The Premium RE Summit conference, organized by Executive Club, took place on June 11 at the Sheraton Hotel in Warsaw. The event gathered a group of representatives of Polish and foreign companies, who participated in four discussion panels. The topics discussed during the event included: development of office and warehouse space in Poland, challenges faced by the retail industry, and directions in the development of the real estate market from the investor’s perspective.
The summit was opened by Katarzyna Włodek-Makos – Director of the Economic Development Office, City of Warsaw, who paid particular attention to the cooperation of the capital with business representatives and initiatives supporting economic development. “The economic development of the capital is the strength of local companies and their creative managers and employees. Warsaw remains the leader on the investment market in Central and Eastern Europe, witnessing a steady inflow of global players visible. Our ambition, however, is to compete with other, Western European cities in creating an environment favorable to investors”, said the Director.
Poland as the leader of the CEE region
The first panel discussion was initiated by the moderator, Mira Kantor-Pikus – Partner, Head of Equity, Debt & Structured Finance, Capital Markets, Cuchman&Wakefield, who referred to the statistics on the investment market in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in recent years. The speakers pointed out that last year alone the sum of all real estate transactions in Poland amounted to 5 billion euros, which was the highest result in the CEE region. The participants of the panel, including Anna Duchnowska – Senior Director of Asset Management, Head of Polish Operations, Invesco Real Estate, Adam Gola – President of the Board, Pocztylion – Arka Powszechne Towarzystwo Emerytalne SA, Mirosław Januszko – President of the Board, 6B47 Poland, Bartosz Puzdrowski – Managing Director, Marvipol Logistics, Mariusz Rodak – General Director, BPI Real Estate Poland, Christopher Siemienski – Head of the Business Development and Marketing Department, CFE Polska, emphasized the record low capitalization rate on the real estate market. They also came to the conclusion that institutional investors in Europe have to look for alternative solutions on the market, because typically commercial products, such as offices and shopping or logistic centers, are too scarce for such a competitive environment. The debaters also noted that investment should be approached with caution, especially in terms of financing, since the overheated market poses a risk of insolvency.
The role of new technologies in the retail industry
The subject of the second discussion panel, moderated by Grzegorz Furtak – founder of PricingLAB, was the retail market, the role of Big Data, large-format retail facilities, and the progressive impact of e-commerce on the retail sector. The panelists shared valuable insights and presented forecasts for the future. The digital revolution we are witnessing provides the retail industry with great opportunities to use data concerning customer needs. Development opportunities include loyalty programs, social media, information systems, discussion platforms, and information exchange channels. Sylwia Bilska – Customer Director, Central Europe, Board Member at Tesco, drew attention to the fact that 50% of Poles shop on the Internet, but this market is still too small to be treated as the main sales channel. The remaining panelists, Agnieszka Nowak – General Director of Galeria Północna, Globe Trade Center, Tomasz Szewczyk – Managing Partner, Acteeum Central Europe, Przemysław Wierzbicki – Attorney-at-law, KKLW Kurzyński Łyszyk Wierzbicki, and Paulina Żur – Managing Director, Katharsis Development, agreed that new customer purchase models have a big impact on shopping malls, and that e-commerce stimulates the development of traditional forms of commerce.
Modern office = greater work efficiency
The third panel, moderated by Tadeusz Brach – Deputy Chancellor of the Warsaw School of Economics, featured: Joanna Blumert – Associate, Cushman & Wakefield, Michał Dobrowolski – Managing Director, BREMA, Beata Osiecka – President of the Board, Kinnarps Polska, Ryszard Podgorski – Vice President of the Board, Konsalnet Security, Artur Pollak – President of the Board, APA Group. The speakers addressed the subject of office space, specifically current market trends, effective office management, and cost optimization. They also presented their visions of the office of the future. There were several interesting figures mentioned during the discussion, e.g. that we work effectively for only 25% of the total time spent in the office and that 80% of employees want to see their office before signing an agreement. According to the panelists, these figures mean that modern offices must focus to a large extent on providing employees with a place of rest that would stimulate their creativity and effectiveness. The participants agreed that employees themselves will be involved in creating the office of the future.
Is the Polish warehouse market a gold mine?
The last panel was moderated by prof. dr hab. Bogdan Klepacki – Head of Department of Logistics at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, who invited the following experts to take part in the discussion: dr hab. Halina Brdulak, Professor of Warsaw School of Economics, Institute of International Management and Marketing, Collegium of World Economy, Bartłomiej Czuba – Deputy Head, Structured & Mezzanine Finance, mBank, Robert Dobrzycki – Managing Partner, Panattoni Europe, Andrzej Kozłowski – Member of the Board, ROHLIG SUUS Logistics SA, dr hab. Krzysztof Rutkowski Professor of Warsaw School of Economics and Chair of the Department of Logistics, Joanna Sinkiewicz – Head of Industrial & Logistics Agency, Cushman & Wakefield. The discussion concerned, among others, the current economic situation on the warehouse space market, which, according to the speakers, is very favorable. The dynamically developing e-commerce market was mentioned as one of the key reasons for this state of affairs. The panelists also discussed the idea of a mobile warehouse, cost optimization in the logistics industry, and the future of the warehouse market, whose dynamic development, according to the speakers, is taking place before our eyes as a result of the automation of factories implemented by companies such as Amazon.
In conclusion, we are fully convinced that the conference was a complete success. Both the content and attendance at the event were at a very high level, which always gives us great satisfaction. We are convinced that the inspiring discussions which took place during the panels and networking sessions brought invaluable added value to the enterprises of our club members.