Learning from the German market leader for pumps

The executives from Egypt already had a major highlight on their schedules on their fourth day in Germany – a visit to KSB AG in Frankenthal. With production sites on all five continents and more than 16,000 employees, KSB is one of the world’s largest pump and valve manufacturers. The products manufactured by this listed company that was founded in 1872 can be used in a wide range of applications: from building and industrial technology and water-based transportation to waste water treatment and power plant processes. Following an invitation to lunch, Wolfgang Kleinert, the former operations manager at KSB Frankenthal, gave them a tour of the production facilities, including explanations of how displacement and dynamic pumps work. Kleinert showed the guests from Egypt all sizes of pumps and accessories for different areas of application.

But the most exciting part was yet to come. Thomas Belledin, the head of global business development, provided some exclusive insights into the global production and sales structures of the company. The Egyptians learned that core products are produced in the company’s three main regions: Europe, America and Asia. Local content requirements often need to be met. By means of a close-knit sales and service network, KSB is able to reach any country in the world, even in Africa. Belledin also explained what was contributed to KSB becoming the world’s largest provider of pumps and valves: Success on the global market is not only the result of major investment in research and development together with the resulting innovations, but also due to maintaining very high quality standards on a global scale through the use of in-house quality certifications. MP participants especially appreciated the very long-term and sustainable direction of the company’s activities and the ability to reinvest a major part of profits back into the company. Their numerous questions about motivating employees and monitoring success revealed a great curiosity on the part of the Egyptians in KSB’s management methods. The answers they were given surely spurred the drive to implement such practices in their own companies.

Michael Schenker, who works in the development of global projects for water and waste water, reported on major completed and ongoing projects for water and waste water. The guests learned not only that KSB had installed water pumps in only every eight floors on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, but also that the company is also involved in one of the largest ever waste water projects beneath the Thames in London. Egypt is also amongst their core markets – KSB is part of a project working on the El Tebbin steam turbine power plant.

It turned out that many of the Egyptian executives have a need for high-quality pumps for water and waste water as well as pumps at their production sites for various industries. The swift swapping of business cards, a tentatively planned private meeting during the group visit and further bilateral exchange between the presenters from KSB and the MP participants not only helped to grow the management knowledge of the Egyptian guests, but also served as an indication of future business relationships.

By Franziska Schneider
AHP International GmbH & Co. KG, Heidelberg