How we actually started or View into the 25-year history of ISOTRA plc.
After the Velvet Revolution, all citizens of the Czech Republic were given the opportunity to do business on their own. At that time, we happened to come across an advertisement in the press, where a private company had been looking for fitters to install silicone seals in windows and doors all over the Czech Republic (until then only Kovotes was known). We had no capital, but we had a huge desire to do something and create something. For some time we used to install seals in family houses and flats. There were a lot of orders and we worked daily since morning till evening, often even on Saturdays. Customers often asked if we assembled window blinds too. At that time being on waiting list for blinds a man had to wait for about 2 years. And the idea was born!
In 1992, we founded ISOTRA ltd., compound of the word ISOlation and the word TRAde. In 1993 our first employees were recruited and in the garage we started to produce the first blinds that were, together with the sealing, assembled at our customers´ places. In the same year, we achieved a turnover of CZK 5 million and opened a company shop in Ostrava. Production was transferred from the home garage to the rented premises in Bolatice. The year 1994 was marked by a dynamic growth in the demand for our interior blinds. We had 45 employees with an annual turnover of CZK 25 million. In 1995 we decided to produce our own components for blinds and other shading technology products. We bought our first building in Rohov, the first 3 injection molding machines and the first machines for our own tool shop. We already had 76 employees and our annual turnover amounted to CZK 49 million. Existing premises could not be enough for us, so in 1996 the production of blinds was moved to premises in Chuchelna.
But our effort bore fruit. In 1998 for the first time we exported our products abroad. The following year 2000 meant a huge boom in our business development. We developed a new type of blinds with chain control "ISOTRA System" and for the first time we exhibited at the world's largest R & T shading technology trade fair in Stuttgart as the only Czech company. In 2001 we kept - dare to say - the mad pace. We already had 146 employees with an annual turnover of CZK 101 million. The existing premises did not correspond to our incessant expansion and that´s why we bought two production halls in Rohov and we did our utmost to reconstruct them by our own efforts. In the same year we started the production of the first outdoor blinds with the production of 20 blinds per month.
A milestone in our business was the year 2004, when we purchased the current production premises in Opava in an attempt to move the whole company to one place after 12 years of business. In the years to come our effort and diligence brought more fruit. We changed the legal status to ISOTRA plc., exported to 46 countries, introduced production of outdoor roller blinds, insect screens, garage doors and grilles and production of molds for injection of thermoplastics. We invested a lot of money in equipment of our own tool shop (machining centers, CNC technology for water jet cutting etc.) and in our own R&D and design department too. We started using the latest 3D technologies, actively participating in international trade fairs in Europe and beyond. We developed our own cutting machines and fully automated rolling lines. We are the owner of 16 utility models and 6 patent inventions. We cooperated with VSB - Technical University of Ostrava on the development of KAIPAN electric drive unit. We launched a wide range of fabric blinds, outdoor awnings, screen blinds, plisse systems including the possibility of implementation in the roof systems and the unique TITAN chain blind. We implemented DECORAL surface technology to decorate aluminum profiles.
Last year we achieved a turnover of CZK 643 million. In 2015 and 2016 we paid to our current 470 employees an amount of CZK 30.8 million in benefits and extra bonuses to prove how we value their work. Already in 2013 we gained an internationally recognized "Top rating" for stability, solvency and credibility. We have become one of the leading Czech and world manufacturers of shading technology and we rank among the technical leaders in our branch. We dare to say that we are the only company in the world in the field of shading technology which can develop a new custom-made product, design, manufacture individual components, test and certify a new product, set up technological processes, develop new machinery and deliver complete technology. With our development team we are currently working on the most productive production line in the field of shading technology for the production of outdoor blinds of various types with implementation of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 technology, which is a term for the trend of digitization and digitization-related automation allowing for considerable variability of products and production. At the FOR ARCH 2016 building fair in Prague, our stand was awarded the best exhibition exposition over 60 m2. At this year's international fair CONECO in Bratislava, our chain blinds TITAN 90 won honorable recognition as an innovative product.
At the same time our company won 3rd place in the Czech Leaders Award in the Moravian-Silesian Region. A great award for us is the CZECH TOP 100 - the Czech Stability Award AAA, thanks to which we have ranked amongst the most stable companies in the Czech Republic.
The way the company has developed into its current dimensions was beyond our imagination. Our growth was often a reflection of logical continuity and response to demand on both the Czech and foreign markets. We have ideas, we know what, we know how and we have a large number of customers. Ideas need putting into practice but it doesn´t work so fast and easy. We would like to thank all our customers who have been working with us for so many years. We would also like to thank all our employees who - by their work, their enthusiasm, effort and commitment - help us create a business result, who - through their loyalty and determination - build a corporate culture and participate in all the successes of our purely Czech company that started from scratch in a garage.
With respect and acknowledgement
Bohumír Blachut and Erich Stavař