Dear Sir or Madam:

The future waits for no one. It is our job to shape it responsibly. This applies in particular to a traditional family company like Röchling. We have already demonstrated courage in the face of change many times in the past. This courage is ­in the Röchling DNA and is a key to our continuing success.

In this day and age, when markets, competitors, and technologies are changing so rapidly against the backdrop of the digital transformation, we need to be bold when making decisions – without knowing in advance what the answer will be and without fear of failure. If we want innovations, we need to take risks. And those who take risks, may also make mistakes. This is where Röchling uses an intelligent risk management system to determine which mistakes are critical and need to be prevented at all costs and which offer opportunities and could even be beneficial to the company – because they help us to learn, to further develop, to grow, or to gain new perspectives.

A positive error culture is therefore an important part of our corporate culture. We see it as our job to create an environment in which change and innovation can thrive. An environment that is characterized by mutual trust, respect, and tolerance. In which employees have the confidence to voice their opinions and are bold enough to be creative – even if that means falling flat on their face. An environment that rewards those who have unconventional ideas and swim against the current – not those who prefer to just stick to the status quo. In which the focus is on the opportunities that present themselves – and not on the risks that could cause us to fail. An environment that encourages lifelong learning and constant optimization. And in which employees feel secure.

This safe environment has nothing to do with everyone staying within their comfort zone. Comfort zones represent routine and tried-and-tested methods, where there is no need to think outside the box and where we can work, think, and live on autopilot without questioning our opinions or processes. This doesn’t require a lot of effort. When someone comes and says: “We are setting out for new shores now”, courage and determination are required. This is because a new direction often means changing requirements and learning something new. There are people who venture into this new territory boldly and with curiosity, and others are understandably uncertain.

This is another task for the management team to handle: communicating the meaning and purpose of the transition and change to their employees. We want to give our employees credible prospects and direction for the future. We take every opportunity to listen to our employees, to find out their concerns, and to reassess the situation from their point of view. It is also important to us that our employees actively get involved in new developments. This is the only way that our company will be able to prepare itself for the future and succeed in the long run.

We know that the digital transformation and the rate of change are bringing with them unique requirements. Of course, this affects the management team as well as each individual employee. We, the members of the Executive Board, require a great deal of courage during these times too. Courage to pave a new way for the company if we believe success will come from change. Courage to keep what already works, even if the spirit of the times demands precisely the opposite. Courage to look at things from a completely different angle. There is no guarantee that we will make the right decision. But one thing is certain: a lack of courage will only result in us missing opportunities and in the worst case, finding ourselves going down the entirely wrong path.

What inspires us to be daring is our firm belief in our ideas and success. For our 2018/2019 corporate brochure, we have compiled topics and projects that demonstrate the need for openness towards innovation, courage, and passion all over the world of Röchling – from our customers, our suppliers, our partners, us as a company, and our employees. It takes courage to let go of the past and look towards the future. We think we are on the right track here at Röchling.

In the future, Evelyn Thome will accompany us on this track in assuming a decisive position. She took up the position of Chief Financial Officer on the Management Board of the Röchling Group in May 2019. She is responsible for finance and controlling at Röchling. Evelyn Thome has been highly dedicated to our company for almost 20 years now and her previous role was as the CFO of the Röchling Automotive Group. We are delighted to have her on board as we shape the bold and successful future of Röchling together.

We look forward to your continuing loyalty, and we hope you enjoy reading the interesting and exciting articles in this edition.

Prof. Hanns-Peter Knaebel
President & CEO

Erwin Doll
Vice-Chairman

Franz Lübbers
Executive Board