Written by: Monika Mudranincová
Photo: Jan Vágner
The chief of the National Drug Headquarters led his team in
the recent arrest of drug mafia bosses, whose business extended
from Prague throughout Europe. The squad confiscated a record
amount of drugs - a quarter ton of heroin and 19 kg of cocaine.
The partner and executive director of real estate agency Cushman & Wakefield
Healey & Baker accepted the first place CiJ Award 2003
for best real estate agency in the Czech Republic. The readers
of Construction Journal chose the winner.
Photo: Petr Poliak
The general director of Oskar has reason to smile. In a 2003
evaluation of services, price, customer relations, and technologies,
38% of Mobility and MobilMania magazines' 16,000 readers
chose Oskar. Eurotel was second and T-Mobile third.
Photo: Vojtěch Vlk
The Hockey Union filed bankruptcy proceedings against marketing
partner Teleaxis and its owner for debts worth CZK 18 million.
The Union also terminated the contract of the national team's
marketing partner, and commercial rights to the world championship.
Photo: Jan Šilpoch
The bankruptcy administrator of the Trend fund, Vítězslav Hálek,
filed criminal complaints on seven people, including Kocáb
and his former business partner Martin Kratochvíl. Hálek
suspects that the seven stole CZK 318.4 million and caused
damage to Trend of almost half a billion crowns.
The co-owner of the OKD North-Moravian mines and his business
partners are charged with having tunnelled CZK 1.5 billion
from OKD into Koláček's company Karbon Invest. Police say
he damaged the interests of other OKD shareholders, especially
|Photo: Tomáš Kubeš
David Řezníček: Not sitting down
on the job
IN JANUARY 2004, David Řezníček (38), a graduate of the School
of Economics, where he studied foreign trade, will quit his job
as director of Vitra Czech Republic. He decided to devote himself
fully to the activities of his own firm, Konsepti, which imports
furniture. His firm's portfolio of customers is similar to that
of Vitra, which is one of the reasons he decided to leave his "dream
position" - balancing on the edge of conflict of interest
was exhausting. Since the beginning of the '90s this enthusiastic
lover of architecture and design has been able to accomplish a
great deal - he was the general director of the Dutch firm Ahrend,
a partner of the company Tunnel, a founder of Designblok, and the
publisher of BLOK, a magazine dealing with fashion, design, and
style. He successfully managed Vitra for four years, and under
his leadership the company became one of the three largest importers
of furniture in the country, selling about 6,000 chairs a year.
In 1996 Řezníček and his partner, founded Konsepti, for which he
purchased an old 1,300 m2 factory in Holešovice that was built
in 1909. The building currently serves as the headquarters of Konsepti
and Vitra, and also houses a café, a showroom, and a shop. In the
near future Řezníček intends to double the usable space, to accomodate
new shops and spaces for young artists at the beginning of their
careers. He will be helped with this by his wife Lucie, a former
school-mate who, besides raising two sons, ran Konsepti when Řezníček
worked for Vitra. Now he'll have more time for his family, sports,
and music, and hopes that he'll one day build a loft apartment
in his beloved Holešovice.
Photo: Tomáš Kubeš
Miro Smolák: Taking artistic
savoir-faire into space
THIS YEAR Miro Smolák (52), a Slovak residing in Prague, will celebrate
the tenth anniversary of his founding of the Galerie MIRO, which
he manages in St. Rochus Church. MIRO is seen by locals as a place
where works by such world-renowned artists as Salvador Dalí, Pablo
Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Georges Braque can be seen, as well
as paintings by the likes of Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones. Smolák
has done well over the past decade - last year his turnover was
CZK 20 million, and over the last five years his gallery has been
running in the black, drawing great interest from visitors. According
to research by Gallup, Galerie MIRO is the most popular commercial
gallery in Prague (MF Dnes, 27 June 2001).
Smolák has an inborn knack for doing business in art; he understands
it, and he can sense what will be profitable. As far back as childhood,
he even sold paintings by his brother Andrej. After graduating
from the School of Philosophy and the Film Academy of the Performing
Arts, he became an art dealer through Artcentrum in Bohemia and
Slovart in Slovakia. Thirteen years ago, he returned to Czechoslovakia
from Germany, where he had lived for twenty-five years. Karel Gott
loaned him the first million (without interest) to get his business
going in Prague. The debt was repaid within two years.
I started from scratch, I even sold the tickets myself," Smolák
recalls, adding that he attributes his success to firmly-held beliefs.
He currently has seven employees, and is planning on building a
Salvador Dalí Museum in Prague sometime in the future. He's also
looking forward to his sixtieth birthday, which he intends to spend
in orbit as a space tourist. He's already preparing for it intensively
- he's learned to swim and has lost eighteen kilos by exercising. "I
want to see the Earth from the distance of space and experience
the bliss," the art dealer says dreamily.