Written by: Monika Mudranincová
Photo: Petr Poliak
According to the CEO of Oskar, the mobile operator made a profit
of CZK 650 million last year. Oskar's customer base increased
from CZK 0.9 million to 1.18 million, and revenues increased
from CZK 4.8 billion in 2001 to 7.4 billion in 2002.
Photo: Vlad. Weiss
The founder of the most visited Czech portal, Seznam.cz, entered
print media with Sreality, a monthly complement to the real
estate server. With 162,000 visitors in February 2003, Sreality
was the most visited real estate server on the Czech internet.
Photo: Petr Poliak
According to the CEO of Komerční banka, the bank's profit last
year of CZK 9.2 billion is a record high for a domestic company
by Czech standards. By international standards, the profit was
half a billion lower. Nevertheless, Komerční banka overtook
its competitors Česká spořitelna and ČSOB.
Photo: Jan Mihalíček
The general director of České dráhy, who failed to resolve the
railway's billion-crown deficit last year, was called off his
post by the firm's board of directors. Minister of transportation
Šimonovský said that Zelený was incapable of managing the revision
of České dráhy from state to a stock company.
Photo: Vojtěch Vlk
The man who calls himself the best banker in the Czech Republic
was removed from the post of Union banka's general manager.
After a career boost as the head of Komerční banka, he had to
oversee the closing of a collapsing Union banka.
Thun-Karlovarský porcelán, the biggest domestic producer of
porcelain, lost CZK 22 million last year, while in 2001 the
company ended with profit of CZK 300,000. The company's head
attributes the loss to a strong crown, fewer tourists (due to
the floods), and lower global demand for porcelain.
|Photo: Tomáš Kubeš
David Čížek: How do you spell
DAVID ČÍŽEK (34), the executive director of DCCI, bet his business
on providing mobile communications services that the large operators
shun. He offers standardized SMS services and is now enjoying a
great boom, thanks to the opening of a paid portal through which
one can send SMS messages via the internet to the networks of all
operators without limit. "We took advantage of a situation
when at the end of last year T-Mobile terminated free SMS messages
via the Internet and we launched our service," Čížek exults.
There is huge interest, and we had 10,000 newly registered clients
This enthusiastic SMS message promoter had to try several fields
before discovering that mobile communications was the right place
for him. He served as an officer at a publishing house, then became
a furniture designer, then a chewing gum salesman, and then an executive
of AMI, a consulting firm. The informed public remembers him as
the creator of an independent audit of web site hits, which he conducted
in 1998 as the founder of DCCI. Besides the newly opened portal,
his company can also boast of services that allow simply configurable
responses or the regular transfer of information via SMS messages,
which are popular among corporate and individual clients alike.
The company also provides mobile entertainment services for the
television stations Nova and Prima, SMS contests for ČEZ, and the
information system for the Invex trade fair. But Čížek is always
thinking ahead. "I'm interested in wireless connections, and
I would like to devote more time to this in the future," he
says, outlining his vision, adding that at the moment his dream
is to leave Prague for at least a while, surfing in Hawaii instead
of on the internet.
Photo: Tomáš Kubes
Lucie Pilipová: A life of fulfilled
LUCIE PILIPOVÁ (34) is a woman who has accomplished much during
her short career: she was a correspondent for Spanish radio and
television stations; from 1992 to 1994 she was spokeswoman for the
foreign affairs ministry; and until 1998 she was the executive director
of the Bohemiae Foundation. Five years ago she used her rich diplomatic
experience in establishing the firm Via Perfecta, which specializes
in the organization of VIP events. "Our competition advantage
is a perfect knowledge of protocol and etiquette," says Pilipová,
adding that their experts teach this subject at the foreign affairs
ministry's Academy for Diplomats. Despite of the fact that she is
now a well-established professional, her entry into the business
world five years ago was not easy. She had to face suspicions arising
about conflict of interests, because she is married to an influential
Czech politician - Ivan Pilip, vice-chairman of US-DEU.
"The first year was hard. We had to prove that no one treated
us favorably because of my husband," she recalls. She can now
boast that Via Perfecta and its subsidiary catering company, Millennium,
which was founded two years later, have taken part in such events
as the conference accompanying the NATO summit and the communications
campaign for the European Commission. She is currently organizing
a meeting of 150 top managers of SAB Miller, the South African brewer
that owns Pilsner Urquell, to be held this April in Prague.
As her partner Johana Dvořáková says, Lucie Pilipová (who is also
raising three children) can't stand being idle. Every two years
she comes up with new business ideas: this time she is betting on
real estate sales. Her new company, Mediterranea Real Estate, has
just begun mediating the purchase of real estate for Czechs on the
Spanish coast. "In the west this is a huge business, and I
believe that even here there are lots of clients who will avail
themselves of our services," she predicts optimistically.