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A powerful female leader in the advaneced Airmobility ecosystem

Eszter Kovács is one of the most influential drone industry leaders.
Eszter Kovács co-founded M&K Global AG, which includes Murzilli Consulting and DroneTalks Group, where she is CEO. DroneTalks Group comprises DroneTalks, DroneTalks Jobs, and Aerial Cities, each targeting different facets of the drone industry. DroneTalks is an educational online platform, DroneTalks Jobs connects job seekers with drone industry roles, and Aerial Cities is an invite-only event for drone industry executives. Kovács is a recognized drone expert, contributing to major publications and advising various startups, goverments and drone initiatives. She leads the diversity initiative Women behind the Drone Revolution and holds a pivotal role in technical innovation within the drone sector. Kovacs is a military-safety engineer with strong agile program managent background.

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About Eszter Kovács

Eszter Kovács is the co-founder of M&K Global AG which consist of two business units: Murzilli Consulting and DroneTalks Group. Eszter is the CEO of the DroneTalks Group, which is a collection of services and platforms advancing the entirety of the drone industry ecosystem. Currently, members of the DroneTalks Group include DroneTalks, DroneTalks Jobs and Aerial Cities.

DroneTalks is an online platform created to spread ideas and educate professionals in the drone industry ecosystem. Our educational content empowers people of every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the industry and the innovative ideas within it.

DroneTalks Jobs is the first job portal tailored for the drone industry. The platform connects emerging organisations with skilled professionals seeking new opportunities in this rapidly evolving field.

Aerial Cities is an exclusive, invite-only event for decision-makers in the drone and advanced air mobility (AAM) industries. The event enables governments, cities, CAAs, private drone organisations and users to collaborate and strategise the future of urban drone operations.

Eszter Kovács is also a drone industry expert and regularly contributes to major magazines about the latest trends; these include publications such as Commercial UAV News and Commercial Drone Professional. In addition to this, she is an advisor for several start-ups, such as Globhe. Her role as an advisor extends as well to her role on the advisory board of drone-related initiatives like AUVSI Xponential and Commercial UAV while also fulfilling her commitment as a Swiss Drone Industry Association board member.

These roles are backed by her extensive experience as a technical innovation expert where she contributed to the growth of several companies after leading and mentoring the implementation of complex projects in the drone industry. Eszter still continues to advise leaders on strategic planning and operational transformation initiatives. In 2020, she was also approached by the Global UTM Association to become the director of more than 40 UTM leaders through a 6-month restructuring initiative.

Eszter Kovács is also head of one of the largest diversity initiatives in the drone industry called Women behind the Drone Revolution, which was launched in 2020. Learn more about Eszter Kovács at DroneTalks.online.

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Eszter Kovács in the press

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Eszter Kovacs Early Carrier

The founding of DroneTalks and Murzilli Consulting

Eszter Kovács began her career taking on various project management roles, notably with the Swiss-based Global UTM Association (GUTMA). Despite GUTMA's established presence, Kovács recognized a gap in self-promotion and marketing. Not originally a marketing professional, she leveraged her deep industry knowledge to enhance the association's visibility, developing a robust social media presence and a comprehensive website from the ground up.

During her tenure, the departure of GUTMA’s director created a leadership vacuum. Kovács stepped in as the acting director in agreement with GUTMA’s president, using this period to contemplate her future business direction. It was during this pivotal time that she connected with Lorenzo Murzilli, co-founder of DroneTalks. Murzilli, who had extensive experience from his time with the Swiss Civil Aviation Authority and as a consultant, saw a market need that aligned with his skills and joined Kovács to fully commit to their new venture.

Together, they envisioned a platform to nurture the drone ecosystem. This led to the creation of DroneTalks, aimed at providing educational content for emerging founders and becoming a valuable resource for investors to understand the regulatory landscape, which would help them set more accurate timelines for their startup ventures. Building on the success of DroneTalks, they launched DroneTalks Jobs, a job portal specifically for the drone industry, and Aerial Cities, an exclusive event for industry executives.

Their collaboration extended to forming Murzilli Consulting in 2020. Based in Switzerland, with additional branches in Germany, Hungary, and the United Kingdom, this digital aviation consultancy specializes in regulation and compliance strategies for both crewed and uncrewed aviation, advanced air mobility, and U-space. Murzilli Consulting supports clients in developing internal regulatory functions and strategic compliance roadmaps, offering services that range from UAS and USSP certification to SORA approvals and CE marking.

This partnership culminated in the establishment of M&K Global AG, headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, with offices in Madrid, Berlin, Budapest, and London. This entity combines the strengths of both brands, reflecting the trust and leadership they command in the drone consulting industry.

Eszter Kovacs Early Carrier

Project management at Telenor Group

After completing her engineering studies in Budapest, Eszter Kovács began her career in project management in the telecommunications industry, joining the Telenor Group. The Norway-based company is recognised as one of the leading players in the global telecommunications arena. Joining Telenor allowed Kovács to work in a challenging environment, which she had enjoyed during her academic years, and enabled her to interact with diverse groups of people and deal with complex problems.

In her role at Telenor, Kovács worked closely with the Chief Technology Officer on a major project. This involved integrating Serbian, Montenegrin and Hungarian elements into the company's overall infrastructure. The project was expected to last several years and required a consistent and dedicated effort.

Kovács' position at Telenor gave her the unique opportunity to work with international engineers. Working with professionals from different cultural backgrounds presented a variety of communication styles and working methods. As a facilitator, Kovács found herself bridging gaps in understanding, helping team members to see new perspectives and guiding them to adopt new ways of doing things.

Under Kovács' leadership, her team succeeded in creating a Central European unit for Telenor's telecommunications systems. This significant achievement marked a major milestone for the company and provided Kovács with invaluable experience.

This early experience in project management, combined with IT and telecommunications engineering, served as a catalyst for Kovács' subsequent career development. Her ability to oversee complex projects, manage multicultural teams and bridge communication gaps set the stage for her future endeavours in the drone industry and guided her through her early to mid-career phases.

Eszter Kovacs Early Carrier

Project management for engineering teams

After enjoying her role in project management at Telenor, Kovács moved into a full-time project management role at Elisa, a pioneer in the telecommunications and digital services industry that serves some 2.8 million customers and manages over 6.3 million subscriptions in its network. While their core markets are in Finland and Estonia, they have an office in London, where Kovács has moved.
As a key member of the project management team, Eszter was responsible for the end-to-end delivery of technical implementations and integrations for both internal project teams and external customers. Her mandate was to deliver within the agreed budget, quality and timelines. One of her key responsibilities is to manage project budgets to ensure a high-quality service transition for all stakeholders.

Kovács also managed relationships with third-party vendors, including well-known brands such as LG and Samsung. A key part of her role at Elisa was managing key stakeholders in the service delivery chain, ensuring consistent and clear alignment and communication between the business and IT services teams at both management and project levels. This responsibility included all videoconferencing, cloud solutions, DOOH and IT services tasks.
In her leadership role, Kovács managed an international and remote project team and oversaw several end-to-end projects. She was responsible for the strategy and communication of integration, implementation and roll-out to stakeholders while ensuring resource availability and allocation.
She was known by Elisa for her ability to develop a detailed project plan and use it as a tool to monitor progress and communicate effectively with the team. She used a variety of review techniques to manage changes in project scope, schedule and cost. This included measuring project performance using appropriate systems, tools and techniques, which has now become an integral part of her business.

Eszter Kovacs Early Carrier

Drones and business enablers programme manager (IoT)

Looking for a new challenge, Eszter Kovács moved to a new role as a project manager for the GSMA, a not-for-profit organisation that represents the interests of global telecommunications companies, which offered her a project management position at its digital innovation hub for drones.
With an expansion of the drone hub, Kovács experienced rapid career progression as the primary programme manager moved on shortly after she started. While the original programme as small with only five companies, the hub experienced rapid growth, escalating to 50 active companies by the time Kovács left to found her own organisation.
As the industry expanded, Kovács and her team focused on leveraging 4/5G communications networks for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations. The goal was to enhance drone use by understanding and lobbying for the potential of connectivity across communities. The process involved a variety of tasks, such as modifying antenna specifications and identifying relevant stakeholder regulations, all of which fell under Kovács' purview as programme manager. As stakeholder manager, she was also instrumental in organising events for the Mobile Congress and representing the industry.
During her time at the GSMA, Kovács juggled various engagement and project management roles. As a project manager, she analysed the needs of more than 45 GSMA Drone Interest Group members and their customers. She also facilitated interactions between the aviation and telecom industries, becoming the primary point of contact for aviation and UTM stakeholders on several projects.
As a project manager, Kovács managed the programme's KPIs and budget, led procurement processes and onboarded new suppliers to the projects. Her role also included regular analysis of the industry market and data, preparing forecasts for IoT and aviation/drones, and leading key programme activities such as the implementation of the cellular solution for the UTM system.
On the technical side, she coordinated a technology team to demonstrate the benefits of cellular connectivity for the drone/aviation industry. She contributed to the development of several papers demonstrating the technical capabilities of the mobile network in the aviation/drone market.
Kovács also interacted with regulatory bodies such as FAA, JARUS, EASA and various European CAAs to represent the interests of the mobile industry. She provided project management support to develop industry regulatory positions and organise regulatory lead workshops, reinforcing her extensive involvement in both the technical and regulatory aspects of the drone industry.
However, as the Innovation Centre grew, its previously agile structure began to be constrained, limiting the introduction of new initiatives. Recognising the untapped potential of drones, Kovács decided to start her own company.

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