Dräger has been present in Spain for 45 years. How would you describe its evolution, and what are its local milestones?
Dräger is a family business, which is managed by the fifth generation and has always actively developed German equipment related to air. We have more than 14,500 employees, and a revenue of EUR2.5 billion per year. We are present in over 190 countries, with 60 subsidiaries, all of which are owned by our group. In Spain, we have been present for more than 45 years, and have nearly of 400 employees today, supplying to the healthcare and hospital sectors. We also have a presence in the industrial sector and provide services for police and law enforcement authorities. We manufacture gas detection systems and protective equipment for firefighters, including face masks and helmets, among others.
What has been the impact of the pandemic on Dräger?
Our claim is “Technology for life," and indeed our work serves to demonstrate that it does indeed work to saves lives. There has not been a single employee in the company at a global level who has not been focused on ensuring that hospitals receive their ventilators and other required products. Indeed, we have managed to maintain the supply chain of products for health institutions throughout a challenging year. Since the start of the pandemic, we sought to sell more protection equipment and supply respirator machines and face masks. The virus spread rapidly throughout the whole globe, and the company successfully multiplied its manufacturing capacity by fourfold to supply the products that each country needed. In this subsidiary, we addressed Spain as a company priority due to the situation. We also helped Germany and Spain to reach a bilateral agreement for the donation of certain of our products.
Dräger manufactures ventilators, monitors, and respirators. How do you break down your products and what are the best-selling items?
We have two divisions: one is the medical division, which provides technical solutions in critical areas of hospitals. These are for intensive care units and operating rooms, for example. In this critical area, we have incubators and ventilators, among others. This division represents about 60% of our sales. In addition, we have the safety division, which is focused on solutions for law enforcement agencies and industrial sector. This division also helps emergency services and industrial companies. In this division, we offer detectors to measure gas levels to mitigate risks. Gas measurement is one of the main areas in which we provide significant value. We also offer drug detection tests for the traffic authorities. We enjoy solid relations in Spain with the traffic agency, DGT. We also offer products for ambulances and firefighters. We sell individual protection items traditionally aimed at the industrial sector, though because of the pandemic we have seen a rise in demand from hospitals.
What is your client portfolio?
In Spain, 60% of hospitals are public. In the industrial sector we have city halls, autonomous communities, and central government for services. We gather these services under the umbrella of law enforcement authorities. Our industrial sales are 40% to public administrations and 60% to private companies.
What's the importance of R&D for the company?
It is vital, and our four strategic areas are innovation, quality, clients, and employees. As a result, innovation is among our most important areas. We do not invest in R&D in Spain, because we simply provide products and services.
What's your main priority for 2021?
Our main goal has always been to save lives always focused on our technology, and we will continue with doing so. Another priority is to keep supporting Spain's health sector, which includes a project to manufacture filtering face masks in our country. We are an example in our sector in Spain, and the pandemic has shown us that we have the capacity and know-how to respond to such challenges.