Working at automotive supplier Miunske near Bautzen means having lots of freedom to develop ideas and feeling truly valued as an employee. This is demonstrated in a host of ways: from management treating everyone to lunch at the end of the month to family-friendly part-time working for both men and women, nursery fee contributions and fresh cups of tea made with herbs picked from the firm’s own herb garden. Dott. Francesco Donà from Padua (Italy), Ondrej Svarc from Varnsdorf (Czech Republic) and Sebastian Müller, a former engineer at Audi in Munich, are just some of those who have chosen to live and work in the cosy little town of Großpostwitz in Eastern Saxony.

Courage, a willingness to take risks and a Christian attitude to life: the family firm’s formula for success

Fahrzeugtechnik Miunske GmbH is an electronics specialist that has been supplying vehicle accessories from Eastern Saxony to customers in 28 countries around the world since 1997. The switches, relays and electronic components are installed in vehicles as diverse as road sweepers, ambulances and police cars. Bought-in items account for 46% of sales, with the company’s own innovative products making up the rest. One example of the latter is a steering column for commercial vehicles which was developed in-house. “It’s crucial for us to have a strong development department,” says company founder Johannes Miunske. The company stuck to this strategy even when conditions were really tough in 2009. Orders declined, but Miunske still recruited new developers. “I felt that things would soon pick up. Running your own business is all about having courage and taking risks,” declares the 63-year-old, who combines his Christian beliefs with a passionately entrepreneurial mindset. He calls it “making his dream come true”. After all, the energetic Saxon has experienced a lot in his lifetime, first as a design engineer in the state-owned Singwitz combine harvester factory in the former East Germany and then as a sales rep for a large automotive supplier based in North-Rhine Westphalia in the early 1990s. He draws on his experience of both these roles in his own company.

A deep-rooted family company with a bright future: “This is where we want to stay!”

Johannes Miunske has achieved his lifelong dream together with his family, who are his “continual support and source of strength”. Over 15 years, the one-man enterprise has grown into a flourishing mid-sized company with 43 employees. In addition to the founder himself, the company includes his wife Monika – the “mother” of the firm – plus his two daughters and their husbands. Daughters Katrin Miunske and Jana Kirstein took over all the company’s shares a year ago. The elder of the two, Katrin, is set to join the management team in 2014. Their Saxon roots are very important to the whole Miunske family. In Monika Miunske’s words: “We’ve always wanted to work where we feel at home. Our roots are here, so this is where we want to stay.” Both her daughters share the same view. They trained in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg but were very happy to return home to Saxony.