Fear as the catalyst

20 years of corporate leadership roles taught me a lot. Worked with great teams, understood the logic of consulting, banking, telecommunications, media, company information services. I always had a passion for SMEs from the very beginning, so much, that I ended up being the owner of one, bridging the two worlds. A dream came true, a community, a premium business club for executives of very different sizes of companies being together. Sharing ideas, inspiring each other, having the sense of belonging and of course establishing lucrative, exciting new business opportunities. 2019 was a turning point and a great year has started with 2020.

Member growth, team spirit, financials, all KPIs heading to the right direction. Our strategic meeting was full of optimism, plans, visionary thoughts mid January. Foreign expansion was on the way, partner of choice selected in a future market in February. A new format launched focusing on the food industry with huge success in Kecskemét in early March. Fully booked events for the month with over 100 executives, managers each… Than came March 10th. A day I will never forget. The notion of COVID-19 started to filter in the weeks before… As every responsible person, I was evaluating our situation, not being ready to admit the defeat. Defeat, there is no better word for an unseen enemy bringing a thriving business to a complete standstill. Imagine a community, hundreds of members not being able to meet. A pond without water, champagne without its bubbles. Makes no sense. Fearing the end of a community, the jobs of my team, losing my investment.

Looking back from a 9 months distance, we could have had all the right to have these thoughts. Actually, we did. For about 60 minutes, as a fear of a different kind rang the bell. Not being able to support our members, failing to deliver on their trust, failing to be with them and for them in rough times. That was my worst fear for many many years looking back. And it started to flood our veins. There was no way we will allow it to win. My team as one decided to reach out. To show we are there. Immediately, unconditionally. Hundreds of phone calls with members, daily checkpoints with the team. We have launched ourselves on MS Teams in 7 days. March 20th we have hosted our first event to 130 members. The overwhelming need for sharing, for hearing, learning, connecting was impressive. We will deliver, in fact we deliver on our promise. In a new way, on a new professional platform but sticking to our values and principles. Hundreds of events, thousands of participations, terrific talk shows, inspiring discussion and thousands of new opportunities. We became hibrid. Fearlessly delivering on our promise. Facing the hopefully ending waves. 

A challenging year will end. Our plans for January, February, March are ready.

Horváth János

Horváth János
CEO / Owner at MVÜK Zrt.