ProGlove CEO Andreas König shares some insights from his participation in the World Economic Forum meeting at Davos, his beginnings at ProGlove, the company’s vision and the recently completed acquisition by Nordic Capital.
When I took on the role of CEO for ProGlove at the end of 2018, I did so for one main reason: I saw something that incredibly fascinated me personally. ProGlove had a unique story with the potential to revolutionize and change the world of shopfloor workers for the better.
I’ll tell it like it is: Making money is a great thing. But I’m in a position that allows me to also focus on other things. A job enthralls me when it leads to something that lasts–when it creates value and leaves a legacy.
Professionally, this requires a team that shares a vision. And we at ProGlove unify around a singular vision: the Human Digital Twin. We believe that human people remain indispensable in industry. We believe that people must benefit from technology, not the other way around.
The focus needs to be on what unites us
I am really into giving Sunday sermon. Because they tend to be inconsequential, and that’s precisely what I don’t want. The last three years have been a constant up and down for all of us. That is exactly why we need to focus more on what unites us. We are all human and one thing more than anything else: We need to live together in peace. It is this awareness that I am holding on to when I head to the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.
We are currently observing a global decoupling in many respects. Many countries, businesses and individuals are questioning globalization and are consequently focusing more on themselves. While that is comprehensible, I think that protectionism is not a viable solution.
The current global situation undoubtedly requires all of us to readjust. Along those lines, we certainly need to consider what we can directly impact. In our case at ProGlove, these are industries like manufacturing, retail and logistics. But we must not lose sight of the bigger picture. We are and will remain one world. With this in mind, we need to rethink, maybe even reframe, globalization to ensure it lasts. For us at ProGlove, this boils down to strengthening the shopfloor worker. This is why we believe in our vision of the Human Digital Twin.
We had a fabulous idea
For a moment, let’s return to my beginnings at ProGlove: Back then, we were a hardware-only company with a fabulous product: A wearable barcode scanner that connects human workers to the IoT. However, we were missing a critical piece: analyzing data to empower workers, protect them, and provide greater efficiency and quality. All this and much more is summarized in our vision of the Human Digital Twin.
To get this done, we needed to channel new funds into the company. Therefore, we completed an investment round in 2019. We needed the resources to lay the groundwork. Since then, we launched many new hardware products, but we’ve also started to develop and extend our software portfolio. This ramp-up period was important for us, and I am glad that Summit Partners, DC Technology and Bayern Kapital accompanied us on this journey as real supporters. Thanks to their help, we have now reached the next threshold. And I believe it is fair to say that we have become a true technology and innovation leader.
But we don’t want to rest on our laurels. Instead, we’re taking the next step now – together with a new investor: Nordic Capital. Collaboratively, we’re expanding our journey to make our vision come true. Together, we want to further develop our offering, continue our global expansion initiatives and deliver on our promise of the Human Digital Twin. The extension of our software offering plays a central role in realizing this ambition.
It is up to us
So now I can set off for Davos knowing that we are on solid ground. This is important to me because I can now concentrate on our work as a technology pioneer of the World Economic Forum with even more vigor. We’ve been involved in the WEF since 2020, and we’ve played a key role in the Augmented Workforce Initiative. Now, I am looking forward to advancing this idea in collaboration with the participants from politics and business.
“A turning point in history” is the motto for the Davos gathering. This is spot on in my opinion. The world will continue to change, but certain events have more of an impact than others. Sometimes, we need to develop rapid solutions for challenges that were previously considered less urgent. Ultimately, it is up to us how we prioritize matters. For us at ProGlove, we will continue to put the human worker at the center of everything we design and develop. We want to help shape the collaboration of humans and machine so that we all stand to benefit. That is our motivation, and I am proud to represent it for ProGlove.