“Hidden champions” – Hamburg’s Secret Heroes

(Click onto picture to download / Berliner Bogen / Christian Sparbiehr)

Some medium-sized enterprises and experts conquer a particular market niche and become leaders on the European market – or even the global market. Many of these “hidden champions” are barely known outside the professional community as they are busy generating turnover, not headlines. In all of Germany, Hamburg is the city with the highest proportion of such “secret” market leaders. A survey among 1,300 German businesses, conducted by consulting company Simon-Kucher & Partners, shows that for every one million Hamburg citizens there are 29.4 “hidden champions”.

The average for other larger German cities is 14.2, while Berlin with its weak industry has an average of 9.4. So what is the success formula of these “hidden champions”? They are highly specialised, often display a high degree of staff loyalty; they have sufficient equity capital, which means that even in times of crisis they are able to invest anticyclically. In many cases their success is grounded in research, for “hidden champions” need to be innovative to prevail on the global market against cheaper competitors.

12 Market Leaders and “Hidden Champions” from Hamburg

  1. Basler AG, http://www.baslerweb.com/en,

    digital cameras and artificial vision equipment for the industry and the medical sector

  2. Becker-Marine Systems, www.becker-marine-systems.com,

    manoeuvring systems for all types and sizes of vessels

  3. Bigpoint GmbH, www.bigpoint.net,

    pioneer of browser-based online games

  4. Gebr. Heinemann SE & Co. KG, www.gebr-heinemann.de,

    distributor and retailer for the international travel market

  5. HELM AG, www.helmag.com,

    marketer and distributer of chemical products

  6. Jungheinrich AG, http://www.jungheinrich.com/en/homepage/,

    forklifts, platform trucks and tractors, warehouse handling equipment

  7. Minimax Viking GmbH & Co. KG, www.minimaxviking.com,

    fire protection systems of all types

  8. Muehlhan AG, www.muehlhan.com,

    maritime and industrial surface protection

  9. Olympus Surgical Technologies Europe, www.olympus-oste.eu,

    medical technology for endoscopic and high-frequencysurgery and surgery systems

  10. Philips Medizin Systeme, www.healthcare.philips.com,

    imaging systems, healthcare IT, ultrasonic and monitoring equipment

  11. PHOENIX, www.pdt-group.com,

    sealing systems for civil engineering, tunnel and rail construction

  12. STILL GmbH, www.still.de/en,

    forklifts, platform trucks and tractors, warehouse handling equipment