We are the champions! Poland tops list of Europe’s hidden business gems
Poland has the most ‘hidden champions’ in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, according to a new report.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) report was prepared by IEDC-Bled School of Management and CEEMAN and covered 22 countries from the region.
Poland came top of the hidden champions with 11 companies named and a further 3 potential hidden champions.
The criteria for being named a hidden champion included that the companies had to have been operating for at least 5 years, had less than $1 billion in revenue and held the 1st or 2nd position globally or in the regional market.
Among the companies on the list were Carlex Design, the global leader in the design and production of limited edition cars (making up to 1,000 cars for each design).
Based in Czechowice-Dziedzice in the south of Poland, the company has recently expand its operation by opening an office in South Korea.
The company has redesigned cars for leading manufacturers such as Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW, McLaren and Bentley among others.
Founded in 2008 by husband and wife team Damian and Roksana Skotnicki the company is internationally-renowned among car lovers but virtually unknown among the general public.
Established in 1992 by the Krzanowski brothers, in Krosno in the South East of Poland, the company has gone on to provide seating for offices around the world and recently installed over 65,000 seats at Hungary’s national stadium the Puskás Aréna.
The company was able to install, not only the seating for fans in the stands, but also the luxury chairs for the boardroom and other furniture.
Jakub Rachfalik , Managing Director of the Forum Seating brand for Nowy Styl, said: “In previous projects, we focused primarily on providing ‘basic’ chairs for main stands and seats for VIP zones. Puskás Aréna is our largest project in which we comprehensively dealt with equipping the entire stadium interior.
“There were also over 150 special heated Montgomery armchairs for the super VIP zone, almost 4,000 Oscar armchairs for the VIP area, tables for commentator positions, platforms for the disabled and for cameramen.”
Growbots, the world leader in chatbot sales optimisation, started in Warsaw in 2014 by Greg Pietruszyński, Luke Deka and Adam Mazan before expanding with a further 2 offices in San Francisco and Cleveland in the USA.
Their growth continued and between 2016 and 2017 they experienced growth of over 1000 percent. The company is now a leader in the sector and continues to grow its active user base and revenues.
Another Polish company that is a world leader in their market is Eliteclimb from Bielsko Biala. They manufacture innovative handmade ice and climbing axes.
Owner Jarosław Walewski said: “Eliteclimb manufactures climbing ice axes from carbon and aramid fibres. Most likely, I'm the only manufacturer making this equipment entirely by hand.
“We do this because of our passion for the mountains and knowledge of composite technology. The idea of making ice axes made of carbon fibres was suggested to me by Wojtek Ryczer, whom I met while climbing in the Tatra Mountains.”
The other companies that make the EBRD list of hidden champions include Cloud Technologies, European leader in big-data profiling services for internet advertisers, Medicalgorithmics a global leader in medical devices and applications, Selena FM who produce and distribute chemical products for construction and home repairs, and Warsaw based Telesto and Vigo systems who are the leading producer in Europe of uncooled infrared photon detectors.
The three companies highlighted as potential hidden champions includes multi-gym equipment producers Tytax, animation studio ExplainVisually and Tenzi who offer professional cleaning products.