50 (145) 2021

CEO's note

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CEO Note

By Paweł Siwecki, CEO, BPCC

Dear Members and Readers,

The summer holidays are long gone; I hope everyone has had a relaxed time with family or friends.

Editorial note

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Editorial note

by Michael Dembinski, chief advisor, and Dorota Kierbiedź, membership director, BPCC

The pandemic has been with us for a year and a half, the numbers of new cases and deaths at the time of writing is not dissimilar to what they were this time last October, despite over half of the Polish population being vaccinated. This suggests it will not be going away in a hurry. Business has adapted, finding new ways to work through the disruption.

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Green transformation - the pandemic's biggest beneficiary

Prof Witold Orłowski, PwC Polska's chief economic advisor, talks to the BPCC's Michael Dembinski about how Covid-19 is reshaping trends in the global economy

How concerned are you by the sharp rise in inflation, in Poland, Europe and globally? Is the Polish government prepared to use monetary policy to tackle inflation? Are there any factors in the global economy that might naturally slow down inflation, or should we get used to rising prices – and wages – for the foreseeable future?


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Addressing post-pandemic challenges facing the healthcare system

Anna Rulkiewicz, CEO of Lux Med, talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about the pressing need for cooperation between the private healthcare sector and the state if Poland is to meet the healthcare needs of its population

From the macroeconomic perspective, we have seen how the percentage of GDP countries spend on healthcare has increased because of the pandemic. Poland’s share rose from 6.5% in 2019 to 7.2% in 2020, whilst the UK increased its share from 10.2% to 12.8%. The disparity between the UK and other OECD countries and Poland shows that there’s still a big gap to be filled. [Of EU member states in the OECD, only Hungary spends less.] Which measures should the Polish government take to improve the access to and quality of its healthcare system in the long term?


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Lesson One: Don’t forget what the pandemic has taught you!

Marc Burrage, managing director of Hays Poland, talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about the impact of Covid on the world of work, and how Poland is placed to do well from the recovery.

We are now approaching the second anniversary of the Covid-19 outbreak in the world. How has the Polish labour market reacted to the pandemic?


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A sense of responsibility for the people’s lives and health during a pandemic

Wiktor Janicki, country president, AstraZeneca Pharma Poland, talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about the vital importance of R&D for the future of healthcare and Poland’s role in developing future therapies.

AstraZeneca has been in Poland for 30 years – it was one of the founding members of the BPCC. Since then, it has expanded its activities from just selling medicines to becoming a major R&D site for AstraZeneca, employing in total over 2,300 people here. What factors led to Poland becoming such a good location for growth over that time?

Lessons from the Pandemic

The four-day working week. A passing fad among rich companies or the new reality?

By Łukasz Chodkowski, Dehora

The experience of the pandemic, has forced a change in the approach to time management in companies and, in many cases, a shift to remote or hybrid working and a reorganisation of work schedules. This has led many experts and managers to boldly discuss going one step further and reducing the working week, ideally to 32 hours in an average four-day working week.

Lessons from the Pandemic

Five values needed to create a friendly and effective hybrid work environment

By Albert Cenkier, technology director, Wunderman Thompson Technology

There’s no coming back to the old ways of working. How do you create a friendly workplace and develop your team in a hybrid setup?

Lessons from the Pandemic

Lessons from the pandemic for employers – future good practices

By Bartosz Wszeborowski, Magdalena Profic, Michał Bodziony, PCS Paruch Chruściel Schiffter | Littler Global

It seems that both employers and employees have already settled into our new pandemic reality. The pandemic has meant that traditional company solutions – whether recruitment processes, training measures or remuneration systems – needed a complete overhaul. Most employers, however, have managed to face the challenges brought by the pandemic. Here are some examples of the lessons learned by employers during the pandemic.

Lessons from the Pandemic

An International School’s Perspective

By Tom McGrath, Principal, British Primary School of Wilanow

As a child in Ireland, I remember being fascinated by a pictorial book I found in the primary school library illustrating the life of children in a remote sheep station in Australia. There were no schools for hundreds of kilometres, thus the children engaged in learning by radio. The book described the children’s day, punctuated with radio interactions with teachers that they had never met. I recall being jealous of the freedom of these children who spent most of their day in the fresh air with exotic companions of kangaroos and other marsupials while the radio teacher briefly interrupted their idyllic existence.

Lessons from the Pandemic

The pandemic is the perfect time to install liquid crystal film in your office

By Sonte Poland

Some office buildings are still completely empty, but all indications are that the pandemic is losing momentum and soon remote working will no longer be a necessity. It's worth taking advantage of the period of relative calm to modernise your premises, especially as transforming an older space into a modern office doesn't require a major overhaul. Innovative solutions such as smart glass, or smart liquid crystal film, come to the rescue.

Lessons from the Pandemic

What does the future look like for offices? Global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield presents the findings of its proprietary survey of office tenants

By Jan Szulborski, senior consultant, Consulting & Research, Cushman & Wakefield

The office market is now at the epicentre of changes caused by the transition to the remote work model due to the Covid-19 epidemic. However, with the epidemic situation improving, organisations have already commenced planning the return of employees to the workplace. The analysis of the findings of a survey of tenants of the office buildings in the portfolio of properties under management of Cushman & Wakefield Poland reveals how companies are preparing for this change.

Lessons from the Pandemic

Doing M&A transactions in uncertain times: lessons from Covid-19

By Adam Zohry, executive manager – Financial Advisory Department at Mazars in Poland

Covid-19 was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as global pandemic in March 2020. The first few months following that outbreak were marked by a strong level of economic uncertainty worldwide, with direct consequences on mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Some ongoing transactions were put on hold, other cancelled, buyers who had already signed an acquisition deal tried to renegotiate the terms of the agreement or even withdraw from it. At that time, the absolute priority of companies all over Europe (including the UK and Poland) was to ensure first that the resilience, protection and continuity of their business will be guaranteed, through appropriate crisis management procedures and decisions. From summer 2020, the M&A landscape began to improve significantly, with an increasing appetite for deal-making on the markets, and the pandemic crisis turning into an opportunity for many investors. Today, many lessons can be learned with respect to M&A transactions and related processes during that period.

Lessons from the Pandemic

A simple joint stock company as a remedy for doing business during a pandemic

By Michał Kulczycki, aplikant adwokacki, Accreo

The pandemic is ongoing, at the time of writing, analysts are warning of an impending fourth wave of illness. We are all wondering what long-term consequences will be associated with the virus and the announced lockdowns.

Lessons from the Pandemic

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on team management and client relationships

By Dr Ewelina Stobiecka, managing partner in the Warsaw office of Taylor Wessing

Team- and client-relationship management underwent an accelerated evolution during the pandemic. Practically overnight, business leaders were challenged to adapt to new conditions. Also, the legal business – in my opinion – underwent a faster transformation and moved both internal and client relationships to a different level.

Lessons from the Pandemic

Hotel services during a pandemic

By Piotr Cwojdziński, CEO, Exclusive Aparthotel Sp. z o.o.

The pandemic hit us by surprise and the scale of the situation was unexpected for the entire hospitality industry. The numerous restrictions imposed by governments forced us to adjust to formal requirements to be able to conduct business, making us more flexible in terms of customer acquisition as a result.

Lessons from the Pandemic

Delivering what matters

By UPS Poland

During a period of unparalleled activity, when the pandemic spread leaving national economies and businesses counting the costs, UPS has been a proud and trusted partner of governments and business alike as we continue to deliver what matters in a safe and reliable manner. Whether that is lifesaving vaccines, or Christmas gifts, UPS is continually investing in its smart global logistics network to provide choice, convenience and control in an uncertain business environment.

Events Coverage

International Oktoberfest returns to Wrocław

After a break last year for the pandemic, Wrocław’s International Oktoberfest made its return on 10 September 2021. Back for the 16th time, it was held this year for sanitary reasons in the fresh-air surroundings of the Toya Golf and Country Club, a little way north of the city. The event was organised by the BPCC, the Polish-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Poland) and the Scandinavian-Polish Chamber of Commerce. Traditionally, the International Oktoberfest draws the largest business crowd from across the region, but this year, numbers were limited because of Covid-19. Nevertheless, after a year’s absence, it was good to meet in person and the event was enjoyed by all.

Events Coverage

Back to work - BPCC's late-summer mixer, 2 September 2021

An annual fixture in the BPCC's social calendar, pandemic notwithstanding now for the second year in a row, is the end of summer-holiday mixer at Warsaw' Mamaison Hotel Le Regina. Thanks to our partners, Hays Poland and Pernod Ricard, members and guests could make the most of the fine late-summer weather and open-air courtyard to mingle safely, chat and swap business cards.

Events Coverage

Meeting up face to face – Nice to See You Again, Kraków

The 2021 series of Nice to See You Again mixers came to a conclusion in Kraków on 9 September. The event, held at the Mercure Hotel, was sponsored by real estate agents Savills and recruitment firm Michael Page.

Events Coverage

Brexit and export of Polish food to the UK

From 1 October, the UK government is introducing new border checks on animal and plant products; these will make export of food from Poland to the UK more complicated. This webinar, held in Polish for Polish food exporters, looked at what the new border checks would mean, and how to prepare for them. Michael Dembinski, the BPCC’s chief adviser, opened the meeting saying that for the most determined exporters, prepared to deal with all the new paperwork, there would be many new opportunities. As exports from western European trade partners falter, more and more companies are withdrawing from the UK market, and so gaps appear that Polish firms could enter. Having the right strategy and marketing plans is key, he said.

Events Coverage

Nice to See You Again event series complete its Poland summer roadshow

Wrocław – Poznań – Warsaw – Kraków; four Polish cities with concentrations of British business, were the four venues for the BPCC’s cycle of face-to-face business mixers, organised as a welcome return to physical meetings after a year of lockdown.