THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS KEY CHARACTERISTIC FOR A POSITIVE EVOLUTIONARY ECONOMY

INTERVIEW for magazine “e-Banker” Macedonia, Prof. Dr Ulrich Zeitel, Managing director at FORUM Institute for Management – Germany and Chairman of the Deans Board at Institute for Business & Management Heidelberg – Skopje
The economic success of the Federal Republic of Germany over the past 70 years is essentially based on its success in creating a social market-economic environment that encourages enterprise to be creative, productive and innovative.
At the beginning of this Interview, we think that the explanation of your mission, vision and organizing aims is extraordinarily important for Macedonian Financial and Business Workers. Therefore, can you, define the organizing values of FORUM Institute for Management in a synthetic way?
FORUM Institut für Management GmbH brings about the exchange of information between economic decision-makers, the world of finance and major policy makers. We mainly achieve this by organising seminars and conferences for decision-makers in the various sectors, paying particular attention to the excellence of the speakers. We attach equal importance to all organisational details, to provide participants with a sophisticated ambience that is conducive to the discussion and resolution of major issues.
As we know, at the founding assembly in Skopje, the members elected you as chairman of the Dean’s Board for a term of 4 years at Institute for Business & Management Heidelberg – Skopje (IBMHS.EU). Can you briefly, as a President, present the whole range of activities in the area of project Institute for Business & Management Heidelberg – Skopje? Where do you see our country regarding that view?
The newly established Institute for business & management Heidelberg–Skopje is intended to make precisely this expertise available abroad. Considering ABIT’s already excellent banking knowledge transfer, we will be extending this opportunity to decision-makers in the Macedonian banking industry and successively to those in the neighbouring countries’. Primarily, this will be in the context of industrial property rights, human resources and accounting, and also of controlling and taxes. In the long term, this will be extended to further industry-specific issues, such as those in the pharmaceutical industry.
The economic success of the Federal Republic of Germany over the past 70 years is essentially based on its success in creating a social market-economic environment that encourages enterprise to be creative, productive and innovative.
Take Germany as an example, it is a country based on the “IGC controlling philosophy”, and it has managed to rise from the bottom an astonishing three times in the course of a century, to now become one of the strongest economies in the EU. For that, we believe certain that post-Brexit EU will become stronger under German leadership. What do you think about that?
The economic success of the Federal Republic of Germany over the past 70 years is essentially based on its success in creating a social market-economic environment that encourages enterprise to be creative, productive and innovative. The innovative power of the German economy is based precisely on the combination of excellent education and economically prosperous companies, which meanwhile trade worldwide. Economic progress will persist provided that these framework conditions permit this environment and this spirit of corporate freedom, not only nationally in the Federal Republic of Germany but also in Europe. Affluence, prosperity and growth are concepts that are important to businesses, but that also require a corresponding freedom to trade. Therefore, we must be cautious of eastern and western protectionist tendencies spilling over into Europe, which would disrupt this trade. In this respect, Brexit has certainly been a bad sign due to its reliance on national egotism and heavy protectionism.
What do you think about entrepreneurship as a basic agent of the German economy, with a special accent as a model for the Balkan countries and Macedonia as a part of them?
As stated above, enterprise that is subject to market rules such as competition and the freedom to trade in a socially responsible manner is the key characteristic of a positively evolving economy. I am convinced that only if this attitude in politics and business exists will other acceding Balkan countries be economically successful too. This will also open up huge opportunities, especially for smaller states, because regulatory and legislative issues can be resolved quickly.
My extensive professional experience has shown me that a company can only operate successfully in further education if its creative minds thoroughly understand the economic issues of the company and plan its products with their own expertise and understanding.
In your long-time career you have been appointed to more eminent positions and you are in good connection with German authorities among which more important are: Attorney and Managing Director at FORUM Institute for Management, Professor at the University of Applied Management Studies from Mannheim, Law expert and Professional Coach trained in FORUM Institute for management… Practically, you are one of the creators of the eminent educational program in Institute for Business & Management Heidelberg – Skopje. Therefore, do you think that your personal influence, at the beginning, can help in the efforts of providing know-how of the Germany here, in this region, in organizing common educational programs in the area of Business, Management and Finance?
My extensive professional experience has shown me that a company can only operate successfully in further education if its creative minds thoroughly understand the economic issues of the company and plan its products with their own expertise and understanding. It is precisely here that external experience and assistance could be required at the outset – experience I have gained throughout my tenure as Managing Director of FORUM Institut für Management GmbH. Additionally, many organisational issues and problems, which are related to the fact that the relevant products must be brought to the market, have to be clarified. Contemporary instruments like all digital marketing tools should be jointly considered with traditional information technologies, such as print and advertising, from the outset. Digital marketing in particular requires a very cautious approach in terms of how to gain the interest of potential participants with this advertising channel. Getting the right mix of digital and print marketing takes expertise, which I can certainly contribute too.
Can you explain the further steps which are being planned and the possibilities for potential support from FORUM Institute for Management?
The next step in the development of the company will be to extend the existing products in the financial industry while developing other areas. However, this does not only mean the development of specific content – for which we could certainly rely on the experience of German and European speakers – but also the availability of the appropriate marketing channels. Therefore, the next step will be to develop new content with suitable employees while establishing the necessary organisational and marketing prerequisites to advertise our events.
In the course of my teaching, I have found that giving practical examples has always made it easier for students to understand the theoretical context.
Do you have some practices for a higher level of German management (business situations and examples) for our students that can be applied in the executive MBA programs at IBMHS.EU in Macedonia and all region?
Of course, in addition to theoretical knowledge, the planned MBA programme will comprise many practical case studies featuring existing companies. In the course of my teaching, I have found that giving practical examples has always made it easier for students to understand the theoretical context. Only when concrete facts can be substantiated by theoretical explanations can such programmes have real educational and practical effects. Hence, we will attach great importance to always establishing this practical reference.
At the beginning, in the first half of February, 2018, we have the honor to present you, as a guest in Skopje, at the first, from this type, Controlling Conference on the topic: “International standards in Controlling – implementation in practice”. What are the expectations for the event and can we expect a conference to attract investments in the countries of the Western Balkans?
The controller conference in February 2018 is specifically intended to show entrepreneurs, primarily those responsible for controlling, how to employ instruments and the latest methods for controlling in the modern economy to help the company’s management in decision-making. Today’s understanding of controlling aims to achieve more transparency in the company and to provide a solid basis for corporate decisions. Modern controlling does not consider itself to be a control and brake mechanism, but rather a companion to corporate decisions and their economic security. In this respect, the conference will contribute to showing potential investors that corporate investment is worthwhile, even in an emerging environment, like that in which Macedonia has evolved in the last few years.
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