|The formation of a company. A great vision sees the light of day.|
Company founder Villum Kann Rasmussen (KR) was born on Mandø in that stretch of the North Sea that washes the Danish coastline known as the Wadden Sea. His father was the island’s pastor. He attended Sorø Academy and graduated from university in 1932 with a degree in civil engineering.
KR was both curious and inventive, and throughout his career was closely involved in product development. His practical nature was reflected in his approach to the development process with the motto he coined himself – “One experiment is better than a thousand expert views”.
KR had a burning desire to bring daylight, fresh air and an attractive view into people’s everyday lives and, over the years, took out more than 55 patents and 9 patterns. He also developed products outside his primary area of interest, such as the Aromatic coffee machine in the 1960s and the VELSIT range of furniture in the 1970s.
But KR was full of vision and ideas as a manager as well. In 1965, he formulated the Model Company Objective, which calls for the company to work with products useful to society and to generate a profit that ensures the company financial independence, an objective that forms the very backbone of the company today.
It was important to KR that a share of the company’s profits is returned to society in such a way as to make a difference. This was the reason he established the general purpose foundation, the Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation in 1971 and the VELUX Foundation in 1981. The VELUX Foundations support scientific, cultural and social ventures, as well as research into daylight and activities for the elderly.