Miroslaw Szydlowski

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Miroslaw Szydlowski
PBS Connect Polska
Managing Director

2021: PBS Connect Polska, part of the Austria-based PBS Holding stable, has achieved double-digit growth over the past 12 months, according to Managing Director Miroslaw Szydlowski. This has been partly due to the Polish wholesaler’s ability to swiftly reduce costs and adjust its product portfolio to suit evolving market conditions, with a new range of hygiene and PPE products more than offsetting reduced sales in traditional office supplies.

Over this period, the business has successfully obtained exclusive distribution rights in Poland for eight key European manufacturers and established partnerships in seven new foreign markets, mainly across Europe and Africa.

During the pandemic, the company has been able to successfully launch a new sub-brand of its private label Donau brand. Called Donau Med, it focuses on products that aim to protect individuals from COVID-19. PBS has also continued to expand its Donau Tech range, predominantly featuring a wide selection of high-quality calculators.

In the middle of 2020, the company moved to a new 12,000 sq m (120,000 sq ft) logistics and distribution centre which runs a state-of-the-art order processing system. Szydlowski reports that Poland has been experiencing an extraordinary level of growth in e-commerce sales recently. To help benefit from this, the company has tailor-made a unique application that connects and integrates its range – more than 12,000 SKUs – with Allegro, the largest online player in Central and Eastern Europe.

While many companies in the sector have been reducing staff numbers during the pandemic, PBS Connect Polska has upped its recruitment drive over the past year.  

2019: PBS Connect Polska has established four new exports markets and two new brands in 2019, according to Managing Director Miroslaw Szydlowski. There has also been further development – in terms of volumes and number of SKUs – of its existing private label brands Donau and Office Products across Europe.

Overall growth in company revenues was 11.7 % last year. The business has been using an external agency to conduct a review of its pricelists, collating and analysing over 17 million data points to advise PBS on its strategy. This is the first time such an advanced use of ‘big data’ has been carried out in Poland, says Szydlowski.

2018: This year has been “excellent” according to Miroslaw Szydlowski, Managing Director at PBS Connect Polska, with half-year results showing continuing double-digit growth of about 26% year on year in all its channels.

This was mainly due to deeper market penetration and the signing of new contracts, but was also helped by the inclusion of new brands that have broadened the company’s offering. Additionally, the company – part of Austrian multichannel operator PBS-Holding – has added new ranges under its private label ‘Donau’ and ‘Office Products’ brands.

PBS Connect Polska has also been putting significant effort into improving its online platform. According to Szydlowski, almost 80% of active users are now using the new features.

2017: It’s been another good year for PBS Connect Polska, the Polish wholesale operation of Austrian multichannel operator PBS Holding. Managing Director Miroslaw Szydlowski points to excellent export growth across EMEA, with sales up 30% year on year. Overall, the wholesaler boasted revenue increases of about 11% year to date.

PBS Connect Polska finally bought the ‘Donau’ brand from Switzerland-based Biella, a hugely important step says Szydlowski since “Donau is one of the most recognisable and well-known brands in Central and Eastern Europe”.

The company also succeeded in acquiring full distribution rights for a number of other global brands, including Wenger, Citizen, Verbatim and Velvet.

2016: PBS Connect Polska’s plans for 2016 are to exceed the €25 million threshold. Looking ahead, Managing Director Miroslaw Szydlowski says the wholesaler aims to maintain its double-digit year-on-year growth rate of 10-12%. Other strategic goals include new customer acquisition and further private label development.

2015: Miroslaw Szydlowski is Managing Director of PBS Connect Polska, the Polish wholesale subsidiary of Austrian multichannel operator PBS Holding.

Szydlowski continues to grow what is now one of the leading wholesalers in the country, outperforming expectations and achieving revenue growth in the past 18 months of about 15% in an essentially flat market environment. Total sales are now in the region of €22 million ($27 million).