Dear Readers:

When planning this issue of our magazine at the beginning of March, nobody could have possibly foreseen just how quickly the corona pandemic would turn our world upside down. From one day to the next, travel became impossible – also for our photographer who was all set to head out to Africa for the cover photo. The restrictions on freedom of movement – now largely lifted – and much-discussed safety measures seem to pale into insignificance, however, compared to the many hundreds of thousands of victims claimed by the disease. The consequences for the global economy – that have also not left the beverage industry unscathed – are a different matter entirely, however. At the moment no one can reliably predict when it will start to bounce back.

It’s thus all the more important to know that you can count on KHS as your reliable partner even in times of crisis. Our service engineers, for instance, have constantly done their utmost to be there for you, our customers, during the last few difficult months. Where they weren’t able to be on site, various virtual solutions were applied in place of an actual physical presence. Throughout the world this has enabled downtimes to be avoided and production capabilities to be maintained without limitation. Please read our article ‘Resiliant to crisis’ on this subject.

The extraordinary situation we find ourselves in has yielded two positive aspects, however: firstly, working together virtually on all levels has massively promoted digital advance. We’ve seen just what’s possible in a short space of time – and also where the deficits still lie. Secondly, we’ve realized that our strategy of regionalization has proved spot on during the crisis. Read in ‘Strong presence’ how autonomously our local organizations in Africa and the Middle East especially are now able to react.

In fact, our optimism hasn’t failed us by any means: in our interview with Petra Westphal and Markus Kosak from Messe München we boldly look ahead and discuss which trends and innovations await us at the next drinktec trade show in the fall of 2021. For more information, read the article entitled ‘The countdown starts’.

We hope to provide you with plenty of new insights while reading our latest edition of ‘KHS competence’. Please stay safe – and as optimistic as we are!

Markus Auinger
Executive vice-president
Market Zone Middle East /Africa