In order to create residential areas that feel pleasant for a long time to come, every urban planning project requires a dedicated approach. One has to enter into a relationship with the local people and surroundings, in order to find the optimal sustainable solution. The project teams of LEVS architecten are always looking for specific answers that suit a particular situation. They work on residential and urban planning projects in The Netherlands and other Western European countries as well as in Russia and rural Africa. The company is based in a former harbour area in Amsterdam and has 40 employees.
Mergers and acquisitions are commonplace, but while the initial proposition may seem attractive to the parties involved, what happens after the deal is done is decisive in determining its long-term success. In 2019, the KISSLING Group, a German specialist in switching solutions, was acquired by TE Connectivity to form TE Connectivity KISSLING Products GmbH. The company's subsequent focus on effective integration will ensure that this particular acquisition fulfils its potential.
Companies in the EU have had the benefit of an integrated European market for decades now. It has provided many opportunities to take products that have been successful in one market, and transplant them in new, untapped markets. To make this happen, you need a company willing to help you break in, like Lemar BV, a distributor of responsible food brands in the Netherlands.
Everybody is talking about hygge these days, but only a few are familiar with fika, the Scandinavian way to take a coffee break. Surprisingly, people in the Nordic countries drink more coffee than anyone in the world, even the Italians. Good coffee and good coffee machines are of utmost importance for a relaxed fika – coffee machines from Jura Sweden AB for instance.
West Pharmaceutical Services is a leading global manufacturer of high-quality packaging, containment and delivery systems for injectable drugs. Every day, more than 100 million units of the company’s stoppers and seals, syringe and cartridge components, and self-injection systems are used worldwide. European Business talked to Mike Schaefers, Vice President & General Manager, Global Pharma, at the US-based group about a market with large growth potential and the guiding principle of offering value in drug delivery.
Order picking: The process of finding and selecting products in a warehouse to fulfil customer orders. In theory a simple concept, but the reality is that it is often a complex and costly activity, and one which, if not conducted accurately and effectively, can heavily impact overall customer satisfaction. German engineering company KBS Industrieelektronik GmbH is a specialist in the design and manufacture of order picking systems, with a particular focus on Pick-by-Light technology, and provides top-class solutions to a broad range of high-profile clients around the world.
Natural disasters, embargoes, and war: The international trade market is volatile. Even minor issues can escalate and have a catastrophic impact for traders and their suppliers. With routes worldwide, the airfreight sector is particularly vulnerable, and only those companies with a clear strategy to manage the risks will survive. CELEBI Cargo GmbH, based at Germany’s largest airport, Frankfurt am Main, is one such success story. European Business spoke with CEO Murat Bas and COO Christopher Licht about challenges and success strategies in the cargo handling sector.
Teamwork, cross-functional activities and a sense of wide-ranging responsibility – these are assets that are both expected and characteristic of the Unycom team. Founded in 2000, the company based in Graz, Austria, has increased its staff from four to 90 and developed its product range accordingly. Today it offers a broad spectrum of IP Management solutions and additional services for companies all over the world. A member of the CPA Global Organization since 2019, Unycom GmbH ranks as the premium software provider for IP experts in Europe, and a trusted partner who helps to solve the specific challenges of corporate IP departments.
Effective human health solutions: A continual quest and one for which there are many different strategies. Molecule vitalization, which turns existing molecules into new treatments is one approach. French concern Provepharm Life Solutions SAS, headquartered in Marseille, is one of the world’s leading players in molecule vitalization. European Business spoke with Founder and Managing Director Michel Féraud to find out what the term means in practice and how the world benefits from the company’s activities.
For 700 years, water has bubbled up from an underground spring and cascaded through the Tamina Gorge in Switzerland at a constant temperature of 36.5°C. How kind of nature to supply bathing water at the perfect temperature for human enjoyment. Although it was first discovered by huntsmen in 1242 and bath houses were first erected in 1350, it was not until the railway first reached Ragaz further down the valley that “taking the waters” there really took off. Today, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz AG presides over a portfolio that includes a 5-star hotel, health spa, casino and medical centre; all of which are only here today because of a 700-year-old thermal spring.
Tourism & Leisure
Italy’s stunning Amalfi coast is a much-loved destination for tourists from around the world. Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997, it attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year. For those who want to enjoy the cultural, architectural and natural attractions of this unique area, Villa Cimbrone offers a perfectly secluded hideaway. Perched on a steep hill overlooking the clear waters of the Mediterranean, the 12th century residence has been restored to its former glory by the Vuilleumier family and is now an exclusive boutique hotel catering to an exclusive clientele.
Danske Hoteller A/S celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. It was founded in 1990 by a group of entrepreneurs with the dream of starting a hotel chain in Denmark that would specialize in smaller countryside hotels where ambiance and service took priority. Today the chain numbers 23 hotels all over Denmark. Talking to European Business, Commercial Director Kenneth Hedegaard describes what motivated him to join the group and how it seeks to set itself apart in a crowded market.
It is one of these dream locations that you encounter in films when people are holidaying in the Alps. Wonderful scenery, traditional Tyrolean charm and a huge range of indoor and outdoor activities – even equipped with a football pitch boasting FIFA dimensions, and, last but not least, modern facilities to host company meetings and large events: This is Hotel Seehof. It is a place that has something to offer for every guest and for every season.
Garden festivals are opportunities to regenerate rundown areas and breathe new life into neglected city districts. The 1997 national horticultural show held in Gelsenkirchen, Germany was the first in Germany to be staged on a former coal mining site. The advantage of these shows is that they leave a lasting legacy that improves quality of life in the host area long after the show has ended. A good example is Heiner’s Hotel and Gastronomie GmbH which originated in the bistro cafe that was created to serve visitors to the festival.
A positive company culture improves teamwork, raises morale, increases efficiency and reduces stress in employees: There are many reasons why an environment with clearly defined values is of the utmost importance to any business. Christopher Riemensperger, General Manager of Hotel Olymp GmbH & Co. KG in Eching near Munich, shares this theory. He runs the four-star hotel and knows that any hotel is only as good as its employees.
The Amalfi Coast has long been the place to see and be seen on Italy’s long Mediterranean coastline. While the picturesque towns of Amalfi and Positano are the obvious tourist hotspots, there are other lesser-known gems to be discovered. If secluded luxury, stunning views and immaculate service are required, then the boutique hotel Casa Angelina in Praiano deserves not to be missed. Perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the azure water, its pristine white walls contrast with the blue of sea and sky to create a perfect oasis of peace.
True, most guests to the Fer à Cheval come for a skiing holiday, combined with a visit to the French luxury resort of Megève. Thanks to its special character, the five-star hotel offers all the amenities you could wish for and is attracting a growing number of people throughout the year. The Fer á Cheval unites the best of both worlds: true Alpine hospitality with natural materials, and inobtrusive luxury in its splendid rooms, suites, restaurants and facilities.
Flexibility, design and lifestyle are the hallmarks of the refurbishments carried out by Grape Hospitality from France, owner, operator and manager of 87 hotels in eight European countries and well over 9,000 rooms operated under a franchise contract. Jointly owned by Eurazeo, Accor Invest and the group management, Grape Hospitality has opened twelve new restaurants in the three years of its existence and raised the annual turnover from 200 to 250 million EUR. An impressive achievement by any standards. At the same time customer satisfaction has gone up from seven to a value of almost nine out of ten – another point to confirm the group’s successful and value-adding hotel management.
You like climbing and enjoy going to the gym, but signing up for both is too expensive? Urban Sports Club has come up with a solution which covers not only various sports, but also enables training beyond a country’s borders. Co-founders and CEOs Moritz Kreppel and Benjamin Roth explain how Urban Sports Club is transforming the sports and leisure industry and why it is an optimum solution for private members and companies alike.
Hotels, restaurants, coffee shops: The hospitality business is dominated by huge big-name chains. While many smaller establishments are also successful, they nevertheless face serious challenges in competing with the large corporates. As hoteliers based in Canazei in the Italian Dolomites, the Nicolodi family recognized that while individuality is a positive attribute, there is also strength in numbers. The family founded Union Hotels Canazei, a group of local hotels, restaurants and entertainment facilities owned by the family itself and other local business people, to create a strong and successful hospitality presence in the region.
Corporate hospitality is a phrase not often associated with a distinct and local identity. However, one of the key ways firms like Arjeplog Hotel Silverhatten have been drawing customers to their sites has been to offer just that. Looking to use the decades long association with road testing for some of the biggest names in automation, developing effective nature experiences, and providing world-class staff and services to its clients, CEO Stefano Vigolo and his team have developed an effective plan to draw greater business to their expanding number of hospitality sites in the remote climbes of Arjeplog, Sweden.
Being on holiday is a great way of discovering new cities as well as places you have been to before. The days of carrying a guidebook are over, thanks to the many alternative offers available, like guided walking tours or apps. Secret City Trails is a curated marketplace for city discovery games created by locals. During a game, players solve a trail of riddles via an online web app and explore a new city in a completely different way. You can use the web app in 40 European cities and learn a lot about their culture, history and art. We talked to Co-founder Wendy van Leeuwen about the web app and its benefits, the development of a city game and how to become a developer.
Property has shown itself to be a solid investment over the last ten years. However, if the trick to maximizing returns is buying at a low point in a rising market, then the options in Europe are already petering out. The overheated London property market appears to have peaked while competition for up-and-coming Berlin is already intense. Into the mix comes Warsaw, which many experts believe has higher prospects for growth than more developed cities in Western Europe. The gem in its crown is Złota 44.
Skiing takes you to new heights – physically and mentally. Skiing means being physically active in stunning surroundings, enjoying breathtaking views, and creating unforgettable experiences and moments. When planning your next skiing trip, do not forget the Austrian alpine resort Zell am See and its cable car company Schmittenhöhebahn AG. The resort offers uncountable possibilities to make the most of the mountains – all year round.
New York is one of the most popular destinations in the world. If you want to give your stay a very special flair, The Greenwich Hotel, whose owners include Robert De Niro, is just right. European Business spoke to managing director Philip L. Truelove about the hotel´s very special style, forms of hospitality and his personal favorite places.
Only six players in the team, one coach and no need to beat the time but scoring 50 points first – that is what 3-on-3 basketball is about. Founded in 2017 by hip hop musician Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, the BIG3 basketball league attracts millions of basketball fans in the USA and beyond. We talked to former basketballer Clyde Drexler and now BIG3 Commissioner about what makes 3-on-3 basketball so special, why fans are fascinated and how it is to work with founder Ice Cube.
Karlovy Vary or Carlsbad in the Czech Republic is a spa town in Western Bohemia which people have visited to benefit from the curative effects of its 13 thermal springs since the 13th century. The town was named after Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, who established the first spa in the forests surrounding present-day Karlovy Vary around 1350. It was not until the 19th century, however, that the town gained a reputation as a famous spa resort and visitor numbers exploded. Today, one of the best places to base a stay in Karlovy Vary is the Savoy Westend Hotel.
BUKOVINA Resort is a complex of many attractions and facilities in Bukowina Tatrzańska. Each guest of the resort can use all the available services: the BUKOVINA geothermal pools, which are the largest in Poland, the child-friendly BUKOVINA Hotel, the adult-focused Hotel HARNAŚ, and Wellness BUKOVINA, – a places of relaxation, tranquility and renewal. The unique complex for year-round relaxation for the whole family is a luxurious place to reclaim your inner balance, find peace, take care of your health and fitness, and restore your mood. European Business spoke with Edward Kuchta, CEO of Bukowianskie Towarzystwo Geotermalne Sp z o o, the resort’s holding group, about the spa’s beginnings and how it plans to draw in guests from Poland and beyond.
With the trend for more work and fewer and shorter holidays, every second of our precious vacation counts. Discerning individuals choose to spend their time at hotels in beautiful locations, with discrete yet luxurious service. Guests of the Hotel Paradies in the stunning Swiss Alps are members of an exclusive holiday club, and experience all this surrounded by like-minded people with whom they can share common interests and engaging conversation – a true ‘home from home’ environment. Director Meike Bambach explains her unique concept to European Business.