Our tools move the world

Interview with Udo Clever, owner and managing director of Clever Diamond GmbH

Udo Clever, owner and managing director of Clever Diamond GmbH
Udo Clever, owner and managing director of Clever Diamond GmbH

Diamonds are among the hardest materials in the world. Accordingly, diamond tools offer a range of machining advantages, such as hardness, cutting performance, heat resistance, and precision. Clever Diamond GmbH from Remscheid is one of the largest diamond tool suppliers in Europe. Having been on the market for almost 40 years, the managing partner Udo Clever focuses on quality, innovative developments, and fairness.

Economic Forum: Mr. Clever, as a specialist in diamond tools, what are the focal points of Clever Diamond?

Udo Clever: We focus on cutting, specialty, grinding, and drilling tools. The most important of these are the cutting tools, i.e., cutting discs for natural stone, concrete, or asphalt, for example. We offer both standardized and customized solutions.

Economic Forum: Who are your customers and where do they come from?

Udo Clever: Our customers come from the construction machinery and equipment dealers, building materials dealers, and iron and tool dealers. Currently, Germany is our most important market. However, we are seeing good growth from France and Italy, and the Benelux market is also developing well. One of our major clients has taken over a large retail chain in England. Therefore, we are likely to expand into England as well.

Clever Diamond Cutting Grinder
A cutting grinder for sawing reinforced concrete

Economic Forum: How have the crises of recent years affected your business?

Udo Clever: We have never seen such increases as during the pandemic period. People have renovated their houses and apartments, and the skilled trades companies have also boomed. Our capacities were more than exhausted. We bought a 17,000 m² plot of land before the outbreak of the Ukraine war. Here we wanted to build a new administrative wing. In addition, we had planned to renovate our large hall. Due to the uncertainties that have since arisen, we have put these projects on hold for the time being. At the moment, the construction industry is struggling, but road construction still has a great need. I see a great danger looming if China should indeed attack Taiwan. We have already set up new supply chains, in case there should be a trade embargo.

Clever Diamond Drill Bit
The use of Clever Diamond tools...
Clever Diamond Drilling
...for drilling operations on the construction site

Economic Forum: What are new topics and innovations that you are currently working on?

Udo Clever: New to our portfolio are circular saw blades fitted with hard metal. The blades have polycrystalline teeth, which gives them an extremely long service life. In Italy, cables are laid using a different technology than ours, with extremely wide cutting discs. In Germany, we need two cuts for asphalt or concrete. A digger lifts the material in the middle. With the wide-cut method, the entire process is simplified, as you no longer need to excavate. The Italians are far ahead of us here. We will also offer this solution in Germany. In addition, we have decided to create our own brand for smaller dealers who do not want private label products. For this, we launched the brand Star Diamond, under which we distribute our own products. Overall, we find that diamond tools are being used more and more broadly across the entire craftsman sector.

Economic Forum: Is sustainability an issue for you?

Udo Clever: I have always been a socially oriented person. Having been on the market for almost 40 years, I have witnessed the developments of the Korean and Chinese diamond tool industry. The production conditions were miserable at the beginning. The factories were not heated, children and old people were also drawn upon for work. I have never bought from such companies. Environmental protection is also an important issue for us. However, the solutions have to be actually implementable.

Economic Forum: You mentioned uncertainties in the market. In light of these uncertainties, what have you set out to do for the year 2024?

Udo Clever: We want to further develop Clever Diamond and make our new brand Star Diamond known in the market. Originally, we wanted to address smaller companies with it. But we find that even large customers are interested in the brand. Recently, we have been able to fill our personnel gaps. We have been able to build a great team with a sense of community. This is a good foundation for a healthy future. In addition, we will also continue to develop our IT, thereby setting the course for further growth.

Economic Forum: Mr. Clever, where do you want to see the company in the long term in the market?

Udo Clever: I have been working for more than 60 years. When I leave the company, it should be very healthy. Through our activities, we want to further expand our market position. My daughter will take over the company and Mr. Hallet will continue my vision as CEO.