The inspiring story of a young leader

11. 07. 2024.

In the business world, the path to success is rarely straightforward. It’s more like an exciting adventure, full of unexpected challenges and opportunities. In this interview, we get to know a young and ambitious leader: Dániel Takács, who at just 26 years old, holds the position of CEO of one of eNET’s subsidiaries. Dani’s career is not only an example of determination and perseverance but also demonstrates how youthful energy and innovative thinking can be harnessed for corporate success. This conversation can be inspiring for anyone looking for a path to a successful career while still studying and ready to take bold steps for their own development. Get to know Dani’s inspiring story and draw courage and ideas for your own career plans!

Hi Dani, please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do!

I’m Dániel Takács, 26 years old, and I’ve been the CEO of Optimaze Consulting Ltd. – a company offering Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Generative AI-based services – for a year now. Before that, I worked as a business development consultant at Optimaze, and prior to that, I held several positions at eNET.

Tell us a bit about your studies! Where and what did you study? What was your major?

I went to university in the Netherlands, where I studied international business communication in a small town called Nijmegen. I came across this school at a university fair, and it immediately caught my interest. After attending an open day, I was captivated by the environment and the friendliness of the people, so I decided to embark on this adventure: seeing the world, meeting new people, and building valuable connections.

What attracted you to the field of AI?

At this university, I first encountered natural language processing, where we started learning programming and dealing with AI. That’s when I really started getting interested in this field.

Let’s talk a bit about your time at eNET. How did your career start there? Which business units did you work in, and in what roles?

When I joined eNET, I was given the opportunity to try out all the business units for a short period. Initially, I worked in the research business unit as a researcher, then as a consultant in the data mining business unit, after that, I joined the consultants, and finally, I ended my journey in the sales support business unit as a consultant. It was during this time that we started working on RPA service development with my colleague Sándor Salamon. By the end of 2022/beginning of 2023, when we were ready to enter the market, Optimaze was established.

What was the most memorable or interesting project you participated in at eNET, and why?

The service development project – which I mentioned earlier – was very interesting. Additionally, my very first project in the research business unit was also very exciting. During this project, we audited one of Telekom’s social media platforms, where we had to test various functions, mark how they worked, provide suggestions, and give feedback on them, and finally, take a position on the effectiveness of the project.

How did you feel about working at eNET?

I loved the environment here; I built many good relationships, got to know many people, and developed good connections with both partners and colleagues. I think I can boldly say that I couldn’t have imagined a better start to my career.

Let’s move on to Optimaze. When and how was the company established?

At the end of 2022, eNET’s partners decided to either spin off non-consulting activities into a separate company or discontinue them under eNET. This is how the RPA service became a separate company under the name Optimaze Consulting Ltd.

What kind of projects did you start with, how has this evolved over time, and what does Optimaze do currently?

At the very beginning, there was no talk of AI, just about assessing, designing, implementing, and training for software robot solutions.

Today, we operate in many sectors. One of our largest projects is in the financial sector with MBH Bank, where we develop smart assistants to support various areas’ efficiency, such as HR, sales, and the service desk team in handling IT issues. We also have ongoing smart assistant implementations at a design office and a utility company.

Additionally, we have collaborations with several universities in smart assistant and consultancy areas, such as with ELTE.

Moreover, we have a project with an energy company where we perform process automation, introducing software robots to replace administrative, repetitive, monotonous processes. We also work with a media company, developing an automated press monitoring solution that collects, summarizes, and translates articles from various foreign news sites like BBC, Bloomberg, Politico, etc., helping to produce new articles faster.

Furthermore, we conduct Microsoft Copilot and Generative AI-based training sessions.

Setting aside professional matters for a bit, tell us about the Optimaze team and corporate culture!

The Optimaze team was formed in 2023, initially with just three people. Now, in mid-2024, there are six of us working together. I think a very open and close relationship has developed among us because constant internal communication is essential in a small company.

Regarding corporate culture, we experience an ideal atmosphere at Optimaze; our team is very diverse and youthful, sharing similar values, expectations, and work intensity.

What are Optimaze’s plans for the next few years in terms of projects and services?

We are continuously working on developing new products, such as box or semi-box solutions with a basic framework that can be tailored to customer needs. Naturally, we also want to enter new markets and go international. We are constantly looking for foreign clients – we have already worked with partners in Singapore and Switzerland.

What challenges does a Gen Z CEO face?

The hardest task is probably earning respect, not necessarily in the sense of being looked up to or admired, but more in having your opinion valued and believed that what you say comes from real knowledge. I think this is the hardest part, along with staying confident and credible. Confidence comes from practice. I remember when I first went to client meetings, I could barely sleep the night before, even though nothing special happened, and it’s not a big deal if you stutter a bit or don’t say exactly what you planned. I’m a nervous type, so I initially had a hard time managing this situation. However, now it has become the most natural thing for me. In my experience, proper and thorough preparation is key to presenting confidently and convincingly.

Have you always had leadership ambitions?

Yes, I always imagined that I would be a leader someday and that it would be great to work with people, leading a team. However, this role didn’t always seem right for me because, during my university years, I often struggled with team management, and things often didn’t go as planned or in the way I wanted. Despite this, the desire and commitment to the leadership role and personal and team development remained within me.

What advice would you give to those who are around your age or planning a similar career path?

I think you should always be open, show interest in various directions, and learn, even if it means trying things you think you’re not capable of, because often, positive outcomes come from stepping out of your comfort zone. Although it sounds cliché, it’s true, even if many don’t believe it. Naturally, there will be times when you make mistakes, but there will also be times when something great comes out of it. The main motivation should be not to fear the unknown and the unexpected.