Joerg Bauer, CEO of Tungsram, looks back at the origins of the brand and its developments, which are firmly focused on the future but with the same DNA. A year ago, this senior executive of General Electric acquired the group’s Lighting activities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Turkey (EMEAT) and took back the original name, invented by Lipót Aschner in 1909, consisting of the words Tungsten and Wolfram (tungsten in German).
Let’s go back to this buyback transaction.
What motivated this operation?
Joerg Bauer – As President of GE Lighting Hungary, headquartered in Budapest, I had a very complete vision of the business of GE Lighting, encompassing sales, marketing and export. I saw it as an opportunity to relaunch the long history of the Hungarian brand Tungsram, which enjoys worldwide renown. We wanted to keep not only its headquarters in Budapest but also the teams of engineers, technicians and salespeople who have remained mostly in the company, and this, in all European, Asian, North American and African subsidiaries and distribution partners
to continue to build the future of Tungsram. In Tungsram, we are all attached to its traditions and its core business, especially general lighting which accounts for two thirds of our business. Our future is based on the brand’s DNA and essentially on the development of luminaires that started a while ago. Nevertheless, we do not want to become the competitors of our customers of yesterday and, for this reason, we have been creating numerous partnerships with them, particularly in France, whose general manager Philippe Gagnière has developed close links with prescribers.
Carlos Daniel, you are marketing director, how did the transition from source manufacturing to luminaire development go?
Carlos Daniel – We have indeed launched ranges in the tertiary sector and industry with products equipped with easily replaceable modules, so that the user can benefit from the latest technologies without having to change fixtures. We offer solutions whose efficiency and durability play an important role, especially in the industrial sector, where lighting renovation is essential. Today, by investing in modular, reliable products with embedded management, our customers can increase their productivity with quality and intelligent lighting.
Joerg Bauer – This quality is the DNA of Tungsram, which has a solid reputation in Europe. We have subsidiaries in 22 countries and enjoy privileged relationships with our customers all over the world of course, but also in France, and this has always been the case. We do our utmost to reinforce this brand image in these new products, whether they are lamps, components or lighting fixtures. The danger is to be identified only by prices, at the expense of quality. We remain attentive to our customers and to their needs to develop technical solutions that best suit them. And we have the know-how, experience and expertise that make us even more legitimate in our new strategies. We know how to “make light”!
You have mentioned France several times: will the hexagon play an important part in Tungsram’s future?
Joerg Bauer – Yes, and Philippe Gagnière, general manager for France, has already testified to this, I believe, in the columns of Lumières. The French team, which has moved to new premises in Neuilly, has a good sales force and will expand further in the coming months. Our website is now available in French and has several local case studies. We have taken up the challenge of producing better light and it is through innovation and our partnerships that we will succeed.
Philippe Gagnière – Our position in France is indeed strengthening, thanks to the extension of our portfolio, which continues to have new ranges of luminaires manufactured in Budapest and which benefit from the efficiency of our Hungarian logistics platform. In addition, Tungsram’s membership in the French Syndicat de l’éclairage also contributes to adding value to our brand’s new identity. At the same time, we are also enlarging our collaboration with lighting designers on all our projects, both nationally and globally.