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edition 3 (238)
March 2019
Warehouse & industrial

Organic – but sometimes surging ahead

Tomasz Cudowski

Organic – but sometimes surging ahead
Renata Osiecka, founder and owner, Axi Immo

This year Axi Immo celebrates its tenth anniversary. In April 2009, when you started out, the market was still stricken from the onslaught of the credit crunch. Did you ever regret the decision to go it alone?

Renata Osiecka, founder and owner, Axi Immo: Absolutely not. At some point I simply came to the conclusion that it was ‘now or never’. I felt that I had the right knowledge and contacts as well as the time to start working for myself. We started with a team of three people and a small in-office on ul. Senatorska in Warsaw, but I have very good memories from that period – it was a time of extraordinary enthusiasm and energy that accompanied every new undertaking. The company has more than 50 employees now.

What – apart from knowledge and contacts – did you need to have in order to enter the real estate agency and consultancy market, which is, after all, well represented by international corporations?

You need to have an idea – to know what will make the company stand out on the market and offer added value to the client. With us it was a complementary service tailored to the client – less standard and giving them a sense of control over the process. And many clients gave us – an unfamiliar company at that time – the chance to prove ourselves. And they didn’t regret it. We provide services for a large number of these companies to this day.

What kind of growth plan did you have: rapid or organic?

Definitely the second option, although there have also been significant jumps forward in our history. The first was the opening of our regional office in Katowice in 2011, while our latest branch was established in Łódź a year ago. We started out as an agency providing services for the warehouse sector but gradually launched new business segments: land, offices, investment consulting and property management. Around 90 pct of our activity is still focused on the warehouse market, but it since been extended to the office market and the investment sector. Another great leap forward in the company’s development was the relocation to our current headquarters, the Spektrum Tower office building. We were previously all working in a relatively small open-space office, but our people did find it difficult to adapt to having both a lot of space and separate rooms at the beginning.

Last year you gave financial support to the production of ‘Zabawa Zabawa’, a film by Kinga Dębska, which has just appeared in the cinemas. Axi Immo’s logo is displayed prominently right at the beginning of the opening credits. How did the idea arise for investing in such an artistic endeavour?

It’s actually the latest stage of our development: image building through non-standard cultural initiatives, often involving a social message. We have already supported the arts, through organising special concerts and theatre visits for our clients and partners to see novel and ambitious productions. We were looking for an innovative approach that would allow us to go beyond the organisation of traditional business events and so the idea of ​​supporting a worthy film production emerged. Kinga Dębska’s film met these criteria perfectly – it is of great artistic merit and it also raises important social issues.

Returning to warehouses – which direction is the Polish warehouse market now heading in?

First of all, this is no longer an emerging market but a mature one, with all the advantages and disadvantages that go with that. The supply of new projects is huge – but the demand is also breaking all the records. There’s no indication that the market is about to significantly slow down. There is still a lot of room for ‘last mile delivery’ facilities and completely novel concepts that fulfil the needs of the constantly changing supply chain as well as the end-customer. Poland is the most rapidly developing warehouse market in Europe. Furthermore, it is a market that has a modern supply chain, since the age of most warehouse and production projects is much lower than in Western Europe. And we have been enjoying interest from foreign investors, especially those from the Far East recently.

How would you like to celebrate the end of your second decade? As the no. 1 on the market?

We would like Axi Immo to be an even more recognisable company in Poland and beyond. The market is changing and we intend to change with it – adjusting our services and expanding our teams as well as extending our competences. And constantly acquiring new customers. Furthermore, we plan to expand internationally, although I can’t reveal any details about that yet. We are already carrying out international projects with our partners including such organisations as SIOR, Gerald Eve and IRELS.

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