Small, Family-Run and Successful

In October 2014, Russian executives from the middle and upper management levels visited KTG Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH to discover how a small, family-run compa-ny can effectively participate in foreign markets. “It is a very interesting experience to understand how a typical family-run company from Germany ‎operates,” noted Vitaly Romanov. Klaus Gindl runs the firm, founded in 1997. His son Thomas Gindl also plays a key role as International Sales Manager. Ten employees support the father-son team at their headquarters in Munich. The firm also develops and manufactures components for the SecuScan underbody monitoring security system for vehicles.

Participants were very interested to see how a small German company that focuses primarily on exports operates. Here Thomas Gindl noted that: “One decisive step was investing in warehousing so we could deliver more quickly than our competitors. This allowed us to stay a step ahead of the competition.” It is also important for a small firm to ensure sufficient financing for every project. So Gindl decided his company would only deliver against advanced payment and not on credit. Cooperation with skilled and reliable partners in each individual country was another important point, and is part of the reason the company has now expanded its exports to 30 countries. In Russia the systems were used during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, for example.

The company is very well versed in doing business with Russia. For five years now it has held a stake in Signal Telecom in Moscow and employs 80 Russian workers in the parking systems area at Parktime, a joint subsidiary. So Klaus Gindl was easily able to fulfil his guests’ requests for more information about cooperation with Russia. He talked very openly about the problems he felt the company faced in Russia. These included differences in hierarchical structure and the decision-making process. Customs regulations and bookkeeping have also sometimes presented unexpected hurdles. After years of collaboration, the company is now better able to adjust. “Anyone who goes to Russia needs to be aware that it is not a place to make a quick buck. Long-term investment is required”, Klaus Gindl emphasises. He also pointed out that a functioning network and good partnerships were essential. His guests were in perfect agreement: “A good relationship helps to improve and develop company business in Germany and abroad,” summed up Elena Grytsiv.

By Sandra Peters
Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria, Munich