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I am never ashamed of Geberit products - an interview with Adam Pillich, Product Director.

26 of March '21

The Polish branch of Geberit is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. This is a perfect excuse to talk to Adam Pillich, a person who has been associated with the company almost since its inception in Poland. Among other things, the product director told us about the Swiss company's beginnings on the Polish market, the relationships between employees and what he values most about his workplace.

Adam Pilich, Product Director

Photo: © Geberit

How did your career at Geberit begin?

AP: Geberit was registered in Poland in November 1995. I joined the company 4 months later through Andrzej Dobrut, then head of the Polish branch, who offered me a position. The recruitment process under the guidance of Witold Kolodziej and a representative of the concern from Switzerland went well, but my decision to join the team was not so obvious. At the time, I was a co-owner of a sizable company, which I decided to sell. And so on March 1, 1996, I began my career at Geberit, which continues to this day.

What problems did you have to face when Geberit appeared on the Polish market? How did you try to convince customers of your products?

AP: In the first few years of our business, we sold mainly solid-base racks. For Polish users, this was a completely new, previously unknown product. The question they most often asked was: "won't it break?" We sold roughly 1,500 units a year, today we sell 100 times more. In those days, gaining the trust of consumers was not an easy thing, but we succeeded! Our solutions have the required approvals, certified by static load tests of up to 400 kg. What's more, Geberit gives as much as a 25-year warranty on the availability of spare parts. Safety is undoubtedly synonymous with this brand, not only in the context of racks, but in every segment of our business. It gives confidence to the retailer, as well as to the contractor, the architect, and finally to the user, who can use our products without problems for years.

Photo: © Geberit

Which product from the Geberit portfolio has evolved the most over the years?

AP: Our company devotes enormous resources to development. In the Pluvia vacuum roof drainage system, the pipes are still the same, but the roof drains are very different from those of 25 years ago, and we also use a completely different installation method here. Over time, new products have also been developed, such as the Monolith sanitary module, and the AquaClean washing toilet, which has developed incredibly over the years, gaining new functions. Also in our range for public toilets, the massive sink faucets have been replaced by modern elegant Brenta and Piave solutions. What we would touch is now different from what it used to be. I have not been ashamed of Geberit products for 25 years. I have the comfort of working for a very professional company that sells the best products in its industry. I make no secret of the fact that this is a great source of satisfaction.

For most Poles, the flush-mounted shower tray functions under the name Geberit. This product has become the company's flagship product. What is its history?

AP: It all started in 1963, when Geberit produced the first concealed cistern. This type of solution was sold on the market for the next 20 years. There were no racks then, because there was nothing to hang them on - at that time ceramic manufacturers had not yet mastered the production of suspended bowls. Once such technology emerged, Geberit developed and produced the first rack. It was called Kombifix, and was designed for solid-base installation. Successively, other Kombistar models appeared, and then Duofix, which, by the way, we still sell today. Its formula has also changed over this time, but the design is still set in a blue frame. It's still the most popular rack around the world.

Photo: © Geberit

When you analyze these 25 years, how has the company supported you in developing various professional competencies?

AP: First of all, I gained very valuable knowledge in the area of new technologies. I mastered the art of presentation and public speaking. This skill comes in handy especially now that we have launched webinars, are preparing online training courses and are performing in front of the camera. I have also developed my linguistic competence, and speak English and German freely. Over these 25 years, I have participated in numerous training courses to develop my management skills and work in different conditions. I remember my beginnings, I laughed at the time that I don't know a more socialist company than Geberit, because social issues and care for the employee were put on a very high level here. Anyway, such an organizational culture persists to this day and will continue for a long time to come.

And what kind of relationships between employees do you have within the company?

AP: Geberit is made up of people, and it's the people that this business is based on. The team that started working here 25 years ago is still working for a large part today, and this is probably the best proof of the kind of relationships that exist between employees. For me, the people working in this company have been family from the beginning. When I started work, everyone addressed each other as "You. Such an unwritten rule also applied to the relationship with the Chairman, or colleagues in Switzerland. We addressed the Head of the Concern's Board of Directors by his first name - Christian. There was also a story that stuck in my memory, when I went to Switzerland for the first time and saw that in the canteen the head of the corporation's management board and the employees of the production line were sitting at the same table. It was an unprecedented thing for me, even in the days of socialist Poland.

What would you wish Geberit on the occasion of its anniversary?

AP: I wish Geberit to continue in the direction it has taken. Good people, good products and to keep the level it has developed over a quarter of a century. In four years we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the company - I would like the next generation to also live to see the 150th anniversary of Geberit in Poland.

Read more on Geberit 's A&B website.

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