Koenig & Bauer signals commitment to an open-minded and tolerant society

Press manufacturer joins ‘Businesses for a Cosmopolitan Saxony’ network

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Koenig & Bauer
Die beiden Facharbeiter Bilal Ahmad (2.v.l.) und Saad Malik (M.) zeigen stolz ihre Ausbildungszeugnisse. Sie erhielten im vergangenen Jahr ihre unbefristeten Arbeitsverträge aus den Händen von Ralf Sammeck, Vorstandsmitglied von Koenig & Bauer und CEO von Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, Ausbildungsleiter Jochen Mann (2.v.r.) sowie Personalleiter Markus Rasche (r.) (1)

“We live an open-minded and cosmopolitan approach and are delighted at every opportunity to share our mindset and experience with others. . . . Challenge xenophobia and populism wherever they rear their head. Join the cause to preserve our democratic values.”

At the beginning of 2020, the Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed business unit in Radebeul joined a growing number of globally active companies and organisations from the region in the association ‘Businesses for a Cosmopolitan Saxony.’ As a member of this association, the company will be supporting a range of concrete measures aimed at promoting the integration of refugees and migrants in local business and industry.

Already in the past, Koenig & Bauer has placed its weight behind efforts to promote democracy and tolerance and to assist the integration of refugees. In 2015, for example, two young refugees from Pakistan, who had been forced to flee their home country for political and religious reasons, were accepted into vocational training at the company and began an apprenticeship as mechatronics technicians. After passing the final examinations set by the Dresden Chamber of Industry and Commerce last year, they were subsequently offered permanent contracts to work in the press assembly centre.

In the meantime, a 32-year-old engineer from Syria has also taken up employment at Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, initially on a time-limited basis. He used to live on the outskirts of Damascus and came to Germany at the beginning of 2016. Since August 2018, he has been working as a draughtsman in the design group responsible for large-format sheetfed offset presses.

Staff from Koenig & Bauer travel regularly to countries all over the world, whether for sales negotiations, press installations or service assignments, or to participate at international trade fairs and similar events. At the same time, customers and partners from the most diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds are frequent visitors to Radebeul. They come to obtain the latest information at first hand, to finalise agreements or to complete the factory acceptance of a purchased press, for example. Ralf Sammeck, CEO of Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, emphasizes the special relationship, “We live an open-minded and cosmopolitan approach and are delighted at every opportunity to share our mindset and experience with others.”

Ein Maschinenbau-Ingenieur aus Syrien ist in die Konstruktionsabteilung von Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed gut integriert (2)
Ein Maschinenbau-Ingenieur aus Syrien ist in die Konstruktionsabteilung von Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed gut integriert (2)

This sometimes also happens very publicly. At a number of home games of the local football club Dynamo Dresden last season, Koenig & Bauer used the touchline advertising boards to champion an open-minded and tolerant society. Ralf Sammeck hopes that his call will be heeded not only by his employees, but indeed by all Saxons: “Challenge xenophobia and populism wherever they rear their head. Join the cause to preserve our democratic values.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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1 COMMENT

  1. This is important, a leading press manufacturer taking a stand & speaking out on social issues. It is gratifying as a printer to read & hear this. Printers have historically stood for the spread of science & knowledge, communication and information so that society evolves in a positive direction for the widest number of people possible. It is up to us to use print for science, for democratic argument and persuasion and against violence of every kind.

    There is much to be done, even in the so-called post-industrial societies & certainly in our own developing countries. Print does a lot of heavy lifting in education, science & culture. If we use it even more creatively it can do more. Printers must stand for tolerance and open-minded discussion.

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