The steep climb out of the pigsty

The steep climb out of the pigsty

Roland hofmann had all this when he was in his mid-20s and working alone on a farm in his parents' pigsty in haidhof. Today he is 48, head of around 60 employees and managing director of a company with annual sales of 5.8 million euros.
The stuff that dreams are made of has always been metal to him. "Even as a child, I assembled bicycles; working with metal has always been fun for me," he says, says the trained industrial mechanic, who passed his master craftsman's examination in 1989.
Roland hofmann comes from a farming background. When his father became ill and the farm could no longer be run, he had the idea of using the empty pigsty as a workshop. "I started out with a lathe and a circular saw." Hofmann still remembers his first order, arranged by a friend: turning threaded flanges for EWAG in nurnberg. "I was still working on my own – piece by piece, mostly in the evenings. At this time, roland hofmann's main job is still as a milling and turning operator at kugelfischer in nurnberg. He takes the plunge into self-employment when his employer files for bankruptcy. He is driven by two considerations: firstly, there is an existing building site, and secondly, I wanted to get into computer-controlled manufacturing technology (CNC), explains hofmann. But: there was the hurdle with the bank still to take.

Mother's skepticism overcome

"With 25 years nothing is there yet", the entrepreneur describes his situation at the time. But when his parents step in and sign over a plot of land that he can use as a mortgage, the foundation stone for the company is laid. Despite his mother's skepticism: "she always feared that the house and the farm would be destroyed, admits roland hofmann. He bought his first milling machine in 1990: "at the time, a machine like that cost around 150,000 marks – plus 50,000 for tool accessories, he explains his mother's fears. "I ordered the machine, but there was no order yet – but I was sure that something would come along, stresses the enterprising haidhofer.

Always down to earth

He was proved right: the first order came from national machinery, a U.S. Company with european headquarters in nurnberg. The clientele becomes more and more coarse. Hofmann always reinvests his profits in the company – which expanded in 2007. But hofmann remains down to earth. Keeps faith with haidhof and builds a modern production hall in the new industrial area.
23 years after his "start up", when roland hofmann at a business meeting in forchheim, his parents also listened to his success story. And you can see in his mother's eyes: the skepticism is gone – she is proud of her son!