Benjamin Lakatos – Good donations lead to development and make people happier
This year, Benjamin Lakatos, the majority owner and CEO of the MET Group, a European energy company, has donated more than HUF 100 million through MET. In total, Lakatos has committed HUF 300 million towards charity between 2017 and 2021.
Source: Napi.hu / Charity in Hungary
“There are strong interpersonal relations and emotions behind making donations, which is what makes them much more than financial transactions. Growing up, I don’t ever remember a time when my parents didn’t help someone who needed it. If that’s how you are brought up, the act of charity becomes natural,” explains Benjamin Lakatos.
Lakatos graduated from the Pelbart Temesvari Franciscan High School and he remains grateful for the education which has made him the person he is now. “I feel very lucky that life and work allowed me to return the favour to the Franciscan order and the next generation of students via the Franciscan Scholarship Program, supporting the students who attain exceptional results and the teachers who participate in assisting talented students,” adds Lakatos. In eight years, the scholarship program has supported 400 students and 240 teachers and, for the third year in a row, one selected student has been given the opportunity to study in London.
“In light of my and the company’s values, we consider it important to become an active part of civil society. Our aim is to contribute to the cultivation of social values, talent promotion, the protection of the environment in its broadest sense, and thus to the healthy development of society as a whole,” he adds. As part of its business strategy, MET Group established the Mind the fYOUture program, which focuses on three key areas: support for young talent, health, and environmental protection.
According to Benjamin Lakatos, MET Group is essentially an HR-based success story. The achievement of the company is based on the expertise and exceptional talent of its employees. “I believe that the knowledge and innovation created by talented colleagues are the greatest business values a company can have.” The company supports the Messzehangzó Tehetségek Alapítvány [Resounding Talents Foundation], which provides disadvantaged 12-18 year olds with extracurricular opportunities, entirely free of charge. The talent promotion focuses on three areas: the arts, natural sciences, and IT. Summer camps, mid-year thematic workshops, thematic days all provide help in career orientation, and charity events are practical ways to support this goal.
As the patron of the scholarship program offered by the Budapest Olympics Movement (BOM) Foundation for Hungarian Sport, MET also supports Olympic and Paralympic team members studying in tertiary education programmes while pursuing a career in sports. The initiative lays equal emphasis on education and sports. In 2021, the Olympics and Paralympics featured a total of 30 scholarship awardees, winning six medals for Hungary.
MET Group also cooperates with Budapest Corvinus University, the Milanese Bocconi University, and the Swiss University of St. Gallen. The company is a corporate partner of the CEMS program (Global Alliance of Management Education), where employees hold negotiation seminars for both Hungarian and foreign students. MET Group also recognizes exceptional expertise in other fields. For example, the donations provided to the Magyar Neurológiáért Alapítvány [Foundation for Hungarian Neurology] serve to support the study of Alzheimer’s.
The MET Innovation and Talent Award, founded in 2015 by MET, aims to reward the development of young talents with innovative vision. The company is convinced that one of its greatest values is its people, from which it follows that talent promotion is the most effective tool for increasing competitiveness. The main goals of the company’s Talent Development Program are to identify talent within MET Group and to develop key competences. The initiative includes the development of a continuously expanding talent base through career building, to improve the commitment of participants.
The METCARE program was launched in response to the Covid pandemic with an eye on health. The CEO is especially proud of how this programme redefined the relationship between MET as a company and the people who work for it. What employees did to help each other has become a part of MET’s culture, with the different parts (testing, vitamin packages, online programs, METFIT, METMOVES, e-movies, e-concert) all contributing to company performance.