LINET Group during worldwide pandemic
LIGS bring you an interview with one of our alumni Tomas Kolar, current managing director and CEO of LINET Group. The company focuses on the production and sales of facilities for hospital rooms and retirement homes.
Have you reached any milestones in your career since the last interview?
These past 3 years were remarkable. Some of our shareholders decided to sell their shares, so we got a chance to learn new processes. In the end, they made a decision not to sell. Which I think was very wise since the company is growing double every year. This trade year will set a new record in LINET history once it's done in March 2021.
How did the pandemic affect the market you operated at?
The covid-19 pandemic significantly affected our business. When we started LINET Group in 2011, it was a company with 115 million euros turnovers. This year we will have a turnover of over 330 million euros. Incredibly, the business is over 3 times bigger than it was when we started. Because we work for healthcare providers and hospitals, the hospital beds equal spots for patients in the hospital. In February 2020, we received many inquiries and orders that were directly connected to the Covid-19 pandemic. And the increase of the business is marketable up till now.
You mentioned expansion to the land of opportunities, specifically the Pacific and Asia. Are those markets still full of opportunities?
Of course. Asia and the Pacific are one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. That not only concerns healthcare. It is because firstly both economics are strong and doing well. Since the Asian crisis from 2000, there hasn't been any downfall. It has been record-breaking 20 years, and they are doing very well. And secondly, healthcare is being made out of elemental conditions. That is why there is great potential to build up. On the other side, these are not simple markets to operate. It is far away, and the culture is different from ours. We decided to make an enormous investment there, and it is working out for us. We are growing almost 30% every year. We started a branch in Singapore, Australia, and we also have representatives in China. It has been about immense investments for us.
You often mention digitalization, what has changed since the covid-19 outbreak?
Naturally, all lines of business are going through some changes at the moment. It doesn't matter if it's industry or personal life. Digitalization is a possible stimulus for things to be ready to move forward. Healthcare is no exception because it is a complex system on its own. The Hospital is a comprehensive company with its processes, clients, and employees. It is only a matter of time when it will be ready for complete digitalization. With the Czech Republic, it is even a bigger question, as we are concerned by other problems at the moment. In any case, Covid-19 is somewhat accelerator to the whole process. It's the changes in society. One day we found out online services work. That opens a brand new mindset to help grow new projects that would go hand in hand with digitalization in healthcare.
What are the fundamentals of starting a successful business?
The foundation attribute of a successful business is the right mindset. You shouldn't be worried about trying new things, having a vision, and healthy go-getting company culture that is open enough.
What makes a successful manager? Is it diligence, education, or experience?
The foundation attribute of a successful business is the right mindset. You shouldn't be worried about trying new things, having a vision, and healthy go-getting company culture that is open enough. A successful manager is a mixture. The question is what kind of mix it is. It will be different for each person, and it will vary depending on the situation. The things that work at the moment won't be working a year later or a year before. What you can do is work on yourself hard. I believe the best investment in your development is education. I tell this to my kids as well. Such investment will always come back. You invest a few hundred or thousands of dollars in your education, and you receive millions back if you know how to use your knowledge. Any other financial investment won't monetize as much.
Which crucial decision-making skills and attributes would you like to accentuate?
The most important attribute of a manager is decision making. Even though you have no idea if you are making the right call, and sometimes I have no idea myself, somebody has to be brave enough to make the decision. It is much worse if something stays undecided than the wrong choice itself. Although I appeal to you that you try to make the correct choices rather than the wrong ones. Occasional mistakes are alright. But be careful not to make them too often. Going back to my studies at LIGS University, one of my dearest memories was having the opportunity to learn from specialists from various fields. All lectures were professionals, and it was beneficial to study topics thoroughly with them.
Is formulating goals and achieving them important for you?
Yes, it is massively important to me. I see no point in doing without goals. It makes absolutely no sense to me. I determine aims for my business, as well as my personal life. And if we talk about the present, I believe in the entire digitalization of LINET. As of today shows, we can work together without the necessity to visit even with 20 branches worldwide. Our future goal is to connect this way marketing and sales towards the final customer (healthcare). Even though our end customer is very conservative, we can be the first ones to make it and beat the way for others after us.
Can you share a key to success for our audience?
"Do what matters." And I know I will be repeating myself, but believe me when I say - education matters.