Chropynska strojirna celebrates its 30th anniversary

  • 21. June, 2022
  • Ondrej Zošiak
  • Events

From local engineering company to international business. This year Chropynska strojirna celebrates its 30th anniversary. In this occasion we interviewed Mr. Robert Kudela, CEO of Chropynska Group during his last visit in Slavia. We asked him a few questions, both professional and personal. He was happy to answer all of them.

IMG 8962 1 | Slavia Production Systems a.s.
Robert Kudela – CEO of Chropynska Group

I inherited my love for cars and technology from my father .”

Chropynska strojirna celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. What were the beginnings of the company?

The beginnings of the company date back to 1992, when a group of 20 employees privatised the then tool shop of Technoplast. One of them was my father, František Kudela. Finding projects was not easy in the early days and the newly established company required significant investments. One of the main investors was my father, who ran his own business at the time. Thanks to these investments, he became the majority shareholder and then the company’s director in a short period of time. The company started to prosper after adding products and systems to its product range by supplying the automotive industry. One of our important customers was ŠKODA AUTO, where we became a major supplier of equipment. Thanks to the set criteria and joint work, we received the Volkswagen Group Award 2013 in the “Local Leader” category in 2013.

What motivated you to continue in the family business ?

I inherited my love for cars and technology from my father. That’s why I chose the path of studying at the Brno University of Technology. After successfully completing my studies, I joined the Chropyňská strojírna in 1998 as a locksmith. Gradually, I moved through the positions of project manager, sales manager and up to the position of director.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenge in running a business?

I consider the biggest challenge to be our goal to be the best supplier of automated lines at least in Europe.

What does your typical working day look like ?

Every day is different and brings with it different situations. My position requires a lot of meetings and travelling, either within the Czech Republic or across Europe to visit our partners in the UK, Germany, Slovakia and Romania. When I am at home, I leave for work early in the morning and try to get back before 6pm, which I don’t always manage to do.

How has the Chropynska changed in the last 10 years ?

It has changed significantly. In 2012, we were a company with 230 employees and a turnover of 15 million euros per year, based in Chropyně and operating mainly on the Czech market. Today we are an international company with more than 1300 employees in 8 countries and a turnover of 180 million euros per year.

How do you perceive the acquisition of Slavia Production Systems and what benefits has it brought to the Chropynska Group ?

The acquisition of Slavia Production Systems in 2012 and the acquisition of Romanian Ramira in 2013 opened many doors for us. Almost immediately we became the largest supplier of welding jigs in Europe. The increased production capacity, knowledge and experience of our employees have enabled us to carry out major projects.

How do you see further development of Slavia in the Chropynska Group ?

Slavia is facing big projects in engineering in the coming years. An indispensable part within the Chropynska Group is certainly Slavia’s specialization in MIG – MAG welding, in which it will continue to make progress.

Where do you see the Chropynska Group in 10 years ?

I see a company with a clear vision and satisfied employees. We clearly want to fulfill our goal of becoming the best supplier of automated lines in Europe.

How do you like to spend your free time ?

My free time is of course mostly spent with my wife and my 3 daughters. I try to balance my workload with sports, which is also my hobby. I like to go cycling, but I also like skiing and cross-country skiing.