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The Language of Business

In Focus
NAME:Olaf Scale
COMPANY:Rosenberger Asia Pacific
LOCATION:Beijing, China
With change management all the rage, Rosenberger Asia Pacific CEO Olaf Scale has embraced it in pursuit of boosting the top-notch European connectivity firm’s presence in Asia.

When Rosenberger Asia Pacific became entirely privately owned in 2022, it was an opportunity to play to its strengths.

Having divested itself of its antenna and wireless coverage product portfolio, the company, led by new CEO Olaf Scale – with his broad international experience working for private as well as stock-listed companies in the EMEA and Asia–Pacific regions – embraced the change and refocused efforts on its original area of expertise: radio frequency, fiber-optic, high-speed data and high-voltage connectivity solutions.

“Some say ‘change management’ is a buzzword, but once we left our previous joint venture we were able to modernize Rosenberger with respect to the organization, production footprint and operational processes,” he tells The CEO Magazine.

“It was a chance to reconnect the dots between Rosenberger’s presence around the world.”

“It’s about thinking global and acting local.”

But with the Chinese and greater-Asian markets more important than ever to its business footprint, the Rosenberger Asia Pacific chief’s post-independence mission includes a new objective.

“It’s about thinking global and acting local. With Rosenberger Group’s global site grid, we have strong capabilities for vertical integration and innovation,” he says.

“We’re working hard to enhance our local expertise. We’re in this market for a reason and to succeed, you have to have the product, the market access and the right team.”

The Magic Number

Rosenberger appears to have all three. A worldwide leader in the realm of high-frequency, high-voltage and fiber-optic technology, the company is an ally to the telecommunications, data center, automotive electronics, test and measurement industries, as well as for high-voltage contact systems, medical and industrial electronics, and aerospace engineering.

“Having the right product or application in today’s markets means not having it all. At this stage in the company’s journey it’s all about having the right people, retaining them, motivating them and striking the right balance between the company’s more than 60 years of history, the more than 20 years we have in China and the constant innovation speed in APAC,” Scale says.

“It’s about how to pass on Rosenberger’s corporate culture and promote our mission and vision here in Asia and the infrastructure to house it.

“We’re building a new factory in the greater Shanghai region over the next two years, and one of our targets is that it must produce sustainably. Our mother company is running a most sustainable business in Europe, so we have to set the same expectations for us in China and the APAC region.”

“We are here for the long-term and look for partners with whom we can develop long-term values.”

What’s helped Scale to reshape the group with more than 2,500 people far from its parent during COVID-19 times is Rosenberger’s approach to doing business.

“Being privately owned gives us the advantage of being very hands-on and quick to make decisions,” he reveals. “Our success story encapsulates a 60-plus-year history and 14,000 people, but despite our size we have a fast entrepreneurial mindset, are down to earth, pragmatic and creative. We have the commitment of all teams like a family.”

It also has one key element Scale says is at the center of the company’s strategy. “We deliver values to our customers, offering a partnership in innovation technology. They get the latest and highest-quality technology for any data transmission and high-voltage needs they have,” he confirms.

It’s not a short-term business, either; customers tend to be in it for the long haul.

“A presence in the automotive industry means you can be in it for the long-term once you can prove your ability,” Scale says. “As long as they’re making the model of car that uses our products, we deliver. Same with the telecom industry – we strive to supply for long-term service and support.”

In turn, Rosenberger looks for trust and reliability in its own suppliers and customers.

“We are here for the long-term and look for partners with whom we can develop long-term values. It’s about sharing the latest innovations, but also the directions in which we want to go.”

Moving Forward

Given the history Rosenberger Group has in China and the Asia–Pacific region, Scale says the company is looking to revitalize itself.

“We will reshape and rebuild our presence in the region with a stronger connection to our global competencies,” he points out. “It’s about leveraging the strengths between Rosenberger Europe and Rosenberger around the world, and that implies enhancing collaboration by all means.”

Being in China brings with it a world-class speed of manufacture and export, something Scale believes will lead to a win–win situation on all sides.

“The more collaboration there is between Europe and Asia, the better we can serve our customers worldwide,” he says.

“The more collaboration there is between Europe and Asia, the better we can serve our customers worldwide.”

Change, particularly the kind of constant change that comes with organizational restructure, is hard. However, as uncomfortable as it may be at times, Scale says it’s necessary to endure to reach long-term recognition and success.

“The old is gone and the new is not there yet, so we’re constantly pushing our teams and our suppliers out of their comfort zone. What helps is having the right culture to support people during those moments, making sure they’re taking responsibility and willing to adapt, eager to step up and develop themselves,” he says.

“If you foster this kind of culture, my belief is that you will constantly develop new business opportunities and new products, and you’ll find the right customers. Basically, you’ll speak the right language.”

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