XpatLoop Interview: László Krisán, CEO of KAVOSZ & President of Budapest Chamber of Commerce

  • 3 Apr 2017 12:00 PM
XpatLoop Interview: László Krisán, CEO of KAVOSZ & President of Budapest Chamber of Commerce
László Krisán is CEO of KAVOSZ cPLc, the company coordinating the Széchenyi Card Programme, and of KAVOSZ Enterprise Development cPLc. He is President of Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vice President responsible for matters related to EU funds of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and President of the Commerce and Services Sector of the National Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers.

As financing specialist of micro, small and medium size businesses, he is committed to taking an active role in developing the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises sector (SMEs), the backbone of Hungarian economy. In 2004 and 2010 he received the award For the Hungarian Economy. In 2007 he was decorated with the Knight of Cross from the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic.

He regards taking responsibility for future generations as an integral part of his calling. This is reflected in the fact that he was appointed President of the Consistory of the Corvinus University of Budapest, and Honorary Associate Professor of Budapest Business College.


1. Where did you grow up?
In Budapest, so I am a typical Budapest guy. I love my country, I am a big Hungary-fan, meaning it warms my heart if things go well and can see development.

2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I spent a lot of time in Asia, Vietnam, and Singapore at a very young age. I would choose Singapore because of the safety and flexibility. Everything can be solved there, people are open-minded, solution driven people. Solution is their main ’topic’; they focus on finding a solution and not on the negative side of things. It is like fresh air to me, a great feeling for me seeing problems solved. I am also aware of the rules and restrictions there. For example the chewing gum bans. Someone once put one on the sensor and for a few hours the whole public transport was down. Thus I understand this how and can live with it.

3. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?
The river Danube, family, my friends and the ‘air’ of Budapest.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
I would suggest a two hour sight-seeing: the Castle, Hero’s square and another 6 – 7 places. Then I would focus on the tastes of Hungary. Food is a common language and everybody loves eating, so I would introduce Hungary through their stomach. I would also show them the nightlife at Király utca as a bottle neck, then Basilica and Gozsdu Udvar. I would also show them the cultural aspects - since music is also an international language.

5. What is your favourite place in Hungary?
I am a Balaton fun, Tihany is my favourite place. It is small but very nice and not over crowded by tourists. Sailing on Balaton is one of my past-times; I like having friends around and having a cold fröccs. The other favourite place is near Eger, called Noszvaj. There is family out there operating a little panzio and everyone staying there is treated as a member of the family. We cook and eat together and there are no titles, positions, we all are like a big family.

6. What is your favourite sport / form of exercise?
I love driving, that is how I get rid of the stress and I also spend time with the kids.

7. Who do you admire the most, and why?
In a man’s life there are people who give them a lot. I have four of these in my life. Two of them unfortunately have passed away, Péter Zwack and Ferenc Bartha. The next one is my Singaporean friend who taught me business, how to treat people, etc. The fourth one is Sándor Demján who is my Icon too. And there are the ladies I had in my life. My first girlfriend who gave me self-confidence, who was always saying: You can do it, you can solve it!” Ladies teach you emotions, empathy, and how to deal with different feelings.

8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
To be an Ambassador in Singapore, but seriously anything which gives me a good feeling and useful time-spending.

9. What’s a job you would definitely never want?
Administration. That is why I hire ladies, to put my ideas on paper.

10. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Near Eger in a small family pension. I also went to. I love travelling. I also went to Croatia, Brussels and to Lake Garda.

11. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
We will go to Italy, to Mille Mia, the oldest cars competition and to Good Wood car exhibition in the UK. Will also going to see the European handball final in Germany and hopefully to a winner match to France for the Hungarian soccer-team..

12. Book or movie?
Film - I love crimes and thrillers. But I also watch Pepe Piglet with my daughter.

13. Morning person or night person?
Morning.

14. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Töltött paprika (paprika stuffed with meat and rice in tomato sauce).

15. What has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
Luck - even if you are smart you have to be lucky to be at the right place in the right time and my four mentors

16. Apart of temptation, what can’t you resist?
Marzipan, I am even able to fight over it with my kids.

17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Children’s health issue, if anything happens to them, the whole family is shaken. I believe that charity begins at home, so we have to take good care of our kids.

18. What is the secret of your success?
Luck, hard work, networking and empathy.

19. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?
My three kids.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
I have four:
Completely wrong thinking, but I like it.
I pay for the result, not the service.
We play the life for happiness.
It’s better to apologize later, than asking for permission upfront.

  • How does this interview make you feel?