Wish List 2019: More Homes, Happy Children and Inter-generational Harmony

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The Budapest Business Journal approached a number of people from diverse backgrounds to gather a broad cross-section of Budapest business wishes for 2019.

Adjust to the new Generations


Csaba Iglódi

Lead Consultant, Your Way Consulting

2019 will be the Year of People, at least in my field of operations; I support C level executives as their personal adviser.

I believe human resource management, inter-generations communication, retention of talent and, parallel to these, the displacement of human beings with technology will have a special focus in 2019 and beyond.

Companies have already recognized the importance of their customers, but it is evident now that their employees need similar attention: their remuneration, career planning, management development track, their ambitions, their work environment, and their overall engagement.

The idea that the “Customer is King, Shareholder is God Almighty” is already covered by dust – it’s outdated – at least until the next upcoming global crisis reaches us.

As part of this process, by 2025 we will be surrounded by employees from Generation Y – those born in the period roughly 1975-1990.

This generation has a very different view of their occupation, the ownership of assets, money and values compared to Gen X – that is, people born between 1964 and 1975.

This is not to mention the job-starting Generation Z newcomers born after 1990. Gen Z people simply assume new ways of interaction and communication are the norm. They require more flexibility, creativity and a totally different leadership approach.

The labor shortage in Hungary also raises at least two important challenges that managers cannot afford to ignore any longer.

The first is the need for reorganization of processes and reallocation of resources. In particular, leaders need to face up to organizational structural changes, the need to move from a 20th century corporate operation to a more modern style. The words “flexible employment” have, for too long, been merely a slogan: they need to be made reality.

Secondly this situation provides a great opportunity for a credible management team to use their available financial resources for not only expanding and renewing operations, but to convince their shareholders to invest in people development and capability improvement.

My wish for 2019 is that all these processes make progress.

More Happy Children


Andrea Molnár

President of Kindergarten-Sport Public Benefit Foundation

Our foundation was established by the late Jenő Buzánszky. Nicknamed “Kazal”, he was Hungarian soccer-hero and member of the “Golden Team” of the 1950s. His dream was to provide an opportunity for high quality sports facilities for very young children, to support them to become healthy adults.

I’m living in his dream, because nothing can be more important than healthy and happy children.

Of course, I want 2019 to have even more successful projects than last year, but that won’t be easy. In 2018, we created another 58 of what we call our “Kazal-Kinderpitches” – that is a 6x12 meter sport fields – at day-care facilities in Hungary last year.

On top of this, we built four in Transcarpathia (Ukraine), one in Transylvania (Romania) and one in a Croatian hotel.

We’ve also teamed up with Albanian soccer-star Lorik Cana and built two Kazal Kinderpitches in Albania with two more under construction. In fact, the Kazal Project became “The Sport Project of the Year” in Albania in 2018.

Our work also includes our professional coaches giving training courses for the teachers about the use of the Kinderpitch for volleyball and handball.

As a result, we have trained almost 3,000 teachers and created more than 300 Kinderpitches during the last six years, which means we’ve helped make sport a part of everyday life for close to 50,000 children.

I just wish that in 2019 we can continue to get support from companies to continue the Buzánszky dream.

Tackle Climate Change


Izabella Zwack

Founder of Dobogó Winery, Tokaj

We are winemakers, we come from the earth. Our biggest wish for 2019, and for the year after, and for many more, is that politicians all over the world, economists all over the world, business all over the world, and last but not least people all over the world start addressing the problem of climate change as the most urgent issue of their lives, of their children’s lives.

More Programmers


Szabolcs Filep

Founder and mentor at PROGmasters

My wish is for even more success at PROGmasters! Well, I would say that, wouldn’t I?

Let me explain. We train people who want to begin a new career path in IT as coders. There are good reasons for this: there is a shortage of up to 30,000 professionals in the Hungarian IT sector, and our “coding bootcamps” – four-month, practical training courses – are a really good way to help relieve this problem.

We launched these in 2015, and our “bootcamps”, although considerably shorter than classical graduate programs, equip students with high-quality coding expertise and practical skills.

We certainly had a very fruitful 2018. Our student intake increased to 65, up from 38 in 2017, and our graduates were taken on by 35 different IT companies, up from 25 in 2017. In the past three years, 98% of our graduates got jobs with IT companies within three months.

We’ve realized that there are thousands of people out there who want a change in their careers. My wish is that in 2019, more such people discover the opportunities that the IT sector offers, and we get a record 100-plus bootcamp graduates.

We’ve had graduates start off as junior software developers with salaries of up to HUF 450,000, so there’s no doubt both individuals and the entire IT industry can benefit from a move like this.

A Roof Over More Heads


Vera Kovács

Managing director, From Streets to Homes Association

At our NGO, we try to provide housing for families and people trying to escape homelessness. This is all the more urgent today, at a time when the law criminalizes those sleeping on the streets.

So, as for the “big picture” in 2019, my main wish is that the Constitutional Court may abolish this law on street homelessness, and that our elected politicians finally find a realistic, humane situation for these people.

Honestly, for our association, my first wish is to survive. Of course, we hope that we can add some new homes to our housing stock over the next 12 months. But the real question is whether we can find partnerships and funding to survive to 2020.

If so, we will remain a hope for both the homeless of Budapest to get affordable rentals, and also that we may win some fights on housing policies to be changed. That way, sooner or later, more people will have the kind of possibilities that we provide to escape their situation. For more info: utcarollakasba.hu/about-us

Cleaning up the Environment – Cleaning up the Economy


Péter Vermes

Managing director, Eltex

At Eltex, we have more than 27 years’ experience in selective waste-handling systems.

Every industrial process generates superfluous materials, which are treated as waste. Sorting and removing these materials, including hazardous waste, is what we do, so our wishes for 2019 are related to this.

First up is manpower. Because ours is a very labor-intensive industry, we certainly hope that the labor market crisis will ease, and labor shortages disappear.

Another very important aspect of our work is a predictable legal environment. This has been achieved in recent years, and we surely hope that this year it will remain so.

Related to this, I’d like to mention the environmental product fee, and we certainly hope that the draft amendment on the 2011 LXXXV Environmental Product Fee Act will come into force.With much of our work involving foreign markets (our operations stretch to 23 different countries), we also wish for a more stable euro exchange rate, as large fluctuations cause difficulties and uncertainty.

Waste handling is also a sector where some irresponsible companies cut corners, which creates risks and ultimately long-term costs for communities. Therefore, we very much wish that the process of making the economy transparent will continue.

Who Says Wishes Can’t Come True?

Editor’s note: In our Wish List 2018, Klemens Wersonig, founder and CEO of Target Executive Search, expressed a yearning for an independent eatery were he could enjoy a good breakfast with a guest in the Hungarian capital. We even put his wish into our main headline last year “Ethics, Calmness and a Good Breakfast”. And before you could say Abra-Breakie-Dabra, well, within a few weeks, he had found one, even writing about it on his blog. So, last but by no means least:

Keep up the Growing Popularity of Budapest


Árpád Kreisz

Founder and manager of Lion’s Locker breakfast restaurant/luggage locker service

As a man born in Budapest and living here ever since, I am very content with the progress of the city in the past decade. The sights, events and the revolution in gastronomy has made our home very popular among tourists, and the people who visitors meet make for a great experience, so tourists want to return.

My wish for 2019 is to maintain growth in visitors to our capital city. Sustainability is a crucial part of business, but we in the hospitality sector can only achieve this through dedication to our jobs, by providing the highest quality service.

At Lion’s Locker, we like to say: “We are the product”. This means us, the staff: if we love our guests, show a personal interest, then they are going to feel this enthusiasm, this welcome, and then, when they get home, tell their acquaintances to come here.

The challenge for us is to find staff who share this same attitude towards work. We most definitely feel the labor shortage. So my second wish for 2019 is to add new members to our team: that way we can introduce our breakfast place and luggage store to more people over the next 12 months.

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