Where ideas are born …
Andreas Würfel is a professional forward-thinker. His mission: finding new concepts, technologies and relevant innovations so that the company can offer customers the best possible products and services. That sounds like freedom, adventure and inventive talent, but in practice it has more to do with experience, a healthy dose of realism and a strong team.
Andreas Würfel has been Head of Business Innovation at METRO GROUP since 2014. “As an internal consultant, I stand with one foot outside – where the trends emerge and develop – and one foot inside the group, supporting our sales lines.” When the innovation manager says outside, he especially means the hot spots of the international start-up scene: places where new ideas emerge, are tested and rejected – or developed into promising concepts – on an almost daily basis. New York is one such place.
“Together with our trend scouts, I identify relevant innovations and what drives them, all the way through to potential innovation projects.”
“We’ve built up an international scouting expert network. It includes regional innovation consultants in the USA, Europe, Asia and, since October 2015, also in Africa,” says Würfel. One of these consultants is Dr Stefanie Lemcke. She works for METRO GROUP in New York and has a workplace that is the envy of others: “My desk is in my office in Manhattan, but most of the time I’m out and about in the city,” Lemcke explains. “I go to pitch events, meet start-up owners, check their concepts and pass on my recommendations to the Business Innovation team at METRO GROUP.” The well-connected consultant is never short of exciting new ideas – New York is the essence of inspiration.