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From Left to right: Ayla, Dr Karl, Sami, Ayhan and Kaya Busch. Source: Leon Kopplow.

Family Entrepreneurs of the Year 2022

The Busch family was honored by the INTES Academy for Family Business for its corporate culture and cooperation.

A company founded in an equal partnership, a cross-generational team at the top, cultural and professional backgrounds that complement each other: The Busch family has already lived diversity when the concept was at best a buzzword. For a quarter of a century, Ayhan, Dr Karl, Ayla, Sami and Kaya Busch have jointly managed Busch Vacuum Solutions and taken all important decisions together. For this corporate culture and collaboration, they have now been honored “Family Entrepreneurs of the Year” by the INTES Academy for Family Business. This award has existed since 2004 and is the most prestigious family business award in Germany.
With its lived diversity between generations, genders and cultures, the Busch family stands for a form of forward-looking, economically very successful entrepreneurship that exceptionally implements the long-term securing of the company in the hands of the family.
Catharina Prym, Jury Member and INTES* Managing Director
The family-owned company with worldwide annual global turnover of around one billion Euro is managed by the founding couple Ayhan and Dr Karl Busch and their children Ayla, Sami and Kaya Busch. Decisions are made jointly by the Busch family. With this attitude, they cultivate a culture of discussion which requires a great deal of discipline and strength, but at the same time ensures the best results.

“We are all Co-CEOs,” says Kaya Busch, and Ayla Busch adds: “Everyone has a different view, criticism takes us further.” A constructive critical view, diverse perspectives and open words are also expected from the 3,800 employees worldwide who work at six production sites and subsidiaries in 45 countries.

This discussion-oriented corporate culture and cooperation can be traced back to the married couple Ayhan and Dr Karl Busch. In 1963, the engineer Karl Busch invented the first vacuum pump for packaging foodstuffs, the HUCKEPACK, in the basement of his home. From this innovation, the family company developed leading vacuum and overpressure technology. However, the ingenious invention would never have become so successful without Ayhan Busch. She expanded the organization and ensured the appropriate marketing of the product. From the very beginning, the founding couple pursued an equal partnership in which engineering spirit and entrepreneurship complement each other. The three children were “born into the startup,” as Sami Busch puts it. From an early age, they had the opportunity to accompany their parents on business trips and share their opinions on the company.

The company has remained loyal to its headquarters in Maulburg for decades, as local anchoring and regional commitment are important to the family. Busch Vacuum Solutions has already received awards for its social and cultural commitment. The family company is not worried about its long-term existence: Six grandchildren are already in the starting blocks to follow their parents and grandparents. “They all want to work for Busch once,” says Dr Karl Busch.
*The “INTES (Integrated Owner Strategy) Academy for Family Business” is part of the PwC Group (PriceWaterhouseCoopers). Since 2004, the prize has been awarded jointly by INTES, FBN (Family Business Network) Germany and the association “Die Familienunternehmer” (The Family Entrepreneurs) at the “Entrepreneurial Success Forum” at Schloss Bensberg, near Cologne, Germany. Managing directors and shareholders who contribute to the long-term security of the family-owned company are honored. This includes measures in the areas of strategy, governance, financing or corporate succession, but also strategies that strengthen the cohesion of the owner family and the awareness of their entrepreneurial responsibility.