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Company founder Ayhan Busch celebrates her 90th birthday


Ayhan Busch, co-founder and co-owner of the Busch Group, recently celebrate her 90th birthday. She is still active in the company, travels to manager meetings and welcomes guests, such as the Governor of the US state of Virginia recently. Recently, she inaugurated the new “Central Park” on the grounds of the Busch headquarters in Maulburg, Germany.

The entrepreneur was born Ayhan Gökay on June 08, 1934 in Eskişehir, Turkey, and spent her childhood and school years in the town west of Ankara. The niece of Fahrettin Kerim Gökay, the former mayor of Istanbul, minister, and Turkish ambassador to Switzerland, studied dentistry at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich from 1955. It was here that she met her future husband, mechanical engineering student Karl Busch. Together with him, she founded Dr.-Ing. Karl Busch GmbH in Schopfheim in 1963, which moved to Maulburg in 1972. Today, the Busch Group consists of three strong brands: Busch Vacuum Solutions, Pfeiffer Vacuum, and centrotherm clean solutions.

Ayhan Busch manages the globally active company together with her husband and her children Ayla, Sami and Kaya Busch. Since its foundation over 60 years ago, it has developed into the second-largest vacuum solutions provider in the world. Ayhan Busch is a visionary entrepreneur with a keen sense of the requirements of her target markets and the wishes of her customers. Thanks to the great openness and attentiveness with which she meets all people, she and her husband were able to build personal relationships with business partners during the company’s founding years, paving the way for the success of the Busch Group.

“My husband was the technical genius, while I was very strong on the commercial and strategic side of the business. I have always been a very entrepreneurial and market-oriented person,” explains Ayhan Busch. She recognized early on how important it was to orient her company internationally. From the very beginning, she viewed the entire world as a market for her products and drove the expansion of the Busch Group. As early as 1981, Busch became the first German industrial company to sign a cooperation agreement for production in China. Ayhan Busch also ensured the networking of the executives and discussed optimal strategies for the further development of the company with them.

Running the company together in complete equality with her husband was completely natural for Ayhan Busch, but highly remarkable for her generation: “My husband and I founded and built the company together – in an equal partnership right from the start,” she explains. The Busch couple made all the important decisions together. This principle is still the recipe for success on which the Busch family’s company management is based today, even in the second generation. “I am incredibly proud of our children, who have developed our company with so much intelligence and success. They have great ideas and, in my opinion, do many things even better than we did,” emphasizes the entrepreneur.

In 2022, Ayhan Busch, together with her husband and children, received the most prestigious honor for family businesses in Germany, the Family Entrepreneur of the Year award, for their diversity between generations, genders and cultures. The Busch couple also received honorary citizenship of the municipality of Maulburg in 2015 and The State of Baden-Württemberg Business Medal in 2019 for their outstanding entrepreneurial achievements and continuously supporting regional associations and people in crisis regions. In 2022, they were awarded the Gold Medal of Honor of the district of Lörrach for their social and cultural commitment. In the same year, Ayhan Busch’s contribution to the company’s success was recognized in an article by the international OPEN Political Economy Network, which named her an important entrepreneurial personality in Europe.

The employees of Busch Vacuum Solutions, Pfeiffer Vacuum, and centrotherm clean solutions congratulate Ayhan Busch on her 90th birthday and wish her many more healthy and active years.

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