The Riskonet view from Poland
July 5, 2022
Riskonet’s Leszek Golachowski discusses Poland’s economic appeal, forging long-term relationships and why he thinks consistency and standardisation are so important.
Stability and development
Leszek Golachowski has been with Riskonet in Poland since August 2016. As the leader of what has now grown into a five-person team, he can look back on a fruitful six years. He feels the collaboration has been stable in areas in which it should be stable, which that is something he really appreciates. It has also evolved and developed in line with the increasing number of projects and specialities as the company has grown, both inside and outside Poland. He values the level of operational autonomy but is proud of the fact that Riskonet in Poland has become integrated with Riskonet to the extent that Riskonet in the Netherlands, Turkey, South Africa and Poland are all parts of one and the same organisation.
From greenfield to commissioning
In addition to serving the insurance market, the Polish team is very active in the areas of advisory services during acquisitions and consultancy for new investment projects, Leszek explains. Generally speaking, they mainly serve clients in the logistics and light-industry sectors, helping them with greenfield projects, from the conceptual phase right through to commissioning. “And what I am particularly proud of is that after reaching the commissioning phase our relationship with the client often develops into a longer-term one. Typically, a client will seek to close a contract with us to help them manage the risks going forward.”
One such project that developed from investment to longer-term cooperation was for a large ecommerce drugstore company. “Our end-client at the time was the developer, who was building a BTS (Build-to-Suit) location for this company. We were then approached by the drugstore company directly because they needed professional help in classifying all their commodities and how they should be stored in the building. We are now developing that relationship and it looks like it will be a long-term one. We will be assisting them on a day-to-day basis in the areas of training, handling non-standard goods and running operations smoothly, from both logistics and safety perspectives.”
“In addition to serving the insurance market, the Polish team is very active in the areas of advisory services during acquisitions and consultancy for new investment projects.”
Leszek Golachowski, Managing Director Riskonet Poland
In Poland there’s a lot going on at the moment, in a positive sense, in the area of assets, continues Leszek. These assets are usually buildings that form part of global logistics chains. Riskonet Poland does a great deal of work for industrial-building developers and it turns out that there is now a huge demand for these because many operations that were previously outsourced outside Europe are now being sourced locally. “To meet this huge demand, our clients are starting up many new projects involving storage, production and distribution buildings and even fulfilment centres.”
Going into a little more detail, he explains that the situation is usually more complicated than just having a few pallets standing there for a week or two. Typically, goods can rotate very quickly and there are often lots of different types of goods. There could be as many as 100,000 items in a warehouse, for example, which is very challenging from a safety perspective. Safety is usually product-class related and if you have a wide range of different products you need to address issues regarding segregation, organisation and, eventually, protection. “Poland’s economic position has made us quite competitive cost-wise, so that boosts our appeal in this sector. We even benefited, but indirectly of course, from how Covid shook up the global market.”
Consistency and standardisation
On a more critical note, and being the strong fan of consistency that he is, Leszek feels the network should have a sharper focus on standardisation. “Allowing for the fact that specific markets have specific needs, I think we need to introduce more uniformity in the look and feel of our services and their results across the whole network. We mostly take the same approach to our activities, which is very positive, but the services offered to the same client in different countries should appear to be the same, or at least similar.”
During the RISKOMEETING in the Netherlands in mid-May, Leszek enjoyed catching up with colleagues from other countries who he hadn’t seen for a few years. Previous such get-togethers invariably provided him with some memorable moments and this one was no exception. “Despite it having an internal, focus, I also enjoyed the session on international cooperation and how we will work together more closely in future. During that session I was able to steer the conversation towards standards and consistency.”