Greg (Grzegorz) Hajdarowicz
Greg Hajdarowicz is a graduate of the Institute of Political Sciences at the Law Faculty at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków.
As a student, in the 1980’s, he was an active opponent of the totalitarian system in Poland. In 1988, at the age of only 23, he gave a speech as a representative of Poland during the great demonstration of the Enslaved Nations against communism, which took place in front of Congress in Washington during Gorbachev’s visit to the United States. In the late 1980’s he lived and worked in the US.
After returning to Poland with its nascent free market he invested his savings of $6000 in a business venture and in 1991 he founded a pharmaceutical company, Gremi, which initially specialized in distribution of pharmaceutical products. The company rapidly expanded to cover the whole country. In 1990–1994 he was also a councilor of the city of Kraków, probably the youngest councilor in Poland. In 1994, Gremi diversified its business to pre-development projects and investments on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The restructuring of failing enterprises became another line of its business in 1996. The company’s assets included a farm machinery factory, a printing house, a military parts factory, seven furniture factories, a dredging company with twenty-five vessels, an electrical engineering plant that deployed a voting system for the Polish Parliament, and a healthcare system with 5.5 million chip cards and 24,000 double-slot reading devices. The industrial holding company set up by Greg Hajdarowicz was employing 2,500 people in 2002. Those businesses were subsequently sold to industry investors and Gremi focused on equity and real estate investments.
As part of the real estate business, an approach emerged that sought to create new value by addressing local needs while at the same time nurturing cultural activity. One example is the regeneration of Kraków’s industrial district and Gremi’s donation of the buildings of the former wartime factory, where Steven Spielberg shot his famous Schindler’s List. The city agreed to use the site to set up two museums: the Museum Schindler’s Factory, dedicated to the tragic years of the Holocaust and the Museum of Modern Art. These two projects provided a springboard for further investments that thoroughly altered this hitherto neglected former industrial district in the heart of Kraków.
Film production has been another line of Greg Hajdarowicz’s business for several years now. His American Company Gremi Film Los Angeles has produced seven movies since 2003, including three Polish movies (Zakochany Anioł, Pod powierzchnią and Hania) and three international co-productions: Nightwatching by Peter Greenaway, Carmo Hit the Road by Murilo Pasta (Sundance Festival 2009 nomination, Sao Paulo Festival Audience Award), City Island by Raymond de Felitta starring Andy Garcia, which won the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in 2009.
In 2009, Gremi also invested in a unique project in Brazil by buying Fazenda Estrela, an area of 2,347 hectares with a 6.5 km long beach. After several years of effort, building permits have been obtained for the construction of hotels and a technology park over an area of over 930,000 square meters. Greg Hajdarowicz initiated International Film Festival in Baia Formosa FINC which is an open-air Festival of Independent Cinema that takes places every year at the end of November in Baía Formosa. Since its first edition in 2010 it has been growing and is considered today, at its 10th edition, as one of the most highly regarded Film Festivals in North-eastern Brazil with support of the public sector (Rio Grande do Norte State Government and local authorities of the municipality), big private companies (COSERN, Cabo Telecom), Universities (IFRN) and established a cooperation with the Netia Off Camera Festival from Cracow, Poland. Encouraged by two editions of Clean up the World organized by the Gremi International Group in Baia Formosa, Clean Beaches Program in Baia Formosa.
The acquisition of Przekrój weekly in 2009 marked the beginning of a media venture. Today the Company co-owns Rzeczpospolita, Poland’s most influential newspaper. The media group includes E-Kiosk SA, which is the largest independent distributor of all press titles published in Poland (about 550 titles), as well as e-books and audiobooks.
In 2017 the capital group increased by a new investment - a former film and sound recording studio where the plan is to create an entertainment-education center with the development of VR and AR technologies. Greg Hajdarowicz and his team are working on creating an international chain of 13 Amusement Parks and Alvernia Planet Citizenship Network.
Awards and honours:
- 1999 – the Krakowski Dukat award conferred by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kraków in recognition of outstanding economic results and the ability of the award winner to share their successes with the environment in which they operate.
- 2011 – the Wektor award conferred by the Employers of the Republic of Poland (in recognition of “his passion and perseverance in the building of an independent media market in Poland based on modern technologies. For the mass transition of readers into virtual reality. For his business efficiency and civic responsibility”.
- 2016 – The Knight’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland, the highest state award received from President Bronisław Komorowski “for an outstanding contribution to democratic transformation in Poland”.
- 2018 – participant of the international Bilderberg meeting.
- 2020 – Order of Rio Branco (Officer), an honorific order of Brazil, named in honor of the Brazilian diplomat José Paranhos, Baron of Rio Branco.
- 2021 – Cross of Freedom and Solidarity, an award in recognition of his activities as a member of the democratic opposition between the years 1956 and 1989 for the benefit of a free and democratic Poland.
- 17th place in the ranking of the Business Leaders 2021 by the Polish edition of Forbes.
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Brazil.
Member of the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham).
Member of the Polish Business Roundtable.
Founder and main shareholder of the GREMI INTERNATIONAL GROUP.