Sarna Röser und Stephan Gemkow about tradition and future


Sarna Röser is the designated successor of a family business led by the third generation, and a start-up founder. As national chairperson of the “The Young Entrepreneurs” association, she represents the interests of young business leaders and successors in Germany. She knows what this is all about. A Position Matching.

Sarna Röser: Values are the heartbeat of a family business. From my perspective, it is particularly important to properly appreciate tried and tested methods. We also need the courage to plunge into the deep end now and again. Family businesses must assume responsibility and have an eye on the social environment. These values are incredibly important for us as a family business.

Stephan Gemkow: Haniel’s objective is to be “enkelfähig”. That means maintaining and building on values, not for the next generation but for the generation after that. And from that starting point, we need to pay particular attention to the long-term outlook with which we operate. From the beginning, Haniel’s hallmark has been the definition of the honourable businessman. For Haniel, that means honesty, authenticity, and entrepreneurial as well as social responsibility.

Sarna Röser: My vision and wish for the future is that we master the challenge of corporate succession in Germany. To do that, we need a digital infrastructure. We require modern education and well-trained specialists for our companies. And bureaucracy must be reduced in Germany to streamline the process of founding a business that can turn visions into reality.

Stephan Gemkow: Haniel should be “enkelfähig”, in other words financially stable, successful and growing over the long term. That includes a healthy and secure position in relation to the different business segments. But it also means that we use the opportunities presented by digitalisation and modern technology. We must also continue to invest in educating and training our employees. Because only top people will continue to secure the Company’s success in the future.

Further episodes of our exchange of views on the topic of family and strategy can be found here. In an interview, Ulrich Dickel, member of the executive management and responsible for corporate development, explains which companies Haniel is on the lookout for, what the path to a new investment looks like, and what role family background plays at Haniel as well as at potential acquisition targets. Click here for the interview!