Alexandra Knauer took the family business over from her father and pulled it back from the brink of disaster. In 2010 she won the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year award.
Quite a feat for a woman who says she never wanted to go into business. With its non-hierarchical structure and integrative management, the Berlin-based scientific instrument maker is going from strength to strength.
In 2009, turnover reached 17.3 million euros. The staff is made up of physicians, chemists and other scientists, and CEO Alexandra Knauer does what she can to keep her staff happy - they all have 15 percent share of the profits.