Foundation of the Montana Stahl company

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In Würenlingen, an idyllic town in Aargau, Radomir Ulemek set up his third company Montana Stahl AG together with his sister Madame Ceka Massot. Ulemek, a citizen of the Union of South Africa, had fled from Yugoslavia to South Africa during the Second World War. When he was looking for a safe country in which to invest his money, he found what he was looking for in Switzerland. He bought building land from Meto-Bau AG for CHF 14.00 per square metre. He left the obligation that either the director or the managing director had to be resident in Würenlingen to the latter.

Because Ulemek and Massot were something like the mysterious guests at Montana. They only turned up sporadically, but when they were there, everyone knew about them. Ulemek made a point of having his portrait hanging in the large meeting room. However, this ritual was short-lived – the picture was only hung up for the moment and taken down again as soon as he left. During the infrequent visits, major investments such as the purchase of sets of rolls were also decided and bought in the blink of an eye. They always spent the night at the luxurious Dolder in Zurich – typical of the two eccentrics.

Madame Massot kept a watchful eye on the accounts and caused many a smile in the office. Expense claims were meticulously scrutinised, such as when an employee once mistakenly set the date of a customer appointment to the Sunday before. This aroused Massot's suspicions of fraud. Perhaps he had had a cosy breakfast with his family instead? And even supposedly broken office chairs had to be collected again to prove to her that they were actually broken.

In the early years of Montana, the product range was still manageable. There were a handful of profiles:
SP 28
SP 32
SP 41
SP 57
SP 95
And who still knows the Montabox? Although only a few of them were sold.

Nevertheless, business was good and more and more people were hired to meet the increasing demand. Incidentally, an office worker earned around CHF 2100 per month at the time – a considerable sum for those days!
Over time, the product range grew and by 1982 there was already a wide selection of profiles and accessories to choose from. From SP 28 to SP 95, Montarib MR 58, purlins and transoms, cassettes, cladding profiles such as Montaform and Montastep through to light panels and various accessories such as fillers, screws or paint – Montana had everything on offer. Initially, Switzerland was the main market, but exports to other countries followed later.

To the delight of the two founders and all employees, the figures developed positively until Montana even reached a turnover of 1 million in one month! This was celebrated with the famous "million whiskey", but this could only be opened when Ulemek was present in person. For the second million with two whiskeys, additional canapés had to be organised to ensure that everyone got home safely afterwards.

For the employees, this was a time they looked back on fondly. It was not only an era of hard work, but also a time of shared laughter and togetherness.
Despite their eccentric nature, Ulemek and Massot had a good nose for investment. Together, they laid the foundations for a successful company that is still going strong today. And who knows, maybe you'll come across Ulemek's or Massot's spirit somewhere at Montana after all...