The third episode of the series focuses on the sources of the power of Art-B. Bagsik and Gasiorowski will tell you, how to earn huge fortune by buying more in Korea and selling cheaper in Poland. They will also reveal the Balcerowicz Plan’s contribution, and their contacts in the Evangelical Christian community. Viewers will learn why investment returns reached up to 18,000% per year and how capitalism was born in Poland.
Oscar-nominated Aneta Kopacz in the documentary series „ART-B. Made in Poland” produced by Canal+ Discovery Channel. Sensational documentary series about the life and career, ups and downs of the owners of one of the largest private company in Polish history. Art-B company founded and owned by Bogusław Bagsik and Andrzej Gasiorowski, in 1990-1992 created a network of 600 daughter companies in 50 countries around the world. The company achieved a revenue of $22.5 billion in eighteen months, which is higher than Orlen’s revenue in 2015. (the largest Polish oil corporation).
Art-B Made in Poland: Episode 3 – These were the days
00:03 Original production Discovery Networks Europe presents. Director: Aneta Kopacz
00:49 On June 4, 1989, Communism ended in Poland. We, the nation
01:39 Andre: What technique, as in Spielberg.
01:45 Bogus: Mr. Andrzej, you’ll be fine.
01:48 Andre: What’s the problem, let’s have some fun.
01:52 Andre: We’re going from Warsaw to Cieszyn. Unfortunately, in our time this journey lasted in the case of the president Bagsik – one hour 48 minutes. In my case – one hour and fifty-two. minutes. Because I had a weaker car. And today we will drive six hours. And this is the difference between sometime and now.
02:19 Hotel Orbis in Cieszyn. Former headquarters of the Art-B company.
02:23 Receptionist: Good morning, names please
02:32 Andrzej Gąsiorowski. And Bogusław Bagsik.
02:35 Andre: This is the lady who worked here in the office at the very end. She complained that she had to send our 20-minute faxes. Then she was pregnant. And the son was born.
02:47 Receptionist: They haven’t changed at all.
02:50 Andre: What a great meeting. Thank you. Have a nice day.
02:29 Hotel a bit renovated, but the climate is great. The atmosphere remained.
03:04 Your office was here – the entrance is closed.
03:11 This is the secretariat
03:13 Yours? Mine.
03:14 And the interconnecting room – the office.
03:17 At the end we took the whole wing of the hotel.
03:20 inscription: Big smile for Bogus and Andrzej
03:22 Ultimately, everything here was already occupied afterwards. And we started from this from this side of the hotel.
03:26 And over there, in these two (rooms) I started my new life here with Bożena and children, when we came to Cieszyn first time many years ago..
03:33 Yes, before you get house here.
03:36 You see, as I told you – Interconnecting room.
03:39 The view is almost the same.
03:41 The mountains are here, the doors, to your office
04:15 Bogus: Gloria Reed. She came from the West. Top manager from the USA. Very orderly. Incredibly disciplined. Totally focused on what to do. It doesn’t matter if it takes a week or a year. Step by step. She wanted to raise us in such a nice, smart way. Six in the morning, lady prepared for classes.
04:42 Andre: Lesson # 1 I was taught is, that when lesson # 1 starts at 9:00, you have to be in the classroom at 9:00. Not just waking up. Then there was lesson 2: That everything in life depends on the circumstances.
04:55 Bogus: She shaped Andre by drawing his attention: From suit, way of being, body language. How to give a business card in Far East so as not to offend, and show respect,
05:07 Andre: She said: – We’re going to buy you a suit. I say: – How is that? – Because you should look like a businessman. – What do I look like who? I had such beautiful light pants, such a green jacket. Then she says: – Well, it’s not the business you want to go to.
06:00 Bogus: I was with very individual approach to all of that, I can say. And I preferred my own style. I liked cowboy boots, jeans, play, blues …
06:12 Andre: I have learned one thing: To the most valuable things I have I need to invest everything I have. Two years later, when I entered the World Bank visiting Vice president He just measured me from top to bottom, and said: – I didn’t expect that. And I answered: -You see?
06:50 Andre: Idea. Phonecall. Contact. Action.
06:54 Bogus: Jeans, powdered milk, chickens, wood, carpentry,
07:04 Andre: Someone proposed us a sawmil. They wanted to be our company. Because their furniture were not being sold very well. Well, if furniture were the problem, let’s do something different then. For example, a casket, right? Because there are zero returns, nobody complains on quality. Thats how “Eternal Life” company was founded.
07:18 Andre: Pesicides products. then meat products, barter exchange
07:21 Bogus: Several helicopters, several planes. We were preparing to launch our own airlines.
07:30 Andre: Then was project with Samsung, Sony, Huynday. Then we opened factories to assembly their products. Then Massey Fergusson tractors, factories for military products. There were several hundred of such projects. Only today I am able to see all this gigantic dimension of our activities. And we even bought razor blades. However, it turned out, they were for industrial purpose only.
07:56 Customer: I wish to meet that guy, who imported those razor blades I bough. I would rip his legs out of his ass.
08:07 Film: We want private property and freedom and a free market. We don’t want any socialism. We want capitalism.
08:13 Lector: So llet’s rivatize everything, give freedom to capital, implement social policy. And stick firmly to the conservative ideas.
08:27 Prof. Antoni Dudek, Political Scientist: In December 1988, the Parliament of the Polish People’s Republic adopted two acts: the Act on Economic Activity Freedom, and the Act on Conducting Business Activity with the Participation of Foreign Entities. And these were two acts, created by Minister of Industry – Mieczysław Wilczek, They were called the “Wilczek Acts”.
08:49 Andre: It was brilliant, because people pulled out of their drows billions of dollars at that time. And as it all started as an explosion of individual trade, then this consumer goods hole in the market was immediately covered.
09:03 Lector: Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki appointed Minister of Finance – Professor Leszek Balcerowicz, a man previously known only to a narrow group of economists. Professor Balcerowicz soon became the main author and supervisor of economic changes in Poland. His plan, later called “shock therapy”, liberalized internal prices. He paved the way for an increase in imports. He introduced an interest rate higher than inflation. He made real and stabilized dollar exchange rate, creating conditions for the creation of a “hard” zloty.
09:33 Leszek Balcerowicz, Minister of Finance: Ladies and gentlemen, you are facing a decision, that will change the economic system of Poland most of all to date. We need to make ownership transformations faster than any country before us. The market economy based on a wide share of private property allows achieving the highest degree of economy, and to start removing obstacles. One of them is certainly the lack of domestic capital. And also lack of experience.
10:00 Prof. Antoni Dudek, Political Scientist: So it createed an absolute Eldorado for the development of entrepreneurship. There was only one problem: For developing large-scale entrepreneurship, large capital is required.
10:13 Mayor of Cieszyn: And how is it possible that such a young man, in such a difficult economic situation is a shareholder of such a huge fortune.
10:24 Bogus: We have a relatively large working capital. But it is results of large trade transactions, from vaious investments. Circulation of such finances are constantly taking place. For today, it could be de facto cash worth 100 billion zł (100 million dollars). Then tomorrow already transformed properly by the transactions – with the revenue value similar to bank operations. In conjunction with the things I mentioned earlier, they give quite a lot of profitability.
11:00 Andre: And it was so cool. Market-capital thinking mechanisms, but so intuitive, very simple, based on life experiences. For me as a consumer, who thought: – well, I could buy a good quality TV with price 150, not 200 dollars. So I thought: – if I bring something like that, then its exectly for all people like me, and everyone living between Western Polish Border and Vladivostok at the Far East. Then: contacts, international markets, calling to USA. Two days of waiting for someone to connect me there. And I say: – want to meet with the boss of LG. Well, that was a bit … silly, right? The guy from Cieszyn is calling with urgent request, that he wants to meet just only the President. Immediately. Not just some ordynary sales manager. After three days I got reply: – OK, you have a meeting organized in Korea. This is how the LG (then called Goldstar) adventure began.
10:52 Andre: Many managers of large companies were Evangelican Christians, including Vice-president of LG, top managers of Hyundaya, Samsung, and many others. They would normally attend services in the same church in Seoul, then over there something start to happen some phonecalls: -Listen, I have some idea, would you like to deal with this? Then someone says: – Yes, why not. They were purely Evangelican Christians contacts.
12:12 Andre: Our trip to Korea. indeed – a great improvisation, because along the way we lost our suitcases, and other thigs happened
12:20 Bogus: I was very well dressed. Do you remember?
12:22 Andre: Yes. Our suitcases got lost somewhere. Boguslaw was in such a T-shirt. 12:27 He had on his neck a gold chain, thick as a finger. Korean partners they were dressed in elegant black suits. Then there was a glass table. Bogus, when he leaned forward so much, there was a lound sound of chain heating on this glass.They all look at it just like in hypnosis, at this chain, then back at us.
12:46 Andre: After they showed me, what they really can do, productions for Sony, for Pentagon… I said: – I want to have that production. Just this. My Korean manager asked: – In how many parts do you want us to send shipment of TV’s to you? I asked him: -In how many parts? He says: – Yes, in most countries – in Poland too, if you import our products in parts, then you have much reduction on import tax. I called the lawyer, asking him: – From how many parts now counts that there is no duty. And he says: – Generally this is a good question, because it is not specified in regulations, then based on legal terms, it starts from two. So I requested, that in Korea they took out the remote controls from TV set, and to send to me in separate shipment. I had to implement the assembly plant for TV sets.
13:31 Andre: The crew was standing in these aprons. As a main master of ceremony, I show them, how to assamble a TV set. I asked for a knife. Factory manager gave me a knife. I said: – “Please write down”. So everyone was writing. – “We’re taking a knife. We cut here. We open the box. We take a remote controll. We put it here. And we seal it.” That’s how I established the TV sets assembly line. It was an old factory for electronic products. Disabled people were employed over there, mainly with leg paralysis. And some people over there were mentally retarded, but physically fit.
14:12 Andre: Have you been in this factory?
14:14 Bogus: I don’t know, but if I were, it was only once.
14:16 Andre: Yes, we were once over there. Just at the opening.
14:19 Andre (TV interview): Answering question about success of this project: The key to success od course is about, how TVs will be produced. We will produce top quality product, But how it will be sold. this is a main issue. And this key is in our hands. At least, that’s how we think about it. And we are optimists. Of course, you can lose in every business. But why in that one?
14:40 Bogus: Gloria’s great merit to introduce us to all US and international business conglomerates. This contract would not have happened without her involvement.
14:50 Andre: In 1990s, 60% of all Korean exports to Central Europe, what was then Eastern Europe, was done through Art-B. I am proud of myself, that as a former gynecologist and ENT specialist, I have produced over a million reliable without a defect items, that were dolf cheaper than price of purchasing and producing them.
15:11 Bogus: Understanding the transaction with LG (Goldstar) in such colloquial terms obviously leads to some astray. Because how can one buy more expensive, then sell cheaper, and still earn profit? Professor Balcerowicz become our ally, by frozing the price of the dollar. Thanks to him dolar exchange rate was fixed for one year. At the same time, zloty has become horrendously expensive due to hyperinflation. For example, the loan annually was well above 200%.
15:50 Lector: Despite bankers’ assurances, despite the fact that the number of banks increased from a dozen to seventy, entrepreneurial loans remained unavailable. This is one of the most serious allegations directed at the creators of reform by people with initiative. However, what you see already pleases the eye. Here is one of Warsaw neighborhood stores: Western decor, Western goods, prices and customs – also. Some village shops, where private trade is revived, look no worse. However, it is still unknown: it goes well in our economy, does it not? Will new quality ever emerge from the chaos – and when? And in general, which way to go towards capitalism?
16:30 Bogus: At that time, we were not borrowing money, but we were depositing them. We created a lot of long-term deposits in banks. Always we asked to make one-year deposits, which in the case of such existing interest rates, allowed us to earn in fact in the worst case scenario, on such deposits over 100% per annum.
16:56 Lector: What exactly is Balcerowicz’s Plan?
17:00 Leszek Balcerowicz, Minister of Finance: High inflation is eliminated either quickly, or not at all. In our case the radical program was needed, which as we know, was introduced at a high cost. At the same time, we started to work on reconstruction of the economy, for example, building new organizations, a new law. And this process takes much longer time. Nobody ever before managed to make a change from Communism System to Free-market economy system. And we are, after all, an extremely rare case to make such transformation within just a few months.
17:26 Bogus: I think that Prof. Balcerowicz is an excellent monetarist, but in my opinion – he is a terrible Minister of Finance. Anyway, I used his – as I believe, wrong decisions, when he froze exchange rate of the dollar. Doing that, he just gave me an opportunity to ride at maximum speed.
18:16 Andre: Bogus, don’t you close the car?
18:20 Bogus: Don’t worry. Nobody will steal this money. Today it is easier to make them. Come.
18:28 Lector: In 1989 inflation was at the level of almost 600%. The interest rate on the annual deposit is 640%. Leszek Balcerowicz freezes the dollar exchange rate. We pay 9,500 old zlotys for one dollar. Suppose we have about $160,000. By selling dollars we get 1.5 billion old zlotys. We pay this amount to an annual deposit. In a year, we have 9.5 billion old zlotys from the bank. As we remember, that the dollar exchange rate is fixed. Our profit from this transaction is the equivalent of one million dollars. Our investment was just over $100,000. So, during the year, doing nothing, we earn one million dollars.
19:08 Andre: The interest for deposit of one million złotych for a year, was worth then 7 million złotych. For this you could get a Bank Guarantee, payable for a year, with face value of seven million of interest, plus one million deposit. Such Bank Guarantee could be used to open a Letter of Credit, meaning the payment guarantee for goods from Korea.
19:24 Bogus: Then we opened dollar-based Letters of Credit to Korea. Based on a good word from some friendly circles and people, we had defer payments for goods, as well for one year.
19:43 Andre: In January I buy goods for $7 million. Then I receive goods after one month. Such goods are sold for $6 million. Therefore, I lose one million dollars. But in February I have 6 million dollars in cash. So, in February – I deposit again such cash for 12 months for 600-700% interest per annum. So I have now $36 million for a Letter of Credit. Then I buy another shipment of goods goods for $36 million, and sell it for $30 million.
20:13 subtitles: LEVEL 1: 1. Annual Deposit funds allocation; 2. Receiving of a Bank Guarantee; 3. Opening a Letter of Credit; 4. Purchasing of LG (Goldstar) products – deferred payment for 1 year; 5. Sale of goods below the purchase price; 6. Cash on sale, payment on an Annual Deposit.
20:13 Lector: Early January 1990. Let’s suppose, we allocate million dollars as an Annual Deposit. After a year, the bank guarantees us $7 million of deposit plus interest. We receive a Bank Guarantee for this amount.It is used to open a Letter of Credit. It is a non-cash payment method between Importer and Exporter. The bank is the guarantor of this transaction. At the end of the month we are going to Korea, where we buy TV sets for the equivalent of a Letter of Credit, for seven million dollars.
The Exporter will receive money after one year, while the Importer receives his goods in the same month. Until the end of February, we sell TV sets, we bought for 7 million dollars for just 6 million dollars. All goods are sold immediately. We lose a million dollars, but we manage to convert the future profit from an annual deposit into cash in less than a month.
We allocate 6 million dollars from the sale of TV sets on an Annual Deposit, starting the whole process from the beginning. Let’s remember, our contribution to this transaction was $1 million. Within two months, we were able to convert the future profit into cash of $6 million. For the next two months, the $6 million invested will generate $35 million. Cash increases at an astronomical pace. Assuming that we will repeat the operations 5 times, we gain over $7.5 billion.
21:31 Bogus: In this entire transaction, it was important, that the deferred payment was for a year. When we ordered the goods, practically within a maximum month and a half, they were already in Poland. The price reduction resulted, that goods were immediately sold. So almost under 2 months already we had access to full cash.
21:59 Andre: Goods were only a substitute of value. Because goods through importing them, were just a carrier of value, and by selling goods to generate another cash. Instead of investing cash to some projects with unknown future, the best investment for such cash – was the bank.
22:15 Bogus: So we we able to buy any goods, as much as we wanted to, to sell them below purchase price, because inside payment instruments for Korea we had in fact our profit guaranteed. And that is all.
22:30 Andre: It was one example of many other operations. There were 60, or 70 forms of similar financial operations.
22:36 Bogus: Deposit – letter of credit, deposit – letter of credit. The TVs themselves were in 21 “segment – the most salable.
22:44 Andre: Within one year we sold over a million units in Poland. By the end of the year, imports of goods with value of $200 million had been generated from this first million of dollars. The money werestill in the bank. Banks made interest on other people. The goods were sold below the production price. And such were the days of our life then.
23:41 Andre: The first is the stage to meet your needs, your whims. At the beginning at a minimum level, then: OK, let’s go with the maximum speed. And then is a question: how many clothes can you have in your closets, how much stereo equipment can you buy, and don’t even open the boxes? Then comes the common sense: – Wait, do I need it? – Maybe not really. We had 300 cars, but we only drive the favorite one.
24:11 Bogus: Talking about Art-B, one thinks of such monstrous wealth, e.g. golden door handles, everyone bounces around. Yes, we had our own private jet, but it was just our work tool.
24:32 Andre: There was the Art-B logo. This spot was yours, because it was no. 1, then no. 2, and no. 3. Three cars were standing over there. And there were company cars over there. Minimum half of this parking lot was for us. Except for that parking spot. Because here the President Bagsik liked to land a helicopter. At this hotel parking lot.
24:54 Bogus: Because the Vice president did not like to do it, I took him aboard and landed with him as well. The helicopter had to fly over there, so as not to hit Czechoslovakia,
25:08 Andre: It looked so cool from the side, than he finally sat down. And for the engine not to cool down, you always asked for the propeller to spin, as we came here just for a coffee, or something else.
25:20 Bozena Gasiorowski: When company Art-B began to grow and prosper, there were money, but they had a specific purpose. It was the beginning, there were investments. There were visions and development plans. Of course, we could afford more than before. These were, for example, helicopter trips from school organized for children. I could afford the dress I was dreaming about, or maybe any jewelry I wanted, or I could fly without financial stress to the United States. But it wasn’t such money, that would make us think that the whole world belongs to us.
26:28 Bogus: Everyone had their chance. If he did not use anything, but I am very sorry, I will not be sitting and crying with him in the corner.
26:36 Andre: The capital increase for corporation was 18,000% per annum. In total, we generated 22.5 billion dollars revenue in one and a half year.
26:48 Bogus: Yes, it was a breakthrough thanks to LG (Goldstar).
26:55 Andre: It was a cash suction mechanism. If we sell goods in a market price, then everybody goes and says: – maybe I’ll buy this one, or maybe this one. Because everything costs more or less the same, as cars you buy around. However, if the Mercedes sale today would be at the level of $10,000 per unit, then this whole sale would last less then two hours. And this is a fundamental market supply and demand rule. Basic thing.
27:20 Bogus: It is true, that no one understood this at the time, but we also saw no reason to explain it to everyone around us.
27:27 Andre: We tried, but it was rather hard.
27:37 Bogus: Do you know this place?
27:42 Andre: What was here – textiles or LG?
27:44 Bogus: Over theres it was shop with LG. And this is not because I am memorable, but I always associated this store with one thing: those stairs.
28:15 Bogus: In the first three months, when we introduced the product to the Polish market, we are so sorry to say so, but we exterminated at once all our competitors. Not being too much aware of the fact, that what some ex-intelligence generals, now heads of largest state-owned import groups, were very nervous about it. Whose who imported and distributed Sanyo, SONY, Otaka, Technics, Panasonic, Grundig, and many others.
28:48 Andre: We got rid of the problem of cumulation, storage and goods distribution. All our inventory in the sortest possible time had to be pushed out to the market. And thats how our corporate holding was quickly created. If someone came from Bialystok to buy our goods, I said to him: – “No way. Let’s establisht new Art-B Białystok company, where we owe 90%, you 10% of shares. Than you can take first lot of TV sets. Sell them at the price we set.Take a profit we agree, bring our money back, get another lot of goods. I will tell you, how our corporate holding was created: We organized a competition for directors.”
29:20 Zbigniew Daleczko, Director General of Art-B Holdings: Various active people appeared, who would like to be directors. We were asking them: – What do you want to do?- I want to be a director. – That’s good. But how do you want to earn money? – You will tell me. – No, no, you have full freedom, flexibility, you are able to earn, right? So, how do you want to earn? – But how much could I earn? – How much do you want to earn? – I want to earn 6,000 złoty. – That’s good. You’ll have 12,000 złoty. – Monthly? – Monthly.
And so our companies were multiplied.Those people at the beginning did’t know what to do, but after two weeks, thir phones were warming up.
30:07 Andre: And over one year 3,000 or more such holding companies have been created, or even more – first generation, then next negenarions. In every company there was a leader.
30:14 Bogus: We had the ability to engage very cool people to our teams.
30:21 Andre: Former Minister of Agriculture was for agriculture projects, former head of sales of FIAT for Poland was for automotive projects. So they knew what to do. Our strategy was simple: absorbing those “former” government officials, who were unemployed in new system then, and paying them 10 or 20 times more than average saleries on the market. For them Art-B was Eldorado. It was just a paradise. They had as as they wanted: cars, offices, money, they could use our jets. So they worked like robots. It is best to sell the cost one floor below in the structure. If I have a company, and then I have to hire people, to pay their pension funds, set up their offices, buy them desks and furniture, then we are heading back into communism. It used to be this way, and it didn’t work then. However, if we spot a strong leader, who needs from us just to provide him the our market, operational funds, and he will be able to cope with all situation. Then he is our man.
31:16 Bogus: Hiring those days a professor, head of the Universyty department cost cheaper, than hiring a professional secretary with experience from abroad, speaking several languages: Korean, Chinese, Japanese, German, English, Russian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, and Arabic. Each of all of these languages could be used any time at the secretary’s office. How did I win? Also by fast communication.
31:48 Andre: That’s how these departments grew fast. It was an explosion. But it wasn’t just only our activity. We merged these people into one active organism. We gave them, what whey needed to be happy: dignity, sense of meaning, unlimited ability of creativity, using their qualities. Strong brand create by us made proud all Art-B team members. Suddenly everyone felt honored to have sticker with Art-B name on his car’s bumper. Art-B name was everywhere. Operating with new business rules: – You want to buy our? You must be in our structure. Set up new company with us as a shareholders over there. We will monitor your working strategy, logistics, and operations. All have to be under our brand name. It can’t be your name, while selling our TVs. It have to be under our banner. At beginning we started 30 companies, then 300, at the end 3,000. And it was spreading nationalwide like a virus.
32:58 Zbigniew Daleczko, Director General of Art-B Holdings: Western partners were very open to us. I will give an example: I went to some info system congress. IT specialists from around the world came there. Small company, called Symantec were there as well. There’s was one guy inside his exhibition box. I see, that this is probably the owner. I greeted him. It was Mr. Peter Norton himselfAnd he says: – Zbyszek, look, everyone uses my software, Norton Commander and Norton Utility, and nobody will even come here to talk at me. These people were open to make contacts with Polish companies. Suddenly we felt in Poland a powerful blast of freedom.
33:45 Jan Wojnar, Director of the Foreign Relations Department at Art-B: Everyone has set their wings to soar. Each of us, everyone working for a company like Art-B in particular, where it was a principal rule that everyone was very well paid. When I needed anything, the corporate secretary made calls arranging all.
34:02 Roman Matyja, Head of Trade in Musical Instruments Art-B: It was all so fast, there were no problems. It created great atmosphere, stimulating people, to have desire to do all work, and to make all things good. When I finalized my almost one and half year business activity in Art-B,
34:21 Michał Fober, Driver of the Presidents of Art-B: I earned three times more than at the beginning. People couldn’t believe: how come, that music school teacher was flying business class to Korea.
34:35 Andre: They were gaving direction. We helped them at the very beginning. It was a natural selection: some people collapsed, some did not stand the pace. But the winners – they just made one big team, that created this success of $22 billion proven corporate revenue.
34:55 Renata Śliwa, Medical doctor: When I worked in the hospital, I had a problem in the dialysis department. Dialyzer was once an expensive thing.I called Andrzej. That time Andrzej was a businessman. I said: – Andrzej, I don’t have dialyzers. He said: – How much money do you need? And I said: – It’s hard for me to say, I had no idea. He said: – I will send 100 million złotych to the hospital. Is that enough for you? I said: – Well, that’s enough. Now we can buy a lot of dialyzers.
35:29 Andre: As a teenagers we were living in communist coutry, in this all misery and poverty. I remember, how all humanitarian aid and support arrived from Western Europe. delivered to us without humiliating attitude, that “it’s for you poor people over there.” All clothes and food was given with high level of respect. Those days our Evangelical Christian community was small in Poland, just 15,000 members. In Germany Protestants have millions of members. When they delivered all those containers with gifts to Poland, sometimes it was one container each day. I was involved in humanitarian aid distribution right from the very beginning. Most of the time it was giving things to people, but on wisely way. Just knowing, that people might be greedy, they might try to take so many goods, that they will not fit them all in at home. We lived in such world. World of receiving goods, that we could go and sell in the black market, and live well with it. Or, we could be faithfull guardians to all this wealth. As it was given to us in the name of God, so we took the same responsibility, to act in His Name. To get enough of what I need, because that’s what it was for, but to give to others in need. And we later moved this philosophy to Art-B.
I once asked someone: – How can I pay you back for your help? He says: – Do the same for others sometime in the future.
36:38 Bogus: Pass it on.
36:39 Andre: Yes. Pass it on. We had an inscription in the office on the wall in Art-B office: ”To have – to be able to give”
36:44 Jerzy Dziewulski, a policeman and anti-terrorist: Bagsik said once: – Listen, I’m flying to Frankfurt, or somewhere else. Come to me, we’ll drink coffee. Then I visited him at transit zone at the airport. Suddenly I see a border guard officer running up to him, He folds his arms beging Bagsik for something. I said: – Bogdan, what’s going on? And he is so moved says: – Damn, you know? This officer came to me. His son has leukemia. He begged him to send his son to hospital in Israel for treatment. That over there he would get a chance. There are new methods over there. And of course, Bagsik did it. He paid for transport. He paid for the hospital. Someone else might say: – Well, he didn’t do much grace, since he had so much money. And yet he did. He did not have to.
37:47 Edward Lorek, Director of Charity Assistance Art-B. Pastor of the Pentecostal Church: Once then, some girl, under the age of thirty at the time, she wrote a letter that landed on my desk. This letter was addressed to the owners of Art-B. She wrote, that she lost both legs. We we able to donate to this girl disability-adapted car, – Trabant. Having such car, she could control everything by her hands, being without both legs. After a few years, someone ring the door bell at my home. I could’t see anyone through the glass of the external door. All I could see was huge bouquet of red roses. I opened the door. And I saw a man. He was holding those girl in his arms. She was handing me flowers.
38:45 Andre: In this trance of work in Art-B I remember only that: office, car, Okecie airport, airplane – someone organized and gave me my tickets. In airplane – Bloody Marry and champagne – to sleep immediately. Then waking up somewhere. Looking around: – Where am I? OK, in Korea. Good. I’m getting out. Taxi. Sheraton Hotel – always it was Sheraton. Then short sleep, shower, meeting. I woke up asking myself: – In what city am I right now? Why did I come here? – I know – Seoul. Meeting with LG (Goldstar). Okay. Now It’s all clear.
39:18 Bogus: After this, trip back home. – Where have you been, dad? – the children asked. In order not to give a stain, one of the secretary ran to PEWEX shop and said:- Tomorrow the president would come back. – From where? – From England. So there were four bags with presents prepared for children, which I wouldn’t buy in London at all, because I didn’t have time. Counting all my full-time, half-time, and shareholdings in various Supervisory Boards of various companies, it would work out that I work 25 hours a day.
39:52 Andre: Consumption for personal use? – Zero time. Using all what I had? – Zero time. There was only one thing: work, work, work.
40:01 Bogus: For example, in 1990 I was just only 63 days in the Poland. I remember once sitting in our mansion in Pęcice, after a whole day of driving, and analyzing all these faxes …
40:10 Andre: That time it was not like today, that whole empire could be managed trough an cellphone. So, I was reading all faxes, making all decisions. There were quite a long moments. I start to wonder: – What is estimation of our revenue at that pont? – Does anyone know? I estimated: about three, four, or maybe five billion dollars? And I started to be terrified, because every positive action includes statistical error, usually it is around 10%. Then I trealized, that correction of potential mistakes at the level of 500 million dollars, it is very dangerous game.
41:00 Andre: If 27 years ago we are together in this place, it could mean only one thing: That we’re going to the airport.
41:10 Bogus: We didn’t have time to enjoy this car too much. This limo was mainly used for representative purposes. First of all for guests. Those days it was one of ours visit cards.
41:23 Andre: At the beginning was a desire to buy a piano, a car, and to have some money to live. That all came very quickly. And the rest of wealth, it was just as addition. Like during football game, when after winning high score at the beginning, we don’t care much about shooting more golls.
41:47 Andre: We just didn’t simply fit then to certain things and situations. For example, all these art paintings. Some art collectors came with us to art auction. They wanted to buy some picture of Witkacy for example. That time I was on the phone keeping my auction constantly number up, because I was tired raising and lowering my hand each time. I decided, the best was to keep it up all time participating in this art duel of who will buy this paining It was a bit off the line, I can admin.
But when it comes to international PR, there was a knock down for them. All our international partners they didn’t see such extravagance in our country. Everyone who had contact with us -they just loved it. The contracts were signed with minimal negotiation burden.
Once we had meeting with Vice President of Hyunday. He was not an Evangelical Christian, but a Buddhist. He was quite hung up after too much alcohol during yesterday party. He asked us, if we like drink heavy alcohol and to get drunk. We told him, that rather not.That we came here to talk about Hyunday cars. They showed us two cool newest models. Boguś starts negotiating, dressed in his specific “light” business style. He said to Vice-president: – “Listen, man”. And I had to translate it into “proper” English. – “Dear sir. We would like to order your cars to Poland”. – “Well. And how much do you need?” “- 15,000. At the beginning.”
Vice-presiden was quite surprised, and said that one ship can carry 7,500 cars. – “That’s cool. Then we’ll take two ships.” So this Vice president is still trying to explain to us that there are some rules of the game that we need to negotiate. Boguś says: – “So we negotiated, right?” – “We didn’t negotiate the price”. And Boguś says: – “Do I ask about the price?” And this is how Hyunday’s invasion to Poland began.
43:41 Boguslaw: My insolence had no limits. And I paid by credit card.
43:41 Andre: Oh yes, I totally forgot. Because Vice-president asked: – What would be a form of payment? Boguś, already so bored, opens this wallet, throws the green AMEX credit card on the table. Our Korean manager started explaining something very quickly in Korean language to Vice-President. And from what I could guess he said: – They look like freaks, but they’ve been to LG already, they’ve bought everything elsewhere, and this credit card is covered and working. So the Vice president heard all this in amazement. Then he asked the secretary. She took this credit card and went aout to process a payment, for this quite big commercial transaction, the purchase of two ships loaded with Hyunday cars.
And this is capitalism. Satisfying one’s own needs, satisfying one’s ego that “I believe I can fly”,. That I was nobody, and suddenly something comes to me. That I am better than others. It is such a better satisfaction, like playing chess and gardening a partner, or bridge. And then being in Korea, our message was: – Dear friends, now we were able to produce your TVs and to sell them them in millions. And now we will produce, tanks or planes. Or anything else that we will desire.
44:45 subtitles: “Money” music and lyrics: Andrzej Gasiorowski