Success on three fronts / German kumis for Kazakh managers

Three successes in one

The company owned and directed by Almas Adilbaev,, trades in technical brushes for road sweeping machines and wishes to produce these brushes for itself in future. Adilbaev therefore came to Germany with the aim of purchasing a brushmaking machine. The first step, selecting a manufacturer, proved extremely difficult: only four companies in Europe manufacture this technology. The Kazakh entrepreneur was fortunate enough to find a German manufacturer while still in Kazakhstan though: Wöhler Brush GmbH based in Bad Wünneberg. In the CIS, Wöhler is represented by the German company, Industrie-Kontor GmbH, which in turn affords qualified, Russian-speaking personnel. Adilbaev was therefore able to clarify many technical questions before he came to Germany. During the visit to Wöhler, everything was prepared for the negotiations and the technical and commercial details were clarified. During the final meeting, Adilbaev was very confident that the project worth approx. 470,000 euros (incl. training and local set-up) would be realised in the near future.

Adilbaev also expressed the wish to learn more about the manufacture of brushes in Germany. After extensive research, he managed to organise a visit to a brushmaking plant to familiarise himself with the brushmaking process. This wish was fulfilled entirely to his satisfaction. Indeed, his delight grew when he learned that the brush producer he visited, Bürstenmann GmbH based in Stützengrün, was one of the largest producers and suppliers of brush products not only in Germany but also in Europe. This visit was very important for Adilbaev, as he intends to open the first company for the production of both household brushes and technical brushes in Kazakhstan with his partners. During his time in Germany, Schlesinger Maschinenbau GmbH based in Burgwald also provided Adilbaev with an offer for the purchase of brushmaking machines. Adilbaev originally came to Germany to acquire such modern, highly productive systems. He was therefore able to come a good way towards achieving his primary aim.

An even bigger surprise awaited the entrepreneur when he visited Elaskon Sachsen GmbH, a producer of special lubricants that are marketed in 55 countries worldwide. Elaskon representatives looked over the participant list before the group visit and specifically approached Adilbaev when he visited about whether he would be interested in becoming their representative in Kazakhstan. Not least because his customers might also be interested in Elaskon products. Elaskon’s managing director and export manager will travel to Kazakhstan in August to discuss setting up a representative company and completing training.

Adilbaev certainly hadn’t expected this exceptional training outcome and new prospects for development of his company before travelling to Germany. Two cooperation projects were also agreed during the MP. It will be interesting to see which comes to the most in the future.

Kazakhstan’s national drink, kumis – made in Germany!

At the end of April 2015, the Kazakh MP participants visited Zollmann Stutenmilch GmbH in Waldbrunn-Mülben. As Germany’s first and largest mare’s milk farm, mare’s milk is produced here according to the Demeter Biodynamic® standards, along with countless other mare’s milk products such as mare’s milk powder, fermented mare’s milk (kumis) and mare’s milk cosmetics. Managing director and farm owner, Hans Zollmann, welcomed the visitors with a glass of top-quality freshly-produced kumis, the national drink of Kazakhstan – as the amazed Kazakh participants confirmed.

In his presentation on “Corporate management, marketing and quality assurance”, Zollmann naturally also explained the development of this unusual business. The company was originally established by Zollmann’s father-in-law, Dr. Rudolf Storch. The veterinarian was first introduced to the mare’s milk drink, kumis, during his time as a Soviet prisoner of war in Kazakhstan. He strongly believes that kumis saved his life – and so he established a horse dairy farm upon returning to Germany in 1959. Today it is the largest mare’s milk farm in Germany and a pioneer for mare’s milk products.

The Kazakh participants were not only impressed with the company’s history but also with the rational and effective organisation of production processes and automated milking plant. The entire farm with around 400 horses and approx. 450 ha of agricultural land is run by just six employees and five family members: from purchasing through feed cultivation and the production of diverse mare’s milk products to sales via direct marketing and organic markets. Detailed answers were given to all of the guests’ questions. Only the request by a number of participants to gain an insight into the kumis production process was not granted. As the key to the company’s success, this is a closely guarded secret! As consolation, Zollmann shared details of his current project in Kazakhstan: he has been commissioned by a Kazakh company to set up an identical horse dairy farm in Kazakhstan.

Overall, the Kazakh participants were very satisfied with the unusual company visit: “If it is at all possible to amaze a Kazakh, then this was by all means achieved here!”

By Peter Schlosser, Baden-Württemberg International, Stuttgart
Irina Einert, Bildungswerk der Sächsischen Wirtschaft gGmbH, Dresden