Local Heroes in CEE

Local Heroes in Central & Eastern Europe: In Search of Successful Domestic Firms in the Region

The aim of this rese­arch project at the Compe­tence Center for Emer­ging Markets & CEE is to iden­tify successful domestic firms in CEE and analyze their stra­tegy patterns, parti­cu­larly compe­ti­tive and inter­na­tio­na­liza­tion stra­tegy. The subject of our analysis, the so-called “Local Heroes”, are firms founded and (still) head­quar­tered in CEE coun­tries that show a solid sales growth, have a good finan­cial perfor­mance, hold leading market posi­tions and/or are tech­no­logy/inno­va­tion leaders in their rele­vant markets, and have a considerable foreign busi­ness too.

The follo­wing ques­tions guide our rese­arch:

  • How are local heroes compe­ting in their rele­vant markets?

  • What sources of compe­ti­tive advan­tage do they use?

  • What types of compe­ti­tive stra­te­gies do they pursue? How do they set apart from their direct compe­ti­tion?

  • How do the home-­country condi­tions and industry back­ground influ­ence the deve­lop­ment and perfor­mance of these local cham­pions?

This study builds on an exis­ting body of rese­arch on local heroes at the Center. So far, we drew up a list of 250 poten­tial candi­dates in 13 coun­tries of the region in 2014 – this list was then narrowed down accor­ding to our defi­ni­tion to 60 local heroes in 2015 . We used the follo­wing criteria for the selec­tion: The firms were founded in a CEE country and are still managed from there. The firms were profi­table in the last 3 years. Local ownership is bigger than 50%. The firm has more than 100 employees and at least a share of 25% of foreign sales. Not included in this defi­ni­tion are state-owned firms, finan­cial service provi­ders, and energy and commo­dity busi­nesses.

If you are inte­rested in the rese­arch design and first results of this rese­arch program, please click here.