Q+A – Adam Handzlik, Microtech International9 November 2009
More than multimedia. The president/CEO of the Poland-based automation systems and services provider says that more and more customers are in search of fully integrated solutions.
Established in Wroclaw, Poland, in 1990, Microtech International provides an extensive range of automation systems and services pertaining to measurement, control, data transmission, security, building management, heat engineering and more. While the company’s background is in the industrial automation sector, it now also has a significant presence in the AV installation business.
Microtech’s president and CEO, Adam Handzlik, talked to IE about his career to date and the increasing demand for comprehensive, fully integrated AV installations.
How did you come to be working in the professional AV/installation business?
It must have been at some point in 1994 when one of Microtech’s customers from the oil and gas industry asked us to design and set up an audiovisual system in one of their conference centres. We were good at system integration and passionate about AV, but it was something totally different for our company [which had its roots in industrial automation]. We created the design with the help of some British specialists, but when I look at the video projection techniques or control systems now… well, it seems like ancient times! That was the first AV system delivered for a large company and definitely one of the first professional AV systems to be installed in Poland.
How long have you been working for Microtech?
I have been working at Microtech for 16 years now. As a fifth-year student I was given some simple tasks at the company and soon after I was offered a full-time job. I think that my practical skills in electronics helped me a lot, and it was all possible because I started playing with electronics when I was 16.
How long have your been in your present role, and how would you define your vision for the company?
I was appointed to the role of R&D director in 2000, and I have been president and CEO since 2006. Microtech is very different from the company I joined in 1993, but we have always been an engineering company. My task is to turn the great, creative, intellectual potential of 40 engineers into an efficient and economically justifiable ‘machine’, and I think that we have quite a lot of fun doing it!
To what extent has the economic downturn affected your business, and when do you think conditions might improve?
Most of the economies have suffered severely from the financial crisis. For us it looks as if the market has slowed down and investments have been delayed, but in my opinion it is far from being a crash. Moreover, things seem to be getting better and more and more investors in Poland are requiring our services. Nonetheless, I do not think that the economy will be running at full speed for another year or so.
What are the main priorities for the future development of Microtech? Do you see new opportunities in the professional install business?
Our company is focusing on market needs and that means we shall broaden the scope of services as customers require more than a multimedia solution. Today, customers need fully integrated systems at houses or public buildings. Therefore we will extend our skills in that area.
From the technological point of view we will develop our expertise in digital signage and provide special solutions for museums, theme parks and multimedia city adverts. Finally, the development of network-based multimedia solutions and services will lead to substantial changes in the way we think of audio and video conferencing, as well as audio/video distribution and reproduction.
What does the future hold for you? Do you have any unrealised ambitions?
Microtech is participating in several international R&D projects under FP6 and FP7. This co-operation has brought a lot of experience and knowledge to our team. Despite the competition issues, I strongly believe that companies could grow faster through common development of products and services at the international scale.
Personally speaking, I have a passion for music and musical instruments that is still waiting to be developed further. Hopefully, the development of the unique product for an international multimedia market would allow me to spend more time on my personal interests and pastimes.
Adam Handzlik was talking to David Davies.