Responsibility and sustainability in modern business. Interview with Przemysław Wierzbicki, General Manager at ASBIS POLAND

Responsibility and sustainability in modern business. Interview with Przemysław Wierzbicki, General Manager at ASBIS POLAND

For many years, ASBIS has been engaged in supplying high-quality electronics, equipment and IT solutions to customers in Poland. How do you manage to build your position in such a challenging market?

This is true. We have been operating in Poland since the 1990s, more or less successfully, with ups and downs in business. Despite the fact that our competitors have already more than once foretold the closure of the Polish branch, we still exist, we are still in the game, getting stronger and stronger.

Poland’s market is challenging indeed, compared to neighboring markets. There is no room for mediocrity. Over the years we have learned a great deal, primarily on how to adapt to market demands. I have always told my team that the situation is dynamic, the requirements can change even daily. In the end, it is the customer who pays for our work. The faster we adapt, the more we are able to gain. This is also due to the right team. Without all those people who make up today’s ASBIS POLAND with me, we certainly would not be where we are now. Companies have always been made by people.

You have more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Above all, however, you are a ‘trader’ by vocation. In your opinion, is this a prerequisite for successful management of a commercial enterprise?

Definitely yes. In my career I have met many managers running commercial enterprises – lawyers, financiers, accountants. It always ended the same way. At the end of the day, it was not the customer that mattered most, it was the Excel sheet data or some really insignificant paragraph in the contract. We cannot generalize, of course, but unfortunately, in my career, I have only encountered failures when a commercial enterprise was managed by a non-commercial person.

Please tell us a little more about the products offered by ASBIS. What is a key segment of your operations?

We have always been in the business of computer components (processors, disks, memory, smartphones) and even today it constitutes a very large share of our business.

Over time, as market requirements changed, so did our portfolio. Currently, our company is made up of the following departments: Volume – dealing with computer components of the world’s biggest brands; Solutions, through which we offer matrixes and servers, as well as our own brands, such as Canyon, Prestigio, Prestigio Solutions and Aeno. A very important business for us is the premium brand division which includes Loewe and Bang&Olufsen. In the past year, the company’s portfolio was expanded with the addition of two new divisions – CCTV and Security, which offers innovative solutions in the area of technical security, and the robotics division (AROS), the product range of which is focused on the solutions for industry.

ASBIS Poland offers electronics and IT equipment from prestigious brands. Is the demand for such premium products in our country increasing?

Demand for premium brands is increasing, which is perfectly evident during crisis periods, when volume sales drop. Customers are cutting back on purchases due to the crisis. However, we should remember that premium brands are also a capital investment, so this business is the most stable exactly in times of crisis, it flourishes. Of course, the sales model for these products is vastly different from the classic distribution model and requires a completely different sales approach. Even customer service is different, not to mention the warranty care. Over the past few years, the requirements for servicing luxury brands have completely changed my approach to sales.

Which clients do you like working with the most: individual customers or institutional buyers?

This is not an easy question. I do not divide customers into better and worse or big and small. Everyone has their own requirements, expectations and needs. Currently, there are no easy sales, and the days when you were the only one supplying the goods are over. Today we fight for every customer and our job is to serve them in the best possible way.

ASBIS Poland is part of the ASBIS Enterprises Group. How important is it for you to have the support and facilities provided by being part of a large international organization, present in many key markets?

This is the core of our company. Without the support and facilities we have at our headquarters, ASBIS Enterprises, we would not be where we are at the moment.

Being part of a multinational company offers huge benefits: direct contracts with the biggest global brands, financial and substantive support, and the availability of many specialists in various fields. Having access to personalized market research gives us the ability to focus on areas that need to be developed and helps and often opens our eyes to other opportunities for action.

Do you think diversifying your business, whether geographically or in terms of products, is the key to success today?

An interesting closed question. Do I think so? Yes, I do. ASBIS is an excellent example of how good diversification, both geographically and product-wise, allows a company to face even the most unpredictable business situations. We have proven this more than once.

First and foremost, recent political events across the eastern border have brought ASBIS the loss of significant markets, but have not caused a significant shake-up in our business. We have intensified our activities in other markets, with positive results. Imagine such a situation: you operate in the Polish market, you sell one type of product or service and suddenly, overnight, you lose several key customers that were responsible for, say, 50% of your turnover. What are the implications of this? Very serious, of course. You then have nowhere to go to get back the lost clients.

ASBIS Poland will be present at October’s 12th edition of the Green Industry Summit, a conference dedicated to the broader concept of sustainability in industry and business. How does the so-called ‘green transformation’ affect your business?

Yes, we intend to participate in the October edition. The green transformation is greatly affecting our business. An example of this is our recent investment in the Breezy brand, which specializes in refurbishing used smartphones. Its largest branch has been established in Poland, serving all of Europe and also the CIS market in providing refurbished smartphones from many manufacturers.

As far as I know, as of today there is no company as large as ASBIS in our country that can refurbish 30,000 smartphones per month. This gives an unimaginable result in limiting the production of new equipment and thus reducing the carbon footprint. Thus, through our activities we have an impact on the fate and future of our planet.

Przemysław Wierzbicki – General Manager ASBIS Poland

Over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Excellent organisational and operational skills in practice. Experience at multiple levels of sales, purchasing and management.

Practical knowledge of processes and changes in a commercial enterprise – including reorganisation processes in crisis situations.

Last Updated on December 7, 2023 by Anastazja Lach