This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
TITANS OF INDUSTRY


Taking over the reins of any family-owned business can be daunting, but when it’s the size and stature of Winterhalter, the expectations are sky high. Michael Jones learns how Ralph Winterhalter has been learning the ropes since he was a child


WIN THE WORLD OFAREWASHING T


wo years after the end of the Second World War, with swathes of Germany still in ruins, a young, enterprising engineer


called Karl Winterhalter founded a small company on the shores of Lake Constance in Friedrichshafen. For 10 years Winterhalter struggled, marketing a variety of small household inventions. In 1956 he decided to dedicate his time and resource into developing just one product. The result, launched to great acclaim at the 1957 Cologne Spring trade fair, was the GS 60 commercial dishwashing machine. The rest, as they say, is history. First, a hugely successful business history – Winterhalter today is one of the largest, global warewashing manufacturers for the catering and hospitality industry. The firm employs over 1,100 people and has production plants in Meckenbeuren and Endingen in Germany and Rüthi in the Swiss Rhine valley. A fourth facility is being constructed in Thailand to serve a burgeoning Asian market. But it’s also the story of a family


history. Karl, who passed away two years


ago, aged 100, in turn handed over to his son Jürgen, also an engineer, who proceeded to grow the business in his father’s vision. In 2008 Jürgen began to wind down his day-to-day leadership of the company and his own son Ralph became CEO of Winterhalter. Ralph has taken to the role with significant flair, bringing with him sales and marketing experience, earned the hard way while running the sales operation for Winterhalter UK’s London and South East England region between 2004-07. His skillset complements the engineering nous his father and grandfather brought to the company. Winterhalter have pioneered 200 innovations in the last five years alone. Despite being a ‘single product specialist’, today, the firm’s product range includes undercounter warewashers, pass-through (PT) and multi-tank dishwashers as well as racks, water treatments and detergents. Aside from Western Europe, where it is the market leader, Winterhalter has an export ratio of 75% and boasts a strong presence in Australia, Thailand, Brazil, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Russia,


India and Turkey, among others. At the Munich Oktoberfest,


Winterhalter has 100 warewashers running concurrently. With production exceeding 34,000 units each year, the firm also estimates supplying 90% of all Michelin-starred restaurants in some countries and equipped Sydney Opera House, the Allianz Arena in Munich, the European parliament in Brussels, the Hotel Mandarin Oriental, Beijing and the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. Despite all the success, when I meet 36-year old Ralph Winterhalter at the company’s smart Meckenbeuren headquarters in late spring of this year, he comes across as an incredibly humble, affable figure, quick to deflect any personal praise. “The way I see this whole thing,” he says when I ask him what it feels like to run the company, “is that it’s not mine. I’m just preparing it to be handed over to the next generation.”


The family way It’s a sentiment his grandfather would have endorsed. Karl Winterhalter’s favourite saying, it transpires, was


> 35


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com