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True to one's roots

Hartmut Jenner, CEO of Kärcher, a world market leader in cleaning technology, says two of the German company's biggest strengths are its family-owned nature and its culture of innovation.

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"Innovation is, for me, a clear process. And therefore we define the fields we are going into, we also define what kind of applications we want to have in the future, and then we make our scenarios. So it's not that some engineer stands up in the morning and says 'I have a great idea'." - Hartmut Jenner.

AFTER giving a presentation titled The Story of Kärcher - The Successful Mittelstand, chief executive officer Hartmut Otto Jenner waited for questions from the floor. The first query was good-natured yet piercing: how are Mittelstand firms supposed to relate to a company as huge as Kärcher?...

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