Gábor Dévai, Former CEO, Sixt Hungary

  • 3 Dec 2020 8:01 AM
Gábor Dévai, Former CEO, Sixt Hungary
Experienced director with an extensive positive history in the automotive industry.

A strong business development professional, he graduated from Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Gábor got his MBA in 2002 at Université Jean Moulin Lyon.

As an executive officer, he is responsible for advocating for the interests of the company, and his role includes setting the strategic goals of Sixt Hungary, ensuring their achievement, as well as increasing the efficiency of the company. 

His skills include negotiation, marketing management, business planning, operations management, and coaching. 

1. Where did you grow up?
I spent most of my childhood in Zugló, Budapest, except a short but significant period which basically defined my personality: 5 of my primary school years was spent in Algeria, North Africa.

It was an international school, so I got used to multicultural environment and got to know an entirely different education system when I was a kid. Beyond personality development, these 5 years had other benefits as I learned English, French, and Arabic.

2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
Beside the years in Algeria, I spent 3 years Switzerland and Luxembourg where I met a friend I still keep in touch with until this day. He was the son of the Tahitian Minister of Education.

He told me so much about Tahiti that these stories, and of course the climatic and natural qualities, make the country so tempting it might be possible destination for me and my family.

3. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?
Mostly I’d miss my extended family and my friends, but my business relationships, too.

Also, I’d really miss Hungarian food, so anywhere we go in the world we will surely have Hungarian ingredients and spices in our pantry! 

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what would they must see and do?
The jacuzzi on the top of Rudas Thermal Bath is a must-visit for everyone. Magnificent view overlooking the whole city, basically within an arm’s reach of all the bridges of Budapest and the Danube. The same sight would cost 10 times more in another large city.

5. What is your favourite food?
Italian and Asian.

6. What is your favourite sport / form of exercise?
I love cycling and I go to the gym 5-6 times a week, but due to the pandemic situation, I train at home now.

7. What is your favourite place in Hungary?
It’s always nice to go back to Szeged as I spent my university years there. If we talk about relaxing and recreation Balatonföldvár is the most common destination.

8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
My original profession is teaching so maybe I would teach Hungarian in Tahiti, which most definitely would be in high demand. 😊

But, jokes aside, I honestly don’t know, I haven’t thought about it yet, because what I’m doing now makes me perfectly happy.

9. What’s a job you would definitely never want?
I’d never do anything that is related to illness or death, so medical and funeral careers are definitely not for me.

10. Where did you spend your last vacation?
We travelled to Dubai with my family, from winter to summer, which was a great experience for the kids. After the years I spent in North African, their culture isn’t far from me, so it was nice to show this world to my children who enjoyed desert jeep safaris and camel riding the most.

11. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
If travel is allowed again, we’re planning an East Coast vacation to the USA. I’m sure after Dubai it will be an amazing experience for the kids to see New York and Miami as well.

12. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
As a teenager for some reason I never really was a big fan of any band or individual, so I listened to all types of music.

As an adult Sting’s music is closest to me, but I still listen to almost anything.

Regarding movies, when I was young House Party was my favourite movie - mostly because of Sophie Marceau, but I’m not alone with that, I guess.

13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
I must admit, I am sweet tooth and quality sweets are my weakness. I have a hard time resisting Frei Café or Daubner Confectionery when I pass them by, so I usually stop to get a cake. All right, maybe more than one…

14. Red wine or white?
Nowadays I prefer white wine, during summertime mostly fröccs (wine-spitzer).

15. Book or movie?
It depends on my mood and how tired I am. But when I read, I mostly pick up books on professional, psychological topics because I truly believe in lifelong learning and continuous self-improvement. Plus, these are what I really care about, so I love to read them.

16. Morning person or night person?
It has totally changed in the past years as my family grew. From night owl to early worm, so I’m usually already in my pyjamas at 11 pm.

17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Both as a business leader and an individual I try to give back to the community. This year Sixt Hungary helped the work of the National Ambulance Service and the Heim Pál Children’s Hospital by lending them two cars.

Furthermore, with my family we’ve been putting together gift packages for the Hungarian Shoebox Foundation before the holidays for years. I think it’s important that this attitude develops in my children as well.

18. Buda or Pest side?
I’ve spent my childhood on the Pest side, later I drifted to the other one, and finally ended up in Törökbálint, where I currently live.

19. Which achievement in your life are you the proudest of?
I am very proud of the professional awards, but I could not highlight one in particular, as every single one meant a lot in their time.  It was a special honour that we won these awards representing one of the smaller Sixt countries.

20. What would you say is your personal motto? 
We need to evolve with the ever-changing world. This is my own creed and we raise our children in this spirit as well.

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