27 May

The third book in the Zvonek 08 series is dedicated to a company called MEICO Systems. It might seem a bit strange to dedicate a book to an entire company, but there is an excellent reason. MEICO’s CEO and staff have been like family to me since living abroad and have always been extremely supportive of all my endeavors. So I wanted to do something for them to show my appreciation, albeit something small.

Today I have the honor of introducing Jiři Meissner on my blog. Mr Meissner is CEO of MEICO, prominent Prague businessman and property speculator but to Zvonek, he is ‘uncle Jirka’. (Jirka being the more familiar form of Jiří)

At the time of Zvonek’s arrival, he was my landlord, and it was him who gave me permission to have Zvonek in the flat. Zvonek became the block’s cat and was granted certain privileges that he alone enjoyed. Being allowed into the garden for example. Running up into the company’s offices and never being reprimanded, but rather receiving loads of pets from members of staff. Mr Meissner has kindly offered to share a bit about MEICO, which is a family business handed down to him through his father, and business in the Czech Republic in general. Which will give us some insight into running a business in the Czech Republic. Yet another aspect of my adopted country. Thank you so much Mr Meissner for joining us today and over to you.

When did MEICO start as a business?

JM: MEICO started in 1993. My father set the company up. It was soon after the revolution of 1989. He worked for MOM, which was an international organization of journalists. His position was in R+D in the company. Resulting in the knowledge to be able to set up MEICO’s innovative technology. My father, although having many restrictions under Solicalism owing to pass family connections, rewrote his destiny and MEICO was born.

How did you feel taking over the business as CEO? Did the employees, having worked for your father, find it a difficult adjustment to make?

JM: It was in my future to take over from my father and once it happened I became totally absorbed by the company and it’s activities. It was easy as when I took it over, my father had left it in perfect condition. But I realized being a CEO was more than just a title. The staff took the transition very well and it was them that had to help me establish my position.

Can you name three changes you implemented in your first year as CEO?

JM: I started to look for foreign customers and sell our mobile base stations abroad, Poland, Lavtiva and Slovakia. Secondly, in the past we used only one company for our safety systems, thereby limiting our range of products. I looked and found a number of other companies to use thereby increasing our range of products available to our clients. MEICO has also of late branched out into property speculation.

Has your industry benefited from more opportunities since 1989? Can you give an example?

JM: The revolution brought many changes, new products on the market. For us the most important was the telecommunications market and was able to increase our products in this field.

Since the fall of Socialism, the world has opened up to Czech businessmen. How easy was it to get foreign contacts and client’s trust working with such a young democracy?

JM: Talking about telecommunications, as well opening the borders, the growth was fast generally. In the beginning we only worked only with Czech operators. These references enable business with their sister companies abroad. For example, Orange in Poland, Slovakia, T-Mobile in Slovakia and Poland, Omnitel in Lativa.

Has it been beneficial?

JM: Yes, certainly

Mr Meissner, can you offer any advice to other young entrepreneurs that may be reading this blog?

JM: Increase their knowledge in running a business and the market as much as possible before branching out on their own. I had the fortune of entering a business already set up but had to learn these aspects while running the business. It is better to enter with some knowledge.

Thank you so much for being part of my blog and sharing with my readers. Am sure they will join with me in wishing MEICO every success for the future.

For the English website:

12 Responses to “MEICO”

  1. Charlotte Holley May 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    Nice interview. Thanks, Anne, and Mr. Meissner for a glimpse into one of the businesses in the Czech Republic.

    • spamslitterature May 28, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      Very interesting to find out how your friend’s company operates! Mr. Meissner, thanks to you and your family too for being so nice to Anci and Zvonek.

  2. Jim Woods May 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Hi Anne and JM: Having traveled in your part of the world, I have an appreciation for your country. I’m afraid that too many Americans, who don’t happen to have the privelige of travel, tend to think of all the former bloc countries as behind the tech times. But I have discovered techie things abroad that put US in the back seat. So I’m glad to hear of Meico and its apparent success. I wish you well. Jim Woods

  3. Colin Acland May 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    Another great blog and what an interesting company Meico is, its amazing how quickly that sort of technology has progressed. Good luck to you both

  4. marketaz May 28, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    As a Czech living abroad (since 68) it is such a pleasure to read how good business can be also in central (and eastern) Europe. Thank you Mr. Meissner for a very interesting interview. And thank you for being good to a cat! Diky. Marketa

  5. Catherine Cavendish (@Cat_Cavendish) May 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Always interesting to hear how industry works in other countries and to discover that the maxims for successful business do not vary so greatly from one country to another in many cases. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  6. Richard May 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, Mr.Meissner; it’s nice to hear that a family business is thriving in such a fast-paced industry. We wish you continued success!

  7. Denise May 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Wow, Anne, what a wonderful opportunity to present the exciting developments in the Czech Republic, which have only happened with the determination of men like Mr. Meissner and his family. It is great to learn more about Zvonek’s liberties, he is a great cat and each new book brings more creative juices to the cat story industry. I’m glad you have had such a gracious man to help you grant those liberties to him.
    Great interview!
    Denise Bartlett – Gypsy Shadow Publishing

  8. klokanomil May 28, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Lovely Anne. And nice to hear about a local business in Prague 🙂

  9. Laura Patsko (@lauraahaha) May 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    I like this quote: “I realized being a CEO was more than just a title.” I think that’s important in any job – you have to really enjoy it and try to keep learning and developing every day! 🙂

  10. Jamie Peterson May 29, 2012 at 5:51 am #

    Very interesting information about your company, Mr. Meissner. It would be nice to have another update on your work at some point in the future.

  11. Ruthann Bradfield May 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Thank you, Anne! I think your book dedication to Meico Systems is wonderful and it was most informative to learn about the development of a company after the political climate changed. Best of luck to Mr. Meissner and his firm!

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