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World Leaders Index

Why a world market leader index?


Real or supposed world market leaders are fascinating companies and objects of research. Although there are already a number of studies and databases on these companies, they have two points to improve: the selection criteria are not always clear and the entire lists are not made fully publicly available.


From the point of view of the University of St. Gallen and the Academy of German World Market Leaders, the glorious term "world market leader" or its derivation Hidden Champion, which Hermann Simon significantly coined, is used too inflationary. These companies stand for globally active and successful companies with mostly leading technology and family management.


This is why the St. Gallen University, in cooperation with the Academy of German World Market Leaders, is now developing its own "World Market Leader Index for Germany, Austria and Switzerland". A database with currently around 1300 entries from potential world market leaders from these three countries serves as the basis.


The world market leader index relies on an objective and transparent selection process for the actual world market leaders. The selection criteria and the determined values are disclosed and the entire index is made publicly accessible.

Who compiles the world market leader index?


The scientific management of the project lies with Prof. Dr. Christoph Müller from the HBM Entrepreneur School, which is part of the Executive School of Management, Technology & Law at the University of St.Gallen. In the field of further education, it offers, among other things, the diploma program ''Management of growth in technology companies'' (TU-HSG).

The Academy of German World Market Leaders (Schwäbisch Hall) of the former Baden-Württemberg Minister of Economics, Dr. Walter Döring actively involved in creating the world market leader index. 

The criteria for selection as "world market leader" are as follows:

World Leader Champions: 

  • (Owner) management with headquarters at least 50% in the DACH region

  • World market: Activities on at least 3 out of 6 continents with own production and/or sales companies or export activities

  • Annual turnover in millions of euros: at least €50 million.  

  • Market leader: No. 1 or No. 2 in the relevant world market (segment)

  • Export share/foreign share of sales: at least 50% of sales.

World market leaders champions with international owners:
The same criteria as for world market leader Champions, only with an ownership share of more than 50%, which is based outside the DACH region.

World market leader Future Champions:
Same criteria as World Leader Champions, just with two adjustments to the thresholds. The turnover is EUR 5-50 million and the share of foreign turnover is more than 40%. In addition, it is expected that, due to the company's growth, the category of world market leader champions can be achieved in the medium term.  

Further information and an overview of the world market leaders listed so far in the DACH region can be found on the specially created page: World Leaders Index.

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