Written by: Monika Mudranincová
|John James Stack
The CEO of Česká spořitelna announced an increase in consolidated net profit to CZK 2.995 billion for the first half of this year, which is 276% more than during the same period in 2001. Česká spořitelna is expecting record net profit this year of around CZK 5 billion.
The head of FIC CZ, which assembles computers in the Czech Republic, is expecting sales of CZK 15 billion, which is a 100% increase in comparison with last year. FIC CZ is a daughter company of Taiwan concern First International Computer.
This producer of an aluminum barrier won a competition for an anti-flood system four years ago. More recently, the prompt installation of his barrier saved Prague’s Old Town from flood damage. His wall managed to resist 16 tons of water pressure.
The general director of Spolana Neratovice was removed from his post. Věk was unable to simultaneously solve the crisis of a flooded company and inform the public and media on the scope of dangerous chlorine leakage in the air during the time of the greatest chemical danger.
The former GM of Česká spořitelna, along with other members of the former management, faces charges for mismanaging third-party property and faking data related to the bank’s economic situation. If found guilty, he may get eight years in prison.
The interim Lord Mayor of Prague had to say good-bye to his dream of becoming proper Lord Mayor of Prague for four years. ODS nominated the mayor of Prague 6, Pavel Bém, as its candidate for the November local elections.
|Photo: Vladimír Weiss
David Perutka: Master of marketing
DAVID PERUTKA (31), marketing director for grocery firm Pribina, which has been part of the French concern Bongrain since 1993, became the Brand Manager of 2001 in the second annual competition for marketing managers in the Czech Republic through his enthusiasm and excellent results. The subject of his case study, Pribináček, a whipped cream with a fifty-year tradition, faced a massive attack after the market was opened in 1990. Similar products of multinational concerns like Danone, Zott and Yoplait, were able to support sales with billion-crown advertising campaigns, while Pribina was only able to invest several million in the media. For this reason, Perutka bet on a more aggressive form of advertising based on local patriotism and a return to the brand’s roots, leading to a unique relaunch of the brand in the market. As a result, the sales volume increased by 16% and is still growing.
“I am happy that Bongrain gave me completely free reign for the implementation of my ideas, since freedom is priceless,” he explains, adding that he previously worked for Procter & Gamble, a company that relies on well established and internationally verified marketing concepts. As a world champion in “kick volleyball” in 1992, he compares his success in competition with victory in sports: “In the same way as after a championship, I was intoxicated with feelings of happiness for a week, but now I’m already thinking about the next project.” This father of two small children not only devotes a lot of time to work and family, but also invests in promising projects with the money he’s made. Although he claims that finances are not his priority in life, watching the stock exchange and creating strategies to increase his wealth is one of his hobbies.
Photo: Vladimír Weiss
Petr Řihák: Luck comes to those prepared
PETR ŘIHÁK (38) is the general director and chairman of the board for Velvana, a local manufacturer of auto-cosmetics and consumer chemicals. Řihák came to Velvana in 1991 by answering a classified and has managed the firm since 1996, recently stealing the foreign competition’s thunder to acquire a long-term lucrative order valued at CZK 40 million annually. He was contacted by the CzechTrade agency when Pennzoil-Quaker State Company, an important American manufacturer of additives for motor oil and fuel, was looking for a new supplier through the “Your Czech Supplier” service. The original candidate, a Portuguese firm, didn’t stand a chance compared to the bulldog determination and flexibility of Velvana representatives, a firm with 150 employees headquartered in Velvary in the Kladno region.
“Pennzoil’s representatives were surprised that things function here, that the situation was not as horrible as they often read about in the newspapers,” says Řihák proudly. “They were taken aback by our prompt reaction and the high quality of our products, and generally by the fact that we are not a ‘dumpling nation’ as people say.” He adds that convincing their future partner was a matter of a couple days. Deliveries abroad have really gotten going, and the newly-closed order should represent about 10-15% of this year’s turnover for the firm, with annual turnover for last year reaching EUR 11.7 million. Through this deal, Velvana utilizes surplus production capacities, has stabilized the employee portfolio and proven that a Czech company is able to compete in foreign markets.
And what is the prescription for success of this manager-athlete, who played in the top Czech basketball league for 10 years? “A sports team is only as good as its weakest player. The better the team, the better it is to coach it – and this is, without exception, the same with a firm,” he insists..