EBA Personality: Roman Klakovych, General Manager, Raitex Ukraine
Can we start with an introduction of yourself and an overview of your company? How do you position yourselves on the market?
Raitex is one of the biggest Danish owned companies in Western Ukraine and has several business directions. The first one is sewing on tolling scheme. We make products, mainly for sleeping and hospitals, under the famous trade marks, such as Tempur, Barrington, Carpenter. The second one is production of fashion chairs. We sell our products all over the world, from USA to Japan. The third direction is rather new: we produce production pillows and mattresses under our own trade mark “Andersen”.
Do you have any plans for expansion? What are your growth ambitions?
Raitex puts efforts in each of the business directions. We try to have more “legs” for stability during the hard times. We have just bought advanced quilting machines, which make mattress’ covers nicer and attract more clients. We plan to extend Andersen and make it more known in Ukraine. Today we are selling pillows in all big Ukrainian cities, and Danish materials and our market knowledge makes us more confident in future expansion.
What key market drivers are positively impacting your business?
Goods, made out of “memory foam” are more and more popular in the world. So we have a great opportunity to increase production.
Which business sectors present the most interesting investment opportunities in today’s Western Ukrainian market?
I think agriculture and IT still have space for more investors.
What is the most important management lesson you have learned?
People must be busy. Otherwise they have time to think about harmful things for work :-)
The EBA focuses its actions on 7 vectors of economic development- Corruption fighting, Court system and Land reform, Currency regulation, VAT refund activation, Customs Procedures simplification and Technical barriers to trade elimination. Which one(s) so you foresee as the most vital and why?
On my opinion, VAT refund activation and Customs Procedures simplification are the most important. Businessmen find out how to deal with the rest.
What in your opinion can be done to improve investment attractiveness of Ukraine?
Government has to guarantee that laws are working. Now I hear many rumours about raider attacks on private business – this for sure will push away investors from Ukraine.
What are your personal recommendations for anyone who wants to be successful in business?
For more than 8 years I worked in Tax Administration. Started in IT department and had grown to Head Deputy. Afterwards I worked in JSC Biblios producing and selling stationeries. For the last 7 years I work in totally different business – in company which supplies sewing and furniture production. I understand people from business and government because I have been at both ends of barricades. I would advice Tax workers and other State institution not be afraid to change their job. If they want constant challenges they should go into business. Life will not stop, it will be more interesting! If you want to be successful, you should constantly learn new things and move in new directions. If you don’t use opportunity, somebody else for sure will use it!