On a train journey – so the legend goes – a conversation arose with a fellow passenger in which Dr Girtanner received a hint that foamed plastic materials had a high potential for the future. The idea of investing their assets in a foam factory was born. Thus, two years later, foam production was taken up and the range expanded to include products such as cool boxes and insulation boards.
The two founders set the course for a company that developed into a global player and one of the most important employers in the canton of Obwalden. They knew how to skilfully combine entrepreneurial spirit with social commitment. This participative-patronal management style of the early years was characterised by high esteem for the employees. Taking into account a healthy pursuit of profit – the vital objective of every company – profit maximisation, on the other hand, was clearly rejected. “The human being”, Dr Girtanner said, “is worth more than any economic goal. The human being is at the centre.”