Q&a: Instinct


DEMONSTRATING a shrewd combination of market observation and business instinct, Tomasz Wegrzynski guided Vectra SA, Poland's second-largest cable TV company, to announce in early 2006 its plans to invest roughly euro14 million to euro16 million to upgrade its communications networks. The goal of the project is to strategically extend the reach of the company's broadband Internet access and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services. The investment is a bold move for VECTRA, a relative newcomer in VoIP. Although the Internet has been a growing focus for the cable television-based organization, the company didn't launch its VoIP service until 2005.

Q. What role does instinct play in making crucial leadership decisions?

A. Business instinct is undoubtedly a kind of unique intuition supported by a leader's knowledge and experience. This kind of instinct is very important and can understandably be critical on the pathway to success. However, this is only true when a suitable background of experience and knowledge regarding the company and the market situation are present.

Q. How has instinct helped you in your career?

A. One of the most important decisions I instinctively made was to withdraw VECTRA operations from our local Gdansk market and courageously enter new territories. It was our reaction to a sudden appearance of a strong competitor-Polska Telewizja Kablowa (PTK) [a cable TV provider now owned by UPC, a communications company in Amsterdam]. PTK invested a fair amount of money in the development of its cable services in Poland, and it appeared that it would be a hard competitor. I took into consideration two options: focusing on fighting with PTK in the local market, or closing the operations in Gdansk and moving on to other areas.

The decision was not easy, seeing that the Polish cable market had not been measured yet, and we did not know the potential for the growth of this business in Poland. …

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