Josef Unger: From Austria to Central and Eastern Europe

Economic growth in Central and East­­ern European (CEE) countries is continuing unabated. The total economic perform­­ance of the ten newest EU mem­­­­­­bers in Eastern Europe is predicted to increase by 1.5 per cent in 2012 and 3.2 per cent in 2013, although the gap between Po­­land, the Czech Republic and Slovakia and the countries with weaker growth and lower incomes is expected to widen. Des­­pite this, many CEE countries remain at­­tractive markets; Poland, Ukraine and of course Russia are currently particularly interesting. Predicted eco­­nomic growth in Russia is currently 4.3 per cent – reason enough for many Aus­­trian companies to expand into the East­­ern Euro­­pean market.

For the Unger Steel Group, Russia – along with other CEE countries – is a re­­levant and strategic target market. As a ‘first mover’, the Unger Steel Group began driving forward its own expansion be­­yond Aus­­tria’s borders dec­­ades ago. Examples include Russia, Hun­­gary, Ro­­­­mania, Turk­­­­­me­nis­­tan and Moldo­­va. As a specialist and ge­­neralist in the divisions in steel construc­­tion, general contracting and real estate, the Unger Steel Group ma­­n­­­­­ages nu­­merous projects in Austria and international.


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Requirements for market development in Eastern Europe. In order to be able to make investments in CEE countries and realize construction projects quickly, safely and as desired, it is essen­­tial to be very familiar with the market re­­quire­­­­­­ments and have the appro­­priate exper­­tise in the country.

Trust plays a major role in expansion abroad. Unger provides its customers with long-term sup­port in their mar­­ket ex­­pansion and always accompanies them wherever their projects are planned. The key advan­­­­­tage of cooperation between Unger and its partner companies is mu­­tual understanding when it comes to high quality standards, adherence to schedules and general values such as trust and sense of responsibility. Aus­­trian expertise and quality are highly valued in Eu­­rope and around the world. In the CEE countries themselves, every effort is being made to achieve West­­ern standards quickly, making Unger a sought-after on-site part­­­ner. Both clients and companies in the various countries value this work at a high level, allowing the Unger Steel Group to implement con­struction projects of various sizes in the CEE area and around the world, to meet European quality standards and to bring added value into the country.

The Unger Steel Group stands for punc­­tuality when implementing its projects. Unger stands for punctual completion of its services. Many construction pro­­jects are implemented and completed long be­­­­fore the planned end of con­­struc­­­­tion – that means often earlier. In this way, Unger sup­­ports its customers’ success sustainably by ad­­her­­ing to schedules, re­­gard­­less of the country and its market conditions at the time. This guarantees the client a secure planning and safety in project handling. Timings are kept and goals achieved.

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Unger’s many years of presence in CEE and its specific country and industry ex­­per­­tise result in practical benefits and make actions on the market easier for the long term. Extensive market knowl­­­­edge, also in new countries, and many years of experience across mul­­ti­­ple sectors throughout the entire con­­­­struc­­tion indus­­try support Unger’s serv­­ices. Unger is familiar with the general requirements and conditions and has the key certi­­fi­ca­­­tions and construction permits, as well as an inter­­­­­national net­­work of sup­­pliers and stable partnerships.

Despite completing a high proportion of the work itself, attention is paid to re­­gio­nal value of each country, supporting the com­­­­­pany’s good reputation as a fair part­­ner and ensuring a strong alliance with the coun­­try in question – a factor which cre­­ates enormous benefits for the customers and makes regional implemen­­tation much easier. Along with competence and exper­­­­tise, it is flexibility and orientation to­­wards solutions which have earned Unger the reputation which allows the company to act so quickly and suc­­cessfully abroad.

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Unger Steel Group in CEE. Unger’s suc­­cess began 20 years ago in Russia. OOO Unger Steel has had an office in Moscow since 1992, right in the centre of the city on Strastnoj Boulevard. From this branch, the Unger team supports customers in Russia and beyond its bor­­­­ders. With around 100 staff, the team works closely together with the headquarters in Aus­­tria, guaran­­teeing the best possible cus­­tomer service. From finding a plot, to plan­­ning, implemen­­tation and construc­­­tion, all the way to the handover of a ready-to-use project – Unger re­­pres­­­ents full service in con­­struc­­­­­­tion pro­­jects of all kinds.

Along with numerous references in plant engineering, hall constructions, industrial buildings and office buildings, the Unger Group’s portfolio includes shopping centres, power plants and sports-, leisure- and multi-purpose constructions, exhibitions and event buildings, car dealerships, airports, multi-storey car parks, hotel- and housebuildings as well as architectural steel constructions.

Romania has been established as an­­other central lo­­cation for the Unger Group in Eastern Europe. Based in Bucha­­rest, Unger Steel Buildings SRL was founded in 1998 as a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Austrian Unger Stahl­­bau Ges.m.b.H. With 35 staff in customer support and assembly, the company also offers di­­rect access to all Unger Group services from here. Cus­­tom­­­ers from Ro­­­mania and the rest of Eu­­rope benefit from proximity to the Unger Group; ex­­amples include Baumit, Gebrueder Weiss, Draexlmaier Group and Metro. The highest building in Bucha­­rest, the Bu­­charest Tower Center, is a famous reference project realized by the Unger Group.

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From Austria and the United Arab Emi­­rates to the world. The Unger Steel Group has two high-performance production plants – one in Aus­­tria and one in the Emi­rate Sharjah in the United Arab Emi­­rates. Both plants serve as lo­­gistical hubs for first-class deliveries in the shortest amount of time and thus make Unger an attractive and competitive partner in the international market. With a total annual capacity of 70,000 tonnes of the two plants, a wide variety of projects, any­­thing from small projects to complete solutions for complex and tech­­nically demanding construction projects, can be executed quickly and efficiently.

Josef-Unger_CEO-Unger-Steel-Group_1-KopieBorn in 1954, the author is the owner and managing director of the Unger Steel Group. Engineer Josef Unger took over his father’s business in 1986 with just five staff. Unger was named “Best Fam­­ily Business” by Wirtschaftsblatt in 2010. Today, the Unger Steel Group, an Aus­­trian corporation with over 20 branches in the executing construction industry, is one of Europe’s leading and most interna­­tionally successful industrial companies.