Dr Eszter Varga: I don’t believe in issues, I believe in relationships

By: Tisza Andrea Date: 2024. 03. 19. 11:50

… and if we have the right relationships, we nurture and maintain them, then our issues will progress – says Dr Eszter Varga, banker, investor, founding co-owner of PannonHitel Zrt., executive coach, and one of the “sharks” in the business-themed television programme “Cápák között”, who was Szilvia Krizsó’s guest in the latest episode of the Future Talks podcast. This article features excerpts from their conversation, but you can watch the full interview at futuretalks.hu.

This article is available for reading in Trade magazin 2024/2-3

– How do you define yourself now?

Dr. Varga Eszter
bankár, befektető,
a PannonHitel Zrt.
alapító társtulajdonosa,
executive coach

– PannonHitel is 90% of my life and executive coaching is about 10%, but the latter is also a very stable presence. For 12 years I have been a partner in Business Coach Kft., where I coach senior executives.

– Where and how do you see yourself 15 years from now?

– Very good question! I am obsessed with learning and training: I have recently graduated from a business coaching course at the Theological College, I am teaching business coaching at Corvinus, and I have already figured out what I want to be studying in two years. It would be great to work on my English and practice public speaking. With continuous learning, I maintain a kind of “open door” state – watching what is coming.

– How do you progress with mastering artificial intelligence?

– I really like ChatGPT and the different AI platforms and I use them in my everyday life – for instance to get inspiration. For me, the philosophical question is the algorithm behind AI: if it has the right values, I think it can work miracles, but if it doesn’t have the right values, it might be Armageddon time. We are now living in a period of chaos, but humanity has every chance to leave it behind.

– You pay attention to balance your personal life and your work. In the past you quit the world of work for four years to concentrate on your young children, which is a rare thing to do for female executives. What was your motivation?

– That sounds very good, but part of the story is that we had just sold our first company and I had the opportunity to do practically whatever I wanted to do. As a mum I had to build a new identity, so I also studied during those 4 years.

– You are from Szatymaz and you came to Budapest to build a career. Was that a decisive factor in you always giving your best to achieve business success?

– Absolutely. Our family was self-sufficient, which is terribly hard work. In return it teaches you to work hard, makes you very persistent and develops your resilience to failure. I acquired competencies that are necessary for leadership. My father expected me to study very well, learn foreign languages and go to the best grammar school in Szeged. Although I had a series of failures as a village child, I finally found out at university that our primary school education was really strong.

– Sitting in the same room as you, I can feel an amazingly positive and reassuring force radiating from you.

– Someone else has already said that to me. It may be because I love people, I am curious about them, I like to connect and to be in a community – in this terrible world we can draw mental strength from communities. My mum is exactly like that, so you can see the genetic heritage. I believe that there are relationships, not issues, and if the relationships work well, they are nurtured and maintained, then our issues go well, too. //

“I like people, I’m curious about them, I like to connect, to be in community: in this terrible world, we only can draw mental strength from communities.”


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