Marco Kotzenmacher, the eldest son of Erich Kotzenmacher, managing director of fischer South Africa – is poised to take the reins from his father as the head of the South African specialised stainless steel tubing company. Marco follows his father’s 24 years at fischer at the end of the year. Marco, a father of two young children, has been employed at fischer since 2004 but finds it difficult to remember a time without fischer in his life, as he has grown up with the company since his father started in 1992. Marco has two degrees, a Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) that he obtained in 2003 through Bond University in Australia and a Bachelor of Commerce (Management), which he completed part time in 2012 through the University of South Africa. After 11 years of working at fischer, Marco has always followed his father’s footsteps and is continuously posing the question, “How can we do it better?” From developing Management Information Systems to operational improvements and production planning, Marco is always working a step ahead.
CONGRATULATIONS ON TAKING OVER A MAJOR SOUTH AFRICAN STAINLESS STEEL COMPANY, WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN YOUR NEW ROLE?
Thank you. A difficult question to answer… What I look most forward to is to continue shaping an already successful company into the vision that the Fischer family, my father and I share. Being a part of this from when I was a boy until now, where I have children of my own, is a very emotional
milestone. I am proud to be offered the opportunity to take the company forward
WHY STAINLESS STEEL?
Stainless Steel has always fascinated me and from when I was first introduced to it and even today I am sometimes blown away by its applications and ability to outperform other materials. I find that it is an underrated product that most people take for granted.
WHAT IS SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT FISCHER SA?
The fischer group is a family-owned business. It was founded by Hans Fischer, who recently handed the reins to his children. Fischer South Africa has continued in this tradition; I work with my father, mother and brother.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED DURING YOUR CAREER AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES?
Patience and perception. Sometimes, confronting the biggest obstacle head on is not always the best way of dealing with the hurdle.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING?
I spend all my time with my very supportive wife and my beautiful children. They are my world and their smiles make the most difficult tasks seem like a little bump in the road.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF WORKING IN THIS INDUSTRY?
Competing with imported tubing. There are cases where tubing that is polished and delivered to the customer from the Far East is cheaper than it is for us to source the raw material. That and the instability in the labour market; including intimidation of staff and the increasing frequency of strikes, which really hamper productivity and sustainability.