As of January of this year, the 4th Generation will take over the baton and are ready to lead FRITSCH into the future. Sebastian Fritsch as CEO and Max Fritsch as Commercial Manager will direct the company. Here they introduce themselves:
1. What did you want to become as a child, what was your first career wish?
Sebastian Fritsch: Since football has been shaping my life since I was three years old, my very first career aspiration was to become a professional football player, so probably the dream of many boys.
Max Fritsch: My first career wish was already in early years something with IT, because I was always very interested in computers. After my apprenticeship as an IT system administrator, I was able to make this wish come true in our company by working as a supervisor for our ERP software.
2. Did you see your career before you from the beginning?
Sebastian Fritsch: Until the beginning of my apprenticeship in 2006, once in a while I had the idea to move to a bigger city and continue my life there, but one week after the start of my training I suddenly realized: This is my future! Until today I have to say - it was the right decision.
Max Fritsch: No, absolutely not. For me it was always clear that I wanted to build up something of my own. After I had successfully completed my training in Saarbrücken, I started a holiday job at FRITSCH. Now I realized that it would be a real mistake to turn down work in my own family business. Very little was mentioned about the company it during dinner. So my brother and I knew very little about, apart from our weekly visits during the weekend to the company with our father, but I soon realized that FRITSCH was a much bigger company than I had always thought.
It quickly became clear to me that we are a model company with 100 employees, with fixed structures and processes, with a solid company philosophy, a great perspective for the future, a feeling of community and security that I had never experienced in my professional career before. In this respect, my attitude towards a career at FRITSCH changed within days, if not hours. To this day, I do not regret this decision for a second.
3. How was your career path so far?
Sebastian Fritsch: I started my training here in September 2006 as an industrial clerk and completed it after two and a half years. Afterwards I started my adventure "America", where I lived and worked for 3 months. Looking back, this was probably the most influential experience I have had professionally in my life so far. Afterwards it slowly became clear that yes I want to leave my own footprint here. After 10 years in sales, the chapter on management is now beginning.
Max Fritsch: As already mentioned, I started my apprenticeship directly after my vocational baccalaureate. After graduating I studied for a few semesters, but soon realized that all this was too theoretical for me and that I would rather go to work. During this time I had several holiday jobs, which only strengthened my decision to quit my studies and start working. Just to tackle things and not to cram for years in order to have ten possible solutions for a problem afterwards. In my opinion, among other things, a gut feeling is a reliable voice that you should listen to when making decisions.
4. What do you appreciate about being a managing director or commercial manager?
Sebastian Fritsch: An interesting question...what I appreciate most is the opportunity to help shape an era and to bring the company and the team into a successful future.
Max Fritsch: In my new position as commercial manager, I value the contact with people and the development of ideas and strategies to solve specific problems. In a business environment, this position also allows you to put exotic ideas into practice, which may not be part of the classic school of management. I also think that despite all the tradition, the established structures and processes, there will always be things that can be improved.
5. Can competent corporate management be learned at all?
Sebastian Fritsch: I would say yes and no. On the one hand you can solve many things through experience and you will get this experience over time, on the other hand I believe that a piece of entrepreneurial DNA is part of it and this is simply in your blood.
For me, however, corporate management also means to a large extent involving the team in the decision making process and working towards solutions together. My philosophy is and always will be: As long as you work well together as a team and treat everyone with respect, the company will be fine.
Max Fritsch: A very good question. I am sure that you can use the traditional management theories for many things to see how certain problems can be solved. However, in the end, it is always a matter of the gut feeling I mentioned before - either you have it or you don't have it.
So I would answer the question with yes and no. You can probably always implement the theory somehow, but when it comes to very practical problems, there is often no patented remedy in theory. Here it depends on your inner voice and your feeling for the situation. This is something that our father exemplified to us every day despite or perhaps because of, his solid education.
6. May a boss also show weaknesses?
Sebastian Fritsch: Sure, a boss is just a human being. I personally don't know anybody who has no weaknesses and I find it more than normal to show them, sometimes it helps to allow weakness.
Max Fritsch: Absolutely yes! I think everyone has weaknesses and there is no one who doesn’t make mistakes. That is why a boss should be allowed to make mistakes and have moments of weakness. In the end, what counts is the result. That's what you should be measured by, not by individual decisions that might have gone wrong. Nobody has a crystal ball predicting the future.
7. How much free time do you have and what do you do with it?
Sebastian Fritsch: I believe that a good balance between work and free time is very beneficial for the success of a company, that's why my free time is sacred to me. I have been father of a wonderful daughter for two years and husband of a wonderful woman for three years, accordingly the motto of my free time is: My own little family! I try to make sure that as soon as I leave the company my mind is finished with work (which doesn't always work). I also try not to bring up the subject of the company home - now you should ask my wife if I’m achieving this.
Next to my family, my second passion is of course football, no matter if it's playing actively or watching the numerous matches of my "FC Schalke 04" on TV. Recently, tennis has also become one of my hobbies, although not much is happening here lately due to lack of time.
Max Fritsch: Nowadays less and less, but that's part of it. On the one hand, I have my workplace, our company Fritsch, which demands my commitment. But during the late evening hours and especially on weekends there is of course my family with whom I spend a large part of my free time. For hobbies there is not much time left, at least at the moment.
8. When and where can you really switch off?
Sebastian Fritsch: In the summer when I am sitting on my balcony and during the winter months on the sofa with my wife and our little monster is in bed, this is my second end of the day.
Max Fritsch: I relax with a nice glass of wine and a home-cooked meal with my family at the dinner table, or during - in the meantime quite rare - evenings I spend with friends.