There are about 2,700 extremely successful companies around the world that most people have never heard of, but which are known, admired or even feared in their industries – and roughly half of them are German.
These are the "hidden champions", a term coined by Professor Hermann Simon almost 30 years ago. To qualify as one of these elite midsize firms, which in Germany form part of the famous Mittelstand, a company needs to be number one on its continent or among the top three in its global market share.
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"Many extremely successful companies escape the attention of those whose business it is to know everything (media), understand everything (scientists) or improve everything (consultants)," Simon said.
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