Tibor Massányi, Managing Partner

DVM Group was founded in 1995. Initially a design-only company of four people, DVM Design Kft. has grown to become one of Hungary’s most comprehensive architectural and construction service providers. The company is undergoing a major transformation and expansion in 2021 in response to market changes and needs in recent years. One of the first steps in this process is that, on 31 December 2020, the independently operating companies of the DVM Group merged: DVM Fővállalkozás Kft. and DVM Design Kft. were merged into D.V.M. Construction Kft. and, following the transformation, the name D.V.M. Construction Kft. was changed to DVM Group Kft. on 1 January 2021.

The group has completed several major real estate projects in the capital in recent years, most notably the Eiffel Palace, Promenade Gardens and Váci 1 office buildings, as well as the Szervita Square Building, but also the extensive historic reconstruction and conversion of the iconic Drechsler Palace into a luxury hotel. The founder of the company, Attila Kovács, passed away in February 2021, and the company is run by his partners, Balázs Czár, Péter Haberl and Tibor Massányi.

“We not only design and build, but also provide environmental consultancy, project management and even architectural visualisation. We provide a high-quality integrated service, which guarantees successful projects for our clients”, said Tibor Massányi, who has been working for the group for 16 years. He noted that the next 2-3 years will be about how to optimise the organisation’s processes and how to coordinate colleagues working in different departments but on the same projects to increase efficiency.

“It is clearly a good message to the market that, legally, all the services we provide are provided by a very stable, experienced company with excellent references”, added Massányi, who pointed out that the construction industry has been booming at an amazing pace in Hungary in the past 3-4 years, and the coronavirus did not stop this—although it did cause difficulties. The effects of the complete shutdown of the Italian market have also been felt on construction works in Hungary, with transport problems making timely deliveries very difficult in the recent period. The shortage of skilled workers in all segments is also a serious problem; good labour is hard to find, wage demands are exponentially rising, and there is fierce competition on both price and timing.

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“Prices are not always passed on to the customer; they can’t always be passed on. The market is bigger; you can carve a bigger slice and there are plenty of jobs, but there are also problems that need to be solved as soon as possible”, he added. For DVM group, 2021 promises to be a busy year, both in terms of the number and size of projects. There is also a significant increase in demand for architectural visualisation, and they are ready for it: “My colleagues use the same software as the film industry, with a very professional team working to visually present the office of the future to the client at the design stage. This is a new market with huge potential”, he said, adding that the service is increasingly in demand internationally, and the group plans to enter the international market in the future, especially in Western Europe, Asia and the Middle East. So far, DVM Group has mainly financed its innovations and inhouse developments from its own resources, but in May 2020 a bond auction was held for HUF 8.1 billion. This has opened up new perspectives, and there is still a lot of infrastructure development in the field of architectural visualisation, as IT technology is evolving rapidly and it is necessary to invest in development in order to keep up.

Tibor Massányi said that one of the biggest challenges in the life of the company was the development of the Eiffel Palace. “In hindsight, it was a big undertaking. We weren’t capitalised and prepared enough, and we started the project without having a tenant”, he said, adding that it turned out very well, but one should always keep in mind that the bigger the project, the more risk to which a company is exposed.

With regard to the impact of the coronavirus on the office market, he said that the sudden switch to teleworking in spring 2020 was a one-off event, and that the office will continue to play a very important and crucial role in the life of most companies, but its role and functions have changed during the pandemic.

“These changes started before the outbreak, but Covid-19 has accelerated the process. Office use is a serious financial issue: how much it costs to rent an office, and whether it is not bet- ter to introduce shared desks instead of fixed workstations. The work culture is changing, the proportion of home office will certainly increase, but office use won’t disappear completely,  as our workspace design research, which we are conducting with our clients, shows”, he said, adding that the future is likely to be a more flexible, agile office space, which will be smaller in size than the office space companies were looking for before the pandemic. Over the past year, DVM Group has been approached by several companies to help them rethink office development because the proportion of employees present in the workplace at any one time has changed significantly. Hence, office underutilisation can increase in the short term and, over time, an ideal ratio of home to office work will emerge.