Since liberalizing its economy in 1989, Poland has doubled its gross domestic product. With a population of 38 million, the country would not have developed this quickly without its entrepreneurs, who readily adopted a capitalist ethos.
From agriculture to cosmetics, Poland is home to a diverse range of family-owned businesses that have made their mark in Europe and around the world. One such company, family-owned poultry producer SuperDrob, is focused on balancing its domestic and international businesses.
“We have great infrastructure in Poland. We have new factories and good technology. People don’t realize it, but we’re moving more and more toward high tech here,“ Lipka adds.“We’re frequently in China for exhibitions, as it is a very important market for us,” says President César Lipka. “Hong Kong is also another important market. We’re looking to enter other markets in Asia and in other regions.
Similarly, Pruszynski, a manufacturer of steel roofing and facades, has grown its business and reputation at home and abroad through the high quality of its products.
“Cooperating with local and international scientific institutes, we are able to produce technologically advanced building products, including sandwich panels using polyurethane as a core,” says CEO Krzysztof Pruszynski, who recently opened a factory exclusively for sandwich panels.
Unlike Pruszynski, Grupa Polskie Sklady Budowlane (Grupa PSB), a wholesaler of building materials, is focusing on domestic growth.“In new markets, we are acquiring companies for us to project a local brand. In other countries, like Iceland and Mexico, we play a supplier role. Although we have not yet cemented a brand in those markets, we hope to do so soon,” Pruszynski says.
“We have a 14% share of the building materials market here, with over 500 suppliers and 360 members,” company President Bogdan Panhirsz says. “Our priority is our shareholders. We do our best for them to stay competitive in the market.”
As the first Central and Eastern European company to be part of Euro-Mat – a European cooperation of independent builders’ merchants – Grupa PSB has brought international solutions to the Polish market.
“This quarter, we will open stores on Oxford Street in London, in the Venetian in Las Vegas, and close to the Duomo in Milan. We want to be in the world’s most prestigious places,” says Chairman Dr. Zbigniew Inglot, a brother of founder Wojciech Inglot. Amid fierce global competition, Polish brands are changing the perception of Polish quality. Embracing this mission, cosmetics manufacturer INGLOT has come a long way as it opens between one or two new stores every week worldwide.
“My brother was a visionary. Our dream was to become the most well?known Polish company in the retail business. We pushed step by step and country by country, meeting with potential partners and companies,” Inglot says.
Launched in 1999 by CEO Simon Grabowski at the age of 17, GetResponse has revolutionized marketing automation. With more than 350,000 customers in 183 countries, the company is among the world’s most sought-after marketing services.With this shift toward building a knowledge-based economy, Poland is witnessing the emergence of very innovative start-ups.
Eighty percent of its clients are U.S.-based SMBs that utilize its email marketing, landing pages, web forms, surveys and more than 50 other online campaign management tools.
In 2011, Grabowski launched ClickMeeting, which offers efficient and user-friendly webinar and web-meeting solutions to businesses of all sizes. The service has opened up various possibilities for enterprise communication, as well as sales, marketing, education, and HR and training activities.
With around 80,000 customers in 92 countries, ClickMeeting is making a global impact from its headquarters in northern Poland.
As the global economy undergoes rapid changes, Poland will continue to support its best asset: its entrepreneurs and innovators who readily seize opportunities and do not back down from any challenge.