Behind the scenes with one of the biggest players in the Facility Management sector in Poland. Interview with Agnieszka Kaminska CEO of AGIS Management Group
AGIS Management Group has been present in the real estate market for more than 18 years. During this time, however, you have undergone many changes. After all, you started as a real estate agency, correct? Please tell us a little about the beginnings of the company.
Yes, the beginnings looked quite different from the current range of activities of the AGIS group of companies. In 2005 I set up a typical real estate agency and hit a genuine boom in sales. The years 2005-2008 were an excellent time. The agency grew at an impressive rate. Residential transactions, commercial transactions, trading in Polish and international real estate, including servicing the luxury market in the south of Europe. However, I had an idea to create a company with strong Polish foundations, yet providing the quality and style of Western corporations. And so the idea emerged, the realization followed as did the founding of my own company, which today is very successful, continues to grow and subsequent dedicated special-purpose companies are being established. By listening to the needs of the market and customers, another company was established, focused on the management of residential real estate, the establishment of housing communities and the transformation of housing cooperatives into housing communities and participation in public tenders. The greatest success, however, was yet to come.
In 2012, AGIS expanded its business to include a technical building maintenance service, and a year later also the security of persons and property. What were your thoughts when choosing new paths for the company?
The year 2012 was exceptional. The AGIS Team was joined by specialists, engineers from the Facility Management industry, strictly technical, from the former Prokom, Asseco Poland, later from Hochtief and Bilfinger. From the very beginning, the team was formed by Tadeusz Leszczynski, who has a very rich professional career, connected with the Facility Management industry since its first years in Poland. He was joined in a short time by Tadeusz Kij from Prokom and Jerzy Szulc from Bilfinger, currently serving as Vice President of AGIS. The combination of strong personalities, vast experience and my favorite risk-taking resulted in a deluge of contracts. We started with technical services for the European Solidarity Center. Then there was a contract with the Pomeranian Special Economic Zone, four GPNT office buildings in Gdansk, a fifth in Gdynia – BPNT, as well as the Żarnowiec power plant, and then other spectacular successes. AGIS offers comprehensive technical, infrastructural and administrative services for facilities, as well as FM consulting. Our strengths include specialized warranty and post-warranty services, a technical mobile service dispersed throughout Poland, and a separate department for warranty defect processing. A custom-built person and property security monitoring station combined with FM’s help desk system, through a synergy of services, has made it possible to create an optimized proposal for maintaining facilities for chain and individual customers. The combination of technology and security is precisely the result of meeting customer expectations and the constant search for new lines of business. AGIS FM is currently one of the leading companies in Poland, providing integrated services for properties of various types (office buildings, shopping malls, warehouses, industrial facilities, developers, chain clients). The experience we have gained in servicing real estate – often with a very high degree of complexity of technical infrastructure, building automation – and the ongoing satisfaction of our clients confirm that AGIS is a company fully prepared to provide professional services. We have procedures, corporate governance and modern solutions to optimize property maintenance costs. Proof of the company’s effectiveness lies in its portfolio of serviced prestigious and recognizable properties, such as the Spodek in Katowice, along with the International Conference Center, the Warsaw Brewery, revitalized by ECHO INVESTMENT, the European Solidarity Center in Gdansk or operators of the largest logistics parks in Poland.
AGIS Management Group is one of the largest players in the Facility Management segment, the technical service of real estate. What sets AGIS apart from its competitors?
AGIS FM’s services span multiple disciplines to ensure the functionality of the environment, constructed through the integration of people, space, processes and technology. We prioritize the effective implementation of the ESG strategy. The synergy of services that AGIS FM proposes is a model for the so-called “difficult times”, optimized and tailored to the client’s expectations. I always tell my Team that “SKY IS THE LIMIT”.
We can do more because we have 100% Polish capital, management located in Warsaw and a reduced decision-making timeline. We can afford to do more than the largest, most expansive multinational corporations, precisely because of our “locality”, which allows for greater flexibility. Because of the fact that decision-making lies with a six-person board, we can quote and execute the most difficult projects right away. We have corporate governance and procedures adapted to the actual business processes present on the Polish market. We often encounter situations where the client says they need a service “for yesterday”, unusual, difficult to quote. We are used to that and ready for such challenges. The most complicated projects, the most specialized, with the experience that our Team has, are an everyday occurrence for us.
The Facility Management sector certainly offers many opportunities in terms of a sustainable approach to operations and implementation of ESG elements. What solutions do you employ in your company?
AGIS’s domain is to advise at the project stage in order to achieve the most favorable outcome for the long-term operation of the facility. The planning process is based on sustainability and the systematic implementation of all ESG principles. A priority for AGIS is long-term relationships with business partners and cooperation at the highest level, so FM consulting is an important point of our services. In recent years, environmental and social issues have become one of the public and geopolitical priorities. Regardless of the assessment of this trend, it cannot be denied that ESG significantly influences the decisions made by investors, developers, tenants and financial institutions operating in the real estate market. Our Team is more and often performing extensive technical audits to assess and reduce CO2 emissions as part of the decarbonization of real estate. Green solutions and technologies are the future of construction, but their application requires specialized knowledge and the ability to choose between multiple alternatives. We advise on the latest trends and try to implement innovations as part of our technical service, proposing specific solutions after audits, such as the use of rPET as part of recycling plastic waste in properties and turning it into fixtures for common areas, rebuilding roofs, sheds, blinds, glass, carports with photovoltaic panels, replacing fan coils without an outdoor unit, allowing cooling as well as heating of rooms. All this to achieve zero-emission of buildings. For years, we have been telling our clients that the Green Revolution is nothing more than proper technical advice already at the stage of the project so that the life of the property brings not only economic, but also environmental and social optimizations. Corporate governance, tax transparency or corruption prevention are areas of particular importance for us in our relations with investors. For years, they have been duly respected by our company and constantly adapted to the current realities of the Polish real estate market. From 2024, in accordance with the draft CSRD, the ESG reporting obligation will also apply to public and private companies with more than 250 employees, and from 2026 – also to some companies with more than 10 employees.
What sets you apart from many industry rivals is certainly the fact that the CEO of AGIS Management Group is a woman. How do you feel about your role?
At the moment AGIS FM is the only nationwide technical company led by a woman, which is of course an incredible honor. However, the greater success is that we are one of the few Polish funded companies in the FM industry, and my greatest personal achievement has been the creation of a fantastic team of exceptional people, professionals, engineers, managers, who, despite my great attraction to risk-taking, have for years accepted the most difficult challenges and handled very difficult projects. Maybe it is because I am a woman that it is easier for me to run a company that brings together the most difficult industries – technical, specialized engineering, security – employing a team of more than 300 people, of which 90% are men, often conducting conversations like a precise bomb detonating sapper and easing the mood at the same time. The role I play is incredibly rewarding, thanks to the satisfaction that comes from a succession of well-executed projects by AGIS, a satisfied, well-integrated Team, the trust we have in each other, a rich portfolio of diversified properties, and the constant adrenaline present during new challenges.
You often emphasize that business is your passion. Does this help you run your company, or is it the opposite?
Some may think that I’m that typical “self-made woman” who doesn’t know what idleness is, who is constantly “running” somewhere and opening new businesses, sometimes extremely unrelated to each other. However, in my case, the truth looks a little different. In my life – and this probably differentiates me from many other businesswomen – you can see the conscious search for risk, the constant pursuit of adrenaline and the cross-platform combination of businesses, industries, human relationships, needs. I have a great urge to create and raise the bar. This is probably the definition of passion we are talking about. Consistency in action, treating obstacles as challenges to be conquered and tasks to be completed, has led me to where I am now. A not insignificant role is also played by my Team, whose professionalism, experience and support are of great importance to me. People I can trust in the professional sphere are the base and starting point of my success. I listen very carefully to their needs, insights, creativity in out-of-the-box actions, and always try to cheer them, repeating that “SKY IS THE LIMIT”. Passion is all about loving what you do, and even more about the fantastic people around you.
Agnieszka Kaminska – Graduate of the University of Gdansk in Management and Administration, a Licensed Property Manager and Real Estate Agent, as well as the President of the Management Board and sole shareholder of AGIS Management Group. Since the beginning of her career, she has specialized in commercial and residential real estate. She is the only female president managing a group of companies with nationwide reach in the field of Facility Management and security of persons and property. She manages a team of more than 300 people, divided into 5 branches, and a mobile technical service dispersed throughout Poland. She successfully handles the most diverse portfolio of over 5 million sqm of real estate from office buildings, logistics parks, warehouses, retail parks, shopping malls, chain clients to factories and multi-functional facilities. She is the winner of many prestigious competitions – in 2015 she was awarded the title of Pomeranian Employer of the Year, in 2017 she received an Pomeranian Eagle, won in the Facility Management 2023 category of the TOP WOMAN IN REAL ESTATE competition, was recognized and awarded by FORBES Poland with the FORBES DIAMONDS 2023 award. Privately, she is a hobbyist of motorsport, an avid participant in rally track racing, especially in the Heels on The Track project.
Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Anastazja