Entering the Czech market can be smooth

Founding a new branch or entering the Czech market can represent an insurmountable obstacle for foreign as well as domestic companies.  However, one only needs to find a reliable local partner who can help not only in his area of expertise, but also provide a lot of interesting and useful advice. 

Mgr. Jan Pešl, the Sales Manager of the Brno company Compactive, s. r. o, told us more about it.  

What does Compactive do?

We provide comprehensive services in the field of electrical installations, information and communication technologies. We design and deliver complete solutions for low-current and high-current electrical systems connected by data networks with information, communication and security system and audio and video technology. This is also the origin of our company’s motto: “Harmony in technologies”. 

It means that you are not just consultants for foreign companies that are considering entering the Czech market? 

We certainly are not, but we have direct experience working for foreign clients and we found out that we actually enjoy it and most importantly that we are good at it and have something to offer our customers. I think we understood what a foreign company needs when entering unknown waters.

What is it?

They need a partner who is a professional in his field and who does not only blindly fulfil requirements, but proactively looks for suitable solutions and advises and offers more suitable alternatives.

How did you get to that? 

We have been cooperating in the long term with various developers who approach us for the design and implementation of fitouts for branches of foreign companies. We strive to establish close relationships with our customers, to become their equal partner and not just one of many suppliers. This naturally places high demands on us. Quality comes first for us and we decided that we don’t want to compete for the lowest price in tenders because we don’t like following the statement of materials and assembly blindly without thinking about the work. What is to our advantage is that we communicate in English directly with the project manager and the customer’s IT department. We want to create added value and devise solutions together with the client. This is what makes customers turn to us repeatedly and recommend us to other companies in their area. That is what we are extremely grateful for.

Do you only do electrical installations for foreign clients?  

It usually starts with the electrical installation, but after a few meetings and finding mutual trust, we find out that the client’s needs go far beyond the simple laying of cables. We kind of open up their eyes and broaden their horizons. As a result, our work is very creative and involves a lot of listening as well as making recommendations based on our experience and constant education. After all, the portfolio of our services is quite broad – we deal with high-current and low-current installations, data networks, data centres, building security (camera, access, security or fire systems) as well as audio and video technology. Apart from our field of business, however, we can connect the client with other interesting companies that have a similar mindset and provide, for instance, interior design, furniture, lighting, internet connectivity and VPN. It is a well-functioning ecosystem. Right now, we are completing an order for an American pharmaceutical company, equipping new offices in Prague. The project offers a wide variety of activities, from the installation of structured cabling through coordination with other professions to the configuration of the IT infrastructure in cooperation with the client’s IT specialists on the other side of the globe. The quality of our work and smooth communication made such an impression on the client that he himself told us that he would like to have all branches in the world only handled by ourselves. This is the best image for us.

How do your customers view the cooperation? 

They are certainly grateful for a partner who is local to the Czech market and they don’t have to think about everything by themselves. They gradually build trust in us and, for instance, start consulting us about the next course of action. If we know, we advise, if we don’t, we put them in touch with someone who might know. Moreover, we also offer post-warranty services, so our cooperation continues in the long term. When the premises turn insufficient after some time, we often cooperate on extensions or equipping new premises.

How is the situation with Czech legislation and standards in the field of electricity?

Of course, Czech standards must be observed, no exceptions apply there. Clients are sometimes aware of some basics, but they rather find themselves groping in the dark and thus rely on the representatives of the individual professions who can help them with everything and look after everything. It is all about trust. Naturally, large corporations often have their own standards, but these must be set aside if they are in direct conflict with Czech standards. For instance, when we were implementing the Brno branch of Primark in cooperation with an Irish electrical company, we constantly consulted the client’s internal standards versus Czech standards. Some of their standards set the safety bar high above the legislation, but others were, on the contrary, inadmissible, so we searched for a suitable alternative. And this is something that the customer cannot be prepared for in advance.  

Where do you see the niche when a foreign client enters the Czech market? 

Certainly in the difficulty of finding someone the foreign company can turn to. Ignorance and lack of clarity on how to proceed play a big role. A company coming from abroad usually finds one big partner to cover the entire operation, which is understandable. On the other hand, this increases the risk of not being able to meet all the client’s needs and requirements. Last but not least, there is a problem of a language barrier, because even today, English is still not standard in all companies.

How could the whole process be improved? 

I think both parties would benefit from a platform where they could learn about companies entering the Czech market and about local partners who can help with the entry. If, as a state, we are trying to motivate foreign companies to establish themselves here, we should make the whole process as easy as possible for them, not only from legislative point of view, but also from factual point of view as in practice, things usually don’t go exactly as planned. 

Mgr. Jan Pešl, Sales Manager 


Photo: Compactive archive



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