The concept of Hidden Champions was first defined and studied by Prof. Hermann Simon, a world-renowned expert in strategy, marketing and pricing, who is considered the most influential thinker in the German-speaking world after Peter Drucker.
Hidden Champions are highly innovative and specialized small and medium-sized companies, which are leaders in their niches internationally.
CEEMAN and IEDC initiated the first survey of Hidden Champions in CEE and Turkey in 2011, which resulted in a book
with the same title published with Springer in 2013, and two international conferences
organized by CEEMAN in Vienna in 2011 and 2014.
The current survey, conducted in 2018 and 2019, was prepared by 66 researchers in 22 countries (most of them CEEMAN members*), including China and Mongolia. They studied 304 companies and identified 105 Hidden champions among them. Of these, 45 companies are "old" and 60 are "new" compared to 2011. More than 40 companies are expected to become Hidden Champions in the coming years. Both the 2011 and 2019 surveys found that Slovenia had the highest number of Hidden Champions per million inhabitants (followed by Estonia).
The new book, Hidden Champions in Dynamically Changing Societies: Critical Success Factors for Market Leadership
, was edited by Prof. Danica Purg and Dr. Alenka Braček Lalić. It identifies the development needs of hidden champions in terms of management, financing and the regulatory environment, features a unique selection of business and entrepreneurial experiences from diverse companies and countries and highlights the competitive advantages and core lessons learned on the path to success of highly successful SMEs. *Representatives from the following CEEMAN member institutions have contributed to the book:
• IPM Business School, Belarus
• School of Management, Zhejiang University, China
• J.J. Strossmayer University, Croatia
• Faculty of International Relations, University of Economics, Prague (VSE), Czech Republic
• Almaty Management University, Kazakhstan
• Narxoz University, Kazakhstan
• Vilnius University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Lithuania
• Gdansk University of Technology, Faculty of Management, Poland
• SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Poland
• Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania
• Moscow School of Management Skolkovo, Russia
• Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia
• Matej Bel University, Slovakia
• IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia
• MIM Business School, Ukraine
For more information on the research, please contact CEEMAN office at email@example.com.