Maciej Galant, Former Managing Director, BMW Group Hungary

  • 9 Dec 2019 5:14 PM
Maciej Galant, Former Managing Director, BMW Group Hungary
Maciej Galant, the new Polish managing director of BMW Group Hungary has been leading the Hungarian BMW subsidiary since 1 Aug 2019, but he has long experience at the automotive and banking industry.

Mr. Galant graduated as a Bachelor of Naval Engineering and Sea Transportation at the Maritime University of Szczecin in 1993.

He used to work for Shell and BP Poland in the second half of 90s, then he spent years at the banking industry, working for CitiBank Poland, fulfilling different management positions.

He started his career at BMW Group in 2006, where he was sales director of BMW Group Poland for 10 years. In January 2016 he became the managing director of BMW Group Slovenia, from which function he has moved to Budapest and has taken new responsibilities of managing the Hungarian BMW Group unit.

1. When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
On the 1st of September, due to BMW. Well that’s when I officially started and could my brain fully into gear for the business. Before then I had to deal with lots of moving paperwork but it is all together now. I am on a mission of getting to know my people well, and all our dealers, so I am travelling all around Hungary to meet them in person.

2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
Yes, my first experience was in Slovenia. Before that I lived at many different locations in Poland. I travelled then due to my job, as a seaman, but on land ;) There I lived in Szczecin, Gdansk, Poznan, Krekow, Wroclaw and Warsaw. It was always a different experience, even if in the same country since you had to get to know your new environment, and use cultural sensitivity with the local people. I liked the Slovenian experience. They are different sorts of Slavs; from a mindset point of view they are more like Austrians.

3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
That the culture is very similar to Polish, and that we have so much in common. Hungarians accepted me straight away. We are brothers in arms and drinking, as the saying goes.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Night trips to see both sides of the Danube.  From a boat you can see everything, from the Buda Castle to all the landmarks on Pest side. What is very interesting for me is that all lights have the same tone. This has to be seen. Also of course visits to a few restaurants and bars, like La Fabrica which is a cool eatery, and DiVino for a drink.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Goulash soup, spicy.

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Három. It sounds so masculine.

8. What do you miss most from home? 
I am a fast adapter, so I don’t really miss things.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
Maybe a rally driver My dreams as a child were always around cars. I love going to F1, I’ve been to Hungaroring to see the race this year and love the sound of engines.

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
In Greece by the beach, staying at a simple surfer’s style accommodation, enjoying windsurfing, and kite surfing.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Mauritius, because I am a golfer and the courses there are wonderful. And also because of the food, as I like the French influence involved, and also there the wine culture is excellent too!

13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
I love Polish doughnuts, and great Hungarian wine.

14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Band: Queen was the one, not only because of their varied repertoire but his voice is/was outstanding. I also liked Led Zeppelin.
Movie: The Blues Brothers – saw it in the cinema about 25 times! My son followed me on this one and he even purchased a ’Blues Mobile’.
Hobby: collecting Matchbox model cars.

15. Red wine or white?
Red for sure, I like Pinot Noir, Merlot, and a bit of Syrah as well. Hungary has a long history of wine culture, and offers so many great red options.

16. Book or movie?
Watching a movie is so much easier after reading so much during the day at work, so I really cannot read much at night.

17. Morning person or night person?
Night person.

18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Tolerance is the most important point for me so people can understand and accept diversity, regardless of anything such as colour of skin or sexuality etc.

19. Buda or Pest side?
Pest for sure since I am a downtown person. I like the lights, the open squares, and that everything is so close.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
Make each day one to remember. Meaning that every day is valuable, each must have some content, so every day is important.

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