How to become a business leader? Polish champions – coverage of the Forum’s session

“Small businesses are to become larger businesses, larger are supposed to continue growing and the largest ones are to conquer the world,” said Prime Minister Beata Szydło on Tuesday, special guest at the plenary session devoted to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Prime Minister was pleased that she could take part in such a special event as that of presenting the hidden champion award. “Small businesses are to become larger businesses, larger are supposed to continue growing and the largest ones are to conquer the world,” said Prime Minister Beata Szydło at the very beginning and added that her government aims to support the development of SMEs so as to enable them to compete against international leaders. She assured that her presence at the plenary session “How to become a business leader. Polish champions” should be taken as confirmation of the Polish government’s commitment to supporting and looking after Polish companies.

“We are determined to adopt such solutions that will facilitate the development of Polish companies,” assured the head of the Polish government. “The role of the state is, first of all, to create relevant regulations and tools that will help in the development of small Polish businesses that will conquer the world in the future.”

Prime Minister Beata Szydło expressed hope that the times when Poles considered foreign capital as the only opportunity for development are long gone. “Poland has managed to create brands which have become great champions. What matters on the international arena is creativity, hard work and ingenious ideas, and Polish companies certainly excel at that,” she said.

At the end of the first part of the session a Special Award dedicated to the so-called hidden champions was presented. Hidden champions are companies from the SME sector, which are successful on foreign markets. Michał Mrożek, President of HSBC Bank Polska S.A. stressed that the hidden champions are family-owned companies or businesses with 100 employees which are capable of following the global trends. At the same time, these companies do not forget about their small homelands and they are actively involved in social initiatives in their cities and regions. He was glad that the bank he leads can support the young champions.

The laureate of the award was the company NiUW Glinik, manufacturer of tools and drilling equipment.

The second part of the panel was devoted to a discussion about how to become a champion. Michał Mrożek concluded that small businesses should first pay attention to collaboration and that’s why the bank cooperates with family-owned companies which want to enter markets in an innovative way.

Radosław Domagalski-Łabędzki, President of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. answered the question who can help Polish companies and how. He considers the state’s role as indispensable, as the state needs to provide instruments, financing and development programs. Expansion cannot succeed without them. In his mind, the second factor is companies like KGHM, which try to integrate Polish companies on foreign markets and support them by creating consortiums of Polish companies so that they can execute large scale investment.

Steven Harman, Vice President for Operational Affairs at Amazon in Europe said: “Many Polish companies are a part of Amazon. We are trying to help small and medium-sized enterprises to grow and develop.”

On the other hand, Jorgen Bang-Jensen, President of Play stressed that his company also wants to focus on this sector. “Medium-sized businesses is an area in which Play is recording the most dynamic development, mostly by offering Internet access services. The enterprises need innovative solutions and Play wants to provide exactly what they need. SMEs are becoming larger and so, through providing relevant services Play wants to guarantee them equal opportunities to develop.

The discussion was summarized by its moderator, Filip Grzegorczyk, President of the company Tauron Polska Energia S.A.: “Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are the future that is worth investing in, because that’s how champions are born.”