This would have been a suitable motto for the four-week training course at DMAN within the framework of the Manager Training Programme (MP) for Kyrgyz entrepreneurs. The participants, most of them also the owners of the firms, represented very diverse small and medium-sized enterprises, mainly in Bishkek. The industries ranged from food, building, textile production, printing, gas and oil to rose-growing. And the participants’ interests were just as varied. However, they all wanted to buy German products, equipment or machinery. They were very interested in establishing bilateral economic relations and wanted to expand their knowledge on economic developments and political mechanisms in Germany. Economic promotion and municipal project development were right at the top of the agenda.
There were a large variety of opportunities to explore these topics in the course of the training. Discussions with representatives of the city of Celle and the Luneburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce already provided important practical information and impetus; then the first company visit took the group to Hamburg’s Hafen-City. Interaction between the public, municipal and private sectors, from planning through to the realisation, was vividly demonstrated using the most extensive urban development project in Europe as an example. Zhipara Raimkulova from Bishkek found the practical examples of urban living, the ecological and social sustainability of the infrastructure, and the establishment of housing associations during the development process extremely professional and interesting. Matters such as land allocation and purchase prices or rents of apartments were discussed openly. “This unique project showed us what can be achieved through well thought out cooperation between the state and private investors”, said Zhanarbek Omurbekov from Osh. “In my opinion, the combination of luxurious and municipal housing units, coupled with comprehensive and perfectly planned infrastructure, is a dream every modern city in the world has.” He also found the approach to land allocation interesting: here the bidders who have the best and most interesting projects are successful and not the ones who have the most money. “It is hard to imagine a model like this one in our country, but now we know that it does work.”
The participants were also inspired by HS Anlagenbau GmbH in Stadthagen. This firm offers consultancy services as well as the design and construction of industrial and incineration plants from a single source. Managing Director Jochen Sembdner convincingly illustrated the systematic and conceptual planning of the firm’s environmental approach. Elvira Borombajeva from Bishkek found that “this, by German standards, young enterprise operates in a very interesting niche. The idea of making money with waste isn’t new to us, but this firm’s professional and thorough approach is impressive. Here the model of a general contractor offering final customers numerous service providers and suppliers under one roof is implemented in the best possible way.” She also found the enterprise’s cooperation with local universities for the purpose of training future professionals to work on its own plants highly interesting. “That’s a very clever strategy to penetrate markets abroad.” The visit laid the foundation for future cooperation with the Krygyz Small Hydro Power Association.
Dürkopp Adler AG in Bielefeld presented itself as a sewing machine factory rich in tradition, operating globally today with the most modern service and distribution organisations. The company’s goal is to perfect the automation of production processes and, at the same time, ensure a maximum degree of flexibility in the application spectrum. Zhipara Raimkulova, a managing director in the textile industry, was delighted. “That’s a great company with great products. The quality and the automation possibilities of the sewing machines that were presented to us are impressive. With machines like those, our workers could improve the quality of their products enormously while reducing their effort. It is interesting that the company offers prices adapted specially to the Kyrgyz market; that makes the products even more attractive.” Andrei Olfert, Area Sales Manager at Dürkopp Adler AG, was in turn impressed by the open-minded group. “They showed great interest in our products and in cooperating with us in Kyrgyzstan. This market is very interesting for us; it is a continuously moving market and has great potential for growth. We are always glad to receive groups like this one at our offices.” Once again, a genuine win-win situation.
By Dr Ronald Pschierer
German Management Academy of Lower Saxony (DMAN), Celle