Introducing the Kassow Robots management team (Part 03)
7 questions for … Dieter Pletscher, Global Sales Manager
1️⃣ What brought you to Kassow Robots?
Dieter Pletscher: Everybody had heard about the cobot pioneer Kristian Kassow, of course, myself included. But the two of us had never actually met. It was a colleague from our network who put us in direct contact with one another. Then, in late 2017, I was invited to Copenhagen, to the secret premises of Kassow Robots—at that time, no one yet knew that the company existed and that 7-axis cobots were being developed here.
2️⃣ What was your first reaction to Kristian Kassow’s prototypes for a 7-axis cobot?
“Wow!” Because it was truly something new and different. And not just the seventh axis itself, but the completely new overall package. Great reach, power, and speed—all at the same time. That was something I, too, could see real demand for in industry. I have to admit, I was also really taken with how elegant the cobot’s moves were, despite its power. In a word, I was immediately convinced. Of course, the chance to build a company with someone like Kristian Kassow was very attractive in and of itself. The chemistry was good right from the day we met. We quickly agreed that I would join as sales manager, and at the beginning of 2024, I’ll have been here for six years!
3️⃣ Your task was to help build everything from the ground up ...
… and that’s exactly what attracted me! What could be more exciting than to build something new as part of a very small, super-motivated team? We had to create initial structures internally and, at the same time, acquire external sales partners for Kassow Robots and establish a sales network step by step. Bosch Rexroth’s investment in Kassow Robots in spring 2022 was a major milestone. It opened up completely new perspectives for us as a company, and particularly for me in my sales responsibility! We’ve still got a long way to go, of course, but the first year and a half have confirmed that Kassow Robots and Bosch Rexroth are a perfect fit.
4️⃣ You like to speak of a “journey” …
Yes, I think it’s a fitting metaphor – even if the path to introducing new products onto the market isn’t always easy. It’s exciting, you see a lot, you learn a lot—and it really is satisfying to be able to bring a lot of your own experience to bear. I’ve been in sales for around 30 years now, the last ten or so in the cobot industry. That leaves an imprint on you. And it’s motivating when you have the trust of the company founder and the owners—formerly private investors, and now, alongside Kristian Kassow, Bosch Rexroth as the majority shareholder.
5️⃣ When Bosch Rexroth became a shareholder in Kassow Robots, how did it affect your work?
There were multiple levels involved. To start with, it was just really nice to see the market react to a new majority shareholder with “Oh, wow!” For a few years after the launch of Kassow Robots , we of course got questions like “How do you plan to finance all of this over the long term?” and “How are you going to achieve a strong global presence?” These questions found their answer in Bosch Rexroth, which stands for quality, continuity, and service—worldwide. Those have been and remain excellent preconditions for growth.
6️⃣ As Global Sales Manager, what plans do you have going forward?
To stick to the course we’ve charted—with our newly expanded sales team. This includes our colleagues in the various regions as well as the Kassow Robots team from Bosch Rexroth. As Kassow Robots, we already had a good basis in Europe and had established our first partners, especially in America. Now we have to expand on these regions and build up a broad basis in Asia and Oceania. Through the Bosch Rexroth organization, we already have a location in every country, so we don’t have to start from scratch. That’s a super position to be able to begin from.
So, we’re continuing to introduce our cobots country by country. This happens partly via existing Bosch Rexroth partners and in close teamwork with the local Bosch Rexroth subsidiaries. And it’s also about continuing to win over strong regional systems integrators and, through Bosch Rexroth, gain their loyalty.
7️⃣ And last but not least … how do you get potential new employees excited about Kassow Robots?
Even though we’re well out of the start-up phase, we’re still a young company! So, for everyone, that means they can get on board early and help shape the company expansion –as part of a very global team that continues to grow. Everyone can contribute, everyone has a lot of freedom and good development opportunities. The fact that Bosch Rexroth is backing us up can always open doors – in both directions!