Magazine: Zoltán Soós: ‘The level of trust that exists in a family is difficult to create elsewhere’

By: Gyarmati Orsolya Date: 2021. 09. 09. 06:49

Pasta company Soós Tészta Kft. was founded 40 years ago. A few years ago the founder of Hungary’s most dynamically developing pasta maker, Zoltán Soós passed the baton to his daughters, Barbara Soós and Brigitta Soós.

– Zoltán, why did you start your own business 40 years ago?

Zoltán Soós
founding managing director
Soós tészta

Zoltán Soós: – Back then pasta made with eggs was rather hard to find, plus I always wanted to have my own company.

– Soós pasta has changed a lot throughout the decades. Have you ever considered leaving the family business structure behind?

Z.S.: – Never, I wanted the company to stay a family business. The level of trust that exists in a family is difficult to create elsewhere.

– What else has stayed the same since the beginning?

Z.S.: – Our dedication to producing quality, as good products can only be made of quality ingredients, with the best technology. We keep developing and try not to follow but to set the trends.

– How and when did Brigitta and Barbara join the company?

Soós Brigitta

Brigitta Soós
commercial manager
Soós tészta

Z.S.: – The moment they started walking they went down to the factory and participated in production on a daily basis. First they just stamped the labels on the packaging, then later they got to know every phase of production.

Brigitta Soós: – For us going down to the factory was similar to other kids going to the playground.

Barbara Soós: – Our father set the example for us and by this he taught us more than with simply explaining how things worked. He also made it possible for us to learn at the best secondary schools and universities.

– How did the generation change happen at Soós Tészta? How difficult or easy was it to hand over the company to your daughters?

Z.S.: – It was a process for Barbara and Brigitta to integrate into the everyday life of the company. They had to work there every summer, learning the ropes step by step. For me it was easy to pass the baton: I decided that from the age of 60 I won’t be part of the daily operations.

Soós Barbara

Barbara Soós
managing director
Soós tészta

Barbara Soós: – I think it gives our company great stability that managers don’t have to be afraid of losing their positions, so they can give their best working for the common goal. Obviously this requires a high level of honesty from everyone.

Brigitta Soós: – There were hardly any problems during the transformation because we were already familiar with the different production processes and market players. We could say that the generation change was happening from our childhood.

– What kind of values, philosophy and management skills did you inherit?

Brigitta Soós: – We are in a lucky situation because we grew up in world where we didn’t only see the result of a given process, but also its influence on other processes. This is why we are thinking in a complex fashion, at the same time being realistic, hard leaders – but also preserving our empathy.

– Zoltán, how do you feel about your daughters leading the company?

Z.S.: – I am very happy about it, because I can see that all that hard work wasn’t in vain.

Soós tészta

„We cannot put up with a decline in quality”

– Barbara, Brigitta, which old methods and directions did you keep and what did you change?

Barbara Soós: – We learned the importance of hard work and not to make compromises in quality already in our childhood. What did we change? Men are different leaders than women, and the same difference exists between young and old managers…

Brigitta Soós: – … we have been strengthening the digitalisation direction very much. Our approach is different to our father’s, but we ask his opinion about things, as he has 40 years of experience. I think this is a very good combination. //

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