A chance and a baptism of fire
The compressor manufacturer in the British Midlands wanted to finally get a toehold on the Continent. The bilingual German was there in the nick of time as a sales assistant. “Hymatic didn’t want to work with German partners, but wanted to develop a company of its own,” Kronsbein remembers. “I was actually only there to act as interpreter when they were interviewing sales professionals.” When the door closed behind the tenth applicant, the greenhorn from Tecklenburg not only knew for sure that he could do it better – he said so too. And convincingly as well, apparently: at the age of 25 Dirk G. Kronsbein became CEO of the new Hydrovane compressor company based in Cologne. The experience of asking for a chance and getting one was one he would never forget. It became a lifelong maxim for the way he himself dealt with his employees and partners.
Dirk G. Kronsbein seized his chance. He was the youngest director in the entire group, and quickly became one of the most successful. Under his leadership, Hydrovane became an established name in the German-speaking market. The sales figures were good, and at the same time the boss also had a feel for the technical development of his products. Kronsbein was a popular guest at the British Embassy in Bonn as a prime example of a young manager. But things were difficult privately. His wife Maureen did not feel at home in Cologne, and wanted to go back to the British Isles. Dirk G. Kronsbein was still on the fast track, but he stopped his career in full flow. He handed in his notice and returned to England with his family.
Yet he soon had to recognise that there was no comparable career on offer for him here. Being just one of many at his father-in-law’s company was not for him. Looking back, he says, “I smelt danger.” The couple separated, and Dirk G. Kronsbein returned to his own country and set up in business for himself.