Sarna Group

Founded in 1958, Sarna Group, with revenues of $643 million and 3,800 employees, manufacturers synthetic polymers. Though it's in an unglamorous business and has an unexciting head office located in an industrial park, it does have something to crow about: it's location in Sarnen. Situated in quiet valley, Sarnen is a picturesque town of 7,000 inhabitants about 15 miles from Lucerne.

I check in with the two receptionist in the four-story building next to one of their factories. The secretary to CEO Walter Meyer says they hadn't received my letter of introduction mailed a month earlier. No problem here though as Christian Klemm, general counsel to the company, greets me, answers questions and gives a tour.

The head office staff numbers about 20 although many more from various divisions work in this building and the one next door. Parking isn't a problem here, conference rooms are named after mountains and there's covered parking for cyclists. It's an hour and a half drive to the nearest airport (Zurich), 15 minute drive to the nearest freeway and 20 minute drive to Lucerne.

Nothing special about CEO Walter Meyer's top floor office. His view? Atop the roof of the factory next door the company lays out some of its products to test their effectiveness in varying weather conditions.