This program is perfect for me," he declares. "It combines the greatest engineering traditions with the créme de la créme of modern business practices. SDM is opening a new world of opportunities for me, not only through the courses and faculty but also through my fellow SDM students, all experienced professionals who come from so many different backgrounds."

Naumov, too, brings a lot to the table, having proven his technical and managerial mettle in the industrial battery sector. For example, prior to coming to SDM, he was head of information technology for Moscow-based battery manufacturer Akku-Vertrieb Ltd. There Naumov helped boost revenues from $25 million to $90 million in three years by leading several business-critical projects. One of the most important large-scale projects was the implementation of a new Warehouse Management System, which greatly improved product processing efficiencies.

With these successes under his belt, Naumov was ready for another challenge. It came in the form of a new startup company. He was named director of research and development for the Germany-based LionTech GmbH, created with the ambitious goal to become a European leader in manufacturing large industrial lithium-ion batteries.

Because they are smaller, more powerful, and lighter than other battery types, Li-Ion batteries have become commonplace in consumer electronics. But they had not yet been adapted for large industry.

"With our team’s deep experience in the industrial battery sector, we knew our customers and the technology very well and were thus in a strong position to manufacture Li-Ion batteries for industrial uses," says Naumov.

He traveled as part of LionTech’s core executive team to the United States, China, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and South Korea to find and select manufacturers. Naumov shepherded the R&D process, supervising the battery’s designs and presenting proposals and updates to LionTech’s board of directors. "The company has established small-scale production and is looking to further customizing the products for its clients," he says.

As he moves more deeply into the SDM program, Naumov does not yet wish to settle on a particular new direction. "I see so many possibilities," he says. Of one thing, however, he is certain: "I want to shape the future of industries and lead them to new technological breakthroughs."

Sergey Naumov
Photo by Kathy Tarantola Photography