Magazine: Levente Balogh: A good entrepreneur isn’t a manager, but a strategist

By: Tisza Andrea Date: 2022. 07. 13. 07:29

Trade magazin’s Business Podcast, Future Talks with Szilvia Krizsó continues

Levente Balogh, the president of Szentkirályi Magyarország was Szilvia Krizsó’s guest in Trade magazin’s Future Talk podcast series.

BaloghLevente, Szentkirályi

Levente Balogh
president of Szentkirályi Magyarország, businessman

Szentkirályi is already an established brand not only in Hungary, but the whole of Central Europe. Mr Balogh talked about the company’s latest innovation: a beauty product range called Vízangyal, made with Szentkirályi natural mineral water. There is only one other such range in the European market.

These days the president isn’t only busy managing the affairs of his own company, but also mentors up-and-coming entrepreneurs. In addition to this, he would also like to teach, with the ultimate goal being high quality, affordable food products available to Hungarian consumers in shops. In connection with the new Vízangyal beauty product range, he has recently opened a beauty salon, and the plan is to build a network with 15 salons. Another project Levente Balogh is dedicated to is the coffee house chain, Lenoa: the coffee beans are roasted in Hungary and the different blends are developed by Hungarian baristas.

What Mr Balogh knows as a manager comes from his father and from the process of building the Szentkirályi empire. No wonder that executives of other companies – and not only SMEs, but also firms with a sales revenue of several billion forints a year – come to him for advice, because they are stuck and don’t know how to take the next big step. When Ms Krizsó asked him what he needed to take this big step, his answer was: common sense, brains and intelligence. He realised that it was inevitable to join forces with other companies in order to survive.

Szentkirályi’s first man reckons that cooperation is very difficult for Hungarians – perhaps it is because we think we are the best in everything. He understood that things will work better if the company’s economic tasks are outsourced, and the fact that this burden was finally off his shoulders made him feel better. In his view a good entrepreneur isn’t a manager, but a strategist. Some people are born with the ability for forming a strategy. Everyone wants to be a billionaire, but not everybody can become one.

„A strategist is the general standing on top of the hill, while his managers are the artillery, cavalry and infantry on the battlefield”

Not every person is a strategist, but they can be very good managers who focus on certain areas or tasks, and perform extremely well there. Those who are of the strategist type need these managers for realising their visions, and they will pay them well for what they can do. The strategist is someone who is standing on the top of a hill, like a general in a war, and the managers are the different corps. From the hill the strategist sees what the situation is, and knows what the next step should be. With time they become better at what they are doing, and first they win a battle, then a war. If the strategist walked down into the battlefield and died there, everything would be lost.

Szilvia Krizsó’s last question was about where Levente Balogh sees himself 10-15 years from now. He thinks he will only teach, passing on his knowledge to the young generations, doing it for free, because he would never ask for money from students for sharing what he knows with them. //

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