Willi Bruckbauer: full steam ahead in the battle against cooking vapours
“Why can you not simply draw away cooking vapours from where they are created?”
This simple-sounding question marked the start of the successful establishment of BORA Lüftungstechnik GmbH by Willi Bruckbauer, a master carpenter from Rosenheim, Germany. For over 20 years, the now 53-year-old designed and made kitchens to meet the broadest range of requirements and requests, but frequently (and literally) hit certain limits. Huge extractor hoods obstructed views, people knocked into the corners and edges and kitchen vapours were distributed around the room, falling on units and furnishings. Many of his customers found extractor hoods disruptive but he was unable to offer them an optimum solution.
Driven by his ambition for optimisation and to better fulfil customer wishes, Willi Bruckbauer started to tinker with ideas of his own accord. The qualified carpenter’s vision was to invent his very own cooktop extractor system that meets the highest standards in terms of both functionality and aesthetics. The result: an efficient cooktop extractor system with the extractor integrated directly into the cooktop to draw the cooking vapours downwards. During his work, Willi Bruckbauer remains passionate about helping people to add their own personality to the kitchen as a living space and enabling customised planning and design without restrictions.
The vision: the end of the extractor hood
The patent of the first extractor prototype was applied in 2007. A short time later, Willi Bruckbauer presented his BORA Professional cooktop extractors at the M.O.W. furniture trade fair in Westphalia, Germany, for the first time. Market launch followed in 2008. In addition to the financial success, which was accompanied by rapid growth, the first accolades followed at the highest levels: in 2009, the company received an award within the scope of the innovation contest 365 Orte im Land der Ideen (365 Places in the Land of Ideas). This was followed by a particular honour in 2010 when Willi Bruckbauer received the German Entrepreneurs’ Award in the Start-up category.
With his innovation, the passionate pioneer has turned the kitchen world upside down. Today, the company offers five different product ranges and several product accessories with which it has revolutionised the kitchen world. The innovative cooktop extractors are now sold in 60 countries. Overseas expansion took place in 2012 and the original extractors from Bavaria have also been available in Australia and New Zealand ever since.
The sustainability of the BORA products is extremely important to Willi Bruckbauer. They are solely manufactured using high-quality, durable materials such as stainless steel and the regional positioning of suppliers and production facilities in the Alps region keeps distances to a minimum. No environmentally-damaging substances are created during production and the basic principle of the patented cooktop extractor systems is to be more effective and energy efficient than conventional extractor hoods. The energy-efficient motor uses less electricity and runs far more quietly.
Creative innovator, not an imitator: the wheels keep turning
The father of three also gets the now 300 employees worldwide excited about his personal vision. Courage, discipline, passion and endurance: he personifies the idea of not simply being satisfied with what has been achieved but instead searching for new challenges in order to improve the functionality and design of kitchens. As the Bavarian particularly focuses on product innovations, he consistently invests in research and development. The wheels will not stop turning; the aim is to achieve further growth. During this journey, Willi Bruckbauer will not shy away from unusual marketing activities. For example, unusually for a medium-sized enterprise, he invests in TV advertisements in 54 countries worldwide that provide wide coverage and create good brand awareness.
The avid cyclist combines his ambitious corporate goals with his personal passion: since 2015, BORA has been the title sponsor of its own German cycling team, which competed in the world’s biggest cycle race, the Tour de France, as a WorldTeam in 2017, 2018 and 2019 under the name BORA – hansgrohe and achieved a huge increase in brand awareness. Peter Sagan, three-times World Road Cycling Champion is at the heart of this long-term partnership, which introduces BORA to a wider audience, including through unusual marketing activities in relation to healthy eating and sport. For example, the BORA Cooking Truck, a spectacularly converted lorry with a glass-cube kitchen that can be be hoisted up to 50 metres into the air by a crane, accompanies the team together with its own chef while on tour worldwide.
About the company:
Since 2007, BORA Lüftungstechnik GmbH, headquartered in Raubling, Upper Bavaria, has successfully developed and sold cooktop extractor systems that draw vapours downwards thanks to the use of patented technology. The innovative BORA Professional, BORA Classic, BORA X Pure, BORA Pure and BORA Basic product ranges are sold in 60 countries worldwide.
BORA founder Willi Bruckbauer has a vision: the end of the extractor hood. The patent he developed has multiple advantages: the premium-quality systems are more effective than conventional hoods, extremely quiet, energy efficient and easy to clean. They enable maximum design freedom for kitchens and a clear view.
The company received its first award within the scope of the innovation contest “365 Orte im Land der Ideen” (365 Places in the Land of Ideas) back in 2009, followed by the German Entrepreneurs’ Award, red dot awards, Plus X Awards, German Design Awards, Iconic Award, German Brand Award, Good Design Awards, iF Design Awards and others.
For further information, please visit www.bora.com.
derks brand management consultants