Over the business horizon: 20+ years of challenges and successes. An interview with Artur Pollak, PhD, President of the Management Board of APA Group
How has running a business changed comparing your first day to now? It’s been over 20 years?
The first day was about great excitement and anticipation of how we can conquer the world. There seemed to be no boundries, and we were facing the “limitless” possibilities of the Internet. On the other hand, of course, there was the concern about whether it will be possible to make it all work. Have I assessed all the risks? Will there be sufficient means to achieve this? And if you think about it that way, nothing has changed since. I approach what each new day brings in the very same way. With curiosity, joy, excitement. Running a company gives you a sense of agency and the ability to influence the market. It’s a rollercoaster in a way – I believe any entrepreneur will agree with me. The growth of our clients gives me a sense of a job well done. By listening to our advice and using our technologies, they achieve their own business goals.
How did you imagine being an entrepreneur before you started your own business?
It’s hard to imagine. Business is determined by many factors. Business is created out of the need of the moment, but then you have to create structures, learn the principles of economics, HR, psychology, get lucky, meet the right people. Business is a constant learning process, and I don’t think I knew that before.
Who are your company’s customers? What are the main issues when dealing with customers?
The range of customers is very broad – from SMEs to global corporations. However, the problems they face have many common denominators. We are all people and we work with people. Technology is just a tool that helps us in our work. Each of us has our own concerns, dreams and needs. Our mission is to solve these problems and help people realize their goals with the help of automation, informatization, digitization.
Have you ever had any crisis situations, making you want to give up on your business and move on to something else?
I have worked both in and for corporations and small businesses. I went through different situations and met different people – sometimes friendly, sometimes a little less so. So I understand the dilemmas of our partners, because I have personally walked a great many roads they now tread. I make many decisions every day in my own organization, so I understand what others are facing. I’ve been through a lot of tough times in APA’s history: at least two global, gigantic crises in 2001 and 2008, a pandemic and broken supply chains, and presently a shortage caused by the war in Ukraine. Legislative changes are also often vexing. We don’t call them crises, but they cause destabilization in any organization. Constant change makes it necessary for us to be vigilant all the time. But I guess it’s because of this diversity and the constant challenges I adore what I do, I have great love for technology and I can’t imagine being involved in anything else.
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Artur Pollak, PhD, Eng, President of the Management Board of APA Group, Member of the Programme Council of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Silesian University of Technology and Member of the Management Board of the Polish-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as Member of the Management Board of the Polish Green Construction Association and the Programme Council of the Silesia Automotive & Advanced Manufacturing Cluster. Co-founder of the Silesian IoT Cluster SINOTAIC (www.sinotaic.com). Expert in computer control systems. He has led several projects, creating factories termed Industry 4.0 in Europe and China. Creator of the ultramodern technology showroom in Gliwice APA Black House (www.apasmart.pl) and the Industry 4.0 Technology Testing Center. Among the clients are such giants of the world industry as: VW, Eisenmann, FIAT, OPEL, 3M, MAN, Amazon, DB Schenker, Tesla, or prestigious technical universities.
Last Updated on July 27, 2023 by Krzysztof Kotlarski