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Proximity and breathtaking views - intive enters Manhattan

intive

For most people Monday is just the first day of a new working week, but Monday, July 1, 2019 is no ordinary day for intivers in New York City. intive opens up a new chapter in the company history by moving into a Midtown Manhattan office space. We’ve asked Marcin Kłoda, intive’s General Manager US and VP Sales, High-Tech and Mateusz Przepiórkowski, VP Sales Media & Communications to talk about business and their take on the Big Apple.

intive has been fostering the digital transformation of major European companies for 20 years now. We got closer to the US market in 2014 with the opening of our first American office. How does business culture here differ from the one in Europe?

Marcin Kłoda: It’s hard to talk about some model American working culture. For instance, there are huge differences in the way people work and interact professionally between the East Coast and the West Coast. I’m based in California. I rarely go for a shirt and tie look at work, while in NYC it’s unthinkable. If there is something common for most Americans I do business with, it’s their great sense of humor and respect for other people’s time. It really comes down to jumping from ‘how’s life’ straight to business. Also, what I’ve observed here is this great deal of engagement. People work a lot, compared to European standards.

intive is present in San Jose, California and now also in New York City. Who are the most important American clients we have?

MK: We work with Facebook, Google and Sabre, among others.

 

Mateusz Przepiórkowski: We’re proud of our cooperation with Viacom, Disney, Discovery, A+E Networks and other Fortune 500 companies. We’ve managed to grow our presence in the US significantly over the past few years.

When we think of the largest companies in New York City we picture the logos of financial services giants, insurance, real estate and telecommunications companies, and law firms. Which industries are we engaged with in the area?

MP: Our main focus up until now has been on the Media & Entertainment companies. New York City is one of the largest media hubs in the US and a few years ago we made a strategic decision to make a difference here, on the East Coast, first. The results speak for themselves - already over 1/3 of our Media & Communications revenue comes from our US clients.

Cities like New York are true melting pots – their cultural significance and great economic impact is the result of countless individual contributions. Organizations, like people, come with their sets of values and unique histories. Setting aside the business proposition, what does intive bring to the table?

MK: I don’t like using big words and when I think of values I usually picture individuals who live by them. I always focus on the one person I’m talking to and don’t look at them as part of a company but rather a professional who wants to reach specific business goals. 

Quality cooperation frees lots of time for all: my business partner, myself and the companies we represent. I value this American straight-to-the-point attitude and I think that intive stands for a similar approach.  

 

MP: I agree. I generally think there is a great cultural fit between the US companies and our people based in Europe or LATAM. This, combined with deep tech expertise and business domain knowledge, allows us to build long-lasting partnerships.

The digital change is sweeping across the corporate landscape wherever you look. However, some industries lag behind. How do you see the major sectors in the US in terms of innovation?

MK: The way I see it, traditional banking in the US is quite behind. Digital solutions haven’t reached the masses yet the way they have done in Europe. Public transport also seems to be catching up slowly. Almost every bus and tram in a major Polish city is equipped with a ticket vending machine where you can pay using a contactless payment system whereas here in NYC you still need to carry coins, wherever you go. But maybe that’s just because Americans love their cars so much. On the other hand, I’m observing the growing popularity of conversational and image recognition technology, home automation as a huge trend, and the success of home entertainment disruptors.

NYC covers a land area of over 780 square km. Where exactly is our new office?

MP: We’re at 575 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. It’s a private office space at WeWork and you’ll find us in suite 18-144 on the 18th floor.

The central location, home to some of New York’s most iconic buildings, that sounds exciting. Do you find it inspiring to work just a few steps away from the Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Chrysler Building?

MP: It’s amazing. It makes you immediately feel that anything is possible. To quote the great Frank Sinatra, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere - right? It’s also about proximity to our clients. We work with some of the top global brands. Being here, cooperating with the brightest minds from the largest companies in the world, with the panorama of New York City spreading before you while you’re standing at the 40th floor of a skyscraper, is a breathtaking experience. I really feel like we’re changing the world as we know it and it’s both exciting and… I don’t know…momentous, I guess.

You’ve been spending a lot of time in New York City for many years now. What’s the best thing about working here?

MK: To me, driving over the Brooklyn Bridge is always a thrill, no matter how many times I do it. The industrial beauty of this place, the contrasts, the pace of the city, the mind-blowing abundance of life in the streets, the pop-cultural references we all recognize and can relate to – I love everything about this town! 

 

MP: All true. It really is the city that NEVER SLEEPS.

The Big Apple is often referred to as the cultural capital of the world. How do you make the most of this vibrant city?

MK: It’s so easy to meet people! Everyone’s really open and friendly. What I find true here is the ‘work hard, play hard’ kind of attitude. Socializing right after a long working day is something New Yorkers do best.   

 

MP: You can’t get bored in here! I don’t even know where to start ... all the Broadway plays and musicals, TV shows I love so much (Stephen Colbert - chapeau bas!), the American Museum of Natural History, MoMA, the amazing architecture at Hudson Yards... I could go on forever. Oh, I can’t believe I forgot to mention the Madison Square Garden and the NBA games! There’s just so much to do here.

We’ve all walked the streets of Manhattan with Woody Allen or Truman Capote. What’s your favorite part of the island?

MK: Easy - Central Park. 

 

MP: Recently? I’d say the High Line and Hudson Yards.

The Big Apple is the place to be but it’s also a global gateway city. If you were to take one of your American clients to any of intive’s locations, where would you go to?

MK: Hmmm…Wrocław, Poland, I guess. I love this dynamic city: the perfect mix of the new and the old, the river and our brand new office right in the city center. And Buenos Aires, of course. Why wouldn’t anyone want to visit the crazy Buenos!

 

MP: I agree with Marcin on Wrocław - over 500 intivers under one cool roof! The next stop would be Munich, Germany, especially during the Oktoberfest. And yes, Buenos, Argentina. It’s absolutely great to travel there!

Challenge everything!