Times were unkind to Poul Due Jensen from the start but he turned out to be a visionary genius, and 100 years after his birth, his values continue to be essential in today’s Grundfos.
Poul Due Jensen grew up in a tough period, marked by poverty and recession. He was born in 1912 in a workhouse outside Bjerringbro, Denmark, as the son of the managers and the close contact with the poorest people in society meant that, right from childhood, he took to his heart values such as social responsibility and humanity according to his son, Niels Due Jensen.
- Inheriting from Poul Due Jensen, we got a company with a highly ethical and honest foundation which in particular developed into a long tradition of great social responsibility to staff as well as to the society that the company is part of, said Niels Due Jensen.
As a young man, Poul Due Jensen wanted to become a carpenter but he could not find an apprenticeship. So he was apprenticed to Svendsen’s Machine Factory in Bjerringbro and he soon took a liking for this – so much so that he, driven by entrepreneurship and technical insight, decided to start his own company in the basement of his house in Østergade in Bjerringbro. He named his company Bjerringbro Foundry and Machine Factory.
Challenged by shortage of goods
It happened in 1944. One year after, Poul Due Jensen received an order for a small, automatic waterworks from a local farmer. When, due to the war, it was impossible to procure a pump of sufficient quality, Poul Due Jensen decided to develop his own pump and called it Foss. This was the start of what later became Grundfos.
Niels Due Jensen, who took over as Head of Grundfos after his father died in 1977, describes the foundation laid by Poul Due Jensen as unique and long-lasting.
- The founder, his first team of managers and his staff built Grundfos’ expansion on a basis stronger than rock and consisting of a wide range of good and healthy business principles which our company is still based on, said Niels Due Jensen.
The values continue
Poul Due Jensen represented values like diligence, economic sustainability and focus on people and the environment. His values and relentless ambitions continue to live today in Grundfos’ corporate values. He ensured this by establishing a foundation before he died at the age of 65.
The Poul Due Jensen Foundation from 1975, as main shareholder of Grundfos, ensures the continuous development, independence and economic strength of the company created by the founder. The goal of the foundation is to develop and expand the Grundfos Group on a healthy foundation and ensure it will be maintained as an independent company. This is ensured by reinvesting the main part of profit in the companies of the Group.
Due to Poul Due Jensen’s foresight and dedication, the Grundfos Group today is represented by more than 80 subsidiaries in more than 55 countries and, in addition, Grundfos products are sold by local dealers in a large number of countries.
- Without Poul Due Jensen’s ambitions, drive and inventiveness, Grundfos had never become the big, inventive, innovative, global company we know today. Poul Due Jensen, in a figurative sense, continues to live in Grundfos in a very special way, says Niels Due Jensen.