What drives us, Mr. Berlien?

In this interview with Prism, our CEO, Dr. Olaf Berlien, answers the question “Why?”, explains the power of our light and reveals what opportunities it holds in store for the future.

PRISM  Dr. Berlien, can you tell us in one sentence what OSRAM stands for today?

BERLIEN We stand for one of the most exciting products of all – light. Light in all its amazing and almost infinite uses and applications. And we intend to make the best use of it – in driverless cars, smart homes and smart cities, the Internet of Things and digital communication.

PRISM  And now regarding the purpose behind it all: why do we do what we do?

BERLIEN We use light to transform light into better life. We are facilitating mobility, increasing safety and security, creating connections, and enhancing well-being and health. We are continually developing new applications for major digital trends, making light intelligent, and going far beyond mere lighting.


PRISM  And what makes us the experts here?

BERLIEN We have the know-how. For more than 100 years we have been turning light into quality of life. Electric lighting made cities safer, gave people more opportunities to educate themselves now that they could read in the evenings, and improved productivity in factories – in short, it promised a better quality of life for all. And it is this promise that we continue to fulfill.

“We turn light into more than just illumination. We turn light into quality of life.”

Dr. Olaf Berlien,

PRISM  Where do you see OSRAM in the future?

BERLIEN We can do a lot more with light now than just provide lighting. We are increasingly merging with other industries, such as the automotive and software sectors. But that is not a cause for concern, as our ability to innovate and our knowledge of light is creating exciting new opportunities. Imagine a light source that operates as an information node for facilities management, or how we will be transmitting information using light in the digital factory. And our software platforms will improve the utilization of space. These are only three examples, but they are indicative of the direction we are taking.


PRISM  What do we need to embark on this journey?

BERLIEN We should remember our strengths. Our heritage is a corporate culture that is driven by passion: a passion for performance and innovation. But we need the willingness to change. We are fostering a culture of daring where failure and learning are part of the process. It goes without saying that this is only possible if it is based on openness and respect.