Long-standing experience meets state-of-the-art technology

Over 100 qualified employees of SANUM Kehlbeck GmbH & Co. KG in Hoya happily go to work every day, as they provide health and maintain joie de vivre. Namley with a naturopathic range of medicinal preparations for humans and animals. In addition to 200 different homoeopathic and isopathic medicinal preparations, essential oils, food supplements, cosmetics and animal care articles are produced at the Hoya site.

The production is located on more than 10,000 square metres in accordance with the so-called GMP guidelines, which guarantee comprehensive quality assurance from development to distribution that undergoes regular inspections by the state.

Depending on the type and purpose of use, the products are available in the form of drops and injections, capsules and suppositories, tablets and powders. The original micro-organisms required for the production of the remedies and the know-how surrounding the special production process have been the sole property of SANUM-Kehlbeck GmbH & Co. KG since its foundation in 1975.

Approximately 20 percent of sales flow into the area of research and development each year. Today, the medium-sized company has officially registered a total of 50 biological source materials and more than 100 finished medicinal products and sells them through a network of distribution partners in more than 40 countries, including Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Togo, Portugal, Italy, Russia and Azerbaijan.

There a high demand: In Germany alone, around 30,000 prescribers use SANUM-Kehlbeck preparations, which are known for their efficacy and absence of side effects. An important aspect of this is the focus on quality from within the company. About 95% of all production steps are carried out here on site. Consistent quality has top priority. This is ensured by the production, sales, drug safety and information technology department in addition to quality control.

If you talk to the two generations of the Kehlbeck family, you will immediately notice how harmonious,trusting and open their interaction is. Jennifer Kehlbeck, who is now managing director of the Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, says: “We do not have time for rivalry among ourselves. There is enough to do. We can go wild in plenty of other areas and there is enough responsibility for all shoulders to bear.” Her sister Nadine, who manages marketing, adds: “Everyone has their freedom and distances are very short. If I ever need a decision or opinion, we discuss it.” Everybody would sign

blindly for the other one. The level of mutual trust is high. In addition to the varied tasks the four siblings share, it may also be due to the different talents, the divine providence or also due to the gentle guidance by the father Reiner Kehlbeck that everyone has found the job that makes them happy. Maik, the eldest, a graduate in business administration, is a reserved person who loves numbers, who is a home in the world of accounting and controlling. Natascha, the second oldest, studied pharmacy and worked closely with pharmacist Dr. Karsten Wiethoff in the release and quality control before taking parental leave. Jennifer, like her brother, is a business administrator and has always had the desire to be the "boss”, as she openly admits. Already during the school days at boarding school in England she showed here natural ability to be a team leader. For her father and uncle, who keep a close eye on the strengths of the next generation, there were one or two situations that convinced them early on of the assertiveness and leadership qualities of their daughter and niece.

Nadine, Reiner Kehlbeck’s youngest daughter, is the creative head. She also holds a business degree and is very happy in marketing because it is something (creative) you can set things in motion and achieve your set goals”. Her cousin Jasmin Lieferring, née Kehlbeck and daughter of Heinfried, is on parental leave with her second child and was also active in the company after her studies in Kiel.

It all seems to have come together well, with all strategic areas of the business well covered. It was not that the “junior team” was trained from an early age to join the family business. As children, they only noticed that their fathers went “to the company”, later on SANUM offered great holiday jobs. Three of the four Kehlbeck children completed at least one year abroad and the English skills they are acquired are now proving extremely helpful in the globally active company. They did have alternative career ideas. All admit that, looking back, they were definitely guided “but”, says Jennifer Kehlbeck, “we always had the feeling that we decided for ourselves. This was a very intelligent idea of our father.”

The eye opener about the fields of application and functioning of the SANUM products and the conviction, however, came after graduation. Nadine and Jennifer both experienced abroad in hospitals that the SANUM therapy works. Nadine: “That is just the great thing about this therapy.

We do not stop, but we can go on where others stop. That is the motivation. Therefore we want to drive the business forward.” “This is a key point for us. You have to be passionate about something and not because it is the family business”, says Jennifer, “otherwise you will not make it.” When they joined the company, they went through different departments like in a trainee programme. The siblings took care of everything what needed to be done, and without pressure they were given enough time to find the positions that suited their interests in the growing company itself. Reiner Kehlbeck: “The employees have to understand that someone is joining not only because the are the son or daughter, but also because they know something. This transition ... (takes time) until they are accepted. And then there is the age difference.”

In 2008/2009, Jennifer and Maik joined the company and between 2010 and 2012, Natascha and Nadine followed. The time of the decision to hand over the company came in 2012, in a very unsentimental way due to the limitation of the tax exemption of the gift tax. Getting into debt due to the company succession was out of the question for Reiner and Heinfried Kehlbeck. Even though the brothers now each hold only 4% of the company`s shares and have founded a new company for real estate funds, they are still on the job every day for a few hours as “boys for all seasons”. Heinfried Kehlbeck: “Part of handing over is letting go. This does not work when both sides want to have their way....then you back off and say let them have it their way.”

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