Working to Bring Hungarian Road Tolling to the USA
In the summer of 2015 our Haas IBD team (Mayank Gupta, Jason Silver, Udayan Naik, and Andy (Xi) Chen) spent two weeks in Budapest, Hungary. Our task was to develop an actionable US market entry strategy for the National Toll Payment Services of Hungary. Our client developed, owned, and operated the entire Hungarian toll system for private and commercial vehicles. They knew there was huge potential in the US market, but they did not know where to begin when it came to potential projects and contacts.
Over the six weeks in Berkeley, our team worked extensively to learn about the Hungarian toll system as well as the US tolling market. This was entirely new territory for this team of silicon valley engineers and was a daunting task. In fact, the biggest challenge initially was scoping the project. The team quickly found that trying to wrap our head around this topic without expert help would be impossible.
As the trip approached we made key contacts in academia, industry and government agencies. These were essential to our final solution and taught us a valuable lesson. People are willing to help out total strangers more than you might realize, and these discoveries might mean the difference between a dead end and amazing insights.
Ultimately we delivered a solution that the client deemed “better than he expected”, that was “very professional”, and which was created through “impressive teamwork”. We hope that with our recommendations and by connecting our client to key experts, this will be the first step in their successful entry into the US market.
While the work was the reason we came to Budapest, do not be mistaken that we did not enjoy the city as well. Budapest is a beautiful, vibrant city full of welcoming locals. Our client treated us better than we ever could have hoped for. The pictures below show just some of our on site visits…and oh the gigantic two hour lunches. These were of course some of the most rewarding experiences as we exchanged insights on our relative cultures over delicious food and often great beer and wine!