Famous Czech brands and companies in the world
Got a computer, a laptop or a tablet? Chances are your electronic devices are using Czech-made antivirus software! Few people are aware that Avast, one of the world leaders in antivirus software and cyber-security, originates from communist Czechoslovakia. Founded as a communist cooperative under the name Alwil in the late 1980’s by Pavel Baudiš and Eduard Kucera, two computer prodigies studying in Prague, Avast became a private company in the 1990’s. Today, it’s one of the world’s leading cyber-security companies, protecting the electronic devices of nearly half a billion users around the world. czech brands
Last year, Avast filed an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange in one of the biggest technology listings in the U.K. in history. A striking symbol of the Czech Republic’s bustling tech culture and illustration of the home-grown, highly digitally-skilled workforce in electronics and security-related digital products.
Czech company Avast is one of the world leaders in cyber-security
Škoda might be the company most easily and commonly associated with the Czech Republic. One of the most iconic car-makers in Central and Eastern Europe, Škoda is the driving force of the Czech Republic’s flagship auto industry and one of the main reasons why Czechs rank among the biggest car producers per capita in the world (last year, Škoda alone produced nearly 1.4 million vehicles).
Part of the German Volkswagen Group since the early 1990’s, Škoda is something of an institution in the Czech Republic, the biggest private employer in the country and accounts for roughly 5% of total Czech GDP. It produces cars in three factories throughout the country, including in its historic stronghold of Mladá Boleslav, as well as in car plants abroad, including Russia and India. China has been Škoda’s first market for nearly a decade, dethroning the all-mighty German neighbour in 2010, and accounts for nearly one third of global sales.
PS: Did you know that in Czech, “škoda” means “damage” or “too bad”? Pretty odd choice of name for a car manufacturer…
Founded in the Moravian city of Zlin in the late 19th century by the Baťa brothers Antonin and Tomas and their sister Anna, the Baťa Shoe Company grew from a small local shoemaker to one of the leading footwear companies in the world. The Moravian shoemakers rose to prominence with their first iconic model, the Batovka shoes, and quickly opened shops throughout the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries, including in Vienna. By the late 1930’s, Baťa was already employing over 60.000 people, but all its Central and Eastern European assets and facilities were nationalized during the communist rule. czech brands
Headquartered in Switzerland today, the Baťa shoe company has a retail presence in over 70 countries and more than 5.000 retail stores. It also has two dozen manufacturing facilities throughout the world, including in India, where it boasts a well-established, historic presence (the iconic Baťa Tennis were originally created for Indian school children). Worldwide, Baťa claims to serve no less than 1 million customers per day.
If you thought Pilsner was only a type of beer, think again, because it’s also one of the most famous Czech brands in the world. Now one of the most popular and widespread beers sold on the planet, Pilsner beers take their name from the Czech city of Plzeň, located roughly one hour west of Prague, where the first ever blond lager of the type was brewed, back in 1842, by Bavarian beer-master Josef Groll. Since then, the iconic Pilsner Urquell has inspired many of the beers sold in the world today.
The Plzeňský Prazdroj brewery, which includes, apart from Pilsner Urquell, other iconic Czech-made beers like Gambrinus or Kozel, sold more than 11 million hectolitres of beer (including 4 million abroad, especially popular in Slovakia, Germany and South Korea), making it one of the biggest brewers in the country boasting the largest consumption of beer per capita in the world!
Plzeňský Prazdroj was for a long time owned by SabMiller, until the group merged in 2016 with Anheuser-Bush (see above), the arch-enemy of the Czech Budweiser brand. But the European Commission only authorized the massive merger on the condition SabMiller sold off some of its European assets, including the Plzen brewery. Which happened the following year, when Japan’s Asahi Breweries acquired the iconic Plzeňský Prazdroj brewery, thereby beating two of the country’s richest men to it (billionaires Petr Kellner and Pavel Tykač had teamed up to attempt to acquire the brewer).
Source: Pilsner Urquell
Here is another brand from Czech that also has an Indian connection – Kohinoor pencils. Named after the famous Indian diamond, it is a brand that was founded in the late 18th CE. And has remained a leading pencil brand since then.
Traveling to a country can tell you so much about it and its contribution to the world. It was a sheer discovery – the global brands from the Czech Republic.
The tradition of more than 150 years places TATRA from Kopřivnice among the oldest car manufacturers in the world. The heavy off-road trucks, commercial trucks and the vehicles that are famous with their ability passing through most difficult terrains has been exported all over the world.