Journeys to Success – BATIST Medical
What Wasn’t Heard in the Show
has led you to decision to start a business?
One has to pay attention in order to exist. I didn’t want to start a business – I wanted to help people. My parents had a healthcare business. So I said that I’d join them. I help others while supporting myself. I give people jobs, I help treat and heal patients, and financially support my family. And if passion for a cause comes together with entrepreneurial spirit, a pretty nice business is often the result. Baťa would agree.
How did you start your business?
My parents started it. Back in 1991. When they came to the newly-established tax office to consult with them about VAT, no one really knew what they were talking about. They were tossed from desk to desk like a hot potato. I was thirteen at the time. Since then I’ve been part of the family firm.
What is the history of your company? What were some of the important moments in your company’s history?
My parents founded LINON in 1991 and BATIST in 1992. In 1998, we bought our own factory from the people to whom it was returned in restitution and began to renovate it. In 2011, they sold the business to the Swedish company OneMed, thereby resolving the children’s burning issue – the successorship. It’s not easy, you know, to pass something like this on to your children. How, when, who, what… I then worked for the Swedes as a managerial employee and the size of the company doubled. My sister inherited the factory from our parents – the Swedes weren’t interested in that. In 2018, I said I can’t take being a corporate rat any longer. So I broke my piggybank, went to the bank for a loan, and bought the company back from the Swedes. And I also bought the factory from my sister. And while I was at it, I bought our largest foreign distributor at the end of last year. By the end of 2018 we had sold the most products and therefore treated the most patients in the history of BATIST. And had the best results since 1991. And we haven’t even really gotten started yet.
What are some of the characteristics of your field?
It’s a very conservative field bound by laws and regulations. The barriers to entry are high. But it’s an area that helps to treat, to heal. It’s a good line of business to be in, karmically speaking. In addition, care is provided by educated people and I often meet with a high degree of altruism, unlike in other fields. It’s nice.
What is the hardest part of your business?
Good question. I can’t think of anything. Just that sometimes it goes a bit more slowly than I’d like.
How do you see your company’s future at the moment?
We’re linking product supply with service supply. Logistics, purchasing, IT, and more. We want to offer solutions, not products. Individual brands in the health sector are an anachronism. It’s about the function, not the brand. Also, the European market will become less regulated – right now it’s very fragmented, both in customer-supplier relations and in legislation. Today, BATIST has its own distribution companies in Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Portugal, and Spain. Once the market is freer, we’ll be right in there.
What do you consider to be your greatest business success, and on the other hand, what have you learned from?
Success? A Czech bought back – an originally – Czech company from a Swedish company, and buys other foreign companies. That’s proof that since the revolution, we haven’t just been standing in a corner waiting – exactly the opposite. Failure? That I didn’t do it sooner. It could have been much cheaper.
Did you have to sacrifice anything for your business?
No. It’s a game that I enjoy and that gives me fulfilment.
What drives you in your work?
Life is like a table that stands on four legs. Family, work, friends, and my own interests. None of those four legs can be longer or shorter than the others, otherwise the table won’t be stable.
To get a successful company founded by your parents back into your own hands surely cost not only a great deal of effort, but also a great deal financially. How did you manage to carry out such a demanding investment?
You’re right – buying a company back from a multinational group and bringing it back into the family couldn’t have taken place without a long-term loan from Komerční banka. During the negotiations, they not only offered excellent terms, but they were also very active in their approach and willing to do business.
What activities related to your business do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy helping people. I employ 350 people, of which 55 have disabilities. I help treat and heal patients. And I also love innovation. Sustainability – our vision is to completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels at BATIST by 2025. Or agile management – have you heard about unlimited vacation time? At BATIST, it already exists to a limited extent. Or artificial intelligence that can diagnose based on symptoms better than a top specialist. Simply because it can evaluate more similar cases in just a few seconds. Let’s improve the quality and reduce the costs of some diagnostics – we have too few doctors as it is.
Your story might be so inspiring for someone that he himself will want to start his own business. What advice would you give to such a person?
Study. And continuously educate yourself. Education pushes the boundaries of human possibility. Discover the passion within yourself. This can then easily be transformed into a proper business. Even money and profits can be passion, but for me it’s false motivation. Don’t be afraid to think big. Those who think big can create something truly significant. Nothing big ever comes from thinking small. Prepare to accept responsibility. It’s not for everyone. Acceptance of responsibility is, however, one of the few keys to personal freedom.
The content is a courtesy of Cesky k úspěchu –