Have you met Christian O. Erbe?
From time to time, we interview people of the German Centre network. We want to learn who they are – and drill down on their dedication and commitment towards the German Centres.
His commitment to medical technology research, development and innovation goes far beyond the company's borders. The family man is represented on the boards and executive committees of relevant German institutions, such as the Medical Engineering division of the Electro and Digital Industry Association (ZVEI), IHK Reutlingen, the Baden-Württemberg Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce. the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the German Society for Biomedical Technology at VDE, the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies. In November 2017, he was awarded the business medal of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Erbe Elektromedizin has been located in German Centre Singapore for 15 years. Why did you opt for the German Centre that time – and why are you still there?
I was personally involved in the decision about the right location in Singapore. BW Bank linked us with the German Centre. We started with one single employee and didn’t know how strong and fast we would grow. The German Centre offered us the flexibility to adapt our office space needs to our business development. Moreover, the infrastructure convinced us. For example, there is a café that we can invite our customers to. And you can easily network with locals and expats to exchange experiences and learn from each other.
Why we are still there? Actually, the German Centre offers way more opportunities today than at that time. Life Science Incubator is a new project on which many companies worked together, including ourselves. The result is a fully equipped lab that start-ups and established companies can use - whenever and to whatever extend they need to.
You are currently about to start the Erbe Academy in Singapore. What’s that – and how did the German Centre support you?
At the Erbe Academy, we offer many courses and trainings. We share our experience and our know-how and train the participants in using our technologies. We do this for our own employees in sales, technical service and marketing. And we do this for external parties like doctors, nurse technicians, and many more medical disciplines. In the meantime, more than 40.000 persons have taken part in our trainings! At our headquarters in Tübingen, we have a physical academy, worldwide we have been training people “on the road”. Erbe Academy in Singapore will be the first academy abroad and the German Centre is the perfect place for it. We can use the meeting and conference facilities for small and large groups on flexible conditions, including catering. Our office is located there, so we do not have any logistical challenges. Last, but not least, Life Science Incubator is just next door in the lobby. Everything is under one roof! This package we only get in the German Centre.
Which service of the German Centre couldn’t you do without?
Flexibility. You can grow, or shrink, if necessary – also during the running term of a tenancy contract. Life Science Incubator is an awesome facility. And the additional international services, such as German Centre’s cooperation with the German Business Incubator in Vietnam, which allows me to use the latter’s hotdesks and meeting rooms.
Do you have a role model?
I do not have a role model in particular. For me, a positive role model is someone who is curious, with an open mind and open heart, who wants to learn and get a bit better every single day.
Which are the most important trends for your company?
Our employees rank first, and the way how we guide and motivate them. Without our fully committed employees, we would not stand where we are today, they are our most valuable ressource. Next is ecological sustainability, to which every company has to contribute in order to make good progress. Digitalisation is an important strategic task. This includes our own, internal business processes as well as the courses of actions of our clients, where we integrate our products. This affects the whole process from patient registration up to his discharge from hospital. The current change in focus away from hardware and towards performance is huge and really disruptive. In Singapore, we have a sales team, we provide courses and trainings in our new Erbe Academy, and we participate in clinical studies with a team of researchers. I can imagine to relocate further functionalities to Singapore, such as procurement, logistics or product development. If we do everything in the right way and if we continue to have good ideas, our main goal will be achieved easily: healthy and profitable growth.
Which country is the most exciting Erbe is doing business in and why?
We have sales representations in 110 national markets and we are running subsidiaries in 21 countries – and all countries have their special challenges. Therefore, every country is exciting in its own way.
What would you change if you can govern for one day?
Immediately and with all I can do: Stop the war in the Ukraine!