We stand for SMEs and diversity
The Austrian television and radio presenter Nadja Mader welcomed the audience and started off by asking the two CEOs of Markant AG, Dominik Scheid, and Markant Austria, Thomas Zechner, to come up onto the stage for an interview together. The two CEOs looked back briefly at the past few years and explained what services will become more significant in future.
Thomas Zechner emphasised the positive economic development: «The development of turnover in the past three years was generally very balanced, not least thanks to the heterogeneous composition. The retail trade developed very well, while the business segment of restaurant and catering deliveries suffered badly in 2020 and 2021, but recorded significant growth again in 2022. We are seeing a very positive trend again compared to 2019 and will also record significant growth again in the coming year.» Scheid emphasised that a positive development is also evident in other countries throughout Europe: «We are particularly pleased by the real momentum in Eastern Europe, as this is one of our major target markets. We believe there is still lots of potential for the successful Markant system here.»
Both CEOs agree that the service portfolio will also continue to be expanded in future and adapted to the partners' requirements. Increasing efficiency and productivity is hugely important. A clear strategy is also needed in these times, as are values when working together, said Scheid. And Markant's values are trust, cooperation and progress.»
Zechner also referred to Markant's most-used services in Austria and also presented a new addition to the portfolio. A specially developed app solution allows product images to be created easily and quickly and also offers an image editing service. This offers partners a cost-efficient solution for improving image quality. Scheid also referred to the increasingly important issue of cyber security and made it clear that Markant defined its own service mandate to improve the resilience and resistance of our customers. The focus is mainly on crisis management and maintaining the emergency operation with the help of a specially designed digital crisis room.
Scheid also emphasised that partners getting involved with the Information Day shows that there is trust in cooperation. «We believe that Markant is the only alternative to the multinational retail corporations in America, England or France. We stand for SMEs and diversity and on both sides: for industry partners and retail partners.»
As the opening speaker, Dr. Marc Knuff, Global Director Retail Consumer Panels & Services of the GfK explained the effects of the crisis situation on the sustainable behaviour of consumers to the audience with his presentation about «Sustainability in times of great uncertainty and inflation». Among other things, he addressed the impact of the cost of living crisis and supported his theories with data and figures from current GfK studies.
Hanno Settele, ORF journalist, addressed the issue: «End of the turnaround? How much more sustainable can we be.» in his presentation and examined the different ways to overcome the current energy crisis. He talked about sustainable options and options that are considered to be abolished and their advantages and disadvantages.
After a lunch buffet together where participants had the chance to talk and make new acquaintances, it was the start of the second half of the conference.
The former EU Commissioner and Minister for Foreign Affairs and now retired Dr. Benita Ferrero-Waldner then held a presentation on the subject «How eco is eco? – Recycling economy for a competitive Europe" and talked in great detail about the action plan for the EU recycling economy.
The American journalist and commentator, Dr. Melinda Crane, addressed the question «How do we deal with nonstop crisis?» in her presentation. First of all, she provided an overview of the current challenges in the areas of geopolitics, energy, socioeconomics and climate and outlined some important effects. She also established links between the individual crises and spoke about approaches to overcome exactly these crises.
Final speaker Dr. Christoph Leitl, Honorary President of the European Chamber of Commerce EUROCHAMBRES provided the participants with an outlook for the period ahead with his presentation «What direction is Europe heading in?» and how Europe can reach the destination by promoting strengths and individual talents.
Thomas Zechner emphasised the following at the end: «We are part of the solution. We can counteract this and help overcome these challenges positively.» He thanked all speakers, the organisers and the host and all participants and immediately announced the date for next year: 12.10.2023!