A third generation of success
LAPP - A German family business that continues to grow
Germany has over three million family-owned businesses. In 2017, LAPP generated over one billion euros of turnover. This makes it one of the 250 most successful companies in the country[HK|S1] , according to a ranking of the “Top Family Businesses in Germany” in 2018 by business portal DDW.
This success story traces its origins to a man called Oskar Lapp. When considering the time-consuming manual insertion of single cores and switching strands into outer sheaths, he asked himself a simple question: “How can I make this better?”. The engineer answered his question with an innovation. In 1957, he developed the first industrially manufactured, flexible and oil-resistant control cable with colour coding.
His wife Ursula Ida Lapp believed strongly in her husband’s invention, which later became known under the brand name ÖLFLEX®. In 1959, she registered the company U.I. Lapp KG at Stuttgart district court. The couple had worked on this name over the kitchen table together. With it, they wanted to emphasise that theirs was a family business. They took out a loan of 50,000 marks to finance their new enterprise. This investment quickly paid off. LAPP saw massive demand for its pre-assembled cables, and the company grew quickly.
With their ambition, vision, courage and dedication, Oskar and Ursula Ida Lapp became an example, including to their own sons Andreas and Siegbert. After Oskar Lapp died of a heart attack in 1987, they and their mother continued to lead the company as their father would have wanted.
In recent years, the third generation of the Lapp family has begun to assume responsibility for the company and its employees. Matthias Lapp, the grandson of Ursula Ida Lapp, took over the responsibilities of Andreas Lapp in 2017 following several positions in the company. Andreas Lapp became chairman of the supervisory board of U.I. Lapp GmbH. After working for a period at Lapp Holding in Singapore, his brother Alexander Lapp is currently Senior Manager Digitalisation & e-Business and is responsible for the company’s digital transformation.
Born in 1930, Ursula Ida Lapp can look back on a long and successful career. By strategically incorporating the third generation of the Lapp family early on, the company’s growth and future is secure as it operates around the world.