Annual Report 2023

Annual Report 2023


For around 30 years, Erwin Kälin developed the markets in Africa and the Middle East. His recipe for success: education and training. The vocational training of plumbers in Kenya is his latest achievement.



Of the apprentices in the vocational training project in Kenya, 45 percent are women.

It’s time for Erwin Kälin to pack his bags again. This time, he is off to Kenya. He enthusiastically talks about the latest project that he will be visiting: Geberit is providing important support to the Hilti Foundation in training young plumbers. In November 2022, around 100 apprentices started their dual studies at the Don Bosco School, located just outside Nairobi. Of those taking part, 45 percent are women.

Not only Erwin Kälin is enthusiastic about the project. It has also aroused interest at a top government level, from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs to the Kenyan Ministry of Education.

Passing on know-how

For around 30 years, Erwin Kälin was tasked with finding new markets for Geberit. “I had the best job in the world,” he says. “All I had to do was make friends wherever I went.” Really? “It’s all about people, always,” he explains. According to Erwin Kälin, what sets Geberit apart is the long-standing relationships with its customers. This is based on passing on know-how. The training of local specialists was thus one of his most important tasks.

I have the best job in the world. I have to make friends with people.

Erwin Kälin, retired Head of Developing Markets, Geberit International Sales AG (GISA)

Investing in people

For many years, Erwin Kälin grappled with the issue of how to multiply know-how. Time and again, he came to the same conclusion: “We have to invest in people.” In this case, in apprenticeship training in sanitary applications. This is a hard ask in countries where vocational training is rare. The first step has now been made with the vocational training project offered by the Hilti Foundation and Geberit in Kenya.

Erwin Kälin, a longtime dedicated and passionate employee, in Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland
At Geberit’s service with heart and soul for over 30 years: Erwin Kälin in Rapperswil-Jona (CH).
Edel Wacuka, apprentice, talks to Erwin Kälin from Geberit
Apprentice Edel Wacuka (right) in discussions with Erwin Kälin from Geberit.
Apprentice Brandon Odhiambo explains how a switchbox for water pumps works
Apprentice Brandon Odhiambo (left) explains the functionality of a switching box for water pumps.