The Perfect Drop of Water

Interview with Timo Krause, CEO of truu GmbH

Timo Krause, CEO of truu GmbH
Timo Krause, CEO of truu GmbH

Water is a scarce resource, yet extremely important for our health. However, the quality of the water we drink is essential. truu GmbH from Pforzheim has introduced a new era of the highest water quality with its truu filtration solutions. Now, the company wants to give people worldwide access to the best possible drinking water quality.

Economic Forum: Mr. Krause, truu is about water filtration. What basic concept is the foundation of your business model?

Timo Krause: Our fundamental impulse is simple. Water is a human right, and everyone should have access to clean water. Buying bottled mineral water is expensive, and the bottles pollute the environment. Thus, it's clear that this cannot be a concept for the future. Our concept is the most sustainable one can find on the market. We give every household the ability to produce perfect drinking water from the existing tap water with our devices. There are no transportation routes and water bottles, and the water comes in a higher quality than from plastic or glass bottles. We want to start with our concept in Germany as a pioneer and then gradually roll it out from here to the whole world.

Economic Forum: How has the company developed over the past few years?

Timo Krause: From 2009 to 2016, we saw slight growth. Between 2016 and 2019, we doubled our revenue each year. Then came Corona, and we could no longer do live demonstrations at people's homes. However, we are now growing significantly again. We expect to reach the 30 million EUR revenue mark next year, as we have added new countries and can do our events on-site again.

truu Fountain
The truu Fountain is suitable for companies, fitness studios, and health businesses
truu home 2.Q and truu mobile 2.Q
From left: The truu home 2.Q as a stationary device and the truu mobile 2.Q for on the go

Economic Forum: What were the challenges when you were new to the market?

Timo Krause: Right from the start, we had the idea to produce the perfect drop of water. What set us apart from all competitors was that we opted for stainless steel as a material. Back then, all water filtration systems were made entirely of plastic, so our system was a real novelty. Contaminations would repeatedly get into the water through the plastic pipes. The industry thought we were crazy because we had a multiple of material costs but offered it at the same price as competitors. Another USP was our decision to produce exclusively in Germany. We wanted to develop a device that sets a different standard in the industry, but also promises a different level of warranty service. We already issued a 30-year guarantee back then, provided there was annual maintenance. At that time, customers were not yet aware of the water issue. So, our challenge was to raise awareness among people. We conducted intensive education on water quality and offered our products for a week-long free trial. We started with over 2,000 truu stations. That was the basis for our success – the free trial.

Economic Forum: How is your portfolio structured now?

Timo Krause: Our truu home filter system, which is installed in the kitchen, is our core product. We now also offer this technology in a mobile version, so you can easily take the solution with you. Meanwhile, there is also a corporate client solution, a water dispenser that is equipped with our technology and always keeps 85 l of treated water ready. With our water dispenser, up to 200 employees can be easily supplied. We will now also approach the gastronomy sector so that restaurateurs can soon offer a 3rd dimension of water, alongside still and sparkling water also water of the highest quality. We do not want to replace still or sparkling water, but also establish cell-available water. The device is already successfully in use in the corporate sector.

Economic Forum: What do you attribute the success you have achieved with truu in such a short time to, ultimately?

Timo Krause: The essential factor is the product quality, or the quality of the water we produce. At the same time, customers automatically drink more, which is good for health. Many common diseases ultimately come down to dehydration too. An important success factor is also the fact that we are a family business. We are lean in our structures and form a large community together with our employees, sales and business partners. Our employees enjoy coming to work and know they are doing meaningful work. Our business has a real purpose. We try to make the working environment as pleasant as possible for our people. For example, we introduced the 4-day week for our service technicians so they can spend more time with their families. We are all on a first-name basis, but at the same time, we treat each other with respect. People come first with us. We are a People Business, in every respect.

Economic Forum: What are your long-term goals? What vision do you pursue with truu?

Timo Krause: We aim to expand internationally. To do this, we now need to find employees for the respective countries. We are currently working on the approval for the USA. My vision is to make truu a worldwide known brand. In the long term, I want to achieve what Apple has achieved in the computer industry – become THE brand in our area and leave something lasting behind.