The German economy is globally known for premium quality, technological innovation and its export surpluses. The so called German “Mittelstand” is often described as the engine of the German economy. But who are those companies which make Germany one of the leading forces on the global market? There are a few giant, internationally operating corporations like Volkswagen or Siemens which are well known for optimal processes, efficiency and high-end-solutions. Germany’s export strength is clearly not wholly determined by these companies so there must be a large number of midsize firms who are strong exporters. Those midsize firms are often globally operating and world leader in their field of business. Due to that there are best known in that field of business and do not gain as much attention as those huge companies like Volkswagen. Those companies are called Hidden Champions and may be seen as a keystone of Germanys economy.
Like in any other field of business there are several threats and fundamental changes those Hidden Champions they have to face due to digitalization, a constant change in society and ever increasing competition.
Chinese companies are more and more entering the European market trying to gain know-how and increasing the Chinese economic power.
In order to stay competitive on the global markets and to not lose track on innovation streams the German “Mittelstand” and its Hidden Champions have to reinvent themselves continuously.
We would like to discuss about those threats and how a typical “Mittelstands” company tackles challenges in an uncertain future.
How are those companies dealing with a possible trade war with the United States?
How do they overcome a struggling domestic market within the EU?
How do they compete to international businesses in order to recruit the most talented workforce?