Long-Sighted Economics Leads to Top Results

Indian managers discussed the management approach of a family-run medium sized surface technology enterprise and talked about possible partnerships.An on-site visit brought the MP group to the firm The Coatinc Company (TCC), which specialises in the surface finishing of steel and metal. Managing Director Paul Niederstein welcomed the entrepreneurs to the business’ premises in the North Rhine-Westphalian town of Kreuztal,

provided them with detailed information about the enterprise and entered into an animated dialogue with them. Many of the 22 Indian MP participants run family businesses themselves. Therefore, topics regarding strategic management and succession planning for the management board were of central interest to them. However, there was also a lively discussion about high degrees of specialisation and how identifying with the employees and the region in a strong way influences how business is done.

"Measured decision-making has allowed us to stay in business over the centuries. Sometimes it's good to be second," Niederstein said with a wink. The triad of: family, values and product shapes the enterprise's sustainable strategy. This affects the growth of the company, its internationalisation strategy and its selection of partners in the foreign markets it serves. The company is not yet active in India however, Niederstein sees the country as a growth market with great potential and is open to a partnership there. Some of the managers consequently discussed whether the expectations on each side concerning their values will be compatible.

As part of a tour of the site, the Indian MP participants were also given an insight into the production processes of metal galvanising and the handling of intellectual property rights, market development and advancing digitalisation. "TCC is an outstanding example of German SMEs," said Srish Venkat, who is himself active in the surface finishing industry. "Many of the characteristics attributed to German firms in previous MP seminars are acted out here every day. Management decisions and the responses to our requests are transparent and comprehensible for us."

TCC is listed as the oldest family-owned firm in Germany. The enterprise's history began in 1502 with a master blacksmith and continued through social changes and political upheavals to become today's Hidden Champion from the Siegerland. The group now has 32 locations and more than 2,200 employees around the world.

ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung