Dr. Thomas Horvath joined Berghof Products + Instruments as CEO in September 2016. The father of three has many years of experience in managing interdisciplinary teams, and following an intensive induction phase, he will realign Berghof Products + Instruments strategically for the future. The doctor in chemistry clears his head every morning by jogging, in order to begin his day balanced, with fresh ideas.
1. Dr. Horvath, you joined Berghof Products + Instruments as CEO nearly one year ago. How was this time for you?
For me personally, this period was very intense, since I had to get to know Berghof and had to familiarize myself with the existing structures and processes. Thanks to the kind colleagues, I quickly managed to get a comprehensive overview of all the units – after all, in my opinion, a close collaboration with colleagues and employees is the basis for the future success of Berghof Products + Instruments.
2. What is your impression of Berghof?
The Berghof Group impresses me with its high level of diversification. For a company group of this size, it is very unusual to have eight strategic business units. Furthermore, the practiced value of the innovation hub is very impressive to me. The Berghof Group acts as a network so that each business unit benefits from the different competencies across the group. Therefore, synergy effects can be created. At Berghof Products + Instruments, I really appreciate the combination of long-lasting experience and innovative spirit. Every employee is competent in its own area, meaning I can be sure that projects are implemented effectively and efficiently.
3. In which direction is Berghof Products + Instruments heading – within Berghof, within the market?
Within the Berghof Group, Berghof Products + Instruments will continue to bundle competencies in the laboratory sector. With regard to our strategic alignment, we have developed a five-year plan, which places a focus on meeting the needs of our customers and the market. In concrete terms, this means that we will focus on our customer´s needs and simplify our products to make life easier for our customers working in the lab. Furthermore, it is our goal to make progress from a pure product supplier to a solution provider. In addition to an extensive range of accessories, this also includes a comprehensive portfolio of services, so that our customers benefit from the expertise of Berghof Products + Instruments. We want to be a reliable and competent partner at their side, assisting them in preparing for future challenges in the laboratory sector.
4. How do you think the industry will change, and how is your business prepared for upcoming challenges?
In general, there is a development in the laboratory sector that is reflected in our society. Digitization has a major impact on daily lab routines. Which is noticeable especially by the fact that customers are asking for lab equipment with a high degree of automation. In long term, this means fewer employees will be working in labs, and processes must be simplified as much as possible. Furthermore, globalization is influencing the laboratory sector, too. Markets that were previously considered to be underdeveloped, have turned into fast growing markets and become more and more attractive. It has to be our goal to enter these markets and to expand our business by internationalization.
5. Regarding your working life, what is important to you in general?
I enjoy challenging myself and prefer complex tasks in my professional life. This was one of the reasons why I decided to join Berghof Products + Instruments. As CEO of a relatively small company, I have insights into all business units and company processes. Therefore it is common that a meeting with the head of production is followed by a meeting with the sales manager. This means to me that I have to differentiate between various topics, but on the other hand I need to recognize operational relations in order to optimize processes and the company as a whole. Thereby, I trust in the competencies and expertise of my employees, as their know-how is what helps me to make the right business decisions.
6. Do you have a motto?
Never give up! There is a solution to every problem. If there is a muddled situation, it is important to look at the problem from a different point of view or to ask someone for advice. Otherwise, I stick to the wisdom of Einstein: “The purest form of insanity is to leave everything as it is and still hope that something will change.”
7. How could you clear your mind, or how could you relax?
For more than 20 years I am starting my day with a run – preferably through fields or the forest. It helps me to reflect things and it relieves stress. I usually start my run at 5:30 a.m., before my family gets up. Then, we begin our day by having breakfast together.