Behind the Gaskets | Expert interview: Eternal learner Jukka Sunila loves a good challenge

Our valued employee and important colleague Jukka Sunila passed away in June 2022. Our longing is great, and we want to remember and honor Jukka in many ways. His strong customer service spirit lives on as a legacy in the way we serve our customers.
– colleagues in the TT Gaskets’ work community

May 2, 2022

Key account manager Jukka Sunila is one of TT Gaskets’ most senior employees with a career of over 40 years. Over the years he has gathered a wealth of tacit knowledge which he now passes on to younger colleagues. For his clients, Jukka is a valued problem-solver.

– I have the longest career here out of all current TT Gaskets employees. I’ve seen a lot, but one of my mottos is that you can always learn something new every day, Jukka says.

Born in Rauma, Jukka spent his youth in Turku and moved to Tampere for work in 1979. He had completed a degree in mechanical engineering from the Turku Technical School a year earlier.

– I’m an extrovert personality, and I like interacting with people and meeting new clients. I really got to apply myself when I started working as a sales engineer, Jukka says.

Gasket solutions for factory needs

Jukka started his career in domestic sales. In the 1980s TT Gaskets began exporting products to Sweden and expanded into the Middle-European market in the 1990s. The sales department grew, and the sales staff’s work became more solution oriented.

– Our importance to our clients has grown as we are able to do more and more collaboration with designers in the early stages of factory projects. Our gasket solutions need to be competitive, so financial literacy is also important in my line of work.

Jukka travels frequently in Europe and Asia for his work. Before the COVID pandemic he often garnered over a hundred travel days per year. A large portion of his clients are engine factories, and TT Gaskets is often involved when new engine types are in development. Participating in development work is beneficial for the whole company.

– The best part of my job is that it constantly offers new challenges and opportunities to get to know different cultures. A typical customer relationship often starts with me solving a problem such as a leakage. I’m driven by interactions in which we are able to solve our clients’ problems. Luckily, I often also get to see our solutions implemented in their actual working environments.

Investments in machines and personnel

Jukka started his career at TT Gaskets under the leadership of CEO Jussi Arpiainen. Jussi was followed by his son Matti Arpiainen, who in turn was succeeded by his son Aleksi Arpiainen.

– Leadership here at TT Gaskets has always been encouraging and respectful towards the employees. I’ve enjoyed a rather natural career progression. I applaud the company for always striving for innovation. CEOs have been willing to make investments in new machinery, our factory, and personnel.

Jukka is looking to retire in a few years. Before retirement, he intends to pass on his tacit knowledge to younger colleagues in the exports team.

– I have a positive outlook on the future. I love reading and spending time in the outdoors, and I’m looking forward to traveling the world with my wife. I have visited China a lot, but it would be nice to return to the country in my free time, Jukka plans.