The owner of the Parabel and Metako companies, Michael Krüsselin, came to the Czech Republic for the first time in 1991, where he negotiated a trade for his German parent company in Zlín. His enthusiasm, hard work and then unrivaled business opportunities literally got him, so he decided to anchor in the village of Lukov near Zlín. He founded a trading company, which he built and expanded over time. Today, it can be proud of two prosperous engineering companies and its own production.
You are German, yet you decided to live and do business in the Czech Republic. For what reason?
I originally came to the Czech Republic to visit my then employer. It became clear to me quite quickly that the situation in the Czech Republic after the “Velvet” revolution offered great opportunities that continue even today under changed conditions. I started the production of containers, this industry was missing in the market at the time, and I continued with other engineering parts of different sizes and weights, and gradually our company became known, the orders kept pouring in. The companies themselves approached us with an offer of cooperation, and this is how it still works today. Even then, a success was born that continues into the 21st century.
You are in engineering, why did you choose this field?
I think it was destined for me, because I have always had an affinity for various components and devices made of iron. So, after primary school, we went to study at a metalworking school, followed by a course in auto mechanics. Right after that, I was called up for military service and had to perform various administrative tasks there. This gave rise to the idea of combining these two things and I trained as a so-called industrial clerk. To further deepen my knowledge, I then studied business administration. And after completing my studies, I was lucky enough to get a job in an engineering company. There I learned the basics of purchasing, logistics and production.
I read on your website that you run different companies. Can you be more specific?
The most important one at the moment is the company Parabel, for the third year we are expanding our activities at the company Metako, which was created due to the specialized production of e.g. a small number of parts or the accelerated production of a prototype for some development. We have built a high-capacity hall for these activities, we specialize in cutting wear-resistant sheets and other types of steel using cutting methods: plasma, laser and saw. We weld, drill, bend, machine, bend, and provide surface treatment by painting, including blasting. We constantly develop new solutions and innovations, we have modern equipment, we can provide logistics. Our goal is to create additional capacities in the steel and engineering sector, because on the one hand demand is constantly increasing, but delivery times should be getting shorter and shorter. If you want to learn more about it, check out www.parabel.cz and www.metako.cz. We do business on all continents. Due to the geographical proximity, we mainly focus on neighboring countries.
What are your main advantages compared to similar companies?
Our customers request special equipment and various parts, which we manufacture according to drawings. They are originals that other competing companies reject because of their complexity or uniqueness. We discuss with the customer, help him find solutions and realize his visions.
Looking back, what was your journey to building a successful business? What were the main problems you faced?
The only way is – work, work, work. When we started this business, we were overwhelmed with requests for a wide range of parts, the most difficult thing was to find a suitable and reliable partner for quality production. Compared to today, however, it was not a problem to get people. My main task then was to explain to the employees the needs of the foreign market, because it was very different from what existed in the Czech Republic.
Quality employees are difficult to find because there are simply no experts with an engineering background on the labor market. But I can assure all potential interested parties that at our company we train very honestly everyone who decides to succeed in our field.
In this context, it is not out of place to ask you what is the difference in the business environment in Germany and the Czech Republic, what can we learn in the Federal Republic of Germany and vice versa, in what ways are we inspiring for the German side?
So many things are changing, I’m not sure I can say what we can learn from Germany and what we are inspiring. In my opinion, perhaps Germany can learn from the Czech Republic how the business environment works here, companies innovate, actively try to reach the world, do not cling to the past and are more flexible. Today, I would say that the Czech business world is even more international than the German one.
The important thing is that customers come back to us, you said in an interview. And he added, we often take care of unusual things. So it’s not just about the products as such, but the comfort of the services you offer along with it?
Yes. Relationships with customers are the basis of business, we devote a lot of energy and time to this, we visit them, we look for the best ways, we try to understand their needs. And this effort is returned to us in the form of “returning” customers.
Today, sustainability is inflected in all cases. How do you prepare for ESG reports?
It is very important for us to connect the environmental management system with the company’s strategy and goals. We focus on the efficient use of resources and energy, our work activities in the production hall do not have a negative impact on the surrounding environment, the company is sufficiently isolated, it is controlled and prevents any negative impact of production on the environment. Electricity consumption is one of our important environmental aspects. Of course we sort waste. As part of the environmental investigation, we purchased alternative energy sources on the roof of all production halls and the administrative building. We have been using photovoltaic panels for more than a year. In this way, we contribute to the protection of the environment in our region.
We create the present from the past, the future from the present, as is the case with Parabel and Metak, how will you surprise existing and potential customers?
We devote a lot of time to the development of companies, we hone internal work processes so that they are efficient. I can say that our customers will soon receive faster service and a more flexible approach to solving problems that arise from time to time in engineering production.
Interview in its original form in the magazine CzechIndustry here: