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Striving for absolute quality in sustainable steel production

A long tradition in steel-making and a passion for innovation: The history and structure of Italian manufacturer Acciaierie Bertoli Safau SpA (ABS) created the perfect foundation for the company to develop a unique ability to meet the needs of the most demanding markets around the world. As one of the leading players in steel production, ABS prides itself on the quality of its products and services, and is striving to further enhance its competitive edge with a three-pronged focus on sustainability.

Interview with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, organizational psychologist, author and entrepreneur

Leadership: How to achieve competence in picking competent leaders

Why do so many incompetent men become leaders? – A question that might spark many a heated discussion. For psychologist and author Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic it is also the title of choice for his current publication. European Business talked to the Argentinean-born scientist about the mistake of equating confidence with competence and the current ignorance of scientific data in public debate.

Interview with Gard Hollinger, star custom bike designer, entrepreneur, business partner of Hollywoodstar Keanu Reeves and co-founder OF ARCH Motorcycle Company, LLC

The American dream on two wheels

Enjoying the freedom of the open road on two wheels is an intrinsic piece of modern American mythology. No bike expresses this more than the hand-made, customized machines ARCH Motorcycle Company, which was founded on the idea of redefining the American performance cruiser. European Business talked to Gard Hollinger, joint-founder of ARCH Motorcycle Company about where he finds inspiration for his motorcycle designs, having a Hollywood star as a partner and whether he has a favourite bike in the new portfolio.

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A grand vision for a grand hotel

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.

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Improving patient treatment

Often the foundation of a company leads to a thriving success when it involves a personal story and the founder himself is driven by passion for his well-aimed vision. This is truly the case with Cair LGL whose founder survived serious illness and knew from his own experience which medical products would best meet patients’ and healthcare professionals’ needs in the fields of infusion, chemotherapy, nutrition and suction. Georges Gaston Lopez, the founder of Cair LGL, experienced from a patient’s point of view how to improve treatment of patients with kindey-failure and make life more liveable in the long run.

Interview with Vincent Lambert, CEO of L’Ardenne Prévoyante

Covering what matters in Belgium

If one thing is certain in life, it is uncertainty. Things happen: Illness, fire, accidents, death and a myriad of other calamities can occur. Fortunately, humanity came up with insurance, which, while not a solution or prevention against strokes of fate, provides financial support when times get tough. AXA is one of the biggest names in the insurance sector, and among the companies under its umbrella is L’Ardenne Prévoyante in Belgium. L’Ardenne Prévoyante provides insurance to the French-speaking regions of the country, focusing on private customers as well as small and medium-sized businesses. CEO Vincent Lambert spoke with European Business about how things are changing in the insurance business and how the company continues moving forward.

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Growing on agriculture

The combination of seven different business units under one umbrella has proved the secret of entrepreneurial success for G’s Group Holding. The Czech group was founded in 2008 and is one of market leaders in the country and neighbouring Hungary when it comes to the production and packaging of salad, plants and other vegetables.

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In it for the long haul

For longer distances, flying may get you where you want to go faster than taking the bus, but you will invariably miss out on a lot on the way. And, in this age of flight shame, bus travel beats flying hands down from an environmental perspective. Italian bus company Inter Saj Srl has been offering passenger services since 1925, and believes there is still plenty of mileage in its business model.

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Trade & Consumer Goods

Interview with Andreas Both, Sales Director of Telesteps AB

Climb on, you are safe!

Climbing up a ladder, regardless if this happens daily as part of a job or rarely to pick cherries, change a light bulb, hang a decoration or fix the roof, is potentially dangerous and an easy way to injure yourself. The better to be on the safe side with ladders designed and made by Telesteps AB from Sweden. The company’s safe and sturdy ladders are often copied yet still second to none.

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Streamlining office supply solutions

Huge changes are afoot at office supplies specialist Staples Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG. Its holding company, Staples Solutions in Amsterdam, recently announced the sale of the German retail stores and online business, leaving the company free to focus exclusively on the complex and demanding wholesale B2B contract market.

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Only the best for cats and dogs

Good nutrition and high-quality ingredients for cat and dog food were the prerequisites for Baldassare Monge when he set up Monge & C. S.p.a. in 1963. Mr. Monge was the first to produce wet pet food in Italy and has always done things differently from most competitors in the pet food market. A move that has paid off, as today Monge is the leading name for cat and dog food in Italy, ranking among the top ten in Europe and taking 27th position worldwide. Monge produces healthy and tasty cat and dog food for the global market, serving customers in more than 90 countries.

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Enjoy shopping at the airport

Recent years have seen a steep surge in traveller numbers, and statistics show this development is likely to continue. At the same time, travel retail has experienced equally strong growth as mirrored by the development of Dufrital S.p.a., a subsidiary of the leading global travel retailer, the Dufry Group. Today, travel retailing is even outperforming sales on the local high street. It seems that shopping while travelling has turned into an unmatched experience.

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On trend in consumer electronics

In the dynamic world of consumer electronics, demand is often driven by emerging trends in other sectors. Products designed to support independent health care are a prime example, as are devices that support the smart home concept. Successful manufacturers recognize that their product range has to move with the times. Dutch company Cresta International B.V., which has been in the consumer electronics business for over 40 years, continually achieves this. Its health care and smart home devices now play a central role in its broad portfolio of small electronics.

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Paper is our profession – and passion

Italy produces nine million t of paper and paperboard each year – in terms of production and technology, the industry is a leader on a global scale. The Tuscan city of Lucca plays a specific role in Italy’s paper industry. With more than 140 paper mills and tissue converters, Lucca is an officially recognized paper district in Europe and home to major companies of the booming industry. Companies such as Cartiera dell’Adda, a grey board manufacturer with an outstanding tradition and an exceptionally strong innovative drive.

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Cleaning tools across borders

Supermarket and hypermarket chains, DIY stores, discounters and other large retailers are increasingly expanding across borders. This presents challenges for suppliers including own-brand (or private label) suppliers, who need to provide uniform stock for stores which may be thousands of kilometres apart. As a one-stop-shop for private label cleaning equipment, Belgian company PDC BRUSH has gained a competitive edge by rapidly adapting its business to this new trend.

Interview with Sander Letema, Co-Founder of Infento

Let your children become creators, not consumers

Why buy a ride when you can build one yourself – and foster your children’s engineering skills in the process? That’s the idea behind Infento: The Dutch company manufactures and sells kits from which children ages two and up and their parents can build actual rides. European Business spoke with Infento’s co-founder Sander Letema about the rave response his product garnered from customers and Kickstarter investors, the importance of engineering skills for succeeding in the jobs of the 21st century and why children’s shorter attention spans are no problem for Infento’s ride kits.

Infento B.V.

Why buy a ride when you can build one yourself – and foster your children’s engineering skills in the process? That’s the idea behind Infento: The Dutch company manufactures and sells kits from which children ages two and up and their parents can build actual rides. European Business spoke with Infento’s co-founder Sander Letema about the rave response his product garnered from customers and Kickstarter investors, the importance of engineering skills for succeeding in the jobs of the 21st century and why children’s shorter attention spans are no problem for Infento’s ride kits.

Interview mit Natalie Franz, CEO and Founder of Magicstripes

Magic adhesive strips: How invisible helpers can take years off your appearance

How to turn the clock back – without going under the knife: That is what many people dream of. And there is no end of new products that promise just that. But can they really keep what they promise? We talked to Natalie Franz, founder and Managing Director of Magicstripes. She has developed adhesive strips that rejuvenate the eyes and also work to combat droopy eyelids. In an interview with European Business, Natalie Franz explains exactly how they work and why customers choose them.

Interview with Marco Tedeschi, CEO of RJ Watches SA

Exclusive timepieces marking history

Think of watches and you automatically think of Switzerland. The country is home to many of the world’s most prestigious watch brands; many are distinct in their style, all are sophisticated and well made. Few, however, can generally be described as fun. RJ Watches SA offers its customers something unique; a high-end, exclusive brand with highly creative, limited edition timepieces made from materials that, in some cases, have made history. RJ Watches’ CEO, Marco Tedeschi, explained to European Business just what makes RJ Watches different and what the firm is doing to develop its business while retaining its niche.

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Adding fresh ingredients to a tried and tested recipe

Opening a gourmet cooking school is an innovative way to communicate and market to potential clients. However, for Czech-based Potten & Pannen - Stanek Group, fresh ingredients have always been key to moving forward as a business. For more than 25 years, the company has been refining its recipe as an importer, distributor and retailer of kitchen equipment, adding a great in store experience and cutting edge smart equipment, to its reputation for luxury and sophistication. Under the leadership of executive director, Milos Stanek, the firm is looking to meet the market of today with a set of innovative new growth tactics.

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