Donate to SPAR Aid for Ukraine fund

SPAR Star: Krisztina Várkonyi, SPAR Hungary

March 2, 2018 IN THE CATEGORY: Feature articles

Our SPAR employees around the world are our brand ambassadors – representing and promoting the SPAR way of doing business and enabling expansion of the SPAR store network. Here, we feature Krisztina Várkonyi from SPAR Hungary who is a shining example of what we like to call a SPAR Star.

SPAR Hungary at a glance

SPAR Hungary joined the SPAR family 26 years ago following the acquisition by ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) of a majority stake in Generál Kereskedelmi Kft. Since its launch, SPAR Hungary has been actively involved in the development of the retail industry in the country and today, Hungary is the largest SPAR market in Central and Eastern Europe with over €1.67 billion turnover.

The SPAR retailers in Hungary are seeing the benefits of being part of the SPAR organisation with support from people like Krisztina at the Head Office in Bicske who provide them with access to own brand products, centralised operating systems and preferred supplier partnerships.

From Assistant to Manager

Originally from Tatabánya in the northwest of Hungary, Krisztina holds a Marketing, Business and Economics degree from the College for Modern Business Studies.

She started her career in retail in the early ‘90s working for SPAR Hungary’s predecessor, Generál Kereskedelmi Kft. In 1994, Krisztina’s journey with SPAR began when she became SPAR Hungary’s Purchasing Assistant.

Over the last 23 years she has held many positions in the company, gradually working her way up to her current role as Purchasing Manager. We caught up with Krisztina to hear about her career development at SPAR and what her current job entails.

What is your average day at work?

I spend most of my workday in negotiations with suppliers and in departmental meetings. I find the discussions with suppliers extremely interesting and useful, especially when we achieve long-term cooperation with partners and both parties walk away feeling like winners.

Within the company, I focus a large amount of energy on sustaining the excellent relationship between the purchasing and sales departments. At the end of day, the most important objective is to meet customer demands regarding prices, product range and quality.

What do you think makes a good Manager?

I oversee almost 100 colleagues – a large team to lead. As a good Manager, you must be able to motivate your colleagues with mutual respect and trust – reminding each other that we are all working towards a common goal.

What makes a successful business?

I believe that a successful business is based on a happy team of employees. In our team, it is our goal to purchase the best quality goods at the best price and thanks to our cooperative and successful teamwork, we are doing a good job of achieving this.

Our quick, accurate and innovative way of working allows us to discover cost-cutting opportunities that are of benefit to both the company and customers alike. Recently our most important successes have been the efforts taken to introduce new product groups, as well as the development of a supplier assessment system. We are very proud of this.

How do you see the future for yourself?

I would like to carry on working at SPAR for a long time. This is where I have developed myself professionally over the years and where I can make the most of my specific skills and knowledge.

SPAR Career Development:

  • 1994-1996: Purchasing Assistant
  • 1996-1998: Purchasing IT Coordinator
  • 1998-1999: Rotation Trainee
  • 1999-2000: Assortment Manager, Confectionery
  • 2000-2010: Deputy Head of Purchasing
  • 2010-2012: Head of Administration, Purchasing
  • 2012-2015: Deputy Head of Purchasing
  • 2015-2016: Acting Head of Purchasing
  • 2017: Purchasing Manager leading a team of 100 people

This story was first published in issue 2 2017 of our quarterly magazine, Contact International.

To read more stories from this edition, follow this link.