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Name: Axel Marx
Job title: Managing director
Company: Staedtler Mars Nürnberg

1. What were your childhood ambitions? To become an astronaut or a football player.
2. What was your first full-time job? Marketing assistant at Staedtler.
3. What was your first car? A Talbot Simca 1100.
4. How do you like to relax? Reading and jogging.
5. Do you have an idol? No.
6. What was the first record you bought? The White Album by The Beatles.
7. If you could invite two famous people for dinner, who would they be and why would you invite them? Helmut Schmidt and Lee Kuan Yew to discuss a solution for Israel and Palestine.
8. What is your favourite movie, and why? This is not easy to answer as it depends on the genre. Comedy: Papa ante portas because of its perfect approach to show the German mentality. Sci-fi: The Alien series of films because of the thrilling plots. Drama: Once upon a time in America. I think this choice speaks for itself.
9. What sports team do you support? FC Nuremberg. Not an easy thing to admit these days.
10. What is your favourite food and drink? Again, difficult but at the end of the day it has to be Nuremberg’s sausages and a beer.
11. What do you begrudge spending money on? Going to disappointing football games.
12. What makes you happy? Loyalty.
13. What makes you angry? Flagrant imitators of our trademark products. I have never believed that counterfeit is a tribute to the popularity of our brand Staedtler.
We undertake a variety of measures to combat product and brand piracy for the protection of our customers and dealers worldwide. Another confirmation and distinction for us in our long struggle against product piracy was to receive the Plagiarius prize in February 2008. This annual award is given each year to the most blatant imitators of trademarked products. During the event, not only are these plagiarists announced, but the manufacturer of the original product is also recognised with a Plagiarius for its commitment to the fight against product counterfeiting.
Our goal is to maintain and reaffirm the trust and confidence in our high quality, safe and innovative products.
14. What is your favourite holiday destination? Lago di Garda in Italy.
15. If you could build your house anywhere, where would it be? The same as above…
16. What pets do you have? A black labrador.
17. If you could be a superhero, what superpower would you choose to have and why? Superman would be fine for a day. I would try to stop an ongoing war.
18. What is your best piece of advice? As Albert Einstein pointed out: "Make all things as easy as possible but not easier."
19. If you weren’t doing your present job, what job would you be doing? This is a highly speculative question, but something similar.
20. If you could be God for the day, what miracle would you perform? Peace.
21. Can money buy happiness? No.
22. What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? Hopefully, I will still be doing what I do today.
23. Describe the OP industry in three words. Complex, thrilling and demanding.
24. If you won the lottery, what would be the first item you would buy? Nothing. I would put it all into the bank!
25. If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do? I like that one… but I won’t tell you!
26. Have you ever read a book that changed your life? Yes, I have. The Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.
27. Which three items would you want if secluded on a desert island? Human beings are not ‘items’ but the "three" I would take would be my family.
28. Have you got a claim to fame? No, not yet.
29. If you could be any historical figure for a day, who would you be and why? Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933 [the day the then President of Germany appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor]. It was the beginning of one of the darkest times in world history that most likely could have been avoided.
30. Which newspaper do you read? Süddeutsche Zeitung and Die Zeit.