"Talking Germany" presenter Peter Craven speaks to Roland Berger about his global consultancy business, his role in the controversial privatization of the former East German economy and the state of higher education.
Roland Berger is the founder and honorary chairman of the global enterprise Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. He was born in Berlin in 1937 and first set up the business in Germany more than four decades ago. Today, Roland Berger is something of a household name in Germany. His success came early on in life. Even as a 20 year-old, when he was studying Business Administration, Roland Berger opened his own launderette, gaining his first experience in running a business. A passionate art collector and networking genius, Berger went on to set up his own consulting firm at the end of the 1960s. It was a one-man operation when he first started out. Today it is one of the five largest management consulting firms in the world, with some 2000 employees in 25 countries and an annual turnover of over 600 million euros. In 2008, he founded the Roland Berger Foundation, setting aside 50 million euros. The foundation works to promote equal opportunities in education, awarding scholarships to gifted children from low-income families. Roland Berger is married and has two adult sons. Despite stepping down from active business life, he still travels extensively. But when he's not traveling, he lives in Munich.