LOCATION: Warsaw, Poland
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING AT BUSINESS SWEDEN?
I’ve been working at Business Sweden since 2014. I started off as an intern and was offered an associate position after successful 6-months internship. Recently I got promoted to consultant level.
WHAT DOES A DAY WORKING AS A CONSULTANT LOOK LIKE?
It is not very easy to describe a typical working day, since there is no typical day at Business Sweden! Each day brings new tasks, challenges and opportunities for development. Working as a consultant at Business Sweden is about delivering the best possible value to our customers, which means that we really dig deep into what we do, we analyze market situations from different perspectives, we use a vast number of resources and translate our findings to specific company needs. Recently I’ve been largely involved in preparing sectorial market analyses related to industries such as retail, energy, telecom, defense and space. These kinds of projects include a lot of desktop research, meetings with market experts and meetings with various groups of stakeholders. What I really like about it is the fact that I can develop my expertise in particular sectors, which has a significant impact on the types of projects I can be assigned later on. On the other hand, due to variety of sectors we work with, there is always a chance to learn something new.
Other type of tasks I am dealing with quite often as consultant are events and various Team Sweden promotional activities. I do both analytical and administrative tasks related to all stages of an event. I take part in brainstorming, develop concepts, prepare potential customers lists, invite guests, maintain contacts with our partners, and much, much more.
DESCRIBE A PROJECT YOU ARE INVOLVED IN AND YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
One of the projects I’m currently working on is a partner search for a Swedish gastronomy company willing to enter the Polish market and develop their business by considering different potential types of partnerships. During the project I am responsible for preparing the overview of Polish gastronomy market, as well as identification of potential partners. I am also contacting potential partners in order to evaluate their interest, discuss what type of partnership they are interested in and confirm if they have a suitable profile to meet the client’s needs. Lastly, I am responsible for setting up business meetings and supporting the company during their visit to Poland by participating in meetings.
WHAT IS THE LARGEST DIFFERENCE IN BUSINESS CULTURE BETWEEN POLAND AND SWEDEN?
The largest cultural difference which I have personally experienced is the way the companies are managed. As we know, Swedish companies are characterized by the flat structure, which is not the case in Poland. Polish business culture is more hierarchical, which means that management does not have close relations with employees and it is not that obvious to have an everyday contact with a boss. For example, this had an impact on the visiting programs I have organized – it was not very easy to reach companies’ CEOs and at the same time medium-level staff was not allowed to make any serious decisions. As a result, the whole process of booking meetings was longer than I had previously expected. There are some other cultural differences as well – Polish businessmen seem to be more formal and prefer to have everything in writing. They are also more open in showing their emotions than Swedes. But generally, none of these differences are that big that I would consider them as serious obstacles in making business.