70 years ago, Poul Due Jensen began an extraordinary industrial story. The beginning of the pump fairy-tale is celebrated today.
Once upon a time there lived a man in Bjerringbro, who started from humble beginnings. In 1945, he was faced with a task that was to have great significance – not just for him and the small town, but for lots of people across the world. The task – to supply a pump for one of the farms in the area – was difficult to solve at the end of the Second World War, but the man did it in his own way and invented a small, automatic waterworks. Poul Due Jensen, the entrepreneur, began producing pumps in his smithy, which he had already opened the year before, and soon was able to expand with a new workshop behind his private home in Østergade. This was the start of the company, we know.
Poul Due Jensen had proved he was a man who was technically gifted and full of initiative. Soon, he demonstrated that he also had great visions and business sense – to such an extent that it enabled him to write a real pump adventure.
Water to the world
“It is such an amazing piece of industrial history about a small company turning into a global Group with 19,000 employees,” says Mads Nipper:
“Right from the beginning, Poul Due Jensen considered it his most important duty to make water accessible, and showed that he understood how important it was – and still is – to meet the customers’ needs,” he continues.
With that, he created the foundation for a Group that since then has set one new standard after the other and brought itself in front within its business. A Group that has shipped millions upon millions of pumps to customers in practically all corners of the world, where they have helped improve the quality of life for nearly one seventh of the world’s population.
Back to the future
The 70 years’ worth of history is celebrated today. The good old days will return for a moment – among other things in form of a couple of props from that time, followed by greetings from Niels Due Jensen and Mads Nipper. Particularly lucky employees can, as winners of the competition, look forward to an extraordinary visit to the re-established Østergade 41, where Chairman of the Poul Due Jensen Foundation, Niels Due Jensen, will give a tour of the house that has a special place in the company’s history.
“It was at that address my father laid the foundation for the company, we know today. But the house is also the childhood home of me and my sisters and we have taken great pleasure in contributing, so others get an opportunity to get insight in the conditions our family lived in back in 1963 – when I was 20 years old and worked as an apprentice,” Niels Due Jensen tells.
Everyone has contributed
The welfare of the employees was very near to Poul Due Jensen’s heart and right from the beginning, he made Grundfos an inclusive workplace with room for everyone. He was very conscious of the employees’ importance for his company and his favorite quotation was:
“You must believe, you are something, and no matter who you are, you have skills that you and we can make use of together”.
“The quote from Poul Due Jensen hits the bull’s eye just as much today as it did back then, and for that reason, it is not only him we have to celebrate, it is also ourselves and the thousands of other dedicated, skilled and loyal employees who have been part of developing Grundfos over the years. I am convinced that the high degree of passion I sense from everyone is connected with the feeling of working for a company which builds on a set of healthy and solid values going all the way back to the founder,” says Mads Nipper.