Mands International – Flexible and Dependable
Martin Sedlacek, managing director of Czech Republic tyre and wheel wholesaling company, Mands International s.r.o., began his career in the tyre industry in 1984 on the shop floor at Barum. Over the next years, with grim determination and a burning ambition to succeed, he improved his position and eventually entered into research and development. After the post communism elections Sedlacek was appointed assistant production manager and sent to study in the USA. Upon his return he was the assigned the role of commercial director with responsibility for all tyres sales in domestic, as well as traditional and new global export markets. In 1996 Sedlacek left Barum to form his own company, Mands International, but not before he had negotiated an arrangement with Barum whereby he could buy tyres from them to sell to new customers in Eastern Europe.
From the many contacts and business relationships established while with Barum, Mands quickly became a relatively successful company, especially in Russia and mostly through sales of radial car tyres. As the marketing strategy became more professional and sophisticated it resulted in steadily improving trade and company recognition, bringing Mands to the notice of Continental and Fulda. Some time later Mitas and Michelin came onboard and diversification into various tyre ranges took place. Today the company is selling all types of tyres from bicycle to earthmover, to a multiple of customers throughout Eastern Europe.
“Two years ago Mands International purchased the long established German tyre distribution enterprise Semex Reifengrosshandels GmbH, based in Bavaria, where it is the sole agent for Barum, Mitas and Matador,” said Martin Sedlacek. “We are now planning to set up a new company in the Ukraine, where we have identified a huge potential market. With a population of 50 million the principally tyre sources are typically localised manufacturers, producing limited quantities of tyres, where the quality is somewhat suspect. We recently introduced Mitas to the Ukraine, where the brand has been very well received. This achievement directs us to positively believe that our knowledge and experience of this area of the world, will ultimately lead to further success.
“With the increasing interest being shown in Chinese tyre manufacture, Mands has begun a business programme with Chengshan Tire and Taishan Tyre, both companies are based in Shandong province and both are famed, in particular, for the manufacture of quality agricultural tyres.
“Our company has come a long way in just ten years,” continued Sedlacek. “Much of our success is down to the fact that we recruited a relatively young but experienced and ambitious group of people who are given the freedom to use their own initiative and make their own decisions. This work ethic has created a pleasing atmosphere and a great team spirit. This professional camaraderie will be further enhanced by the recent appointment of Mr Jo Chytil as the company’s commercial director. Jo Chytil will be well known to tyre factors in the UK as he was managing director of Mitas UK Limited for many years.”