Steady Growth, Resilience & Flexibility - 7th Business Services Hungary Conference and Award Ceremony

The Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) hosted the 7th Business Services Hungary Conference and Award Ceremony co-organized with AmCham Hungary’s BSS cooperation, on November 25, focusing on the sector’s key tendencies and trends, and honoring major achievements in three categories.

The conference was opened by Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who highlighted the challenges Hungary faces due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the successes the country has been able to achieve despite these trying times. He also acknowledged the business services sector’s key role in the country’s economic wellbeing, pointing to the extraordinary growth these companies have experienced in the last five years. Szijjártó’s speech was followed by the welcome remarks of Tünde Kis, Deputy CEO of HIPA, and Zoltán Szabó, President of AmCham Hungary.


In a video message in her keynote speech, Melanie Seymour, Head of Global Client Service at BlackRock, relayed her thoughts on talent acquisition and development, advising HR professionals to take more ‘risks’ in employing talents. Ms. Seymour also expressed her view that companies should build teams that challenge the status quo in any given area, they should develop their own future leaders, and increase cooperation with various universities.

Ms. Seymour’s message was followed by a presentation of the results of the comprehensive survey conducted among 78 business service centers. According to the results, Business Service Centers have been able to simultaneously grow, maintain a positive outlook for the future, and both attract and retain talent, despite the difficulties brought about by the pandemic. They are also pioneers in the introduction of hybrid working models, which they generally see as the future of operations.

Read more on the report here.

In the event’s first panel discussion, participants Júlia Szatmári, Center Head and Senior Vice President of Engineering at Diligent, Mónika Pais, Managing Director of Diageo, Mart­in Kikstein, General Manager of Roche Services (Europe), Róbert Hosszu, Managing Director of NI Hungary, and moderator Tünde Kis, Deputy CEO of HIPA, discussed the latest trends and initiatives of the sector. The panelists shared their companies’ experience regarding the pandemic, competition, talent acquisition, and identified areas where more action is needed for BSS companies to achieve more success.

The second panel discussion featured Alex Laffan, Director, Central Europe and Customer & Product at TESCO Business Services, John Ford, Country Lead and Vice President Workplace Technology at LogMeIn, Mariann Mészáros, Vice President Human Resources at Deutsche Telekom IT Solut­ions and Dóra Debreczeni, Center Head and Head of HR, Vodafone Shared Services Europe, who shed light upon how they view leadership dilemmas and narrative from a CEO perspective. The panelists reported that the pandemic necessitated a significant overhaul of their leadership style, and topics that held limited importance, such as the mental health of employees, have come to the fore. The discussion was moderated by Éva Gombás, Execut­ive Search & Strategic HR Consultant.


The conference featured an award ceremony where Diageo received the Center of Excellence of the Year recognition, Morgan Stanley was lauded for being the Best in Educational Cooperation, and Alex Laffan of Tesco was named BSC Manager of the Year.

At the end of the event, two pararell workshops were held. The future of office and location trends was the topic of the first open discussion, where participants had the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences regarding the topics, moderated by CBRE. The second workshop led by Hays featured a discussion about employer branding, recruitment, and talent retention. Participants shared tips on how to keep up employee engagement, advised each other to adopt more flexible work environments, and incorporate compassion, a human side, and clear goals into their employer branding.

We are proud that this year, three AmCham members were recognized with the BSC Excellence Awards for their extraordinary work and incentives, based on the survey results and an independent jury, congratulations!