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Spar to raise wages under agreement

The Hungarian subsidiary of Spar and the Trade Union of Commercial Employees (KASZ) have agreed on raising the wages of approximately 13,000 workers, according to a press statement issued by the food retail chain. Some 4,000 employees will receive the wage raises prescribed by the Hungarian government’s latest amendment, while almost 9,000 employees will see different wage hikes to a greater extent, according to a press statement. Those who currently earn the least will receive the biggest raises, although the wages of those earning the most will also see a significant hike, while a special emphasis has been placed on wage increases for middle managers. Spar raised wages by HUF 4 billion last year, and this year is planning to raise wages by HUF 7 bln. Only HUF 1.5 bln is covered by the reduction of contributions by the Hungarian government, the press statement noted.

Indiegogo-funded startup book hits the shelves 

Hungarian entrepreneur Attila Szigeti has recently published his Startup Studio Playbook – which promises the chance to “learn how to build startups in a way that feels like playing with Lego”, and which was conceived using Indiegogo crowdfunding, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal. The book, which the author claims to be the world’s first professional book on startup studios, aspires to give advice to entrepreneurs or innovators via study cases and best practice for avoiding the conventional wisdom that nine out of ten startups fail. The book also presents the operation of worldwide startup studios, as well as listing the pros and cons of the startup studio model. According to the book, the seven basic steps to build a startup studio are the following: (1) Take a core team and entrepreneurs in residence; (2) add shared infrastructure and in-house funding; (3) generate ideas internally or in some cases, act as a co-founder; (4) build multiple startups in parallel; (5) trash what doesn’t work, reassign team members; (6) spin off what works and get follow-on funding; and (6) grow, exit and repeat. “Attila’s book is a comprehensive and profound look into the strategic nature of studios and entrepreneurship, and a great resource for those looking to learn more,” said Mike Jones, CEO of Los Angeles-based technology startup studio Science Inc.

Suzuki to upgrade Hungarian plant 

The Hungarian subsidiary of Japanese carmaker Suzuki is planning to boost its research, development and innovation through a HUF 5.3 billion investment, which will focus on upgrading its current Hungarian facility in Esztergom, the manufacturer announced, according to reports. The costs of the investment projects will be financed from Suzuki’s own resources (HUF 2.71 bln) and by a European Union grant (HUF 2.59 bln), according to Hungarian news agency MTI. The upgrade will chiefly focus on the plant’s production and logistics system. As part of the upgrade, the plant will also be prepared for the introduction of laser welding techniques, and the development of cost efficient polymers for automotive manufacturing will also be carried out. Suzuki has been awarded the EU funds as a part of a consortium consisting of Bay Zoltan Applied Research Public Nonprofit, PEMÜ Műanyagipari Zrt. and Pázmány Péter Catholic University, which will jointly establish a research and development network, MTI reported. The Hungarian unit of Japanʼs Suzuki had EUR 1.97 bln in sales revenue last year, up 28% compared to 2014, MTI noted.

Invitel Group goes greener, renews entire fleet

Hungarian telco Invitel is renewing its entire vehicle fleet, adding models equipped with the latest eco-friendly engines that are expected to result in a 10% decrease in fuel consumption, according to a press statement sent to the Budapest Business Journal. With a commitment to enhance the environmental conditions of the country, and also keeping the complex requirements of sustainability in mind, in the second half of the year, Invitel is changing its fleet of 400 vehicles in its entirety to cars fitted with Euro 6 engines, with a 0.7 liter per 100 km consumption. The change of fleet, Invitel calculates, could save the firm 40,000-60,000 liters of fuel annually. “Invitel is a forerunner in offering solutions that, beyond increasing the competitiveness of businesses, can enhance cost efficiency and corporate social responsibility,” said deputy CEO of Invitel Group Dr. Gergő J. Budai. “Our corporate philosophy is that we are striving to set an example through our own practices for other domestic companies,” he added.