Amrop Interviews Heimo Scheuch, CEO of Wienerberger

Amrop sat down with Heimo Scheuch, CEO of Wienerberger an international MidCap construction business. Heimo Scheuch discusses how he turned a sector downturn into a catalyst for reinvention and global growth.

Amrop: Which, if any, organizations do you consider to be an inspiration or role model?

Scheuch: If you look at companies operating worldwide in different business areas, obviously you get inspired. I’ll give you a couple of examples. In the construction material sector (and in broader terms) Geberit based in Switzerland, is a strong brand, and has evolved over the years from a product provider to a water management company. They tell their clients: “We manage your problems with water.” And clearly, for them it is also important to be able to say: “Okay, so you save water.”

Obviously, when you talk about other industries, Apple is a much discussed and fascinating example of how you can reinvent yourself if you are always aware of current or potential future, trends. This is what Apple has shown those of us who are in construction, a far more traditional industry.

In the last couple of years we have been strongly focusing on innovation. Last year we launched two hundred new products. We are in more than thirty different markets, so again, Apple has shown us—or me at least: “New stop, be creative, think, be innovative. Try to anticipate trends and the needs of your clients.” Just as touch screens changed our world, we want to change the world of our clients. 

This product here may be a brick but it includes insulation. You don’t need any further insulation—it solves your whole problem, this is our thinking process when it comes to solutions. And then when we talk about services, here again we get inspiration from different companies—hotels, restaurants, insurance, banking. Starbucks was fascinating story for us: people line up for something which is a commodity product- coffee. And they are willing to pay much more than somewhere else. It’s not about the smell, or queueing. It’s about you holding this cup from Starbucks. I think they have done a great job in terms of branding.

Branding in the construction material industry is not obvious-most of our products are not seen as soon as they have been incorporated, for example in the house, or sewage system. But branding is very important for us, because it shows quality, proves that we are engaged with our clients, and this links to something which will certainly be discussing later- values.

This was just an excerpt from the Heimo Scheuch Q&A. Click here to read the full article.


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