08 June 2023

A network of connections can be built from strong local communities in the Carpathian Basin

The cooperation of Transylvanian companies and Hungarian businesses throughout the entire Carpathian Basin is urged by Zsolt Gogolák-Hrubecz, CEO of the Multinvest Group. According to the entrepreneur, knowledge flows more efficiently through collaboration among companies, and the cooperation of stakeholders enables stronger performance at all levels. The expert believes that strengthening local communities is the first step, and a strong chain can be built from them.


- In recent years, there has been an increased attention from the homeland towards Hungarian businesses beyond the borders, and more and more people are seeking the products and services of companies from abroad. Do you also perceive this positive change?

- Yes, primarily because Hungarian companies are open towards Transylvania, and when they come here, they demand our services. If I may put it this way, the market essentially comes to our doorstep.


- The recent I. Transylvanian Economic Forum held in Târgu Mureș is considered an important intermediate milestone in a long process by the organizers. What did this event offer to Transylvanian entrepreneurs?

- Firstly, it provided a lot of strength, energy, and positive feelings, and last but not least, mutual experience. The knowledge coming from the homeland greatly helps Transylvanian businesses. We have been working together with Hungarian companies for twenty years, and we know that the knowledge coming from Hungary provides a significant long-term competitive advantage. The theoretical knowledge that can be utilized in construction and planning, and which can be easily transferred across borders, contributes greatly. The culture is different west of us, the knowledge is stronger, and we also benefit from that.


- How much have Transylvanian Hungarian entrepreneurs sought contact with each other so far, and have they had any collaboration with companies and organizations operating in other regions or in the homeland?

- Unfortunately, Transylvanian Hungarian businesses do not collaborate much, and the problem is that, in my experience, we do not even know each other. Transylvanian businesses, even within the same city, have difficulty finding each other. Moreover, unfortunately, they do not actively seek each other out, and everyone operates within their own small field of expertise. I attribute this to a lack of culture, and I believe that we also need to learn how to sell to each other locally. The Transylvanian Economic Forum was definitely thought-provoking because we got to know many new faces there. And it was not only among those coming from the homeland or from the broader Hungarian territory, but many of us also found each other there.



- However, in order to move forward and survive, it is necessary for Hungarian businesses in Transylvania, as well as throughout the entire Carpathian Basin, to get to know each other better. Do you agree with this?

- Definitely. In the past, there was much more local patriotism in people, although there was no private business world back then. However, the past thirty years have unfortunately somewhat undermined society and the business world. Perhaps the situation is slowly changing in a positive direction, but there is still a lot of potential in this regard that can be tapped into. It is also a problem that many entrepreneurs did not become entrepreneurs because they were prepared for it, but rather because life led them that way, so they lack a solid managerial knowledge. Many of us acquire these skills along the way, and I could say that those who did not bleed to death during the learning process have become stronger.


- How can the cooperation among stakeholders operating in different regions be strengthened? Who can contribute the most to this?

- First and foremost, these connections need to be strengthened locally. Personally, I have been the vice president of the Szent György Managers Club in Mureș County for 28 years since the regime change in 2018, and in this civil organization, many entrepreneurs have found partners in each other. There have been cases where some people knew each other for twenty years but had never worked together until they met in the club. In other words, in order to move forward, the foundations must be laid, the small local cells need to be strengthened, and development can be built upon that. The connection of these small cells can create a healthy organism in Transylvania or even throughout the entire Carpathian Basin.


- How can the closer cooperation between businesses from abroad and those in the homeland be most beneficial?

- Shared experience can strengthen all of us because we see that businesses that know each other can truly work together well. Joint action, for example, can be very useful. Just think about it, if many companies come together to negotiate with a gas or electricity provider and ask for prices collectively, they will achieve more. This is just one example, as there are many more opportunities in cooperation.


- In which areas do Transylvanian businesses currently lag behind compared to companies in the homeland, and are there any areas where they enjoy an advantage?

- Apart from knowledge, perhaps Transylvanian businesses have a technological gap that needs to be bridged. In this regard, local companies need to catch up. However, it should be noted that knowledge doesn't only come from the West but also from the East, specifically the Far East. As for the advantages enjoyed by Transylvanian Hungarian businesses, it may lie in our greater adaptability. Being a minority, we always know how to turn a negative situation into a positive one. We have an inner strength that propels us because we have to survive each day. If I were to relate it to the current COVID-19 situation, I would say that perhaps here in Transylvania, we have more antibodies.


Source: https://www.kulhonimagyarok.hu/karpat-medence/eros-helyi-kozossegekbol-epulhet-kapcsolati-halo-a-karpat-medenceben/


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