Fri, Jun, 2023

“Rady budu dávat zdarma. Česká podnikatelka na Ukrajině Michaela Macharik shání do země investory”

"I will give advice for free. Czech entrepreneur Michaela Macharik, who is based in Ukraine, is looking for investors in the country."

  • Translated summary of the original article in Czech language, published on August 6, 2023, in Hospodářské Noviny.

Czech entrepreneur Michaela Macharik, who has been actively involved in Ukraine for the past eight years, is the owner and CEO of Time & Space, a manufacturing company based in western Ukraine. Initially, Macharik spent three weeks a month in Ukraine, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict, her visits have reduced to about ten days a month. Despite the challenges, she remains committed to supporting the Ukrainian economy and workforce.

Before establishing Time & Space, Macharik was involved in the HR industry. Her first venture, Top People, was a testament to this background as it bridged the gap between HR and manufacturing. Based in Lviv, Top People successfully placed 7,000 Ukrainians in jobs in the Czech Republic between 2018 and mid-2022, but the business slowed down due to the conflict in Ukraine and changes in immigration rules.

"I was actually one of the first people who started helping Ukrainians secure long-term work visas in the Czech Republic. We were number one in the market."

Now, Macharik’s focus is on Time & Space, which she co-founded in 2017 along with her German partner, Markus Ciupek. The company specializes in manufacturing and assembling wiring harnesses for various applications, such as airbags, seat belts, and home appliances. It achieved rapid growth, expanding to 320 employees within two years and generating annual sales of 12 million euros. However, Macharik admits that managing this expansion was challenging, especially given their limited resources.

The war has severely affected Time & Space. Its workforce has shrunk to 130 people, and it’s currently not generating profits. Macharik is driven not by profit but by the desire to sustain the workforce and the business. She is concerned that the ongoing conflict may cause key clients like Joyson Safety Systems and Unionalpha SpA to pull out of Ukraine.

"I'm not working for profit now, and I might not for the rest of my life. I've worked hard for the last fifteen years. But we are doing everything we can to maintain the workforce we have."

Despite air raid alerts, Macharik says that employees at Time & Space chose to continue working. The company operates on a pay-for-performance model, so it’s crucial to meet customer demands in terms of quality and timely delivery.

Macharik and her team are hopeful for the future and are preparing for growth by revamping their website and renovating their premises. She is actively working to attract foreign investment in Ukraine, not only for her business but for the benefit of the country. She believes that such investments are crucial for job preservation and economic stability.

"I'm so glad I lived there and learned how to navigate it. And I want to pass it on. I could help get any production started. I'll give advice for free."

In addition to her business endeavors, Macharik is using her experience and knowledge to contribute to Ukraine in other ways. She holds the position of vice-chair of the presidium at the Ukrainian-Czech Chamber of Commerce (UKRCHAM), where she shares her expertise. Moreover, she has helped initiate “Invest in Bravery,” an association that connects foreign investors with Ukrainian IT and technology firms, with plans to include manufacturing and reconstruction companies in the future.

Macharik views Ukraine as her second home and feels a deep sense of obligation to support the country. She is eager to provide free advice and assistance to anyone looking to start production in Ukraine. Through her commitments and initiatives, she is contributing positively to the war-torn country.


 Original article in Czech language, published on August 6, 2023, in Hospodářské Noviny


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