On January 25, 2023, Polytec company founder Heinz G. Lossau would have turned 100 years old. A greeting on this occasion from Dr. Karl Spanner, Managing Director of PI GmbH & Co. KG for 42 years and long-time companion and business partner of Heinz G. Lossau:
I first met Heinz Lossau in 1977. It was at the Laser Fair in Munich that he asked me if I would be interested in buying PI and taking over its management. Since that time, we have worked closely together in various capacities. He was my professional mentor and teacher. Even today, I often quote sentences from him and base my decisions on decisions made during our time together. Even at our first meeting, I was impressed by his determination. He knew what he wanted. With the goal clearly in mind, he worked energetically until he achieved it. Although he was sometimes a very spontaneous person, one had the impression that he planned everything in the best possible way.
Heinz Lossau was a man of vision and had a feel for the future. Thus, he recognized the potential in the field of laser technology at an early stage and founded the company Polytec in 1967. It was the first company to commercially distribute the first laser in Germany. As a result, he put Polytec on the path of pioneering optical technologies at an early stage.
It was incredible the temperament and energy he could unleash. It was often difficult to slow him down. Things didn't move fast enough for him.
The world was his home. He loved to travel. You could meet him regularly at the most important trade fairs all over the world. And if he wasn't there, everyone would ask: Where is Heinz? He was not only well-known in the industry, but a valued and respected part of it. He impressed many with his communicativeness, his sociability, his fluency and his joie de vivre. It was easy for him to make contacts and build international friendships.
Today, people often mention how important networks are in digital media. At that time, the Internet did not yet exist, nor did cell phones. Heinz Lossau "networked" with paper and pencil. The pocket calendar was his constant companion. Here all appointments were noted. His collection of business cards was extensive. All business cards had the date and the place where the meeting with the person in question took place. When the conversation turned to a person, Mr. Lossau would pull out the business card and use it to impress all the people he was talking to.
I often went on business trips with Mr. Lossau, especially to California. He knew California from north to south. His address list was full of business associates and personal friends. When we checked into a hotel, his comment would come, "I'll meet you in the lobby in a minute, but I have a few phone calls to make." We knew it would take longer, so we ordered a beer, sometimes two. That was "networking" in the way possible at the time.
There are many professional highlights in Mr. Lossau's life. Due to the close cooperation with him in the various functions as co-partner or co-managing director at PI and Polytec, many were also highlights of my professional life. It was never boring. We were unanimous: we did not want to be administrators, but shapers of the future.
Here are just a few examples: A special event was certainly the establishment of the branch office in Japan in 1991. We were probably one of the smallest German companies that dared to take this step despite the great risk. Within a short week, we had interviewed candidates and founded the company, while collecting outstanding funds.
Founding and building PI Ceramic took a lot of courage and effort. Mr. Lossau also supported this project fully with his personal commitment.
In order to secure the future of Polytec, he had decided to sell the majority of the shares within the framework of an MBO. We have to thank him for giving the new shareholders the confidence to continue his life's work.
However, Heinz Lossau, a man of the world, also had the well-being of his employees at heart, and he took an interest in the personal problems of individual employees.
Mr. Lossau was an extraordinary man who achieved and created much in his life. Those who were with him at the time also know that his wife Lilo Lossau played a decisive role in many decisions. Heinz Lossau would not be the man we know without Lilo Lossau.
January 25, 2023
Dr. Karl Spanner