We interview today Mr Waldemar Smoliński, the chairman of Elgra Engineering and Souvre with the head office in Inowrocław. He has been the laureate of the Leader by vocation competition, he co-operates with the greatest companies in Poland and Europe in the field of production process automation. Interestingly, the Business& Beauty branch is also known to him. In his life he follows the idea that when you want to achieve something you have never had, you have to take challenges you haven’t faced so far.
By following those words in his life, the businessman created the brand of collagen cosmetics, which contain collagen protein – „the elixir of youth”. He says he has achieved so much, because he wasn’t afraid to reach his dreams: – Everyone wants to have a better life than the one we have, than our parents had, and we often admire those who have succeeded – says Waldemar Smoliński. – But not everyone has the courage to follow that road and pursue own needs, though it is worth it, because it is beautiful to be able to fullfill your dreams under certain conditions …
THE ROAD TO THE TOP
– Nobody is born a leader – stresses the president Smoloński. – A man becomes the leader by developing his or her natural leadership features (I am Leo according to zodiac signs). In the very beginning, you have to ask yourself a question whether you want to the leader. He admits that not everyone has the courage to take responsibility for human resources. He thinks there many more features which the leader should have. It is important to have courage to take decisions, which, as he emphasizes, is difficult to many people who aspire to become managers. Waldemar Smoliński says the leader has to have the vision of what he or she wants to achieve, but also knowledge and competences and abilities to make it real. – I observe the business people, especially the young ones, who fullfill their dreams, inlcuding my own sons (23 and 27 years old), with whom I work everyday. If someone says that nothing can be done, you know he or she will never realize his or her plans – says the president. – If you belive the true sense of your plans and you will work persistently to realize them, then you will surely make it. Mistakes are the proof that we try.
The comprehensive education is the foundation. He graduated from the Social-Economic Faculty at the University of Economy WSB in Bydgoszcz. He completed several post-graduate courses, he obtained also the Master of Business Administration at Franklin University Ohio under the partners programme with WSB in Bydgoszcz. He shares his knowledge and experience during conferences and trainings, to which he is often invited and he gets numerous awards, such as the Person of the Year.
In his youth, when having a full-time job, he made photos and videos. While looking for other ways of development, in 1999 he decided to open his own company. – For a start
I employed two people. I was the director, manager, logistician, accountant – a one-man band – he recalls hard times with a smile. – I knew I had to stick to the plan and I couldn’t extend business activity too soon. If he had done that, he would have had to employ additional staff, and that could end up in over-investing and he wouldn’t have had money to run the company any longer. He focused on doing the tasks and he prepared himself well to the next steps of development. As he had assumed, the business grew steadily, with small steps, he extended the business scope gradually. He also watched many entrepreneurs who went bankrupt and never recovered as they were afraid of next challenges. Waldemar Smoliński thinks that taking risk in business is unavoidable, but not
acting crazy, as there is a thin line between the two. He says the most important is to work hard and stand up after each fall. It is also important to estimate correctly all expenses, not to exceed the investment and not to spend more than you earn. If are considerate, you won’t choke on the first success. He followed those rules when opening and running his
ELGRA ENGINEERING – INNOVATIONS AND OPTIMIZATION OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROCESSES
First, there was Elgra Engineering, which handles integration of automation systems. The business of 21st century matches the needs of companies that use modern solutions in the
scope of electricity, robotics, automated or IT technologies. The response to the customers needs and flexibility in business activity made the company one of the most dynamically developing in that branch. – We analyze the technological lines, usually those long-existent and old ones in their design. We think how to reduce employment by increasing automated
production, adding robots, changing the way of product feeding – Waldemar Smoliński explains. The task of the company is also to reduce job positions, not by dismissing the workers, but by relocating them to other positins. – Currently there is shortage of specialists – the president Smoliński adds. The history of the company guarantees its stability and assertiveness in its activity on the market. The Elgra employees take what is most precious from many years of experience – the solid knowledge thanks to which it is easier to adjust to the current needs.
Elgra Engineering provides services to companies of many profiles, beginning with cement-lime industry to food industry, candles production, wood or automotive industries. – We are not afraid of challenges, actually we look for new ones, because they teach us of other perspective to business – says Waldemar Smoliński. He co-operates with the companies and corporations from Poland and Europe. He employs over 70 people. His customers are among others: Fiat, Opel or Mercedes. The dynamic development of the company forced
setting up a wholesale shop Elektrotech selling electric equipment, which joined the group of wholesale shops El-sigma and thanks to that it has a better commercial offer.
SOUVRE INTERNATIONALE – EXTENDING THE BUSINESS SCOPE
Another perspective in business activity, which is related to Business&Beauty industry. New dreams and ideas of the president Smoliński came true in the company Souvre Internationale. It was set up in 2016, and its products were based on innovative qualities of Natural Collagen, and they have already won first prizes. The company is active in the social marketing area by offering a wide range of products for daily use together with premium class cosmetics.
The Souvre offer includes cosmetic products, diet supplements, cleaning detergents and perfume. However, the main product is Collagen – the youth elixir. Another product line,
which was made as a response to the market needs is perfume of long-lasting scent. Souvre co-operates with the French perfume expert, who creates the most wanted on the market, also in Poland, compositions of fragrances.
Souvre implements also the bio and nano technologies, thanks to which it changes the existing range of detergents. The technologists work in the lab on innovative products.
The plans include building of a production-warehousing- -logistic center. In October, the first English branch office will be open in London. – The international business language is expressed through the high quality of our products and successes in marketing, which has been proved by numerous awards we have received for a pro-consumer approach promoted by our company, which sends its products to 27 countries in EU. Our Partners are involved strongly in promoting the Souvre brand across Europe, taking care of the style of business negotiations they hold – the president Smoliński stresses. He took on his international journey the Leaders who aspired to be the best marketing experts in Europe. Being one of many doesn’t satisfy them. They want to be outstanding in terms of professional knowledge, they take care of a high level of motivation to work, so they consult their sales strategy with the acknowledged marketing experts. The Souvre
Partners take them as role models. – The stable pillars of the company based on which we created Souvre Polska and now we are building Souvre United Kingdom, guarantee a good
start in business to all those who admire the galloping increase in turnover at Souvre Partners – notices the president.
– I always ask myself a question: is this what I have been looking for, what I wanted to achieve? Is this the last peak that I wanted to climb, or is there anything else I would like to reach? – says Waldemar Smoliński. – I still have some projects. I am planning to win the European market with Souvre and start expansion to other continents.
The President togteher with his sons want to develop a school of modeling that they have opened in Katowice. A new project is also the Souvre Beauty Institute where Collagen is used as the base for beauty treats, and professional trainings are held for Partners about the methods of collagen applications in their treatment methods.
The president Smoliński advises to the young leaders to take life with their hands, to act courageously, but also considerately, not looking back and not listening to malcontents. And of course, to fullfill their dreams consequently.