Talking to Thomas Ricker: Trainee at Fair 2015

The teams of the “Trainee at Fair” project were aiming high last week. To put it more precisely: to the 6th floor of the Glass Building, up to the boardroom floor, where they had an opportunity to interview Thomas Ricker, a member of Krones AG’s Executive Board. In a small group, a pleasant conversation ensued: about the everyday routine of an Executive Board member at Krones AG, his career, experiences at trade fairs in general, and (of course) about the BrauBeviale in particular.

“My working day mostly starts at 7:30 in the morning,” explains Thomas Ricker. This is when he checks all his emails and runs through the day’s schedule with his assistant. At 8 a.m., this is then often followed by a morning tour of the company, wherever there’s something that needs discussing or looking at. Afterwards there are meetings with his colleagues on the Executive Board or in the departments of his own remit, with the other facilities linked up by video-conferencing, and, of course, with our clients. “All these meetings are very important for an operative exchange of mutual feedback on current issues and empirical insights,” he explains. 

This has been Thomas Ricker’s normal routine since 2012, for that was the year in which he was appointed to the Executive Board. He began his career at Krones, however, as a development engineer, before finally, from his position as Head of Research and Development, he was promoted to the Executive Board. And, of course, as a member of the Executive Board, visiting trade fairs is part of his job as well.

Will he be at the Brau himself, the trainees wanted to know – and got an unambiguous answer: as from 10 November, the BrauBeviale has been inked into his diary. There, he aims to meet old acquaintances, and make new contacts, right in line with the motto of “See and be seen”.

That’s precisely what he likes best about it. “At trade fairs, there’s always something going on.”

Besides closing orders and contracts, the focus is also on networking and a positive presentation of our company to the outside world, he tells them. “At a fair like the BrauBeviale, we want to communicate the message that with Krones clients are in good hands. That’s why we’ve covered all our corporate capabilities, from sales and engineering all the way through to LCS.”

The BrauBeviale itself has also changed substantially over recent years: namely from a beer-themed fair pure and simple towards an event for the entire international beverage industry. For Krones, it nonetheless remains “the local fair right on our doorstep” and is therefore simply something rather special.

By reason of this status, Thomas Ricker also thinks it’s a good thing that the trainees are also allowed to attend the BrauBeviale. Having the teams involved in the fair beforehand, he says, means they’ll have a quite different viewpoint of the fair’s happenings compared to ordinary visitors. And different viewpoints, he emphasises, are also important for the company. After all, a young generation new to the scene may provide different feedback from someone who’s been a regular for 20 years.