MARKGRAF - The Company in Fast Motion

The Early Days

 

In 1932, graduate engineer Wilhelm Markgraf founded the MARKGRAF construction company in Eger. However, the war ruined the initial success and rendered all plans for expansion void. In 1946, pioneer Wilhelm Markgraf decided to start up a one-man business in Immenreuth, which laid the foundation for a major company. What followed were years of dynamic growth - new subsidiaries in Munich and Moenchengladbach were established. 

In the early 1950s, the construction company realized important projects - among them the public office building of the Bavarian representative office in Bonn, workshop and training facilities for the US army in the Hunsrueck region and -managed by the Moenchengladbach subsidiary - the Federal Foreign Office in Bonn. In 1954, the company was re-established as limited partnership. One year later, Wilhelm Markgraf’s son, Dr. Gerhard Markgraf joined the business as partner. Under his direction, the focus was on further expansion. Up from 1958, the priorities were no longer put on construction activities mainly in Bavaria but all across the nation. Dr. Gerhard Markgraf thus proved to be of visionary farsightedness and paved the way to a successful future.  

“I remember various discussions between my grandfather and father who jointly developed the principal corporate philosophy - some of them amusing anecdotes regarding the business, others of more serious nature. My grandfather was a character, indeed, he had precise ideas of how to drive the business and make its employees as well as the company itself benefit therefrom“.  

Rainer W. Markgraf

The Formative Years

The 1960s were characterized by continuous growth and permanent expansion. In 1961, the proprietary production of precast reinforced concrete units was launched. Five years later, the construction works for the company’s technical office premises were commenced in Bayreuth –shortly later the management was relocated from Immenreuth to Bayreuth.

The 1970s were much influenced by the prefab parts plant being built in Immenreuth, the establishment of the Marktredwitz subsidiary and finally by the corporate headquarters and principal office being moved to Bayreuth. In 1983, today’s official construction company “W. Markgraf GmbH & Co KG” was founded.

The 1990s were significant milestones in terms of corporate history. Future-oriented steps like the certification of Markgraf’s management system (1996), certification in accordance with standards for ethical management stipulated by Ethikmanagement der Bauwirtschaft e. V. (1996) or the expansion of the Immenreuth logistics center and the establishment of our premises in Leipzig took place throughout this period. By the end of the decade, we had established subsidiaries in Nuremberg, Weiden and Zwickau. Since 1998, MARKGRAF has also been active in in other important European countries. 

Dr. Gerhard Markgraf’s big achievements were variously appreciated, e.g. when he was granted the title of a graduate engineer h.c. by the Munich University of Technology in 1996. From 1993 until 1997, Dr. Gerhard Markgraf headed the Bayerischer Bauindustrieverband e. V. (Bavarian Association of the Construction Industry) as its president while being vice president of the Hauptverband der Deutschen Bauindustrie (German Building Federation) and - from 1983 until 1991 - vice president of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Upper Franconia at the same time. 

“In many respects, my father was a highly creative person - he knew how to shape developments and was just as well able to use his creativity to keep track of the whole thing. This is what it takes to realize integral solutions. He always made corporate decisions in line with his responsibilities towards all its employees. His motto was: entrepreneurs who are not responsible towards their personnel seem to be extremely dumb”.

 

Rainer W. Markgraf

The New Era

The new millennium started with a change in personnel: in 2001, Rainer W. Markgraf became DGM. Large-scale decisions had already been made a few years earlier. For instance, the building construction sector was converted from shell construction provider to general contractor - an important step in setting the course for lasting success. 

In 2010, the management team was completed by graduate engineer (UAS) Karl-Guenter Krauss and graduate engineer (UAS) Winfried Praller. They are responsible for the sectors building constructions and civil engineering.  As managing partner Mr. Rainer W. Markgraf is responsible for the commercial management. With more than 700 highly qualified employees, MARKGRAF is by now presented on about 200 construction sites every year. 

“In 2050, I don’t see MARKGRAF in China or any Arabian region - I’d also have my doubts about Asia. In my opinion, Europe provides enough room for engagement to keep continuing our business at its current size”.  

“An employer has to offer good, loyal and flexible staffs an opportunity for shaping their lives without worry. In the long run, their entire environment - including their employer - will benefit therefrom”. 

 

Rainer W. Markgraf