Local and global companies are becoming increasingly intertwined and interdependent, which brings many benefits to both, was the main message of the first panel on the 2nd day of Slovenia Business Bridge conference.
Collaboration with local companies enables multinationals to better identify the wishes and needs of their clients, agreed the participants of the "Why Are Multinationals also Local Companies?" panel. Biljana Weber from Microsoft said that smallness could bring flexibility, responsiveness and agility. "If you come from a small country, you're more open to learn new things and you find it easier to create a social network," she said, adding that ever more large companies would like to present themselves as local businesses.
Gregor Pilgram from Generali CEE Holding said the insurance industry was a sector which could not do without integrating the multinational and local sectors. "Regardless of an insurance company being part of global networks, insurance business is always a local business," he stressed. The key to every business is understanding clients. "And who would understand them better than somebody who lives with them," said Pilgram.
Similarly, John Denhof, chairman of the NKBM bank board, said a way to success was a good team. "We took an important step towards being more successful by giving more focus on understanding the needs of clients in drawing up our business strategy. Of course, it was crucial to find the right staff who knew how to get immersed into the needs and expectations of clients and adjust our services to them," he said.
The debate also revolved around small companies having trouble arousing the interest of large companies. Weber said part of the problem was how to present a good solution to an investor in a simple manner so that everybody would understand it. Panagiotis Alekos, director general of Bayer Slovenija, said small companies could be interesting to large ones for their talents.
Another focus of the debate was the need not to be afraid of mistakes, but to take take them as part of a way to find a solution. "The problem is not the lack of innovation but the fear of mistakes. Mistakes used to be a taboo, but today we must understand them as part of the way to success," said Alekos. Denhof added that it sometimes took testing ten ideas before finding the right one. "There's nothing wrong with this. We should not be afraid of failure," he said.
The second day of the conference also heard the panels "Smart Ecosystem, Smart Money, Smart Marketing" and "Hit it Big on the Big Market".
More on our Slovenian site.
Video of the panel is available HERE.
You can see the photos of the event HERE.