From Timo Gemmeke (Westfalen-Blatt)
If there is a “German dream”, a dream of diligence, precision and severity, which finally pays off, then Ragip Aydin lives this dream. As a child he sold water bottles at the Istanbul bazaar. Today he sells software and services to the largest companies in the world.
In his office at Paderborn Technologiepark a small sign with colourful letters and numbers has been placed since a couple of days: It says “Raynet 20” thereon. “It’s one of the presents we received for the anniversary,” says Ragip Aydin, as he takes the sign, briefly drives his hand over it and puts it down again. By the way, the celebration was remarkable, more than 200 guests in the Quax Hangar at Paderborn Airport, great food, great program, great atmosphere. That “Raynet” once would throw such a big party for the 20th anniversary, nobody in the company imagined. “Including me,” says Aydin, “certainly not me.
At the bazaar he sold water for pocket money
Aydin’s start in life doesn’t look like the best chances for a career in Europe’s economically strongest country. He was born in 1966 in Istanbul, not in a poor and not in a rich family, “but we were doing well,” says Aydin today. In the city on the Bosporus he went to school, learned reading, writing, arithmetic and later even German. To earn some pocket money, he sold water bottles at the bazaar after school.
„Besides, I got tired of cleaning machines after classes.“ – Ragip Aydin
When Aydin’s father came to Germany as a guest worker, the family wanted to stay in Turkey. “We had everything we needed. We were satisfied.“ Shortly afterwards, the family moved on, from Istanbul, a metropolis of millions, to countrified Paderborn. Cathedral instead of Hagia Sophia. Aydin, just eleven years old, attended the Karl lower secondary school in the “typical migrant class”, as he says not derogatory, but rather proudly. Because his German was so good, the teachers placed him only one year later into the class with the German children.
A long way to passion
After lower secondary school, Aydin visited the vocational school and did an apprenticeship in order to get his A-level via detours. He first studied mechanical engineering to become an engineer but was not very satisfied after his first semesters. When he quit his student job at Benteler, where his father worked, he started at Siemens Nixdorf. There, for the first time, he came into contact with something that really interests him, something he is enthusiastic about: Information Technology. “Besides, I got tired of cleaning machines after the university.”
Because he soon got a fine reputation at Nixdorf, he quickly started to work as a consultant. But even that didn‘t make him happy – despite a good payment and interesting projects. “My goal has always been to be my own Managing Director,” says Aydin. So he quit his job and founded his first company on his 33rd birthday: Raynet GmbH.
From a one-man operation to a medium-sized company
20 years later, Raynet has evolved from a one-man project to a medium-sized company, that sells software and services to global companies such as Adobe or Bertelsmann. With 110 employees at locations in Germany, the USA and the UK, the company is in the black and has an annual turnover of almost ten million euros. “We work all over the world, but are at home in Paderborn,” says Aydin.
A new headquarter is currently under construction next to the rented Raynet offices at Technologiepark. Costs: More than six million euros. In future, it will not only be possible to work about 2000 square meters, but also to receive qualified education. “Now, we are also developing our own IT training course, which the CCI is currently certifying,” says Aydin. In the company itself, 20 employees had already successfully completed this training, “and they are now being headhunted quite rapidly,” says Aydin.
Today we have the take-over guarantee from day one
Because training is so important to him, Raynet offers a guarantee of acceptance from day one. Aydin says that it’s not a particularly good diploma that counts, but the people behind it. “A trainee a few years ago had gruesome grades and wasn’t really motivated at first. But for his age he was a genius who would have put any computer scientist in his pocket“, remembers Aydin. After his training, the young man received an offer directly from a well-known American software developer.
“Then he wrote me a letter and thanked me for everything he had learned and achieved here, despite his grades and initial attitude.” Examples like this show Aydin that values such as diligence, orderliness but also severity, which he learned to know and appreciate in Germany, can be the cornerstones of success. “Anyone who makes an effort with us will make progress”, says Aydin. “That’s how I got to know it and that’s how I want to pass it on.”
Contact: Isabella Borth
Tel.: +49 5251 54009-2425
Fax: +49 5251 54009-29