In the late 90s, Kindle reminded his audience, the big deal was Internet auctions. This, he said, was supposed to revolutionize the way suppliers and end users did business by separating the transaction from all that messy interaction between people. Dryly, he noted that this didn’t happen. “You need,” he said, “to interact and buiild up a basis of trust and understanding. The skills that have to do with relationship building are more important now,” he continued,”as the world becomes more uncertain.”
He proudly pointed to ABB’s continuing commitment to R&D, $1.1 billion annually. “We came out of our crisis stronger than before,” he said. “The customers never doubted ABB’s ability to deliver.”
Just how far out of crisis? Kindle touted a 22% organic growth rate, that is, without growth from acquisitions, that went, he said, to 30$ in third quarter. “We can’t grow much faster than that,” Kindle said, “because we run into scaling issues.” Part of that picture is a 19% organic growth just in North America, again “without any meaningful acquisitions.”
“We expect,” he said, “that 2007 will be another good year.”
ABB’s motto, “Power and Productivity for a Better World,” Kindle said in closing, is entirely apt for the company. We believe, he said, in making the world a better place with all we do.