Owner and CEO of company AWEC Group Katerina Berankova belongs among the women that like to overcome the challenges successfully. Her company is a great example of finding new ways and opportunities in business.

Your success story is unique mostly due to the flexibility of your reactions to the opportunities. Tell us how did you start your business and how is your company doing nowadays?awec web 2 768x432 EN
I took the opportunity during the economic crisis in 2008. Back then I worked for a company that was on the verge of bankruptcy and continued the very same business activities with newly estabilished subdivision. From the very beginning we have cooperated with engineering company from Vietnam and few years later, we decided to move production to Czechia. We started to develop our engineering business with a focus on automotive and together with my colleagues we managed to reach more than 10 mil EUR turnover which is simply amazing.

Engineering, education, non-profit institutions – you are working in all those fields. How do you manage all your activities, do you have some sort of system of planning?
I would not be able to deal with so many things without the background at home and my supportive partner. It would not be possible without the great work of my colleagues as well. I am pretty lucky that I have a reliable team and a great family. I am meeting many inspiring people, from who I am trying to learn and set up the system in a way to handle everything and to enjoy work. It is important to distribute your own energy so that it is not missing where it is needed.

Could you name any person, who is a role model for you and your business?
There is many capable and skilled people around me and they are not afraid of taking risks and being responsible. The people, who inspire me, are humble and courageous in ordinary life and in business too. Most of those people are owners of small businesses, cafés or shops. They are doing their job honestly and gladly. I also find my team inspiring as we are overcoming all the difficult challenges that we are facing.

Your company is managing the development of new products on its own. Does it represent an advantage in a relationship to the competitors and customers? Does it make you more flexible?
For most of our products (car components) it is not the case. All the components should be produced according to technical documentation with strictly set parameters and the deviance possibilities are usually very low. Only thanks to our highly skilled engineers and quality management system, it is possible to execute those difficult tasks.
One of our divisions that is producing the disinfection stands is complete opposite. We are supplying various types of stands to the market and in this case the flexibility is our advantage indeed. The customers have the right to choose their own design and the material of the stand too.

Who represents the most of your customers?
Our customers are mostly large companies that are supplying aluminium parts for the automotive market. For instance, we are producing components for bumpers of Volkswagen Touareg. Another example of our products are parts for bathroom furniture. At the moment, we just started to supply components for a company which is working in the field of aerospace. We could say that the portfolio of our customers, who are working with our products, is pretty wide.

Did the current “Covid” situation and the government restrictions affect your business?
The current situation within the field of automotive is very unstable. In the beginning of the year a lack of material began to show. It was caused mainly due to the collapse of the transportation from Asia. On that account, we are now facing certain difficulties, because a part of our products is produced in Vietnam and we are dealing with delayed containers and other related problems. The borders were partly closed and there is a labour shortage in the Czech borders area, all those restrictions and issues are of course affecting our customers. In my opinion the current situation is going to have even a bigger impact that we are going to experience in a few months.

Do you see any opportunities in this crisis?
I used to say that every crisis is an opportunity, but in a current situation I have more respect and humbleness. Even though our automotive field has been affected and we went through tough times, our company does not face existential problems. I could imagine how difficult it must be for other people in hotel or restaurant industry and for them it is really hard to look for opportunities.

What do you think about the online communication?
With regards to the modern technology, I am a conservative person and I would not stay in a line for new iPhone J I am trying to find a use of technologies that are saving my time and making the work easier. I am aware that the tools like online events and apps in smartphones could help, but the face to face meetings are in my opinion not replaceable. The personal meetings are essential and it is going to be like that in the future too.

You succeeded in the “Awards for Czech women entrepreneurs”. In the current atypical year, what does this mean for you?
I really appreciate the win of this award, no matter how atypical the year is. In the past, I did not want to attend any of those competitions, because I believed that we were not long enough on the market to show our stability and success – I did not want to look like an upstart. After a long persuasion I agreed to take part and I perceive the award as appreciation of my team rather than myself.

Generální partner:

DRFG Investiční skupina logo2018              CZECH FUND logo

Naši partneři

logo brno3 logotyp jihomoravsky  logo-komora HKCR3  verygoodies    ndb logo