Text: Jaroslav Drahoš
Our 30th anniversary celebration will take place in the middle of next year, around the time we printed our first sheet. Thirty years ago.
On the end of 2024 we will also celebrate another milestone, namely 35 years since the “Velvet Revolution” that changed everyone’s life and our whole country. I was fortunate to have lived through and been a part of this incredible time. I have been able to pursue my visions and dreams, and I have been able to work with a team of amazing people to gradually build a printing company that I am proud of.
The team grew little by little. From the early beginnings, at the end of 1994, when the printing house employed 19 people, to the current state of over 600 employees. We have already discussed the history through the various years since the founding of our printing house in previous issues of Finidrak. Each year of those thirty years has been special in some way, and in each year we have had many challenges and overcome many obstacles. The important thing is that we have managed to overcome them and sometimes, according to the motto “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, we have always entered the next year with clear goals and tasks to meet the expectations of the market, customers, but also suppliers and the team that creates the beautiful books that we export to 45 countries around the world.
The graph shows how our printing company has been successfully developing over the long term. How it is gradually meeting its goals and objectives, even though it is sometimes not easy. Any expert will confirm that it is not so common for a company that was founded on a greenfield to develop in this way. It is also unusual because of the many changes that have taken place in our printing market, and especially in the book market, over the past thirty years. I would argue that our industry is ‘in a constant state of crisis’, and that is why the cyclical crises that gradually arrive cannot surprise us too much. However, I would like to point out that I am not very optimistic about the future. Especially European Union officials are capable of creating more and more barriers to business and causing problems that will make it much harder for us to cope with everyday reality.
FINIDR revenues 1994-2022
Next year we have a lot of work ahead of us, a lot of changes and a lot of searching for new ways and solutions that can and must take us further. I believe that, as in previous years, we will manage to get everything done and be successful again in the coming year.
In the article “The Czech Republic – 35 years since the Velvet Revolution” and in this special article on the 30th anniversary of our printing house, there are two perspectives and two very different results indeed. I have tried to compare something that perhaps cannot be compared. But we can compare a result that is very favourable to our printing house. From nothing, in 30 years, there is a company that exports to 45 countries around the world, that has paid and pays over hundreds of millions of crowns in taxes. A company that invests in the future every year and takes responsible steps in many areas, including the environment. We are a business that, thanks to our export ratio, brings a lot of money into this country and region. We are a business that invests all the resources in this county at the same time. It’s about a high level of accountability, which is just significantly lacking in the public sector.
With this comparison of two different anniversaries, I would like to mention the idea of the former US President, Ronald Reagan:
“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And when it stops moving, subsidize it.”
I think that’s frighteningly applicable to the current situation. It is also the answer to why Czech companies are not very popular in this country, even though politicians talk about it all the time.
There is no point in dealing with things that we cannot change. What we can change, are things in our own printing house. We have had many successes in thirty years, and we can look back with pride. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all current and former employees for their active participation in the development of our printing company. Everyone has left their “imprint” here everyone has contributed. Everyone is important. I really appreciate the whole team. Thank you very much!