Adam Goral,Agnieszka Magdziak-Miszewska, Moti Gutman 311.
(photo credit: Eyal Medina)
Israel is a natural bridge for central and eastern European companies looking to
expand into the American market, the visiting head of Poland’s largest
information-technology group said Wednesday.
“Our global ambitions are
strongly connected to the American market. Who is the best from the preparation
point of view to be the bridge to America? Israel,” Asseco Poland SA president
and CEO Adam Goral said at a press conference at the Polish Embassy in Tel
Also in attendance were Polish Ambassador to Israel Agnieszka
Magdziak-Miszewska and Moti Gutman, CEO of Israeli IT company Matrix.
Asseco Group, Europe’s fifth-largest software vendor by sales, purchased a
controlling stake in Israeli-based software- services firm Formula Systems, of
which Matrix is a subsidiary, for up to $145 million in November.
said Asseco had begun exploring options in Israel two years ago, stemming from
its ambition to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
He said his firm
would benefit from the extra knowledge Israelis have in this area, particularly
through its connection with Formula CEO Guy Bernstein, whose firm is already
listed on NASDAQ.
“We are coming here because we want to learn, because
we are impressed by Israeli achievements,” Goral said. “We had to pay a lot of
money; for us this was a big investment. It was not easy to find such money for
this, but I don’t have any doubt that this is a win-win project.”
Polish market was not prepared for the investment because investors there didn’t
appreciate what was being done in Israel, he said. But Israelis also lacked
understanding of the benefits that could be obtained from working with the
Polish market, he added.
Gutman echoed Goral’s remarks, describing the
deal with Asseco as not just an acquisition, but instead enabling the Polish
company “access to a very big talent pool” of about 4,300 IT professionals in
For Matrix, he said, “it will be much easier to expose and to
introduce our products to countries where Asseco is a major player in those
economies, in terms of the IT economy.”
Magdziak-Miszewska agreed with
Goral that Israeli stereotypes about working with Poland must be countered,
saying the eastern European nation had transformed itself into a modern country
worthy of investment.
“In Israel people look at Poland as the biggest
Jewish graveyard in the world, which is unfortunately a fact,” she said. “[And
for Poles], there is also the image [of Israel], especially lately, of an
unstable region, of dangerous threats. But it is in the common interests of both
of our governments to convince the people, especially in business, to build