Martin Poš’s voyage through world business is one of the most interesting in Czech business in the last twenty years. The native from Prague emigrated as a ten-year-old boy with his parents to Austria at the end of the 1970s. He worked out in Germany, working for Concord, for example. He then founded his own company, Cybex, fifteen years ago, and six years ago he created it with the world’s largest manufacturer of children’s goods, Hong Kong-based Good Baby, with a turnover of over $ 1 billion and a profit of more than $ 26 million. It is traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and has over 11,000 employees. He became its worldwide CEO and also a shareholder – today he has five percent of the shares.
And right now, a few days before Christmas Day 2020, he is symbolically returning to his birthplace. Prague will be the first place in Europe where its Cybex brand will have a flagship store. A few meters from the Česká shopping street, Pařížská Street, a shop full of premium prams, child car seats and other goods for the youngest children opens.
Martin confirms with one breath that he is a great Czech and Prague patriot, but immediately adds: “Sentiment does not belong in business. Prague is a European gem and has an incredibly concentrated luxury store, you just can’t see it in any metropolis. Pařížská Street is unique in Europe and we are basically on it, that’s why we open here, “says the businessman and Martin Poš. In fact, thanks to Covid, Cybex had the opportunity to open in Prague. “Suddenly, the opportunity for this beautiful two-story store fell into our laps. It will be a perfect test object, “I think Poš. The store on the corner of Eliška Krásnohorská and Široká streets has two floors and 500 square meters, and you will see everything that Cybex has to offer.
The entire pram business is growing worldwide, at a rate of 2-6 percent a year, according to various surveys. The segment where Cybex is, ie high end, even faster. “Cybex is today the fastest growing brand of the entire Goodbaby conglomerate,” says Poš. This year, I expect a slight drop in turnover for the whole group, but maintaining profitability. And for the Cybex brand itself, both turnover and profit. Goodbaby’s market capitalization has fluctuated between $ 220 million and $ 500 million over the past year, but has already hit $ 900 million three years ago. “This year is a year of opportunity for us. We have resources and we invest – we buy distributors around the world, we open new stores, we invest in development and technologies, ”says Poš.
The company is headquartered and the heart of development in Bayereuth, Germany, where technology and design are being developed in several buildings. The test equipment is reminiscent of similar places in the automotive industry, there are two special tracks for crash tests of car seats, and data is seamlessly transmitted between China, Germany and the United States. All Cybex centers are tested 24/7.
However, Martin Poš’s native Czech Republic also plays a role in the development. “Last year, we bought a Prague startup, thanks to which we have an E-Priam electric pram today,” says Poš. This stroller, which is assisted by an electric motor for hilly and demanding terrain and ensures greater safety, was among the 100 best innovations in the world of Time magazine for 2020 in the “Parenting” category.
In the Prague Braník in the design studio of the Concern of Jiří Přibyl and Martin Imrich, a fundamental part of the development and design of child car seats takes place, which regularly appear at the forefront of tests of the German ADAC and other testing laboratories. In the design segment of limited edition prams, Cybex then collaborates with the Czech top model Karolína Kurková, who is now expecting her third child herself and will probably be the brand’s most visible ambassador, popular with many celebrities around the world.
December 2020 and the first European store Cybex is thus another Prague stop for the brand that is the creator born here. “I’m really looking forward to today, despite all the complications this year brings us. It’s a big day for me, “adds Martin Poš.