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edition 3 (218)
March 2017
Retail & leisure

The cats that got the CREAM

Interviewer: Ewa Andrzejewska

The cats that got the CREAM
Grzegorz Mroczek, vice-president of CREAM

Some personnel reshuffling has recently taken place in your company. Your position – head of the commercialisation department – has been taken over by Michał Małecki. What is the reason for this?

Grzegorz Mroczek, vice-president of CREAM: Apart from the fact that Michał worked hard for the promotion, the immediate reason is the change in the scope of competences, which have evolved towards working on the further development of CREAM. Last year we observed an increased interest in the offers of professional property managers that have qualified teams and integrated management systems. We have considerably extended our portfolio to new facilities and acquired new clients. We are starting to observe the ‘snowball’ effect and we are trying to react in advance to emerging opportunities.

Isnt it difficult to hand over such a substantial part of your range of responsibilities?

It is not difficult, because I am sure that the quality of the commercialisation department’s work will continue to be high. Michał has grown into our structure, he got to know our specificity and we understand each other well. Over the last two years we have worked together on many projects. Just like the entire team, Michał knows the goals we have set for ourselves.

The ownership structure has also changed you have become a shareholder of CREAM by acquiring a 50 pct stake (the other 50 pct is held by Niall OHiggins, the president of CREAM). What was the reason for the changes in the ownership structure?

This is connected with the philosophy behind the management method at CREAM. Our company is formed of experts who directly engage their knowledge and experience in extending the value of our clients’ portfolios and increasing the company’s value. Consequently, everyone who has a positive influence on its development is offered a chance to enter its ownership structure and develop their competences further.

Has the companys strategy also changed?

In our case changes are a continuous process because they are necessary for our development. This process is a permanent element of our company’s life. Looking back, almost the entire CREAM team started their careers working for a development company. We have been an investor, a project manager and a facility manager. Thanks to this we have built our competences, which make it possible for us to understand our clients’ needs. We have been rendering services to external clients for a few years. We provide comprehensive asset and property management services, investment consultancy, commercialisation and marketing in various configurations, according to needs. Having such a broad range of services forces us to develop continuously and it also generates changes. However, our assumptions generate effects and that is why we do not envisage changes in our strategy strictly speaking. But methods of its implementation do change and they will continue to change. Tactical and operational activities have to evolve towards increasing efficiency.

It is the beginning of 2017. What goals have you managed to achieve?

First of all we have increased the number of projects in our portfolio. We have also improved the company’s profitability. These derive from the results we have generated for individual clients, who have then entrusted us with subsequent tasks, and from acquiring new clients who trusted us for the first time. Thanks to projects such as Galeria Grodova in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Galaktyka in Wrocław and Galeria Manhattan in Gorzów, the number of projects we have been working on has increased by a dozen or so percent. This is a very good result taking into consideration the fact that despite our experts often having over 15 years of experience in the commercial property market, the CREAM brand is relatively young. We are appreciated for our professionalism. We offer strategic consultancy, and analyse and recommend various investment options. We commercialise and manage, including technical management and debt recovery. Furthermore, we have a professional legal and accounting base. We are clearly distinguished by our approach to marketing which we implement on the basis of our own team. For years we have been operating in medium and small markets, which has never been easy. It enabled us to gain substantial experience, which we can now use in other projects in larger cities. Because of their size, larger cities experienced saturation and the associated problems later, whereas we came across them earlier. Thanks to our highly varied portfolio, which includes shopping centres, retail parks, mixed-use complexes and stand-alone ones as well as office space, we are perfectly prepared for any eventuality. Today we know which strategies work and which are not worth our money. We understand the needs of tenants as well as shopping centre customers and investors – in fact, a combination of the expectations of these three groups is the only recipe for success. Our experience, which has been gained in various markets with different levels of competition and from various properties, combined with our own dedicated team, supports our strategy to achieve further growth of around 20-30 pct per year.

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