Generation change at Daiber

Rolf Daiber has been running the traditional family company Gustav Daiber GmbH for 46 years; now he is going to pass on the reins to his nephew Kai Gminder. As of January 2021, the 43-year-old will be responsible for the future of the manufacturer of corporate fashion. Kai Gminder represents the fourth generation in the 108 years’ history of the family.

Rolf Daiber has been running the traditional family company for 46 years; now he is going to pass on the reins to his nephew Kai Gminder. Photo: Gustav Daiber GmbH.

Successfull entrepreneur

In the future, 66-year-old Rolf Daiber is going to devote himself to his hobbies, sailing and travelling. As early as at the age of 19, he took over the company from his father, Walter Daiber, in 1974. The latter remained true to the subject of the founder Gustav Daiber , trade in textile accessories, in particular for the production of underwear. However, in the middle of the 1950s, he realized that the key to success lies in production and import. Walter Daiber started manufacturing bows for the local lingerie industry and imported elastic Raschel lace from France and bows from Italy.

The new boss Rolf Daiber has also continuously modernized and successfully continued the work of his father and grandfather. When there were problems purchasing rubber braids, he took the plunge to Asia after a few weeks and found new suppliers in Taiwan in the late 1970s. This success encouraged him to venture into unknown territory. The young entrepreneur secured the sole representation of the first manufacturer of transfers in Germany, thus changing the focus from trader in textile accessories to decorator. One year later, he bought four embroidery machines and founded an embroidery department. New employees were recruited, production took place in multiple shift operation.

“The decline of the textile industry in Europe in the middle of the 1990s extremely jeopardized the existence of our company. There was not only a drop in orders, also most of our customers went bankrupt” remembers the senior boss. An opportunity opened up for the innovative entrepreneur, who was still mainly a textile decorator. “Thanks to our office in Hong Kong, we succeeded in starting to import baseball caps, a sector where, thanks to our large embroidery capacities, we soon became market leaders in Germany. “ Inspired by this, both their own brands myrtle beach (caps and accessories) and James & Nicholson (exclusive corporate and function wear) were created at the end of the 1990s. Today, Gustav Daiber GmbH is primarily the manufacturer of these textile brands.

Successor with extensive, long-standing experience

Kai Gminder is no unfamiliar face in the company. From the beginning, when he was doing holiday jobs in the embroidery-, ironing-, and printing department to his post as sales manager he got to know the company from scratch. Since 2012, he has been supporting his uncle as managing director. The marketing- and communications expert actually wanted to work in advertising agencies or in the brand management of a large automobile manufacturer after his studies. But it turned out different: The more he got to know the sector and the company, the more grew his passion for high-quality corporate- and function wear. When he accompanied his uncle on a business trip Asia (not for the caps, but for the architecture) he discovered the dazzling variety of the world of promotional items. Then Gminder’s mind was made up to help shape the future of Gustav Daiber GmbH.

Always fit for the future through innovation and quality

The 43-year-old is going to continue the cooperation initiated by his uncle, with partners both in Albstadt and in Europe and Asia. He is also going to continue the complete package of blank textile products, decoration with embroidery or print and the service related to decoration. He attaches great importance to his uncle’s experience and wants to maintain his hands-on-mentality. Always informal, fair and always open to conversation, Rolf Daiber enabled his approximately 120 employees to contribute their know-how to the company.

Kai Gminder highly appreciates working not only in an informal but also creative sector. He knows that as a manufacturer you always have to be resourceful. Recent milestones are the garment collections made of organic cotton as well as the sports collection made of recycled polyester launched in March 2020.

A good price-performance ratio is the be-all and end-all. All the textiles meet both the REACH- and the Oekotex standard 100 and the latest technological fabrics are used. The workwear collection with UV-protection is brand new. According to the departing senior boss, you must never rest on your laurels. Therefore, his successor is going to advance digitization not only because of the corona-crisis, but also because of the warehouse. “ In 2021 we will launch our software solution (ERP) and build online tools with which to support our dealers. Moreover, we will optimize the warehouse to provide more space for the constantly growing product range with a lot of new products”.