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German multinational company opens central hub in Budapest

German multinational company opens central hub in Budapest

KOSTAL Group, a German family-owned company, opened its new sustainable flagship office in Budapest, bringing a new way of working into the KOSTAL Family. The new business services center will be the hub of the company’s overall operations and global sustainability efforts, which is also reflected in the design of the office.

The family-owned multinational German company, mainly known as an automotive supplier, with a presence in 21 countries on four continents, that always focused on technological innovation decided to open a new chapter of its business by investing in the innovation of internal structures and processes. As a result, the new central hub for global business services has opened its doors for the latest members of the KOSTAL Group.

“In order to be able to continue to focus on technology and customer orientation, the bundling of parts of our administrative activities is a necessary and logical step. In our view, Budapest with its large number of highly qualified employees is the best location for our shared business services.” – stated Andreas Kostal in his speech during the formal office opening ceremony.

HIPA CEO István Joó highlighted the economic importance of KOSTAL’s new office. “Employing 70,000+ predominantly highly skilled workers, the BSC sector is a dynamically growing segment of the Hungarian economy. The Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency alone guided 103 related projects creating over 19,000 jobs from 2014 to 2022. KOSTAL’s new global business service center perfectly fits into Hungary’s strategic objective to incentivize investments that create high added-value. Our country has become a leading global BSC hub in the CEE region, and everything points in the direction that she can remain an attractive investment target. For we are confident that we would be able to attract and retain talent and keep up the inflow of investments,” he said.

Unique office and a new way of working

“KOSTAL Business Services Center is not merely an office and is not even a location. It is a way of working”- emphasized Csucska Péter, Managing Director of KBS regarding the office culture. It shows for example in their flexible working conditions. “In our office, the work is fully flexible. No one is forced to come to the office for whatever number of days per week – unless they want to“.

Flexibility is also a key principle of office design. No one has a dedicated desk – but everyone can choose from half a dozen ways of working on that particular day – sitting, standing, collaborating, brainstorming, meeting – or enjoying the silence and privacy of phone booths, or the silent zone. Furthermore, no one but the HR team has a dedicated office, this way directors, managers, and team leads can stay close to their teams, and can choose from many meeting rooms equipped with the latest technology to carry out hybrid meetings.

True sustainability with lettuce production towers inside

Kiss Ida, Design Director of DVM group, interior designer, and fit-out contractor agency said the following about the office design process- “During our collaboration with KOSTAL, the key guiding principle was to create an interior that faithfully reflects the company’s core values and strategic goals: family-friendly, people-centered, and collaborative. Sustainability has also been a key element throughout the design, with lettuce production towers, lots of plants, and natural materials being the striking elements. We have created attractive spaces where colleagues feel at home, inspiring collaborative thinking, while also providing an opportunity for reflection and enabling high performance.”

Sustainability in action: minimalized energy consumption and reused furniture

Sustainability is a part of KOSTAL’s heritage, as a leading supplier of products and systems for hybrid and electric vehicles, solar inverters, and frequency converters. This is also reflected in their corporate slogan ‘We shape the future today’. In honor of their values, the new office was designed to cater to their needs of minimalized energy consumption and resource efficiency.

The energy-efficient LED lights are controlled by an automatic motion sensor system, so they only switch on if the room is occupied. 71% of the glass walls in the office are reused, they have been disassembled from the previous office, cleaned, and integrated into the design, and 27% of the office desks at the workstations are reused and repainted. Furthermore, 50% of the annual electricity consumption of the office will be powered by solar panels and they have been also focusing on minimizing their water consumption.

“I believe that this new office of KOSTAL Group is a true reflection of our goals for the future and helps to engage our colleagues in day-to-day sustainability efforts of our company to transform corporate sustainability ambitions to reality.”- finished his speech József Bőhm, Global Head of Sustainability.

What makes KBS different from other competitor employers in the BSC sector

Both local and global end-to-end processes are currently being created at KBS. Some activities like Finance, PMO, select IT topics, and Sustainability are already up and running, while many more are at various stages of transition, and build. Here in Budapest, the plan is to exceed 300 employees by the end of 2024.

Csucska Péter underlined that they have hired some of the best professionals available in the country, and intend to use their experience, and all the best practices the BSC industry created in the last 20 or so years.