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Pioneering hi-tech innovation in cleaning industry

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Our Correspondent / EMIRATES BUSINESS

Founded in 1935, the family-owned business is based in Winnenden, Germany, and is the world’s leading supplier of cleaning technology to the private, commercial and industrial sectors.
The Middle East subsidiary opened its doors in 1998 and is located in Dubai. The Karcher product range includes high-pressure cleaners, vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, window vacs, vacuum sweepers, scrubber driers, vehicle washing bays, drinking water and wastewater treatment systems, dry ice blasters, cleaning agents, garden and household pumps, watering systems and drinking water dispensers.
Karcher has grown from its modest beginning to an AED8.5 billion globally recognised brand. If the bright yellow of its machines is what comes to mind at the mention of the word ‘Karcher,’ be advised, there is much more than what the eye beholds. In a span of 80 years, Karcher has reached the leadership position in cleaning solutions with its 100 subsidiaries and 40,000 distributors, all of whom contributed to the sale of 12.72 million machines in 2014.
Since its creation, Karcher has pioneered technological innovation in the cleaning industry. The company currently holds over 1,500 patents and registered designs in cleaning. In 2014, the number of employees at Karcher worldwide stood at 11,230 of which more than 900 are employed in the R&D department. “Our engineers are incredibly ingenious and it shows on the great products and innovation they regularly come up with. These products are both sturdy and efficient and perform very well in the Middle East,”said Richard Nouira, MD of Karcher FZE.
As a measure of innovation, patent registration and licensing in recent times have become a defensive strategy rather than a mechanism detailing creativity from in-house research and development. “At Karcher, we do not pursue a strategy of piling on patents, instead we focus on investing along our value chain to supply best-in-class machines, from conception to delivery, to end-users and professionals alike” commented Nouira.
Karcher was the first company in the cleaning industry to receive the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications for its quality and environmental management systems. The research and development processes at Karcher occur across 19 production facilities in the world. The
facilities are built and operated by Karcher for “Karcher quality”.
“Our growth in 2015 was once again much higher than the industry average,” said Hartmut Jenner, Chairman of the Management Board. “This is mainly due to our innovativeness and ongoing internationalisation of our business. Despite difficult economic conditions in part, we have held our ground and managed to more than compensate for slumps in sales in our present growth markets Russia and Brazil.”
Since 2013, Karcher made a clear distinction between its consumer and professional line of products. The consumer line retained the bright yellow which was introduced in 1974 to coincide with a shift in core business concentration to high-pressure
cleaning, while the professional products were changed to ‘anthracite’.
To fulfil best customer service and after sales services, Karcher has 50,000 service points globally to handle its product range of over 3,000 machines.

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