How to earn it

  • Günter Kast

The dealer scare.

Bicycles. Canyon Bicycles GmbH from Koblenz is the most successful direct seller of high-quality bicycles - not only in Germany, but throughout Europe. Now company founder Roman Arnold wants to conquer the US market with his special business model.

No matter what the future holds: Roman Arnold will probably remember the years 2015 and 2016 even when he retires. At first, things didn't run smoothly in the new production hall, which cost 20 million euros. The bikes arrived at the customers too late. Massive protests followed. Arnold apologized in a public letter printed in trade journals. When in 2016 the company finally returned to peace and quiet and the entrepreneur wanted to deal with the topic of US expansion, the next blow came: prostate cancer - the company boss had to take a break.

In the meantime Arnold has recovered from the illness, even if he still has to step back a little. But he has time to talk about the turbulent years of growth, which made him the boss and majority shareholder of a very special company with a turnover of 185 million euros (2016);

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  • Yvonne Döbler

With the wind.

Boat builder. Constructing a boat is a big entrepreneurial risk for a small company. Development work consumes a lot of time and capital. And success is uncertain. For master boat builder Markus Glas it has already been worth it once. Now he's trying again.

"In principle, every boat we have developed has always had something to do with the period of my life," says Markus Glas: "Actually, I build boats from the target group for the target group".

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  • Mariella Bauer-Hallberg

The down-to-earth.

Hidden champion. Being economically successful is not always easy, even for a globally operating electrical engineering supplier. In a family business, the difficult task of reconciling the representatives of the various family tribes and generations comes under one roof. Daniel Hager, CEO of the Hager Group, has found solutions to both challenges.

Daniel Hager laughs briefly when confronted with the well-known statement that the family is the greatest advantage of a family business, but also its greatest disadvantage. Then he hesitantly says: "Let me put it this way: When the family is united, everything can go very unbureaucratically. But if family conflicts are brought into the company, it can also be hell. Because we are always in a field of tension between ego, power and money."

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  • Antje Annika Singer

A city emerges.

Real estate development. In the east of Munich, a city grows within a city. The plant district comprises 38 hectares, 600,000 square meters of floor space, 1,000 apartments and 300,000 square meters of new construction. Three and a half years ago Werner Eckart (right), initiator and visionary head of the construction project, presented his plans in private wealth (04/13). Now the head of the Pfanni dynasty has landed a special coup.

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  • Dr. Günter Kast

Guardian of the Legacy.

Succession. Magdalena Messner, 29, has been the administrator and majority shareholder of the Messner Mountain Museums since the beginning of the year. She wants to be perceived not only as the daughter of the famous mountaineer, but also as an entrepreneur with her own ideas.

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