„Hidden Champions in the Connected World“ is a joint symposium that takes place from October 22-23 at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. This academic conference showcases the factors which induce a company to be a Hidden Champion and how these firms develop in the connected world.
The symposium is chaired by Prof. Xiaobo Wu, Director of NIIM and former Dean of School of Management, Zhejiang University and Prof. Danica Purg, Dean of IEDC and President of CEEMAN.
Hidden Champions are highly successful, but not very well-known innovative small and medium-sized companies. They are among the global top-three in terms of market share in their respective niche or the leader on their continent. Furthermore, the survival rate of Hidden Champions is often significantly higher than the average in their respective sector. Hidden Champions also boast the tendency to be very competitive in their markets and exhibit a consistent growth trajectory as well as an above-average innovation rate. It is because of these fascinating and compelling traits that academia strives to determine why these businesses in particular are thriving. The term of "Hidden Champions" was developed by Prof. Hermann Simon, German author and business leader who is one of the keynote speakers at the Symposium in China.
Prof. Simon’s methodology on Hidden Champions was used in the research done by IEDC-Bled School of Management, Postgraduate Studies and CEEMAN in the period 2010-2013 where with the support of 15 research teams, IEDC-Bled School of Management, Postgraduate Studies identified 165 Hidden Champions companies in CEE and Turkey. The results were published in the book “Hidden Champions in CEE and Turkey - Carving Out a Global Niche” edited by Prof. Peter McKiernan and Prof. Danica Purg. The results showed that Slovenia had at that time 16 Hidden Champions!
The second research on Hidden Champions, which is led by Dr. Alenka Braček Lalić, Vice Dean for Research, is currently conducted in 24 countries and it explores the characteristics of innovative companies operating in Central Europe, and South-Eastern Europe, Turkey, Russia and China. The research is supported by EBRD, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The preliminary results of the study are being at the moment presented by seven research partners from CEE at the scientific conference in China.
The research will be completed by the end of the year 2018 when the results will show the progress that has been done by the Hidden Champions companies identified by IEDC-Bled School of Management, Postgraduate Studies and CEEMAN in 2011 and it will identify new Hidden Champions. In addition, it will also propose some recommendations that should be introduced by different stakeholders (policymakers, financial institutions, higher education institutions) in order to create a business environment which will help these companies to thrive also in the future.
The results of the research will be published in a book published by one of the international publishers. IEDC-Bled School of Management, Postgraduate Studies will organize a number of consultation meetings in order to disseminate the research findings.
In the photo: Dr. Alenka Braček Lalić, Prof. Danica Purg, Prof. Hermann Simon