BASWA acoustic AG is a young and dynamic company with an international profile. Hans “Jeannot” Sulzer, who was sixty at the time, established it in 1991. From the start, the company pursued the goal of manufacturing and distributing innovative acoustics products. As a tireless and ambitious entrepreneur and pioneer with a high affinity for technology, Hans Sulzer invented and developed the BASWA acoustics system. He knew from the beginning that as an enterprise, BASWA would take an unconventional path to success and would find innovative new solutions for familiar problems.
“At first, I had no clue how to reduce noise and reverb,” said Hans Sulzer “However, the lack of well-founded know-how proved to be the ace in my deck of cards. I consulted numerous experts and always listened to the same claims: “That’s how we’ve always done it,” or “That’s just how it’s done.” So I resolved to do my own thing. I began to try out different things in my small workshop.”
Hans Sulzer was an extraordinarily innovative personality and his hard work allowed the small company to grow continuously and successfully – initially covering the regional, then the national and eventually the international markets.
As a prudent entrepreneurial visionary, he assigned the responsibility for the future of the company to a younger team over time. He lived the meaning of courage, the boldness to try something new, unconventional approaches and healthy restlessness as a role model for everyone. Starting in the early days, these qualities attracted a lively team of specialists and career changers. Without fancy business plans and strategic structures, but driven by enthusiasm, this team helped the business idea achieve its successful breakthrough. Hans “Jeannot” Sulzer passed away in the summer of 2015. Today his legacy is alive – more than ever – at the company.
“Even today we don’t just recruit the leading experts, but often also career changes or candidates with an autodidactic profile,” explains Eric Sulzer, the son and successor of Hans Sulzer, who is now at the helm of the enterprise. “We are not defined by the actual product tradition – the combination of materials we experiment with sometimes definitely make the hair on the necks of well established artisans stand up straight,” comments Eric Sulzer.
The business is now under the management of the second generation of Sulzers: Eric Sulzer continues to further develop the BASWA technology and most especially, market it around the globe – true to the vision of its inventor.
Today, the distribution is organized through the company’s own sales organizations (Switzerland and Germany) as well as through independent partner enterprises. Currently, the partner network covers about 40 countries. BASWA surfaces are being installed on five contingents – ranging in size from 5 m2 to 25,000 m2. Some are even larger. BASWA ceilings can be found in Swiss households, at the Federal Building in Bern, at the White House in Washington, in Azerbaijan und Kazakhstan or in Saudi Arabia, at international universities, in famous concert halls and renowned museums, in restaurants or offices all over Europe, Asia, the United States, in Africa and New Zealand. In a nutshell: all over the world.
The quality of the BASWA products is underscored by the fact that numerous renowned international architects choose BASWA products and work with the BASWA team as they plan their projects.
BASWA acoustic AG still maintains its corporate headquarters in Baldegg, Switzerland. This is where new ideas for products, accessories, tools, marketing and sales are being developed. The system components are manufactured in Switzerland, the United States and Germany.
In recent years, BASWA, as a company, has received multiple innovation awards: a Décibel d’or award in Paris in 2009, which was bestowed upon the enterprise by the French Environmental Department; the Innovation Merit of Achievement Award of the Chamber of Commerce of Central Switzerland IHZ in 2012 in Switzerland; the First Innovation Prize for Room Testing in 2013 in Germany and the coveted U.S. honor – the Architizer A+ Jury Award in 2015.
To safeguard the company’s growth the founding family has reinforced is management bodies. Besides Eric Sulzer, who is in charge of the operations management, Yves Enderli, an international executive with vast management experience, has been in charge of the company’s strategy since 2007. He holds the position of president of the management board. Just a few shareholders hold the company’s capital. They are all closely affiliated with the company or work for it. BASWA acoustic AG pursues the tradition of a family-owned and operated for profit enterprise. BASWA considers independence a highly valuable principle.
The foundation is sold and successful. “We believe in what we do – we believe it in an unspectacular and routine manner, but also in a very grounded way,” explains Eric Sulzer. “To be specific, what we believe is that it is possible to manufacture and market groove free smooth acoustic surfaces – and make them the most beautiful on the market.”