In challenging times, Gatema Holding is performing very well

In our interview with František Vlk, the owner of Gatema Holding, we explored the course of this year and inquired about the company's plans for the upcoming period. Mr. Vlk provided us with a unique perspective on current events and challenges faced by Gatema PCB, revealing key information about how the company plans to strengthen its position in the market. Take a look at what František Vlk shared with us about the happenings at Gatema PCB.

What's new at Gatema PCB?

Over the past period, there have been several significant events, encompassing both global and regional influences. Unfortunately, some unfortunate global events, causing loss of young lives and concerns about expressing one's own opinion elsewhere, are affecting the global atmosphere.

As for regional influences, fortunately, I still feel that common sense, with the exertion of all remaining strength, survives. Despite difficulties, Gatema PCB continues its operations and provides quality services. However, we had to face challenges, leading to the termination of some activities and the transfer of certain subsidiary companies within the holding to other partners.


How was the year 2023 for Gatema PCB, and what challenges did the company have to deal with?

The year 2023 was a challenge for us, especially due to the decision to cease the operations of KatemaTec in Austria, which proved to be an unsuitable partner. Despite this loss and other challenges in the economic environment, Gatema PCB continues to generate impressive figures and withstands turbulent conditions. The successful implementation of the AS 9100D standard management system project allowed Gatema PCB's connections to appear in the aerospace, defense, or space industries.


What were the biggest challenges and tasks you personally had to deal with in 2023?

Personally, I faced the difficult decision to resign from the future of the Apollon product, which was part of Gatema Medical. After ten years of investment and intensive work, we found that we could not economically justify Apollon and had to hand it over to someone with a better chance of success. It was a challenging decision, but I believe it was the right one.


What positions is Gatema PCB currently looking for, and how are you dealing with the persistent shortage of qualified employees?

This is one of the long-standing problems, and although the situation in the job market is slightly improving, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is still not shining. Skilled programmers, consultants, and production operators are still in short supply, and finding them is very much like finding a needle in a haystack. It takes a long time, and the outcome is uncertain. Moreover, it's not just about finding the person, but often it's much harder to retain them. We are facing the issue that many employees, especially from the younger generation, do not perceive their employer as a long-term partner. They openly express their availability for only a few months and then, figuratively speaking, "lift anchor and change port." I don't want to be seen as old-fashioned, but building a stable team with people affected by this way of thinking is challenging. Everyone has the right to their opinions, and they should be respected, even if they differ drastically from one's own views.


What was Gatema PCB's social responsibility during this year, and will you continue in that direction?

Gatema PCB has long been financially supporting organizations caring for sick or disadvantaged children, sports and cultural events, and schools in the region. Unfortunately, this year we had to slow down a bit as the economic situation is not straightforward, and not all applicants received support. We prefer long-term partnerships and conceptual cooperation.


What are Gatema PCB's plans for the year 2024?

The plans are to stabilize the entire holding and maximize all synergies that such a combination of individual companies offers, whether it's activities related to ERP systems, PCB manufacturing, or electronics in general, and across all mentioned activities. And to seize interesting opportunities for further expansion.


Can you share your personal wishes or hopes for the future?

Personally, I wish for peace, and I am not ashamed to admit it. In today's world, that is my sincere wish.







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Michaela Krňáková
marketing Gatema PCB