Headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, Sika is a globally active company in the specialty chemicals business. We provide processing materials for the construction and manufacturing industries for sealing, bonding, dampening, reinforcing and protecting load-bearing structures.
In 1910 the genial tinkerer Kaspar Winkler laid the cornerstone for the firm. Winkler worked himself up from poverty to become a successful entrepreneur, and by the 1920’s he was already engaged in founding affilliates abroad. The Sika book – Dry but never tedious, 100 years of Sika, tells the tale of how the company was started from scratch to become a worldwide entity, with more than 12,000 employees and subsidiaries in more than 70 countries.
Sika first began when the Gotthard rail tunnel running through the Swiss Alps required a secure waterproof system. It was Kaspar Winkler who developed and provided a completely new solution for chemically waterproofing cement mortars and concretes.
With the Gotthard job, Kaspar Winkler Co. generated a turnover of approximately 450,000 Swiss francs. The sealing of the tunnel on the construction project of the century required about 350 tons of Sika-1, Sika-3 and Sika-4. Those were absolutely enormous figures, the value of which can hardly be correctly estimated and understood nowadays.
As a result the company needed new production facilities and moved to Altstetten in Zurich in 1919. Today more than 600 people work there but at the time of the move there was only the boss, his 19 year old daughter Klara, two office clerks, 8 workmen, and one apprentice. But Kaspar Winkler had made it. The Austrian shepherd boy had become a successful entrepreneur.