What was the main reason you joined Swisscham? When did you join?
The head of the Business Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary, Márta Irén, knew Julit Lipovecz, the executive director of the chamber. She suggested that we meet because we fit together in values and we could certainly work well together. So when joining the chamber, it was not the Swiss background of the company that was decisive, but the human connection. Incidentally, this is typical of my way of working in all areas, even CSR: there are always inspiring, credible people in the background with whom I like to spend time and invest energy in joint projects. I think the role of the company leader is the inspiration, and he needs to be inspired for that too. Belonging to the Swiss Chamber gives you the opportunity to look into the life of other companies, we can learn from each other on “best practice” visits, and later collaborations are formed during conversations and events.
Why did you decide to run for a position on the Board?
I would be lying if I said that the position alone was not inspiring, as being a member of the Board of the Swiss Chamber is definitely a rank. I didn’t know what was waiting for me at the first application… I already had experience with the restart: working together with the other members of the board, I learned a lot from the leaders of other Swiss companies. It is exciting to see the life of the management of other Swiss companies operating in different business lines, to understand the way of operating, the scheme of thinking that is more characteristic of them. Once, with the help of a chamber member, I even organized a “Swiss mode of operation” training for management. I believe that if we understand these specialties well, the cooperation of the Hungarian management with the Swiss management will be more harmonious and effective.
The spread of the coronavirus has shown that systems that can respond very quickly to market changes are viable. The members of the presidency must work on this on an ongoing basis, and they can count on me to do so.
What do you expect from the cooperation of our chamber and your company in the future?
I do not see any essential changes needed in cooperation, but I am confident that it can deepen in all areas. I hope that during the events I will be able to meet many interesting, inspiring speakers who will influence my thinking, and through this Eisberg will also be able to benefit from this. In order for the chamber to be able to attract more and more Swiss companies, the system must be constantly “armed” and up-to-date knowledge must be brought in and shared. There are many similar challenges, and sharing each other’s experiences can bring economic benefits. I try to put a lot into the common knowledge base and the experience is that I can take a lot out.
What event(s) would you highlight from the history of our joint work?
The Swiss Ambassador, Mr. Paroz, also joined the leaders of several Swiss companies in his visit to the Eisberg plant in Gyál. The visit was a very pleasant experience, many joint photos were taken and exciting professional conversations started. We also wrote about the visit in the Diplomacy & Trade publication, and since then Eisberg has been included in every year’s compilation, which helps to bring our company’s good reputation to many consumers who we may not have been able to reach so far.
The Swiss Business Days events were good opportunities for a wider, high-quality audience to get to know our new, innovative products and services. At the first event, we also had a joint stand with Nestlé, as the salad went well with their chicken product. Employees of the companies of the chamber members are the absolute target audience of our products. Exhibitions, interviews and newsletters about them are also important messengers for these consumers.
At one of these exhibitions, I met Lajos Hódossy, the head of Roche’s diagnostics business, with whom we run our companies according to a very similar set of values, and recognizing this, we have already organized a joint management discussion with the two of us.
When I can resolve it, I also attend community events, Christmas dinners, where networking can deepen within a loose framework. No one wants to sell anything directly to anyone, but life shows that many common businesses are still emerging. For example, there was no question from whom we would order the end-of-year gift chocolate for our partners … If talking about chocolate, it has to be Swiss. 🙂Back