CEIT technological company and TREND weekly magazine hosted the Smart Industries Conference on 2-3rd October 2019 in Žilina. The conference introduced modern technologies for smart manufacturing and logistics, and answered questions on how to use smart solutions, how to apply them cleverly and manage entire manufacturing systems. General Partners for the event were Asseco, Bosch, Siemens & Technia. The conference was moderated by Managing Director of The Voice of Slovak Business, Mr Christopher Plant and Television Football and ex professional goalkeeper and Voice of Business presenter Mr Filip Mentel. Mr Christopher Plant and Television Football and ex professional goalkeeper and Voice of Business presenter Mr Filip Mentel. Automation, robotisation and digitisation bring many benefits and results. Technological progress cannot be overlooked, on the contrary, it should be used to its best. Innovation is still relatively cheap and this gives a chance to invest and prepare for the any bad times to come in the future. Whoever hesitates today risks losing not only his position in the market, but a few years later the chance to carry out his digital transformation. CEIT technological company and TREND weekly magazine hosted the Smart Industries Conference on 2-3rd October 2019 in Žilina. Automation, robotisation and digitisation bring many benefits and results. Technological progress cannot be overlooked, on the contrary, it should be used to its best. Innovation is still relatively cheap and this gives a chance to invest and prepare for the any bad times to come in the future. Whoever hesitates today risks losing not only his position in the market, but a few years later the chance to carry out his digital transformation. CEIT’s CEO Mr Boris Duľa and the editor-in-chief of Trend weekly Mr Tomáš Skřivánek, interviewed by Mr Christopher Plant Today we understood the most important trends affecting industry development. We were inspired by the experiences of companies that set the tone of digitalisation in Slovakia and neighbouring countries. We saw how to concentrate on modernising production and how to manage it as quickly and effectively as possible. Panels included the folowing: Being “smart” means being viable Being flexible is “in” and will be a matter of course in the future. This concept encompasses all trends that condition the success of manufacturing companies in a dynamic market: shortened development, faster product launch, customization, new business models… All this is made possible by the digital technologies that underpin innovative production systems. The assembly line will no longer be the only production concept – 3D printing, intelligent collaborative robots, universal production cells… The intelligent factory is gradually changing beyond recognition. Emobilitty Challenges and OpportunitiesChristian Rauch , Plant Manager, Volkswagen Slovakia, Martin. Jan Železný , Business Development Aftersales, ŠKODA AUTO, Czech Republic Jozef Magic, Director of Digital Industries Slovakia, Siemens New team member on board: A robot Conventional industrial robots replace people in routine operations that require speed and accuracy. Automation and robotics are moving fast, and it is estimated that a quarter of the manufacturing operations in the industry are taken over by robots assembled into complex lines. For the remaining operations are prepared collaborative robots, so-called. Kobota. In collaboration with man, they create a new tandem that brings enormous potential. According to some analyzes, connecting a person to a smart robot is 80 percent more productive than if only a human being or just a robot were doing it. What opportunities does the deployment of robots and cobots offer in Slovak factories? Martin Kele, General Director, Matador Holding Vít Pavelka , Business Development Manager, Robotic Section, AMTECH Marian Bolebruch, Director for Industry 4.0 Implementation, MLMoran, Czech Republic Data like a ticket into a virtual world Implementation of Industry 4.0 in the Cloud and New Services Digitization enables us to expose transformational knowledge throughout the value chain and achieve higher productivity and efficiency. The presentation will present case studies from major companies that have significantly saved money by implementing digital tools. Markus Haller CEO and Chairman of the Board, Asseco Solutions AG Peter Beran , IIS, Industry 4.0, Big Data and Digital Transformation Consultant, Siemens PLM Software, Siemens, Germany Tomáš Jirotka , Data specialist in the Ceske Budejovice plant, Bosch Group CZ Customization changes in traditional practices The new consumer trend – customization – has changed the industry in a short time. Many Industry 4.0 tools are also an answer to how to produce according to individual consumer requirements. Customization will further deepen and impose harsh conditions on manufacturers. Whoever can’t handle them will not survive. How to prepare for this trend so your factory is able to compete for five years? Which Industry 4.0 technologies will be decisive and how will the cards mix the practical use of artificial intelligence? Peter Janočko , Project Engineer Industry 4.0 & Innovation & Zofia Šimeková , Logistics Specialist, Lear Corporation Seating Slovakia Haier Product Development Li Hongkun, EU R&D Director Washing Division, Haier AVIX – Lean Manufacturing Platform, Daniel Samefors , Global Partner Manager, Solme AB How to prepare for production and product we call “customized”? Roman Lisian , Managing Director, TECHNIA Slovakia Kamil Hozza, Industrial Engineering Manager, Continental Matador Truck Tires Danfoss Plant transformation towards Smart Factory – the story continues Jozef Hamar – Director of Operational Services & Marcel Dubec , Lean Manager, Danfoss Power Solutions Building of Digital Enterprise Competencies in High Pressure Casting Process by Radoslav Palacka, Head of Lean Manufacturing, Nemak Slovakia
Manufacturing & innovation at CEIT a.s – Business Breakfast Showcase
The Voice of Business with the kicked off a very special breakfast event at CEIT, a.s. in Zilina, Slovakia on Friday 14th June. CEO, Mr Boris Dula (right) introduced the fantastic technology that CEIT have pioneered here in Slovakia. We learnt a lot about the company and the innovative solutions that they have developed. We were delighted that Mr Paul Goff (above) came from Jaguar Land Rover Slovakia. He updated us on progress globally. We heard the update on the “State of the Art” new facility in Nitra and eagerly listened to JLR’s global responsibility commitments. ‘Great Work JLR!’. A big thank you to all the businesses that attended, we were happy to hear your feedback too. We look forward to seeing you again soon. See more photos here See the VIDEO on Youtube here Thank you to the CEIT Team: Medvecká Barbora, Hakan Guzel, Martina Bandorová and VOB colleagues Celina Barber and #FilipMentel
Manufacturing Suppliers Meeting, JLR Business part – Nitra, Slovakia
The Voice of Slovak Business were delighted to attend the second meeting of the DC1/DC2 Jaguar Land Rover business park in Nitra, Slovakia this week. It was a really positive meeting with lots of discussion on various topics. Jaguar Land Rover joined us again to speak about upcoming ideas for collaboration and all of the suppliers and service companies present were extremely positive. Long term “Friends of VOB” Keith and Janet Jackson from Arlington Automotive, were the hosts of the meeting and it was great to see all the progress they are making in their facility. Graeme Hurst from GEFCO as usual supplied great insight and it was great to see our new Founding Partner KOSIT also in attendance as well as Plastic Omnium. Pictured below, Mr Keith Jackson from Arlington Automotive, (centre) Managing Director of “The Voice of Slovak Business , Christopher Plant (left) and Key account manager, Filip Mentel (right). We look forward to the next meeting in September where we will discuss more upcoming issues and examine and help solve the many day to day pain points of manufacturing companies.
Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow visits Coventry – November 22nd 2018
The Voice of Automotive Business held the latest Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow in Coventry & Warwickshire. This is the 5th event that the Voice of Business has held in 2018 following on from our previous events in Bratislava in Slovakia, Prague in the Czech Republic and in Dublin, Ireland. Mr Christopher Plant, moderator of the roadshow and founder of The Voice of Automotive Business said: “Despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the proposed final deal, successful UK automotive businesses should still actively explore how to boost their future plans for expansion by establishing a subsidiary in Central & Eastern Europe (The CEE). The Roadshow has been put in place to educate business on opportunity in the CEE. British Businesses were invited to Brandon Hall hotel on November 22nd with a host of travelling CEE Automotive delegates and representatives from the V4 countries and our partners in the region. Headline partners Grant Thornton and Santander Corporate & Commercial provided plenty of content with speakers from Santander Poland and Grant Thornton, Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic. Opening the event was Slovak HM Ambassador to the UK Lubomir Rehak who provided a positive message of embracing opportunity in the CEE and looking at in particular the V4 countries of Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland and of course his homeland of Slovakia. With annual production topping one million vehicles and forecast to grow to 1.35 million by 2020, Slovakia has developed rapidly into one of the world’s leading car producers, experiencing a five-fold production increase in the last 10 years. The country is home to Volkswagen Group, PSA Group and Kia Motors and recently unveiled Jaguar Land Rover’s new manufacturing facility. The automotive industry accounts for 35% of the country’s total exports – currently valued at €17 billion – and 43% of the country’s annual industrial production. Ambassador Lubomir Rehak, Slovak Ambassador to the UK. Welcoming guests at the Automotive roadshow from Grant Thornton LLP Grant was Global Automotive Expert Mr Neil Barrell and from Santander the UK head of Manufacturing Mr Paul Brooks supported by Mr Damian Glover and Mr Barrie Kilfeather. Both welcomed delegates and explained how they support UK Manufacturing and Automotive companies when looking at entering new markets, as well as locally in the UK. Mr Neil Barrell, Global Head of Automotive for Grant Thornton UK head of Manufacturing, Mr Paul Brooks Director at Grant Thornton based out of Prague working across the CEE, Mr Andrew Dickson gave our Keynote Speech, which was an overview of Central and Eastern Europe. Andrew set the scene on business opportunity and what doing Business in the CEE really means. The Voice of Automotive’s founder, Mr Christopher Plant led the opening panel discussion to investigate how British companies could get a foothold in the Central and Eastern European market and how our invited panelists had led their businesses successfully in the last years. Director at Grant Thornton Prague , Mr Andrew Dickson. The panel taking part were all automotive experts including Mr Les Ratcliffe MBE, Voice of Automotive Ambassador & CSR Expert (formerly JLR), Mr Neil Barrell, Partner and Global Head of Automotive for Grant Thornton, UK. Mr Christopher Black, Global Sales Director of Automotive Business Development for global player TR Fastenings. Mr Keith Jackson who is now Plant Manager for the Slovak branch of Arlington Automotive and Mr Chris Baumann, CEO of the Aktrion Group and Mr Craig Humphrey from the Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Hub. Mr Les Ratcliffe MBE, Voice of Automotive Ambassador & CSR Expert (formerly JLR), Mr Neil Barrell, Partner and Global Head of Automotive for Grant Thornton, UK. Mr Christopher Black, Global Sales Director of Automotive Business Development for global player TR Fastenings. Mr Keith Jackson, Plant Manager for the Slovak branch of Arlington Automotive Mr Chris Baumann CEO of the Aktrion Group. Mr Craig Humphrey from the Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Hub and Christopher Plant, Voice of Automotive Business The V4 country presentations at the roadshow came from a variety of partners including Managing partner from Grant Thornton Hungary, Mr János Kővágó and Mr Prem Przemyslaw, Managing partner, Grant Thornton Poland. Senior Trade Advisor Ms Duricova Eva from the British Chamber of Commerce in the Slovak Republic and Mr Ondrej Sterb from Czech Invest also provided input on their respective countries. Senior Trade Advisor Ms Duricova Eva,British Chamber of Commerce in the Slovak Republic Prem Przemyslaw, Managing partner, Grant Thornton Poland . Seated, Mr Ondre Sterba, Czech Invest and Mr Janos Kovago, Grant Thornton Hungary. From Santander Global Corporate Banking Poland, we were happy to have Mr Tomasz Bielinski who provided a focus on automotive from a Polish perspective and highlighted opportunity for British Business. He was supported by Ms Magdalena Crosa and Maciej Szczepkowski from Santander Bank Polska. We also heard about import & export support from the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce introduced by Trade Director, Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Mr Ajay Desai. The programme included STRATEGIC PARTNERS from CEE and UK-based businesses including Aktrion Group, Arlington Automotive, CEIT, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, FORESSTERS, KOSIT, TR Fastenings and SCS Slovakia. After lunch we started on our CASE STUDY Section. First up was the company KOSIT from Slovakia, where Ms Lucia Sprinc supported by Ms Katarína Mandalova introduced the environmental impact of Waste Management in Automotive in the CEE. We heard about4.0 Technology and advanced engineering in Slovakia from speakers Mr Hakan Guzel and Mr Andrej Štefánik from innovations company CEIT. Hakan Guzel and Andrej Štefánik from innovations company CEIT. TR Fastenings and the Director of Global New business development and automotive expert Mr Chris Black supported by Mr Simon Willington and the rest of the team introduced TR Fastenings to our audience. TR Fastenings and the Director of Global New business development and automotive expert Chris Black Dr.Jagvir Purewal from Forresters explained how intellectual property can add to the bottom line in automotive. The final presentation looked at competent IT services, a look beyond simple outsourcing by CEO, Mr Vlastimil Mazal from SSC Slovakia. Dr.Jagvir Purewal from Forresters (pictured above from left to right, Ms Celina Barber, The Voice of Business. Mr Les Ratcliffe, MBE TD, The Voice of Automotive Ambassador. Ms Wendy Stunt, Director The Voice of Irish Business and Mr Christopher Plant, Founder The Voice of Business Group) The Voice of Business are very proud to have been a part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Festival 2018 at the Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel & Spa, Coventry, United Kingdom. Report from the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Photos of the event can be found here.
The Voice of Irish Business – Central & Eastern European Roadshow in Dublin, Ireland 27th September 2018 –
The Voice of Irish Business held an extremely successful and informative roadshow in the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, Dublin on the 27th September 2018. (Pictured above, Christopher Plant, Ambassador Pokojny, Wendy Stunt, Branislav Pochaba and Celina Barber.) The plan of action of the day was to help guests learn a little more about the business scene in Central and Eastern Europe and to bring them a little closer to Slovakia, to also give them an introduction to the Czech Republic and Hungary. Experts joined us from many countries to lend their knowledge and experience to our guests. Giving them a first-hand insight into how the CEE works on a business level. We had a jammed packed morning, with presentations and panel discussions in which we welcomed guests to give their input. Guest of Honour was Slovak Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, Ambassador Igor Pokojny who also kindly provided our first-class venue for the day. After the Official Opening by Ambassador Pokojny, Managing Director Janos Kovago of Grant Thornton Hungary, gave a keynote speech on FDI & Business Opportunity, with an overview of Central & Eastern Europe. Mr. Kovago also spoke about Export Opportunities, Industrial Overview & a Macro Economic Overview. We then welcomed Mr.Tomas Salini, Investment Consultant at the Slovak Trade & Investment Agency (SARIO) to give us an introduction to Slovakia. Tomas and his team are very glad to support all companies who are considering investment into Slovakia. (Pictured above, Janos Kovago.Grant Thornton, Hungary.) The services provided by the Investment Projects Department cover the assistance by the initial due diligence process, site selection, investment aid consultancy or supplier search. The goal of the Investment Projects Department is to serve as a “one-stop-shop” for the new investors and all services are free of charge. Next up was Ms. Marketa Tomkova, Head of Financial Support Section in Czech Invest. CzechInvest is the Investment and Business Development Agency of the Czech Republic, CzechInvest’s main objective is to advise and support existing and new entrepreneurs and foreign investors in the Czech Republic. Marketa gave our guests a great insight into the opportunities in Czech Republic. (Pictured above, Voice of Digital Business, Alan Henderson) We then had a panel discussion with Experts on Business, Industry and Region moderated by Christopher Plant. Our Expert panel of speakers were: Our Ambassador of Business, Mr Les Ratcliffe MBE, Automotive CSR Community Engagement Expert, Ms Tina Fleming – Logistic Expert, Boekestijn Transport Ireland, Ms Marian Murphy – Human Resources Expert from CPL, Mr Joe Dalton – Local Irish Business Expert and Mr Patrick Daly, Managing Director of Alba Consulting. The feedback from our guests on the panel discussion was extremely positive & very informative, Members of our audience commented that their eyes were now open to the opportunities in Central & Eastern Europe. (Pictured above: Pavel Humplik, from Grant Thornton Czech Republic.) Our next speaker was Tax Partner at Grant Thornton Czech Republic, Mr Pavel Humplik. Pavel specialises in tax law for corporate clients and holdings and corporate income tax. Pavel’s clients receive advisory services in the area of investment incentives, appraising, transfer pricing and tax audits. We heard about Growing your business in the CEE from the Advisors point of view. We broke for lunch and invited our guests to use this opportunity to network a little with our speakers and each other. We then welcomed our collegue Alan Henderson from The Voice of Digital Business to the floor. Alan spoke to us about best-practice in social selling, relationship building, the changing face of business development, and the role automation plays in all this. Donal Greene then spoke about “Perception Vs Reality” An honest look at the CEE. Donal runs European Sales at Innovatrics, a Slovak company which is universally recognised as an industry leader in biometric identity management technology. He gave a very insightful presentation. Our second last speaker for the day was Mr Valer Dunda, Managing Director of Cassa Cloud. In addition, Valer remains intimately involved in projects and client relationships leveraging his unique combination of deep technical subject matter expertise and strong business acumen. We finished the day with a VIP After Event Reception & Networking provided by the Slovak Embassy in Ireland & Ambassador Pokojny. Many thanks to Ambassador Pokoyny and Deputy Head of Mission, Branislav Pochaba who both gave up their time and their premises for the event. Thank you to Grant Thornton our Headline Partners, Our Strategic partners, thank you, to Boekestijn Transport, CassaCloud, CPL & Innovatrics. Thank you to Sario and Czech Invest, Bank of Ireland, COBCOE & of course The Slovak Embassy our Official Partners. (Pictured above, Ambassador; Les Ratcliffe MBE, Director Wendy Stunt and Founder Christopher Plant.) It was a fantastic day, our guests left with enthusiasm and a new found knowledge of Central and Eastern Europe. See you next time.
The Launch of “The Voice of Irish Business”
The Voice of Business Group proudly presents “The Voice of Irish Business” launched in Dublin on the 2nd July. Managing Director & Founder Christopher Plant and Director Wendy Stunt have been working together for the past months and are delighted to bring The Voice of Business to Ireland. Wendy Stunt, recently nominated as one of Ireland’s Most Inspiring Business Women and an Ambassador in the Dublin Chamber of Commerce stated that she is thrilled to be presenting opportunities in the CEE to Irish Businesses and vice versa. The Voice of Irish Business are your go to partners for foreign direct investment into Central & Eastern Europe. (Pictures above from left to right, Christopher Plant, Founder. Wendy Stunt, Director and Key Automotive Speaker, Les Ratcliffe MB.) Whether you are exporting or would like to set up business overseas they can help you meet the right partners. Together with the most influential businesses in the CEE they are there to help you and your business understand the potential, the best practices and find the best partners to work with. As well as providing expert outward investment support they also support Irish Businesses that would like to export into Central & Eastern Europe. Watch this space for our event later this year and offers to businesses regarding Digital Communications Strategies!
Trade Mission to the CEE with Santander Bank and The Voice of Automotive Business
The Voice of Automotive Business held an extremely successful Trade mission on June 11 – 14th. We entertained 10 British Business with 21 guest delegates. We put together a compete program to cover topics on Automotive in Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The initial event was a closed session for the British business with key speakers and partners with 50 attendees including the British Ambassador. We then scheduled over 100 meetings for our British business with the local supply chain, finishing with an after event drinks reception, as well as running trip to factories in Nitra, Slovakia the next day. The final dinner was a great success and the response from our delegates was very positive indeed. A full write up to follow. Please take a look at the pictures of the Trade Mission here. Report here:
The Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow – Prague, March 22nd
We are proud to announce the next destination for THE AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY CHAIN ROADSHOW 2017/18, Opportunity in Central & Eastern Europe. March 22nd we will be in Prague!! Working together with our partners, we are bringing together experts from Central and Eastern Europe in a bid to promote the increasing opportunities and growth of Original Equipment Manufacturers and the development of specialised innovative companies that are located within the CEE. As the OEMs move into and enlarge production in Central and Eastern Europe, the automotive supply chain also grows at a terrific pace making many new opportunities in the market. As OEMs push on supplier locality as the most important criteria for them to consider, Tier 1, 2 and other suppers need to move / stay close to the ever expanding Automotive giants. Logistic costs have a direct impact on the price of each part so being local cuts those costs. OEMS are offering positions on local supplier parks and expect their suppliers to move to these locations to support. This not only leads to new companies setting up business in the CEE but it also has a very direct effect on the local counties economy and of course labour. Employment costs are slowly rising and the lack of workers is seen to be of concern to business locally. These and many others are just some of the discussion points we have raised at our roadshow. We invite you to join this roadshow and our network including experts in the field of automotive innovation, management, development and production. Come and hear about the latest opportunities within Automotive and grow your business connections and increase outreach to business. Our events are niche, comfortable, beneficial and presented in a very professional form bring bringing you close to your peers and our presenters. We believe that a friendly environment with a limited audience is key to the success of the event and your networking. The key aspects of our Roadshow: ► Your chance to meet with the CEE Automotive Sector ► Keep ahead of the curve regarding the EU and Trade & Export ► Key facts and new opportunities in Automotive ► Automotive OEM growth across the CEE region ► The future of the Automotive Supply Chain & Recruitment Vision The CEE is a hub of automotive innovative and technological excellence. What new developments can we expect and where lies the future of automotive technology. Hear from our expert panelists in the CEE MARKET INCLUDING: Case Studies from CEE Business B2B Meetings Panel of experts in our Automotive Forum Hear case studies from business from Central & Eastern Europe Join us for special networking sessions and our after event drinks reception to end the day. If you would like to learn more get in touch with email@example.com or for more information on the event please click on the link here. To get more information please click here or get in touch with Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org Event Title: AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY CHAIN ROADSHOW Date: 22nd MARCH 2018 Location: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC Venue: BOUTIQUE HOTEL JALTA, Vaclavske namesti 45, 110 00 Prague 1
THE AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY CHAIN ROADSHOW 2017/18, Opportunity in Central & Eastern Europe
The Voice of Automotive Business powered by Grant Thornton We are proud to announce the next destination for THE AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY CHAIN ROADSHOW 2017/18, Opportunity in Central & Eastern Europe. Following on from our very successful roadshow in Birmingham, UK. We are on the road again and will be visiting you very soon. The roadshow continues on 28th and 30th November in Dusseldorf and Munich, Germany. Working together with our partners, we are bringing together experts from Central and Eastern Europe in a bid to promote the increasing opportunities and growth of Original Equipment Manufacturers and the development of specialised innovative companies that are located within the CEE. Recently the decision was made by Tata Motor’s, Jaguar Land Rover to expand to Central & Eastern Europe to manufacture luxury sport vehicles, it may have been a surprise to many people in the UK and the West Midlands, however in automotive terms, JLR left it quite late to commit to the CEE considering many other OEMs have been building high level automobiles in eastern Europe for many, many years. As the Daily Telegraph reported, “Central and eastern Europe’s car industry, once associated with building and selling unreliable clunkers, has become an industrial byword for the region’s wider economic rise. It has replaced the inefficiency and low standards of Soviet-era manufacturing with some of the most modern and productive plants in Europe.” As the OEMs move into and enlarge production in Central and Eastern Europe, the automotive supply chain also grows at a terrific pace making many new opportunities in the market. As OEMs push on supplier locality as the most important criteria for them to consider, Tier 1, 2 and other suppers need to move / stay close to the ever expanding Automotive giants. Logistic costs have a direct impact on the price of each part so being local cuts those costs. OEMS are offering positions on local supplier parks and expect their suppliers to move to these locations to support. This not only leads to new companies setting up business in the CEE but it also has a very direct effect on the local counties economy and of course labour. Employment costs are slowly rising and the lack of workers is seen to be of concern to business locally. These and many others are just some of the discussion points we have raised at our roadshow. We invite you to join this roadshow and our network including experts in the field of automotive innovation, management, development and production. Come and hear about the latest opportunities within Automotive and grow your business connections and increase outreach to business. Our events are niche, comfortable, beneficial and presented in a very professional form bring bringing you close to your peers and our presenters. We believe that a friendly environment with a limited audience is key to the success of the event and your networking. The key aspects of our Roadshow: Hear from expert speakers in Automotive Expand business opportunities and connections Learn about opportunity in the CEE OEM growth & development across the region The future of the Automotive Supply Chain Network with CEE Automotive companies INCLUDING: Case Studies from CEE Business B2B Meetings Panel of experts in our Automotive Forum Hear case studies from business from Central & Eastern Europe Join us for special networking sessions and our after event drinks reception to end the day. If you would like to learn more get in touch with email@example.com or for more information on the event please click on the link here. To become a Key Speaker of Strategic Partner please click here or get in touch with Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org THE AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY CHAIN ROADSHOW 2017/18/ Coming soon to… Bratislava, Slovakia Prague, Czech Republic Coventry, United Kingdom THE AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY CHAIN ROADSHOW 2019 Budapest, Hungary Warsaw & Krakow, Poland
The Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow Next Stop… Germany
We are proud to announce that the next destination for THE AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLY CHAIN ROADSHOW 2017 / 18, Opportunity in Central & Eastern Europe. Following on from our very successful roadshow in Birmingham, UK. We are on the road again and will be visiting you soon. Next Dates 2017: Arriving in Dusseldorf, Germany, November 28th Then coming to you in Munich, Germany, November 30th THE KEY ASPECTS OF OUR EVENT Key Speakers in Automotive Meet the Automotive Supply Chain Learn about expand your business in the CEE Hear about what opportunity in automotive is in the CEE Automotive OEM growth and development across the region The future of the supply chain market How to optimise costs, tax, and understand the state aid incentives Automotive Agenda Topics Opening Plenary Session: Keynote Speech: The key facts of the Automotive sector CEE Macro economics of the CEE The Automotive Recruitment Vision The role of CSR in Automotive and the community The Logistics revolution Hear directly about Automotive Case Studies from the CEE Expert Panel Discussion A panel of Automotive experts will discuss opportunities in the CEE and you will be able to hear from the key speakers in the Automotive Forum. Listen to case studies from automotive companies and understand first hand their experience. B2B Meetings Take part in B2B Meetings with suppliers and potential customers. Introduce your company to our Automotive professionals. Join us for special networking sessions and our after event drinks reception to end the day. The Voice of Automotive Business Delivering award winning networking business & communications strategies. Get in touch with us today: email@example.com Coming soon to… Bratislava, Slovakia Prague, Czech Republic Stuttgart & Frankfurt Germany Linz & Graz, Austria Warsaw & Krakow, Poland Basel, Switzerland Budapest, Hungary Birmingham, United Kingdom
The Voice of Automotive Business & The Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow
We are proud to announce THE VOICE OF AUTOMOTIVE BUSINESS, a new partnership with Grant Thornton. Following on from our immensely popular and successful first Supply Chain Roadshow 2017 in Birmingham, UK and from this fantastic initiative our partners at Grant Thornton are investing into a project that will likely take the Roadshow into Germany, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary. The Voice of Automotive Business are currently putting together key business partners for The Supply Chain Roadshow 2017/18. We are working with Strategic Partners that have firstly a CEE presence and have the experience to inform a European and CEE Automotive supply chain audience on opportunity and case studies regarding Automotive in central and eastern Europe. Our management team has been involved in webinars, promotions and events connected with the Automotive market over the last years. The last event was held as recently as March in Birmingham, UK. It was a great success and we have excellent feedback from it. We had an array of case study speakers as well as colleagues from JLR also presenting and attending. Over 75 delegates attending. (see out past events. What is the The Voice of Automotive Business? We bring together experts from Central and Eastern Europe in a bid to help educate the automotive supply chain and to discuss and understand increasing opportunities in the CEE. To meet and hear from specialist innovative companies that are located within the CEE with a connection to Western Europe. In an effort to network with experts in the field of automotive innovation, management, development and production we bring the supply chain network together to promote opportunities within Automotive and to develop business and create a complete European Automotive network. In short we are hosting business development events across Europe and Central and Eastern Europe over the next year with our partner Grant Thornton and other high level headline and strategic partners and many other organisations. Many influential companies will be taking, part providing key speakers on Automotive subjects and an overview of the CEE market including macroeconomic information to help business develop more business with the opportunities that lay ahead in automotive in Central and Eastern Europe. What benefits could your business partners get from participation? to further develop international business opportunities to meet some of the best automotive suppliers in europe and the CEE to demonstrate their experience in the market be associated with a core group of highly successful businesses taking part confirm their company as a leading partner in the automotive market What exactly is agenda of the event? We are looking forward to announcing this exciting agenda soon. Please see our outline agenda – info from our last roadshow event in Birmingham, UK. The key speaker information from the Birmingham event. The agenda is currently in design and will be based on the type of content above however with the theme Central & Eastern Europe Automotive Supply Chain.. HEADLINE PARTERS – There will be 5 headline partners and we are in discussions currently with these leading companies and they will be announced very soon. STRATEGIC PARTNER – These are our CEE Experts, innovative and cutting edge Automotive Supply Chain Leaders in the CEE Market MEDIA & OFFICIAL PARTNERS – We are looking forward to welcoming an array of partners including the OSTEUROPAVERIEN (The Eastern Europe Business Association of Germany) who have joined us to help promote the event in Germany and around the CEE. More information will be announced on our website soon.
The Voice of Slovak Business becomes COBCOE Affiliate
The Voice of Slovak Business, an organisation supporting foreign direct investment into the Slovak Republic, has become a COBCOE affiliate. COBCOE welcomes The Voice of Slovak Business as an affiliate member of the COBCOE Network. The Voice of Slovak Business is a unique cooperation between the Slovak Embassy in London and SARIO, which aims to give businesses the perfect entrance into the Slovak Republic. With links to the ‘best in class’ companies in the country, the Voice of Slovak Business can not only help give companies the edge can also help maintain a very high quality of service when expanding. The Voice of Slovak Business stated: “We are looking forward to working with COBCOE. We have had a lot of very positive experiences with the team in the past and are very happy to be a part of the COBCOE International Network.” Read the full news here Source: COBCOE (COUNCIL OF BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE IN EUROPE)
Slovakia is the ‘new European hub of automotive’
Despite uncertainty surrounding the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, successful UK automotive businesses are actively exploring how to boost their plans for expansion by establishing a subsidiary in Slovakia, right at the heart of the EU. Click here to read more | Source: Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
Slovakia is a very easy country to expand into and do business in
The numbers speak for themselves. Slovakia is rapidly becoming known as the new European hub of automotive and with further headroom for growth there are tremendous opportunities. Click for full article here | Source: Midlands Business News
Automotive suppliers urged to drive further growth in the ‘new European Hub of Automotive’ – Slovakia
Report from Automotive Purchasing on the Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow in March in Birmingham. Click here to read the report | Source: Automotive Purchasing (pictured left to right above: Christopher Plant, The Voice of Slovak Business; Dominique Bernard, Tatra banka; David Hillan, Grant Thornton; His Excellency Lubomir Rehak, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the UK; Zuzana Kostialova, Tatra banka; Wilfried Serles, Grant Thornton Slovakia; Adela Kovarova, The Voice of Slovak Business; Milan Gavlak, SARIO)
Nessians at the Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow
Nessians at the conference Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow in Birmingham The presentation was held on March 20 – 21 under the wings of organization The Voice of Slovak Business. Its main goal was to promote and enhance business relations and initiatives between Slovakia and Great Britain. The conference was attended by renowned logos such as Jaguar/Land Rover, Grant Thorton, Gefco, SARIO, Tatrabanka, CEIT. Ness led by Pete Rogers, (General Manager Europe, Ness Digital Engineering), Tomáš Futáš (Program Director, Ness KDC) and Rudolf Slávka (Senior Development Manager, Ness KDC) presented the newest software trends and solutions from the automotive area focusing on digital maps, autonomous driving and telematics. Rudolf Slávka, Senior Development Manager, Ness KDC: „The conference contained also macroeconomics parameters tempting British investors to enter the Slovak market. It was pleasure to see the audience’s impressions and interest in the technologies and innovations we work with in Košice. “ Tomáš Futáš, Program Director, Ness KDC: „I enjoyed presenting the areas we devote to in Košice including the autonomous driving. The feedback proved this topic to be very hot and leading in automotive industry for the forthcoming years. “ Click here for the original source, NESS KDC.
Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow, DAY TWO / 21 March 2017
The Voice of Slovak Business proudly presents the Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow 2017 in Birmingham, March 20th-21st After a very nice breakfast provided again by our Headline Partner Grant Thornton we were ready to begin, Day 2 would be a very relaxed affair with audience participation and a very open set of discussions. PART 6: THE SLOVAK AUTOMOTIVE MARKET – Automotive Forum on Slovakia Mr Plant again opened the day’s proceedings and talked a little about the activities that The Voice of Slovak Business was able to provide and a little more about our Headline and Strategic partners and recapped Day 1. First up was the open discussion based on State Aid and Investment opportunities in Slovakia. Our Speaker was again Dr Wilfried Serles, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton, Slovakia, who as we now know is an expert on Tax in central and Eastern Europe. He invited Mr Milan Gavlak and Mr Christopher Plant to join him in discussions and to engage in a very interactive session, which it duly was as we spent 40 minutes discussion the various areas of tax and finance that would be interesting to our audience. Mr Plant thanked Dr Serles and Mr Gavlak for the very interesting and topical discussion and then he fondly introduced again our CSR Expert, Mr Les Ratcliffe, MBE, Head Community Relations from Jaguar Land Rover with his presentation CSR & engaging with the future automotive workforce. This is where Mr Ratcliffe explained in more detail about JLR’s successful China and Brazil CSR program that is coming to Slovakia and why it is so important to have a first class CSR strategy in place in automotive. Mr Plant thanked Mr Ratcliffe again for his time and support in the last one and a half years. Next up was Mr Tomas Futas, Program Director, NESS KDC. Mr Futas would give us a very informative overview of IT in Automotive including new products on the market and the software development for Autonomous Driving, HD Maps, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems which made for a very interesting show, continuing on from him with “Fleet management at a glance”, was Mr Rudolf Slavka, Senior Development Manager, NESS KDC. He explained about 3D road system models for helping systems in the car and the visuals technology and portfolio. The bigger your fleet is, the more important is to manage it effectively and benefit from it on return. There are ways to keep your drivers safe and save costs in addition stated Mr Slavka. Mr Plant thanked NESS KDC and both seakers and announced a short networking break when on return he and Mr Milan Gavlak would be talking about the OEMs in Slovakia and the opportunity they and Tier 1 companies might be able to provide. Mr Plant, Founder and Managing Director of The Voice of Slovak Business and Mr Milan Gavlak, Head of Strategic Projects from SARIO took their seats to discuss the Overview of the OEMS: KIA, VW, and PSA. With some interesting input from the audience with particular reference knowledge of Kia and VW the gentlemen were able to have a very interesting discussion about how these OEMS were positioned and what their model in Slovakia was. How the companies were working with tier 1 companies and what opportunity may arise in the future. Next up was the second discussion panel, Mr Plant called to the front gentlemen that he had been working with over the past years to give their experiences in dealing with and working in Slovakia. The panellists were as follows: Mr Chris Baumann, Group Managing Director, Aktrion Group, Mr Chris Sipos, New Business Director, Arlington Automotive, Mr Sean Downey, Business Development Manager, Hi-Technology Group and Mr Michael Melvin, Finance & IT Director, Lander Automotive. The discussion was varied but the conclusion was that doing business in Slovakia made a lot of sense, was very easy compared to other CEE countries and the quality of the labour and work was very high indeed. Each of the panellists introduced their companies and explained what their link with Slovakia was and how they were dealing with the individual projects. Many of our British businesses commented afterwards that this section was very helpful as they could hear directly from business that had and were opening up in the Slovak Republic. Aktrion and Hi-Technology Group have both been in Slovakia over 10 years where as Arlington and Lander Automotive are just getting their teeth into the market now with visits and meetings over the last one and a half years. We found out what these companies had learned over the last year in Slovakia and what issues were faced in expanding operations in general. If at all UK operations effected by the expansion in Europe. Each of the companies gave their advice to business looking to go into the CEE. They rated very positively the Slovak companies that they had been dealing with. Mr Plant thanked all the panellists and then invited everyone to enjoy the final lunch buffet networking session provided by the host Headline Partner, Grant Thornton UK. The event was a great success and Mr Plant thanked all of the participants over the two days, he thanked firstly our guest speakers from JLR, Mr Graham Thompsett and Mr Les Ratcliffe. Then he continued to a pay special tribute to Dr Wilfried Serles of Grant Thornton for his support as well as the support for the event as a whole by Headline partner Grant Thornton and the host Mr David Hillan. He also thanked the Tatra banka, Ms Zuzana Kostialova, Mr Juraj Valachy and Mr Dominique Bernard and all their efforts as a Headline Partner of the event. Mr Plant expressed gratitude to all the Strategic partners and speakers at the event and personally thanked Aktrion, CEIT, Colliers International, GEFCO, KOSIT, Lugera and Ness KDC for taking part in the event and for providing such incredible content. He thanked his colleague Ms Adela Kovarova for her contribution and project organisation as well as the Birmingham based Grant Thornton team for helping with much of the onsite organisation, catering and audio visual. Mr Plant finished with a last thank you to the panellists, Aktrion Group, Arlington Automotive, Hi-Technology Group and Lander Automotive and he thanked all the British business guests that had attended the roadshow. Read more about DAY ONE / 20 March 2017
Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow, DAY ONE / 20 March 2017
The Voice of Slovak Business proudly presents the Automotive Supply Chain Roadshow 2017 in Birmingham, March 20th-21st Day one: March 20th This eagerly anticipated event had been in the making since the end of 2016, following on from many back to back successful events in the Slovak Republic on the Automotive Sector that The Voice of Slovak Business and Managing Director Mr Christopher Plant had been involved in. Mr Plant and the team enlisted key speakers from Jaguar Land Rover, Mr Graham Thompsett and Mr Les Ratcliffe and a plethora of Headline and Strategic Partners. There was a very strong delegation from the Slovak Republic including Headline Partner Grant Thornton who kindly provided the venue and two key speakers, Mr Wilfred Serles, Managing Partner of the Slovak office and Mr Charles JD Toosey, Associate Director of the UK office and our host Mr David Hillan, Tax Partner and Practice Leader of the Birmingham office who welcomed His Excellency Lubomir Rehak, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the UK and our Headline and Strategic Partners and the British business guests. The two day event got underway after an early breakfast networking session with Mr Plant warmly welcoming the audience of British automotive companies that had all turned up to learn more about OEMs in Slovakia and market opportunity as well as hearing about key aspects of the Slovak economy its HR, finance, tax and the massive potential business opportunities. The roadshow would provide a generous helping of information and news from leading experts in the field of Automotive from Slovakia and also from British Business with firsthand experience of the Slovak Market. PART 1: THE SLOVAK AUTOMOTIVE MARKET – Introduction to the Slovak Automotive Sector The official Opening & Welcome was provided by guest of honour, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Lubomir Rehak. Mr Plant introduced the Ambassador with his biography which included, his first 5-year diplomatic in Moscow, then 4 years to the Embassy at Lisbon and in Belarus as Chargé d´affaires at the Embassy at Minsk. He then moved to Brussels as Ambassador – Representative of Slovakia to the EU Political and Security Committee. In Bratislava he was appointed a Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs In 2011, the President of the Slovak Republic appointed him as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. In October 2012 he was again appointed a Political Director (Director- General for Political Affairs) at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava. In 2015, the President of Slovakia appointed him as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to the Court of St. James´s (Royal Court for the Sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and he arrived in London on 10 August 2015. His Excellency Lubomir Rehak, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the UK, highlighted his country’s political stability, transparent economic rules, predictable legal environment and stable currency. He told the audience that he was proud of the Automotive Sector in Slovakia and that having such a fantastic investment from JLR in the country was by far one of the most exciting things to happen in Slovakia in the last years. Slovakia carries on a heritage of automotive which began at the very start of world automotive. Mr Plant thanked Ambassador Rehak and Economic and Commercial Attaché for United Kingdom, Ms Dominika Bartosova for their continued and full support and for opening the Roadshow and for coming from London that morning to attend. Mr Plant introduced the Host, Mr David Hillan, Tax Partner and Practice Leader, Grant Thornton UK and he went on to say, “This gentleman has many years of experience in dealing with all tax-related areas within our Headline Partner Grant Thornton with responsibility for the Birmingham office, as office Managing Partner, he also heads up the Birmingham tax team, where he provides corporate tax services to a range of organisations from start-ups to large multinationals. His specialism covers both UK and international tax and advice on structuring, profit extraction and corporate deals. Mr Hillan was invited to say a few words, in which he introduced his fabulous team and premises and also thanked all the guests and speakers for making what he hoped at the time would be a very successful event. Mr Plant thanked David and his team who had been a massive support in the preparation of the Roadshow. The first speaker was then invited to begin with the Opening Plenary Session and Keynote Speech. Headline Partner and Managing Partner of Grant Thornton, Slovakia, Dr Wilfried Serles, who specialises in advising international companies took to the fore. Dr Serles has extensive experience in consulting for international large and medium-sized companies in various business sectors, such as Real Estate (including consulting regarding the development of the largest Slovak trading and retail trade centres), the IT and automotive industry, as well as financial services. He is known for his expertise in the field of tax and corporate law. Dr Serles specialises in advising international companies. Mr Plant mentioned that Dr Serles was a very much sought-after partner for discussions in connection to topical tax issues and that The Voice of Slovak Business was very happy to have him today for the opening plenary session and keynote speech – He welcomed the Headline Partner with his presentation entitled: Slovakia and its position in Central and Eastern Europe. A key force in Business. Dr Serles showed a very keen interest and very close relationship that he has with Slovakia, as an Austrian there is no higher praise for “the most outstanding country in central and eastern Europe.” He went on to give us a very informative and interesting overview of the country. Following Dr Serles was automotive expert, Mr Milan Gavlak, Head of Strategic Projects at SARIO, the governmental agency under the Ministry of Economy, dealing with concrete investment projects from the phase of “acquisition” until “execution”. Mr Plant introduced Mr Gavlak as a gentleman that began his career at KIA in Slovakia, as first local employee. For nearly 4 years delivered services from the very start of one of the largest green field investments in Slovakia to commencement of mass production directly to top management and took part in major negotiations with GOV and local authorities. Later he worked for a local consultancy firm and delivered services to several foreign investors, provided legal and investment advisory to municipalities in the process of establishment of industrial zones. Mr Gavlak then began his presentation on the key facts of the Automotive sector in Slovakia, an introduction to car production and the Slovak Republic in which the audience received a very full and clear picture of the OEM set up and Tier one companies that are located within Slovakia and the fact that Slovakia is the world’s largest car producing country per capita. Mr Plant thanked Mr Gavlak for his expert thoughts in Automotive and he said that “This has given you (the Audience) a very good overview of what Slovakia is all about and what sort opportunity waits”. The second headline partner the Tatra banka would go on to give a Macroeconomic overview of the Slovak Republic. Mr Plant stated that “Our Macroeconomic expert today has been working within Tatra banka as an Economist for more than 10 years. Before, he worked at the same position at the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic for several years. He is member of scientific council of Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics in Bratislava. A pretty clever chap indeed! He then welcomed with Macroeconomics and banking sector in Slovakia, Senior Economic Analyst from the Tatra banka, Mr Juraj Valachy. After a very accurate and informative presentation Mr Valachy proceeded to introduce his colleagues, Ms Zuzana Kostialova, Head of Large Corporate Clients Division and Mr Dominique Bernard, Senior RM for International Corporate Clients who were also attending for the duration of the event. This macroeconomic presentation drew to a close Part 1 and the introduction of Slovakia and the automotive market, guests were asked to take part in a networking coffee break provided by Headline Partner Grant Thornton. Mr Plant welcomed back the Ladies and Gentlemen of the audience with an introduction to the next part: PART 2: THE SLOVAK AUTOMOTIVE MARKET – Opportunity within the Slovak Automotive Sector. He continued and introduced the first guest and said “With an automotive vision of Slovakia, I am delighted to welcome a most experienced senior executive from Jaguar Land Rover”. Then with a presentation on The Automotive Recruitment Vision, Head of Talent Acquisition, Jaguar Land Rover, Mr Graham Thompsett began. Mr Thompsett is currently working as Head of Talent Acquisition globally for Jaguar Land Rover based in Warwickshire in the United Kingdom. In this role Graham is responsible for Future Talent (Grads/Under Grads & Apprentices), and all experienced hiring as well as Executive Hiring. He spent 9 years in China carrying out three distinct projects for both Jaguar Land Rover and Ford Motor Company. In 2009 Graham became Head of HR for Jaguar Land Rover in China. Mr Plant thanked Mr Thompsett for a very dynamic presentation. The presentation captured the true “JLR” emotion very nicely. Mr Plant said “Thank you very much to Graham for supporting the event and then went on to say that we are very honoured today to have not one but two fantastic guests from Jaguar Land Rover.” The next guest, Mr Les Ratcliffe, MBE, Head of Community Relations, Jaguar Land Rover, joined Jaguar in 1973. In 1998 he was appointed to a new position within the Company as Manager Community Relations within the Communications and Public Affairs function and was responsible for the introduction of a Community Relations Strategy into Jaguar, later to become Head of Community Relations Jaguar Land Rover. A key element of Les’ role is delivering a Community Relations Strategy that supports investment into charitable giving, Education development, Volunteering and Community Cohesion. This has now been developed into a Global Community CSR programme that Les delivers including Brazil and more recently Slovakia where JLR are constructing new Manufacturing facilities. After Mr Ratcliffe’s presentation Mr Plant said a few words to thank JLR for their support and also the fine speakers, he also mentioned that Mr Ratcliffe would be presenting more the next day and would be available with a colleague from the JLR purchasing team for the afternoon b2b sessions. Moving on in Part 2, Mr Plant introduced the audience to the next prominent speaker from our Headline Partner Grant Thornton, on the subject of key drivers in the future of manufacturing & automotive supply chains, Associate Director from Grant Thornton UK, Mr Charles JD Toosey. Mr Toosey is an Authority on Automotive. He leads the automotive advisory division of Grant Thornton in the UK. Prior to joining Grant Thornton, he worked for 25 years in the automotive industry for General Motors and Saab. Formerly the Global Sales and Marketing Director for Orio AB, and prior to this Managing Director of Saab Great Britain Ltd, he and the Automotive advisory team work in both the supply chain and the distribution network of original equipment manufacturers advising on factors affecting profitability, working capital and efficiency in manufacturing as well as market trends. Mr Plant thanked again Mr Toosey and Headline partner for providing such excellent content and then proceeded to welcome with “The Logistics revolution from Slovakia”, from the company CEIT, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Mr Boris Dula. Mr Dula worked in Germany in European Development Centre of a renowned manufacturer for major appliances. In 2014 he became an executive manager in one of the CEIT subsidiaries and then in January 2016 he became a member of the Board of Directors in CEIT. In December of the same year he was appointed as the Chairman of the Board. CEIT is a very well known company in Slovakia and very innovative. It has its own unique concept of intelligent logistics systems for Smart Factories, a connection to a real, digital and virtual factory. The presentation illustrated the technology of CEIT and some of the new innovations that the company is working on. Mr Plant thanked CEIT and Mr Dula for a very in depth perspective on Automotive innovation and then with the same theme in mind he introduced another top speaker with a background in Innovation, Agile software development and SLA-based service delivery, who has helped many companies successfully realise the business benefits of technology. Mr Plant said “Please welcome with an Automotive Case Study by Ness KDC, the General Manager of Europe for Ness Digital Engineering, Mr Pete Rogers. Mr Rogers has worked closely with organisations across 15 countries in sectors including Digital Media, Automotive, Broadcasting, Financial Services and Telecoms.” After Mr Rogers’ very informative presentation it was time for the networking lunch session which was jam packed with individual meetings. The networking buffet lunch was provided by Headline Partner, Grant Thornton. Immediately after lunch Mr Plant welcomed back our audience to the afternoon session where British Business case studies would be outlined: PART 3: THE SLOVAK AUTOMOTIVE MARKET – British Business case studies in /coming to Slovakia First though it was time for the introduction the first panel discussion with Automotive Experts from Slovakia. The panellists took their places in front of the audience where Mr Plant introduced each guest one by one. Including the first female presenter of the day, Tatra banka’s Ms Zuzana Kostialova, Head of Large Corporate Clients Division. Ms Kostialova worked in the banking sector for over 20 years. She managed the Large Corporate Clients Division and helped place Tatra banka as the number one corporate bank in Slovakia. Mr Plant welcomed all of the other panellists, who had already presented in the morning session. Mr Les Ratcliffe, MBE, Head of Community Relations, Jaguar Land Rover. Mr Wilfried Serles, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton, Slovakia. Mr Boris Dula, CEO and Chairman of the Board, CEIT. Mr Pete Rogers, General Manager Europe, Ness Digital Engineering and finally Mr Milan Gavlak, Head of Strategic Projects, Slovak Investment & Trade Development Agency (SARIO). The Voice of Slovak Business, Managing Director Mr Christopher Plant, asked each of our panellists a variety of questions ranging from, what Slovakia has to offer and the opportunities to how banks and financing help our audience. The panel spoke about the quality of Slovak companies and we understood what challenges business might face wanting to expand operations to Slovakia. We heard information on state aid and incentives in Slovakia and we discussed the increasing interest in the human resources market in the Slovak Republic as it seems that this was a concern to many companies attending. We heard what is special about Slovakia and how banks support investors into the Slovak market, typically in Automotive. We understood what was on offer to British business and how companies such as Ness and CEIT work very closely with Universities. We heard how young people in Slovakia were really pursued and helped develop as the future for companies and why keeping young, educated people in Central Europe was so important. We looked at British Business and what opportunity the panellists could see in Slovakia for a British Company that is looking for new business. We heard how the Supply chain in Slovakia is very established and Automotive is very successful sector for the country however we know that there is still space for new companies to find a niche. Mr Plant thanked the panellists for their time and for answering the questions in such a positive manner and that he was pleased that the audience would receive such an honest overview of the opportunities and Slovakia in general. The Event then broke for a coffee break and networking, for 20 minutes. On returning Mr Plant welcomed everyone back, to continue with Part 3, Automotive Experts in Slovakia. Mr Plant then announced our next guest who he said has had a very colorful career so far and has travelled immensely in his position, he was appointed Divisional Managing Director at Senior Plc and then Aalberts NV of Holland and was responsible for UK and Spanish businesses before he eventually joined Aktrion 13 years ago in 2004. In that time, Aktrion has trebled turnover to €100m and expanded into new sectors and in Automotive has grown to become a genuine global service provider. Aktrion opened operations in Slovakia 12 years ago. Speaking about British experience and development in Slovakia from the Aktrion Group, Group Managing Director, Mr Chris Baumann. Mr Baumann talked about the positives of doing business in Slovakia, echoing what he had heard in the earlier Panel of experts and how straight forward it was compared to many other central and eastern European countries where Aktrion also have business set up. Once the presentation was complete Mr Plant thanked Mr Baumann for his continued support and then mentioned that the theme would now turn toward logistics and the next guest who brings with him many years of Automotive leasing, rental and fleet management experience. Not only in the UK but also internationally and has successfully worked with motor manufacturers, leasing companies and Tier 1 finance houses in Europe, the Middle East, USA and China. He asked the audience to welcome, Key Account Manager for GEFCO UK, Mr Damian Williams speaking about global and international logistics for manufactures. After Mr Williams thanked Mr Plant for the opportunity to present and then Mr Plant introduced the last presentation for the day, which came from a company based in the east of Slovakia, the second largest city, Kosice. Mr Marian Christenko, the CEO of KOSIT, previously CEO for VOITH Industrial Services, Slovakia, looks after waste management services for the city of Kosice. He was accompanied by his colleague Executive Manager of KOSIT West, Ms Katarina Mandalova. KOSIT presented their concept for waste management and how Slovakia coped with waste in comparison with other European countries. The presentation was interesting not only to understand about the management of waste but also how it effects automotive. Mr Plant thanked KOSIT and then instructed our audience that they would be able to meet the entire Headline and Strategic Partners in our b2b sessions that would be followed by an opportunity for fellow delegates to have informal discussions over drinks and canapés at our after event drinks reception provided by Headline Partner Grant Thornton. This was the perfect end to day one and many of the partners and customers enjoyed a night in the city at a local British Pub before meeting again the following day bright and early for our final day’s session. Read more about DAY TWO / 21 March 2017
Waste Management best practise that Slovakia can be proud of
The setting up of an efficient and ecological waste management system has always been a burning topic attracting a lot of attention and interest not only in the European Union but also in the Slovak Republic. (Picture: KOSIT Incinerator in Košice, Slovakia) Marián Christenko, CEO at KOSIT a.s. shared his view on the top trends and best practise that Slovakia is a leader in the region and a strong partner in Europe: ”We firmly believe that companies operating on the Slovak market have already gained extensive experience that can be offered to foreign investors, which is why we consider “The Voice of Slovak Business“ a project developed in cooperation with SARIO such an efficient tool to help us influence business environment on both sides in mutual cooperation. Being the leader on the Slovak market as far as turning waste to energy is concerned, KOSIT a.s. is happy to use this cooperation to introduce a new view of waste management in both countries. Waste management is not just about business and figures, but also about social responsibility and environmental protection. The Slovak Republic is a very interesting strong partner indeed, due to numerous reasons. Slovakia’s strategic geographic position offers numerous opportunities to enter the dynamically developing markets not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in Western European countries. Slovakia is crossed by multiple major European transport corridors connecting the West and the East of the European continent. One of the reasons why it is good to invest in Slovakia is the fact that a potential investor will have a chance to address the adjacent markets with several millions potential customers. Slovakia also is a country that offers well educated labour force with a long-term tradition in manufacturing and machinery. This shows in dozens of significant investment projects for which Slovakia was selected as a suitable destination especially in automotive, electro-technical, and IT sectors. Waste management legislation and the traditional trends meet the continuously growing demands of the company in relation to the country as well as the improving living conditions. Slovak Republic abides by the valid legislation based on the European legislative requirements while striving to adapt to the latest trends in the field of waste management. The waste management hierarchy is based on the principle of refusing or avoiding waste, and then trying to reuse, recycle, and recover it to prevent the last resort of landfilling.” (Picture: Marián Christenko, CEO at KOSIT a.s.) ”The main activities of KOSIT a.s. include the collection, hauling, and disposal of municipal waste, as well as summer and winter road maintenance. It is the complexity of services, a strong team of experts in the field of legislation, technological innovations, and a responsible, committed, and frank approach towards the community that make KOSIT a.s. the leader on the Slovak waste management market. The priority of the company’s management is to follow a long term strategy of further growth, taking into full consideration the needs of our clients but also global trends in the field of waste management. Thanks to these important factors KOSIT a.s. also partnered with APOH – the Association of Entrepreneurs in Waste Management that focuses on activities that help promote the interests of its members in the field of harmonising Slovak waste management legislation with the laws of the European Union, abiding by the principles of the common European market and protection of competition. In 1999 APOH became a member of the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services – FEAD seated in Brussels. The policy of the European Union in the field of waste management clearly declares interest in decreasing the volume of land filled waste to 10 % by 2030. KOSIT a.s. is an important player on the Slovak market and one of the leaders in turning waste to energy, contributing greatly to the fulfilment of obligations towards the European Union. KOSIT a.s. uses professionalism and experience gained on international level, by spreading which it helps foster and promote economic and social growth. In Slovakia only two municipal waste incineration plants have been established since the last century. In 2017, Košice incineration plant will turn around 115 thousand tons of waste to energy, which is 77 % of its total annual capacity. Unlike the incineration plant in Bratislava, which incinerates waste to produce steam to be turned to electrical energy only, Košice incineration plant produces not only electricity but also heat in form of hot water delivered to Košice energy network. From its establishment, KOSIT a.s. has been dealing with sustainable development in the field of education, especially in relation to children and youth, which reflected in the founding of the very first Centre of Environmental Education in Slovakia in 2007.”
What does Slovakia offer business and how is CEIT part of this great incentive
Slovakia is a country with a long-term and strong tradition in industry, mostly in engineering and electrical engineering. The fact that big international corporations (including the well-known car manufacturers and automotive contractors) have built their factories here, proves that Slovakia has not only a strategic location within the Central Europe but also a stable environment and qualified labor that proves the quality also in research and development processes. And it is the research, development and the following implementation of innovative solutions for needs of industrial practice in particular that is the domain of CEIT, a reliable partner for strong industrial players in an implementation of technical and process innovations. Mr Boris Duľa, CEO and Chairman of the Board of CEIT explained why the Slovak market might be a strong partner in Europe and why CEIT is an important player: “A unique position right in the heart of Europe, a stable economic and political environment, creativity, expertise and diligence of local people, economic growth, huge investment and business potential, innovation potential – all these are the factors which speak in favor of Slovak market in multinational context. Innovations are of great importance for every company, which wants to move forward, develop and succeed in the tough competition. Slovakia is the place, where, thanks to our smart people, unique innovations and excellent technologies for the industry are born. They have huge potential abroad. As leaders in the field of industrial innovations we believe, that “The Slovak Voice of Business” is the platform through which this potential can be turned into real projects with British partners. As an example, our mobile robotic systems have generated a progressive automation of internal logistics in modern factories. We also specialize in Digital Factories technologies as digitalization forms a basis of future smart manufacturing systems. We help other companies in streamlining and simplifying the processes, we cooperate with them in their own products development and we constantly develop new technologies and practices that contribute to a sustainable growth of the industry. Within an industrial environment the term Industry 4.0 is now being frequently talked about. It is coming from abroad and that brings up a number of questions. Industrial manufacturers operating in Slovakia are looking for a way to join this trend. CEIT develops its own approach to the concept of Industry 4.0, and brings very specific solutions for streamlining the production and logistics processes; how to collect and process data; how to optimise, digitise and automate. We have become a sought-after and stable partner for innovation and innovative solutions reflecting current and future trends.“
SLOVAKIA | Industrial Market Snapshot | Q4 2016
Cushman & Wakefield published a brief summary of the industrial sector in Slovakia, providing comment on recent trends as well as market data and analyses of the impact on commercial real estate. SLOVAKIA_Industrial Marketbeat Snapshot_Q4 2016
Slovakia is the CEE leader in labor productivity and investment freedom
The attraction of Slovak investment environment is proved by constantly raising number of foreign investors and volume of foreign direct investment in the country. When looking at any investment the ease of implementation and the security of the investment are key factors to consider. The World Bank Ease of Doing Business Rankings and the Property Rights Index show Slovakia scores highest on both fronts when compared to other CEE countries. Slovakia is an ideal investment destination because of its political economic stability strengthened by the common European currency Euro, competitive taxation system tax, and availability of highly skilled and educated workforce offering the highest labour productivity in the CEE region with favourable labour costs. Todd Bradshaw, Managing Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers Slovakia shared his view on investment climate in Slovakia: “Slovakia is a strategically located investment location which has seen increasing interest from British companies in recent years. This is because Slovakia has a lot to offer as a politically stable Eurozone country with a simple tax regime and competitive skilled workforce. The Voice of Slovak Business can provide some valuable insight into doing business in Slovakia.” Slovak labour force is perceived by foreign investors as educated, motivated, adaptable to culturally different management styles with great multilingual competencies and very positive attitude to work habits. According to OECD Slovakia is one of TOP 10 hardworking countries along with the countries like United States or Japan. On the plus side, Slovakia is the CEE leader in labour productivity and investment freedom. The investment climate and unique advantages of Slovakia have been shaping the country from a potent precision component manufacturing, metallurgical and automotive assembly hub to a knowledge based economy. Slovakia with its well-diversified and developed base is solidly positioned to retain and expand its foreign investor base. Steadily growing infrastructure, large selection of industrial land and offices available for purchase or lease, harmonised investment incentives and high innovation potential for R&D projects are further assets of the country. Last but not least, the country has a favourable location in the heart of the Europe, between East and West, and between Poland, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic. Slovakia offers great advantages to foreign investors: strategic location between East and West with great export potential, the common European currency Euro and eight lowest debt of GDP in the EU27. In 2010 Slovak economy recorded a 4% GDP growth, one of the highest in EU. The country enjoys positive ratings from international rating companies and gained the best position among the CEE countries in World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2008 – 2013. Currently the best investment opportunities are observed in sectors of R&D, Design & Innovation, Technology centres, ICT & SW development, BPO – Regional headquarters, High-tech sectors and Tourism centres. Additional opportunities can be found in the traditionally strong sectors with the growth potential in Slovakia: Machinery & Precision engineering, Automotive, Metallurgy & Metal processing, Electronics and Chemistry & Pharmacy. (Source: SARIO)
Slovakia is one of the top spots for doing business in the region
Introducing Mr Wilfried Serles, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Slovakia, expert on tax issues and Central and Eastern Europe and great advocate of Slovakia. “The Voice of Slovak Business is a unique cooperation between the Slovak Embassy in London and SARIO, which shall facilitate starting of new business in Slovakia. As this will be a perfect source of information for British businesses investing in Slovakia, this valuable initiative is kindly endorsed by Grant Thornton. Mr Wilfried Serles, representing Grant Thornton, the advisory firm with a strong base in Central and Eastern Europe, I confirm that Slovakia is one of the top spots for doing business in the region. Our clients are highly satisfied with the quality of education and labour in Slovakia. They enjoy a local business environment, which makes it quite easy for them to achieve their goals in developing and growing their business. I might add that Grant Thornton’s most recent quarterly global survey of 2,600 businesses in 37 economies suggests that business leaders report strong increase in optimism heading into 2017. From conversations with our clients, I can say that uncertainty was the business buzzword of 2016, and much of that came from Brexit and the US presidential election. That uncertain period is now reduced, and knowing the results will allow businesses to have a clearer steer on such key issues such as jobs, trade policy and taxes. Grant Thornton is ready to assist investors in Slovakia from their starting point and is welcoming them with a big KISS – we will Keep It Small and Simple whenever they need to solve complex problems.“
Slovakia’s strong IT sector offers a complete range of services
Slovak companies provide a full range of IT services from value added innovative tailor made products to basic customer support and maintenance. Slovakia offers many business advantages, such as relatively low wage costs for talented, adaptable and educated work force, foreign languages spoken at rather high level (English and German in particular), business friendly environment, rising labour productivity and educational institutions of high quality in the field of ICT. Similarly important is the focus on connection between research and practical problems that is manifest in the activities of IT Association of Slovakia (ITAS), ICT clusters in Žilina and Košice, as well as the Central European Institute of Technology (CEIT) in the aforementioned cities. For all these reasons, information and communication technology sector has a solid position in the Slovak economy that can be demonstrated not only by the presence of foreign companies (Dell, IBM, HP) but also strong domestic IT companies (ESET, Sygic etc.). It is also one of a few sectors Slovakia can rely on when searching for sources of potential growth of country’s GDP. The gross value added of the Slovak ICT sector was 3 billion EUR in 2012 and it created 4.5% of Slovak economy’s GDP. In 2012, ICT sector employed more than 45 000 people. Within this group, telecommunication accounted for approximately 9 500 employees. (Source: SARIO) Marek Uhrín, Chief Executive Officer of NESS KDC communicated why the Slovak market might be a strong partner in Europe: “Slovak market is recognisably well known for its high quality IT services. In Kosice, it has grown from 0 to 10,000 jobs within 10 years and there are still thousands of job opportunities in Slovakia, which need to be filled. Slovak programmers and IT specialists are valued because of their entrepreneurial spirit, innovative thinking, reliability, and high performance. The industry possesses significant support from national as well as regional government institutions, universities and high-schools. Companies in Slovakia are able to provide full range of IT services from value added innovative tailor made products to basic customer support and maintenance.” “I am delighted to see the forming of “The Voice of Slovak Business” – the missing UK and Slovakia business connecting entity and platform, which I believe will surely prove its value for many starting or established businesses of any scale. The two key pillars – Information platform and Connecting people – can serve as the very base of future business growth in both Slovakia and Britain. I believe that in close cooperation with Embassies and Businesses, “The Voice of Slovak Business” will deliver new value for both countries and investments in right areas, right on time.”
Slovakia offers great export potential – SARIO
SARIO (The Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency) supporting the Voice of Slovak Business and CEO of SARIO, Róbert Šimončič quote on the Slovak Market. More innovations are needed and the CEE region is seeing increasing demand for improved efficiency in the Automotive supply chain, increased R&D capabilities and innovation and these demands all play into the hands of Tier 1 & Tier 2 suppliers. Not only have the three established automotive producers made the core of the Slovak automotive industry but also a well developed and high–quality supplier network. Automotive Suppliers in Slovakia, Tier–1–2 suppliers, also export their products to plants located around Europe and to other overseas locations. Róbert Šimončič, Chief Executive Officer SARIO spoke about exciting opportunities in Slovakia: “Slovakia offers great export potential, stable political and economic environment and the common European currency. We believe that Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency has been contributing to the success of the Slovak economy quite effectively. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Economy, SARIO in close cooperation with other governmental institutions brought important investments to our country and turned Slovakia to a production service and commercial hub of the Central Europe and a preferred location for hundreds of major investors from the US, Asia and Europe mainly in automotive, electronics, SSC and IT/ICT sectors. Our future objective is to attract high value added investments, since Slovakia has a great technological potential.” The automotive industry has a strong tradition in Slovakia and became the most important sector and driving force of the Slovak economy. Slovakia has grown to become one of the leading car producers in world, primarily thanks to the presence of three world-class automotive companies being established in Slovakia. An expanding car sector is a major driver for Slovakia. With a population of just 5.4 million, Slovakia is the world’s top automaker per capita and is home to plants run by Volkswagen Group, Kia Motors and PSA Group. The Slovakian car industry employs 250,000 people both directly and indirectly, represents 44 percent of the country’s industrial output and most of the production is exported. The UK is Slovakia’s 7th biggest trade partner and cars make up almost half of Slovakia’s exports to Britain. The Slovakian car industry employs 250,000 people both directly and indirectly and represents 44 percent of the country’s industrial output. Most of the production is exported. (Source: SARIO) Calling all Automotive Suppliers in the UK! Automotive Showcase Roadshow on Slovakia. Birmingham, March 21st 2017 Learn all about the new “Detroit” of Automotive in SLOVAKIA. Join us for this exclusive event in Birmingham.
The Voice of Slovak Business is the “go to” place for foreign direct investment into the Slovak Republic
The UK will be the first country to be targeted to locate foreign investors interested in the Slovak Republic, Mr Christopher Plant spoke of how exciting this new project is. “Slovakia is a country of great opportunity for foreign investors,” Mr Plant stated. The Voice of Slovak Business was officially launched on Friday January 13th in London at the Slovak Embassy. Ambassador Lubomir Rehak introduced Mr Christopher Plant, the founder of the Voice of Slovak Business at a special event focusing on relations with UK and SK talks post Brexit. The evening allowed over 200 Slovak professionals living in the UK to directly connect with Mr Christopher Plant (The Voice of Slovak Business), Mr Graham Thompsett and Mrs Daniela Schweizer (Jaguar Land Rover) and also Mr Vladimir Lezak (SARIO). Read the full report of the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in London on the official launch of the Voice of Slovak Business: click here
The official launch of the Voice of Slovak Business in London
The official launch of the Voice of Slovak Business in London The Voice of Slovak Business was officially launched on Friday January 13th in London, UK at the Slovak Embassy. Ambassador Lubomir Rehak introduced Mr Christopher Plant, the founder of the Voice of Slovak Business at a special event focusing on relations with UK and SK talks post Brexit. Photo: Ambassador Lubomir Rehak and Christopher Plant, Founder of the Voice of Slovak Business. Mr Plant thanked Ambassador Rehak for his support of the Voice of Slovak Business and its desire to help British investment to Slovakia as well as the support in helping Slovak companies bring their services and products to the UK market. In his introduction, Mr Plant spoke of Project UK, and the events that The Voice of Slovak Business will be running in their 2017 program. The UK will be the first country to be targeted to locate foreign investors interested in the Slovak Republic, Mr Plant spoke of how exciting this new project is. “Slovakia is a country of great opportunity for foreign investors.” He stated. Christopher Plant who as former CEO of the British Chamber of Commerce established the British Slovak Business Centre in Bratislava for the British Chamber and British Government. Mr Plant and the team he built turned the British Chamber into an award winning entity, winning back to back Chamber of the year in 2015 and 2016 after the best small British Chamber in 2014. The Voice of Slovak Business is the “go to” place for foreign direct investment into the Slovak Republic. It has very close ties with SARIO, the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency. Together with SARIO and the most influential businesses in Slovakia we are here to help UK business enter the Slovak market. Mr Plant also mentioned that Slovakia is a very exciting place for business and there is a spike in interest especially now the Automotive Giant JLR are building a new factory in Nitra, Slovakia and other OEM’s are expanding operations here in Slovakia also. Opportunity for Business Mr Plant explained the mission of the Voice of Slovak business and he outlined the main services that would be provided to foreign investors. We would like to educate business about Slovakia and all the potential business opportunity. “We will concentrate on the following business sectors in Slovakia, Automotive, Real Estate, the excellent opportunities in shared service centres and the very strong ICT sectors”. He also introduces an export service for Slovak business looking to bring their services and products to the UK. Mr Plant spoke briefly about the three events that will take place in the UK, the first on March 20th/21st in Birmingham in the Automotive business sector and other in May and later in the year in September. Photo: (left to right) Graham Thompsett, Head of talent acquisition at JLR UK, Daniela Schweizer HR from JLR Slovakia. Ambassador Lubomir Rehak, Christopher Plant and SARIO and Vladimir Lezak from SARIO. Finally Mr Plant thanked Ambassador Rehak for all his support and for the superb event, he also thanked SARIO and Vladimir Lezak for supporting Project UK and for introducing the Voice of Slovak Business and also mentioned that he was excited to be alongside Graham Thompsett, Head of talent acquisition at JLR UK and Daniela Schweizer HR from JLR Slovakia. The evening was attended by nearly 200 business professionals who enjoyed delicious Slovak cusiine prepared by the Slovak Embassy team. Thank you to all that attended. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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