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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » March 31, 2011
The Netherlands in Poland
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Global Reach, Local Flavor
March 31, 2011   
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Marek Adamek, chairman of the board at Arcadis Sp. z o.o., talks to Marcin Mierzejewski.


What does your company do in Poland?
We operate on the market for infrastructure, environmental protection and construction. As far as infrastructure is concerned, we are active as either designers or supervisors of road, rail, tram and municipal infrastructure projects. These are the main areas of our business in terms of infrastructure. We mainly provide services for the public sector, the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA), PKP PLK, and provincial and municipal governments. As regards environmental protection, we support infrastructure projects with all kinds of analyses and reports related to road and rail systems. On the other hand, we work for the private sector—for a large group of international customers as well as major domestic industrial customers, in the area of environmental consultancy, land reclamation projects and adaptation of contaminated and degraded land for other uses, such as construction. When it comes to construction, we specialize in project management for various types of investment projects such as hotels and industrial and residential developments.

Is Arcadis involved in projects related to Poland’s preparations to co-host the Euro 2012 soccer tournament?
These are mainly road projects. We are taking an active part in the design and supervision of work on the A1, A2 and A4 freeways. We have also contributed substantially to projects under way in [the southwestern city of] Wrocław. These include managing a contract for the modernization of the main station in Wrocław, where we are jointly responsible for this redevelopment project in terms of railway infrastructure. At the moment, we are managing the overall contract. Other projects in which we are involved include an integrated rail and tram interchange station in the direct vicinity of a stadium that is being built in Wrocław.

What are Arcadis’ competitive advantages on the market?
One of the important factors is that we have been on the Polish market since the early 1990s, developing and expanding our business all the time. From the beginning Arcadis pursued a long-term strategy for building its market position. Thanks to this we have managed to build business in all areas of Arcadis’ expertise. This explains why we do not specialize in one specific segment of the market. Over those 20 years we have achieved a leading position in many sectors, and this makes us a versatile company with a wide range of operations. At the same time, these operations are strongly interrelated. This integrated approach to projects is a key determinant of our business success.

How is Arcadis’ Polish subsidiary doing in the context of the company’s global business?
Arcadis is a large international company that is among the top 10 global providers of consultancy, design, engineering and management services in the fields of infrastructure, water, environment and buildings. Because Arcadis is such a big company, despite the scope of our operations in Poland, where we employ 500 people and report zl.110 million in sales, the Polish subsidiary contributes only around 2 percent to the figure for the entire group.

Your company has Dutch roots. How does that show up in the way you do business?
Like any global company, we have a global strategy that is targeted at different segments of the market and different customers. What one should pay attention to is our uniform approach to customers, especially international ones. We want them to be provided with services of the same standard in each country. On the other hand, one segment of our business, infrastructure, has a more local dimension. In this case, Arcadis’ approach is more flexible because we adapt our operations to the requirements of the local market, and we do business in individual countries in a slightly different way. Besides, our company is listed on the stock exchange in Amsterdam. In Poland, Arcadis is also a consolidated company in the financial sense, maintaining all the procedures applicable to a listed company.

How smooth is your company’s cooperation with the Dutch embassy in Poland?
The embassy proactively collects information from Dutch companies operating in Poland about what they do, what problems they encounter, etc. Every two or three months, at the invitation of the ambassador, regular meetings are held, involving a group of companies. During these meetings, we discuss the situation in individual industries, and there is an exchange of information between the embassy and businesspeople. And that is not all. If we identify some serious problems, the embassy tries to be supportive, conducts talks, and tries to highlight some of our problems, particularly in government circles. It also supports us with other activities, for example by organizing conferences and seminars.
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