Maciej Runkiewicz, CEO Kajima Poland: “with the COVID-19, but we do not know how will we cope with other threats of this nature”

What are your forecasts for the Polish economy in the light of recent global events?

The Polish economy is significantly affected by the situation in Germany. Our neighbors are coping relatively well with the pandemic and the condition of their economy is clearly improving, which should have a positive impact on our market. We are also influenced by global trends. I believe we are still a very attractive market in terms of foreign investment. The pandemic-induced trend of diversification of production locations, that may contribute to increased investment in our country, may prove helpful for us as well. Negative factors include the condition of public finances, burdened with the need to aid industries affected by the pandemic, as well as reduced availability of EU funds, which may limit the number and extent of public purpose investment projects.

What prospects do you see for your company for the next three months, six months, and a year?

In recent years, the market has been characterized mostly by its volatility. However, I do not think there will be any major changes in the coming year. A major disturbance caused by the pandemic is the prolongation and deceleration of decision-making by investors. This is the cause behind delays in the implementation of a number of projects.

What would you like to change or improve to better run business in Poland?

First of all, companies should be guaranteed stable legal solutions. This will allow for sound business management and the ability to make long-term plans.

What is the worst thing that you think could happen to your business in its market environment? What are you afraid of?

The most difficult challenges include economic and geopolitical turmoil that, in our shallow market, immediately affects prices, exchange rates, and the availability of materials and employees. Another source of risk are new and unexpected phenomena, such as pandemics. (It seems that we are learning to live with the COVID-19, but we do not know how will we cope with other threats of this nature.)

What was the most difficult situation you faced running business?

It’s hard to point to any single event. Certainly, these situations would include accidents that endanger human health and life, which unfortunately does happen in the construction industry.

What is leadership for you?

In my opinion leadership is cooperating with team members so that they are satisfied doing their work and use all their skills and capacities to achieve the company’s goals.

What are the secrets of managing such a large organization?

Each organization is slightly different. In our case, the key is to ensure the smooth operation of all processes while maintaining interpersonal bonds.

What do you think about artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is here and it is already working in some industries. For the time being, it is useful for dealing with large data sets. In these cases it definitely goes beyond human capabilities. AI will definitely be used with increasing frequency and to an ever greater extent. However, its universality will require new legal regulations.

What technological trends will determine the future of business?

In my opinion, AI, as we have already discussed, will be crucial, as well as the development of materials engineering and biotechnology. These are factors that will affect all industries. Business will be influenced also by market trends related to technologies, such as ecology (waste use) and the logistics market (ubiquitous drones).

People from whom you have learned the most about life and business?

There are many such people. I don’t have any particular authorities or idols. I try to observe people, both those I have contact with on a daily basis and those I can only read about. I analyze what others do and then try to modify my own behavior and competences – with varying degrees of success.

What is the best and most inspiring book you’ve read recently?

“Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking” by Daniel Dennett.

What values do you profess in life and business?

My approach tends to be stoic, with a bit of humor.

What helps you turn a bad mood around? What are your proven ways to fight stress?

Physical exercise, books and listening to music. Recently I’ve been spending more time watching movies online.

Last Updated on November 26, 2020 by Łukasz