Doing business differently
What do we remember when we think of a deceased close relative? Is it the share portfolio he left us? Or do we think of the values that the person lived for and possibly passed on to subsequent generations? Do we not rather think of the helping hand he extended to us in times of need? Of the comforting word, the embrace? Do we think of shared experiences, the small happy moments?
In today’s world, the pursuit of profit and short-term profit increases dominate the business world, often to the detriment of the environment and the community. The goodwill of a few major shareholders is more important than the fate of employees. More important than social concerns, interpersonal relationships and sustainable business. Higher, faster, further is the motto of an economic system that has degenerated into casino capitalism, in which profits are privatised and losses imposed on the general public, i.e. the taxpayer. Privatisation derives from the Latin “privare”, which, significantly, is translated as “to rob”. Many companies are bought up by big business, then filleted and cannibalised.
How can traditional companies be led into the future in a sustainable way under such conditions? How can the corporate idea be preserved?
These are crucial questions when it comes to generational change or succession planning.
There is another way
Dr. Roland Schaette has answered these questions about the future for himself and his company in a very unusual way. In 2006 he decided to bequeath the company founded by his father in 1919 to the WALA Foundation. An unusual, courageous and selfless, thoroughly visionary decision. More than 15 years ago, Dr Schaette laid the foundation for SaluVet GmbH to be able to steer optimistically into the future as part of the WALA-Group, supported by the WALA Foundation. Not least because of this, it is possible to offer you a very wide range of products and to secure the independence of the company in the long term. Some of the products in our range would be cancelled by an investor immediately, as they do not generate a contribution margin. But it is precisely these small products that sometimes cover rare indications and thus complete your toolbox in therapy.
Both WALA and SaluVet are committed to healing and salutogenesis from their founding impulse. Both companies are united by the common idea of manufacturing products on the basis of natural raw materials and herbal management, taking ecological aspects into account. In many cases, unique processing methods are used, which account for the special quality of the products. Both companies can look back on a long company tradition and were already pioneers in what they did and how they did it at the time of their founding. Topics such as ecological and sustainable management already played an important role in the company more than 100 years ago and increasingly also determine today’s actions.
The task and goal of the WALA Foundation is to ensure the prosperous development of SaluVet GmbH in addition to “WALA Heilmittel GmbH”.
With this form of enterprise, SaluVet occupies an outstandingly special position in the industry.
Consequently, SaluVet GmbH has no private investors, is independent of major investors and cannot be sold or inherited. The company serves the purpose of the foundation, thus has a meaningful goal that shapes its thinking and actions, and is geared towards the long term.
– Can it only be about money and profit?
– Do companies also have a social responsibility?
– Is profit basically good or bad?
The entrepreneurial framework allows SaluVet to think differently about these entrepreneurial questions.
It allows us to put the needs of our customers, and thus the animals, in the foreground and to take current social needs into account. We do not make entrepreneurial decisions exclusively with the aim of increasing the capital value of the company. Rather, we take into account, for example, social and ecological concerns that would run counter to the pure pursuit of profit.
In order to be future-proof, we also need profits. As foundation companies, we also have to think and act economically. Profit is a means to an end and not an end in itself. The long-term development of the Lauffieber company and the promotion of the individual development of the employees are in the foreground. In years of good management, we do not line the pockets of greedy shareholders, but distribute a portion of the profits to the employees – after deducting necessary investments and reserves.
Employees whose primary goal is to earn a high salary and drive it up through ever greater career leaps are out of place at SaluVet. Our employees, on the other hand, have the opportunity to actively shape their own workplace and guarantee the company’s success through their commitment to a good cause. Very long-term company affiliations contribute to the quality assurance and continuity of the company. Meaningful action motivates our employees more than monetary incentives. This ultimately confirms the introductory statements of this text.
Loyal customers and long-lasting supplier relationships confirm our actions. Many thanks for that.
In this film statement by Dr Philipp Lettmann, Chairman of the WALA Foundation, you will learn interesting background information about the work of foundation-managed companies and their responsibility for our planet.
Dr. med. vet. Sandra Graf-Schiller, Management SaluVet GmbH