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Moving from HR head to MD

We share with you our partners’ success with great pleasure. An exclusive interview was made with Csaba Szende, freshly appointed managing director of Eaton’s EMEA Business Service Center. Szende talked about how he changed from a human resources leader to managing director, and told us about his further plans regarding the upcoming few years. Read and enjoy our exclusive interview maintained by SmartDreamers. 

Hello Csaba! Let me congratulate on your new position as the managing director of Eaton’s EMEA Business Service Center. Tell me where this possibility came from, and why did you choose to change position? 

Thank you. The truth is that life made it this way. I have many years of experience being a leader in shared service centers, and beside filling the role of regional and local HR leadership roles, I also functioned as a deputy managing director at Eaton BSC. So, it was a naturally made decision for me when the possibility came up to continue my career in the field of general management.

How is Eaton BSC’s position on the market compared to competitors right now? 

In 2015, we founded our EMEA BSC in Budapest and in the past two-to-three years we’ve been working to leave a mark on the market and to stand out in what we’re good at: a start-up with 100 years of experience that creates valuable workplaces and brings value-added activities to Hungary. This year, we’ve been among the best in many outstanding organizations and this, in my opinion, shows that we are following the right track. Let me list some of the awards we’ve got so far: TOP 10 SSC of The Year; New SSC of the Year 2016; TOP 3 USA – Europe SSC Award 2017; TOP 3 SSC Center of Excellence of the Year 2017; CSR Hungary 2017 Award; Zynternship Award 2017 Gold prize, Responsible Employer recognition.

What are your plans regarding the end of this year and 2018 as managing director? 

We’ll close this year with more than 400 colleagues and next year I’d like to continue with this dynamic growth, which has been typical of us thus far. Besides, we’ll continue with a new, supplemented leadership team and a new BSC strategy, together with all of the colleagues, which we call BSC 2.0. In my opinion, this strategy will bring EMEA BSC to a higher level.

How are you planning to attract the most talented candidates to the company? 

The answer is our employer branding strategy, because we’re dealing with what really matters: “We make what matters work”. I think it’s quite easy to identify oneself with a global company employing 100,000 people that is trying to meet the world’s energy needs in a more economical friendly and more cost-effective way through its products. The EMEA BSC is searching for open, diverse and innovatively thinking talents among its committed colleagues.

What are Eaton’s most important values and how do you use them for growth? 

Eaton has 100 years of history and a mature value-based system. Among all those I’d like to highlight one that, I think, is the most important of us: the commitment towards our people. This is the “fingerprint” of our culture, which distinguishes us from our competitors.

Hungary vs. Central and Eastern Europe – SSC/BSC overview: How do you see the SSC/BSC sector in Hungary compared to the other countries in the region? 

In my opinion, the SSC sector of the Hungarian market is getting stronger and besides manufacturing, nowadays this is the second most dynamically growing sector in our country. Due to the fact that lots of talented employees, who also speak foreign languages, can be found on the market, the multinational companies will bring in more and more value-added activities in the future. Nevertheless, regarding costs, Hungary is no longer cheap, but it still offers a cheaper and at the same time qualitative solution than Western Europe or the United States. Activities which require repetitive labor will have two fates: 1.) the activities will be taken to a truly cheap location (e.g. India, or the Philippines) or 2.) they will be automated.

Central and Eastern Europe vs. Western Europe and/or the United States or Far East – Also, how do you see the Central and Eastern Europe region according to the U.S. or Far East? 

Nowadays, the CEE region is a “great power of SSC”, if I can put it this way. It’s not worth opening a shared service center in Western Europe, except in one or two countries. In the United States, the in-country model still has a great culture, which is not only to be cost-efficient. However, it can be seen more and more that North America is supported by South America – time zone and cost advantages – while they intend to open more and more locations in Europe and Asia as well. I think that, regarding language knowledge, in the Far East it still has more validity to open a local center because certain Oriental languages and dialects can’t be found in bigger numbers anywhere else.