Dirk Rossmann: Ten Facts About the German Entrepeneur

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dirk rossmann facts

Dirk Rossmann – Founder of the Rossmann drugstore company

Almost everyone on Germany knows Rossmann – one of the two big drugstore brands. Today (February 2019), Dirk Rossmann is one of the 100 richest Germans with an asset of 2,85 billion Euros. The Founder Dirk Rossmann appears in interview as a very self-reflected, down-to-earth person. In 2018, he published his autobiography, the bestseller Jetzt bin ich auf den Baum geklettertVon Aufstieg, Mut und Wandel( = Now I’ve climbed the tree – About rise, courage and change)

  • Dirk Rossmann (Roßmann; he changed the ß in his original name due to expansion reasons because it is not really common in other languages) was born on September 7, 1946, in Hannover. His parents, as well as his grandparents, owned a drugstore. His father died when he was only 12 years old. At the age of 16, he found out that his biological dad was actually a neighbor.
  • At a very young age, he had to show responsible for his whole family as his father died. When he had to participate in the German army at the age of 18, he vehemently refused and was finally released after a short time.
  • He likes to read books. Even though he never liked to go to school, he always loves to read -, especially about philosophy. Dirk Rossmann also likes to play tennis and skat.
  • After the divorce from his first wife, he went to therapy for ten years.
  • Dirk Rossmann says that he doesn’t like strict timetables. According to him, not money makes you happy but success. Still, being poor at an old age is very bad.
  • He doesn’t like to spend money on clothes or “every four years a new car” but on journeys together with his wife Alice.
  • According to him, he was a very bad pupil and only finished Volksschule (today comparable with Hauptschule = lower secondary education). After finishing school, he started a three-year apprenticeship as a druggist of which 6 months he did in his mother’s drugstore. He almost started a traineeship as a confectioner as his mothers best friend – Lotte Bittner, sister of the most famous German confectioners at that time, Otto Bittner – asked for it after a tragedy within her family happened. At that time, he already set the idea for his first own drugstore.
  • He opened the first self-service drugstore in Germany in 1972 in Hannover. It was a huge success. At that time he was only 26 years old and instead of earning an expected amount of 2000-3000 DM (around 1000-1500 Euros) at the first day, he earned 20.000 DM (around 10.000) in one day.
  • His two sons Raoul and Daniel, as well as his second wife, are also part of the upper management of Rossmann GmbH.
  • Rossmann is the second largest drugstore brand (right after dm) in Germany with more than 3700 shops worldwide (February 2018). Next to Germany, Rossmann is also successful in Albania, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Kosovo and Turkey.

Featured image (cropped): Dirk Roßmann – Anakin81 Wikimedia –CC BY-SA 4.0

February 9, 2019
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