Interview with Mr Erwin Stoller

Mr Erwin Stoller
Mr Erwin Stoller
Executive Chairman

Rieter, a renowned name in textile and automotive industries, came to existence in 1795. Based in Winterhur-Switzerland, this industrial group marks worldwide presence in over 20 countries with nearly 70 manufacturing facilities and has a total worldwide workforce of 12700 employees, some 13% of whom are based in Switzerland. The company comprises two divisions: Rieter Textile Systems develops and produces machinery, systems and components for manufacturing yarns from natural and man-made fibers and their blends. Rieter is a leading supplier of integrated installations for short staple spinning mills, from the spinning preparation stage to the final spinning process as well as of the technology components and service offerings. As a partner and supplier to automotive manufacturers, Rieter Automotive Systems develops and manufactures components, modules and total systems for acoustic comfort and thermal management in motor vehicles. Mr Erwin Stoller, Executive Chairman, has a degree in Mechanical Engineering (Dipl. Masch. Ing. ETH), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. Mr Stoller has held various positions since joining Rieter in 1978. During 1987 to 1990, he was Head of Production and became member of the Board of Management of Rieter Machine Works Ltd. From 1991 to 1992, he was Managing Director of the Group Company Rieter Ingolstadt, Germany. In the period 1992 to 2002, he was Head of the Textile Systems Division and was appointed member of the Group Executive Committee. Onwards 2002 until 2007, he was Head of the Automotive Systems Division. In 2008 he was elected as a Board member and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr Stoller has been in his present function as Executive Chairman since August 2009. In recent interview convened by Ms Madhu Soni, Sr Editor & Correspondent-Face2Face, Mr Erwin Stoller shares about key strategies that help the machinery giant to outperform once again in spite of challenging times.

How is Rieter gone different to what it was before four years of our previous talk with your Group? Recent financial announcements loud Rieter's remarkable performance. How was this success materialized amidst challenging times?

In 2007 the Rieter Group set new records for sales (3.9 billion CHF), EBIT (278.7 million CHF), and net profit 211.5 million CHF). During the last two years 2008/2009 the Rieter Group – a leading supplier to the textile and automotive industries – was confronted with a severe global economic downturn, especially in the Textile Systems division. To cope with the steep cyclical downturn, Rieter implemented a comprehensive restructuring and cost-cutting program in order to adapt the production capacities to the decreasing volumes and to lower the break-even point.

Rieter has not only reacted to the cyclical downturn but also to the structural changes in the textile industry by continually expanding both manufacturing facilities and engineering services in India and China and adapting the European facilities accordingly. Following a strategic review of the product portfolio of the Textile Systems Division resulting in focusing on core activities, Rieter has sold its activities in chemical fibers, pelletizing and nonwovens.

Textile Systems also adapted its organization in order to have a fully integrated global network of sales, service, manufacturing and development capacities in which the units in Europe, China and India play an equal role, contributing what they can do best. In spite of the restructuring and cost-cutting program, Rieter continued to expand capacity in Asia and pressed on with the development and market introduction of new machines. This allowed Rieter to successfully exploit the improved market environment in the first half of 2010 to generate organic growth and to return to profit at the operating level. Orders received by Rieter Textile Systems in the first six months of 2010 increased by 290% to 739 million CHF. The largest volume of orders came from Turkey, followed by India and China.

'Delight customers- Enjoy your work- Fight for the profits’- interesting! Please explain us about this ethos?

The basic values (see also our Values and Principles brochure on governing the Rieter Group‘s business activities are summarized as follows:

• Delight your customers • Enjoy your work • Fight for profits

They address our three most important stakeholders: customers, employees, shareholders. Rieter is successful as a company if it satisfies its customers’ expectations, if its employees are enthusiastic in their commitment, and if it generates long-term added value for its shareholders.

On a different level but connected with our Values and Principles are our four brand values: 'ambitious', 'convincing', 'reliable', 'pioneering'

They signify, in which way we want to achieve the overriding goals. The brand values represent the typical Rieter way of thinking and behaving.

Published on: 13/09/2010

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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