Since 1989, more than 35,000 professionals and managers from over 35 countries have come to Celle to take part in DMAN training programmes. We have systematically helped them qualify for success on international markets and to establish valuable business contacts in Germany.
From the very beginning, strengthening Lower Saxony's foreign trade relations has been an essential part of our mission. The State of Lower Saxony had founded the academy together with partners from the business community to foster closer economic cooperation with the successor states of the Soviet Union – and also entrusted it with the representation of the State of Lower Saxony in the Russian Federation.
While the initial focus was on assisting these countries in their transition from planned economies to a market economy, other management and technical topics were quickly added to the DMAN portfolio.
Although DMAN has continuously expanded, adapted and diversified both its regional focus and its service offering over time, activities in Russia and the other CIS countries have always contributed a significant portion of our revenues and contribution margin.
As a result, Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and the resulting sanctions hit us hard – much harder than the Covid pandemic with its travel restrictions, which had not exactly been conducive to our business model. However, we were able to withstand it thanks to the quick and flexible adaptation of our activities, with webinars replacing face-to-face seminars.
Immediately after the start of the war of aggression against Ukraine, we ceased all operations in Russia and Belarus at the request of our shareholders. This meant that a significant proportion of our turnover was lost overnight and will remain lost for an indefinite period.
We responded by massively increasing our diversification efforts to position ourselves even more broadly, both regionally and thematically. New themes (such as female empowerment, circular economy, sustainability) attracted great interest. In new target regions (Ukraine, Poland, the Balkans, Iraq, UAE), we entered into cooperation agreements with well-connected local partners. Many of these initiatives looked promising and were already bearing fruit, but they were not yet profitable.
Overall, these developments have led to Deutsche Management Akademie Niedersachsen ceasing operations after 34 years.