Triumph International Holding GmbH
So, I make my way near Munich's central train station and park my bike outside Triumph's eight-story building. It's an unexciting area with a brewery complex situated right next door. Clueless me walks in and gets to deal with a male receptionist sitting behind a glass enclosed booth. I'm initially told they hadn't received my letter and then the receptionist tries to wave me away. I talk the receptionist into making a few phone calls to check around and finally a woman from public relations steps out into the lobby and basically says they can't help me. She evens suggests it would be more interesting visiting and writing about the brewery next door and that she could set it up. While we're standing in the lobby the receptionist gets a phone call and motions me to the phone. I tell the man on the phone about my unusual odyssey and he says, "well, you've came all the way from California to visit us, I think we should be able to find a few minutes for you". He then says to come on up to his office.
It was during the time the receptionist was making phone calls that I first noticed the five foot tall by 20-foot long picture mounted on the lobby wall of a beautiful black woman posing seductively and wearing nothing but a bra and panties. Is that Tyra Banks?, I ask. "No, it's Naomi Campbell", answers the receptionist. "What business is Triumph in?", I ask. "Women undergarments", he answers.
The public relations
woman walks me through a courtyard and to another connected building.
Employees get to park their bicycles in the courtyard and I count
over a dozen. It's then up the dinky two-person elevator to the
office of the man on the phone. It's rather an organized mess
with lots of papers piled high on a desk. Who's this man? Head
of public relations or corporate communications? No, it's Dieter
Braun, one of the four owners of this $1.6 billion in revenues
I learn this privately-held company produces and markets women's lingerie and nightwear, swimwear, beachwear, leisurewear AND men's underwear. "Do you sell men's underwear in the US?", I ask. "Not much", he answers. Braun then goes to a cabinet where he pulls out a pair of "Sloggi For Men" underwear and undershirt and bestows them on me. Hmm, the prices are marked on them; 28.40 DM (about $14) for the undershirt and 13.95 DM (about $7) for the underwear.
About 250 employees work here with Triumph having leased space in the building for the last 21 years. Everyone (including executives) eat in the cafeteria. "How's the food?", I ask. "Good" Braun answers.
Nothing special about the boardroom except the contrasts in colors between the white walls, black table & chairs and gray carpet. Any employee perks? There's a company store, which is open to the public, where employees get a 25% discount.