Christian Roemlein: A Passionate Entrepreneur Aiming to Make Industrial Cleaners Safer by Green Chemistry

Top 10 Most Inspiring CEOs to Follow in 2023

Green chemistry is a methodology that strives to create chemical products and processes that minimize or eliminate the production and release of hazardous liquids, gases, and other harmful substances. This approach has successfully reduced the use of potentially hazardous industrial cleaners and made them safer to use. Christian Roemlein, the CEO of intelligent fluids GmbH, is leading the charge in inventing the future of industrial and commercial cleaning through the use of high-performance, environmentally friendly impact chemistry.

Christian is an entrepreneurial and experienced manager with a global, cross-cultural background. He prioritizes building long-lasting and sustainable business ventures, over short-term success. His passion lies in creating strong global brands, guiding innovation to success, and establishing ventures with a positive impact on society. He strongly believes in the potential of scientific high-tech products made in Germany to contribute to a better world. Thanks to his great political and business networks, he was twice selected as a member of the business delegation of President Steinmeier to Africa and China.

In his role as Vice-President of the SME Alliance for Africa and Senator h.c. of #BVMW, Christian volunteers his time to support the creation of SME structures in Subshara Africa. He also motivates German companies to invest in the continent, because he is convinced that it’s time to change from an east-west axis to a beneficiary and more sustainable north-south orientation globally. He sees the German Mittelstand as a role model for other businesses around the world.

“One Team – one Dream”

Constant Growth in Experience and Career

Christian’s career began with a responsible management position as head of marketing services in an international company, which taught him to view things from the clients’ perspective. He then moved on to more entrepreneurial ventures, such as building a brand and production site in the Czech Republic during the time of the fall of the wall (with the “wind of change”), which provided him with valuable experience in building businesses from scratch under difficult circumstances.

Scaling up a midsize company for varnishes also provided him with valuable experience in business development and success, culminating in an M&A exit to a big French corporation. Christian’s journey continued with the global relaunch of an innovative B2C brand with subsidiaries in the USA, Japan, Norway, and Austria and a presence in 40 countries. He then joined intelligent fluids as a managing partner, bringing his wealth of experience to help build the company.

For Christian, the best recognition of a leader is not any specific award or accolade, but rather the satisfaction of happy clients, team members, and shareholders. While he has been a part of teams that have won numerous awards and accolades, he believes that the true measure of success is the happiness and success of those around him.

As a result of this approach, Christian has been asked to give speeches at various events, which he sees as further validation of his team’s success in achieving their goals and making a positive impact.

The Company

intelligent fluids are a company that is committed to disrupting the global industrial cleaning market with Green Impact chemistry. Its unique approach combines the highest level of performance with the highest level of sustainability, resulting in a significant impact on the efficiency, yields, and ESG balance of its clients. Moreover, its products have a remarkable positive impact on the planet, making them an environmentally friendly choice.

The company designs, produces, and sells smart cleaning materials that are used to remove organic layers from inorganic substrates in high-volume global markets such as microelectronics, oil and gas, and maintenance. intelligent fluids ’s physically working cleaning agents are able to replace aggressive solvents for the removal of dirt, adhesives, fats, and varnishes. It is currently operating from Eastern Germany, but in the next few years, it plans to expand its operations step by step in the Americas, MENA, India, and Asia.

“Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

A Leading Team of Experts

Christian’s responsibilities as CEO have evolved over time as the company has grown and developed. In the early stages of the company, he had a broad range of responsibilities that spanned almost all areas of the business. However, as the company has expanded and brought on management colleagues such as a CFO, CTO, COO, and CGO, his focus has become more focused on specific areas such as strategy, sales, human resources, investor relations, and representing the company to external stakeholders. Christian shares that having a team of passionate experts who are empowered to do their best work is crucial for driving innovation and success. Additionally, recognizing and praising their achievements, promoting a culture of teamwork, and focusing on the greater good for clients and the planet are all important factors in building a successful and impactful organization.

Christian’s expertise primarily comes from his experience as an entrepreneur, having built innovative companies on a global scale. However, he recognizes that the know-how and expertise of the team are crucial to the success of intelligent fluids. The company has a unique team of creative scientific experts and engineers who play a pivotal role in making a difference. The company classifies itself as DEEPTECH due to its ground-breaking chemical-physical innovation, which is classified as “new material.” Additionally, the company belongs to the CLEANTECH sector because its smart cleaning fluids have a significant positive impact on the planet by replacing harmful chemistry. intelligent fluids are creating the post-solvent era and redefining the industrial cleaning market through its innovative and sustainable solutions.

Challenges in Cleantech Sector

According to Christian, bringing disruptive DeepTech innovations to market can take three times longer than expected and cost at least three times more than planned. This is due to various factors, such as long qualification times and the evolution of the industry from green washing to real green acting, which can be time-consuming. Additionally, awareness, climate pain, inflation, and regulatory pressure must all contribute to bringing the technology actively to the attention of decision-makers.

One of the biggest roadblocks for German startups and scaleups, such as intelligent fluids, is obtaining appropriate long-term financing for projects. Fortunately, the company has found a powerful investor, WAVE Equity Partners from Boston, USA, that will push and support its global growth with sufficient funds. However, in Germany, there is still a lack of funding and a high-risk aversion, which can hinder growth and scaling. Thus, things are more squeezed down in Germany than accelerated to bigger scales.

Living a Balanced Life

Christian finds balance in his personal life through spending time with his three kids, pursuing his passion for sub-Saharan Africa, and engaging in sports. In terms of motivating his employees, he believes in giving them the freedom to be creative, self-driven, responsible, and results-oriented while setting goals without dictating how they should achieve them. The company also has a health program, flexible working hours, virtual stock options, a token loyalty program, and supports training and education for employees.

“Never give up because great things take time.”

Insights on Success

Christian believes that success is best achieved when it is a win-win-WIN situation for the client, the shareholder, and the planet. The satisfaction of the client is of utmost importance, as happy clients tend to continue purchasing products. This leads to good sales, resulting in good revenues and positive results, which in turn make shareholders happy. Moreover, the more of the company’s products that are sold in the market, the greater the positive impact on the planet. By prioritizing these three factors, Christian aims to create a sustainable and profitable business that benefits all stakeholders involved.

Achieving Prior Goals to Heading for New

With intelligent fluids, Christian’s dream has become a reality. He is now leading a company that is disrupting the global industrial cleaning market with its innovative, sustainable, and high-performance cleaning materials. He has also expanded the company’s operations to various regions, with plans to establish a presence in even more countries in the future. Christian is now focused on driving the company’s growth and making a positive impact on the planet, while also ensuring that his employees are motivated, creative, and happy in their work. He asserts, “It is our goal to replace harmful solvents globally in high-volume industries like Oil&Gas, Microelectronics and Maintenance to support and contribute to the UN SDGs and become a big relevant player in the field of industrial cleaning agents and wet chemistry. Establishing sales and production sites globally and finally completing with an IPO.”

Christian aims to turn intelligent fluids into a success story and eventually establish a permanent residence in Africa. He values the importance of challenging oneself while also finding contentment in one’s accomplishments, no matter how small. He understands that health is essential to one’s wealth and that success is not solely based on the pursuit of higher, better, and faster, but on the impact, empathy, and humor one brings to their endeavors.

“Be a kingmaker not a dwarf producer.”