E284 | Unveiling The Latest Economic Trends and What Makes A Hidden Champion with Hermann Simon
This week on The Melting Pot we welcomed back a special guest. We’re diving into today’s international economic landscape, and the critical debates surrounding Germany’s own industrial landscape with none other than the renowned pricing expert and consultant, Hermann Simon.
As ever, Simon leaves us with an extremely insightful episode where he explores the provocative argument for Germany’s deindustrialisation, the challenges and strategies for managing automation, and the intriguing concept of hidden champions—those mid-sized market leaders in niche sectors that silently dominate the global stage. He examines Germany’s rich history of entrepreneurial internationalisation and technological innovation (both fundamental pillars in the DNA of German entrepreneurs), as Hermann shares insights on everything from the inner workings of seed-sorting machines to autonomous driving achievements.
During their conversation, Simon and Dominic discuss the complexities of immigration, the need for skilled talent, and Simon’s perspective on the essential balance for effective integration. Plus, insights into pricing strategies amid inflation, the significance of education and vocational training in shaping a skilled workforce, and a glimpse at the future role of AI and raw materials in industries like automotive.
To top it off, Hermann imparts his wisdom on staying optimistic amid a global economy peppered with uncertainties but also ripe with opportunities. So, gear up for a thought-provoking journey through the economic, technological, and social realities that shape our world.
Download and listen to learn more.
On today’s podcast:
- Inflation and its effect on pricing strategy
- Germany vs UK’s economy
- Why Are Hidden Champions ‘Hidden’
- The DNA of German entrepreneurs
- Deindustrialisation in Germany
Follow Hermann Simon:
Who is Hermann Simon
Hermann is the founder and honorary Chairman of Simon-Kucher Partners, a relatively large consultancy with 2200 people worldwide in 47 offices in 30 countries. He is an expert in strategy, marketing and pricing. He is the only German in the “Thinkers50 Hall of Fame” of the most important management thinkers in the world.
Simon has published over 35 books in 27 languages, including the worldwide bestsellers Hidden Champions and Power Pricing, as well as Manage for Profit, Not for Market Share. Hidden Champions of the 21st Century, Success Strategies of Unknown World Market Leaders investigates the strategies of little-known market leaders. His newest Hidden Champions in the Chinese Century: Ascent and Transformation and Beating Inflation, “takes readers on an in-depth exploration of the ever-changing operating conditions and the greater uncertainty and volatility that defines the global business sphere over the next ten years.”
What you’ll learn from Hermann
04:40 – Inflation Expectations For 2024-25
07:45 – Inflation Implications For Businesses Pricing Strategy
09:56 – The Shift In Consumer Habits and Willingness To Pay
10:57 – Where Are We Now In The Economic Cycle?
14:13 – The Impact of Pricing Pressure from AI
17:01 – The Impact of Unpredictable Raw Material Prices in Electric Cars Production
19:39 – The Difference Between Germany and UK’s Economy
23:23 – Re-industrialisation and Low Unemployment Rate: A Trend or a Blip?
24:48 – Why Intel Chose Eastern Germany For Their Chip Factory
25:56 – Germany’s Concern Over Immigration And Rising Right-wing
29:06 – The Definition Of Hidden Champions And Why Nobody Knows Them
31:47 – The DNA of German Entrepreneurs
32:22 – An Extreme Case of Technical Competency: ASML in the Netherlands
36:22 – The New Wave Of Germany’s Many Hidden Champions
37:22 – Uber’s Success And Standard-setting In Digitalisation
38:45 – Examples of B2B Processes in Tech
40:58 – What Can Governments Do To Promote Hidden Champions
43:10 – Two-day Worker Training in BYD Factory In China
44:05 – Book Recommendations
46:25 – Final Advice For Parents and Businesses