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When in April last year Mgr. Zuzana Ceralová Petrofová, the Executive Director of PETROF spol. s.r.o., and President of the PETROF Group, received the award for Manager of the Year at the Žofín Hall in Prague, her joy was plain to see. Far from hiding it, she revelled in it, and it was as lovely a sight as her smile, which was unforgettable: she exuded a radiance born of her character, aspirations, ambitions, and taste for hard work. It touched the heart of everyone there.

Most of us had no doubt that she thoroughly deserved the title. Anyone who has studied the fortunes of the Petrof family, particularly their post-war history, including their privatisation, will know what I’m writing about. Zuzana Ceralová Petrofová herself, a fifth-generation member of the Petrof family, could talk for hours about how thorny the route to prosperity has been and how heavy the price: how it’s been no easy matter to keep the company going in the economic crisis when everyone is cutting back, and not only transform people’s ideas, but also expand and diversify the production programme to ensure that her employees are paid. But I’m not writing a sob-story, rather declaring my admiration for an energetic woman who within her close family circle has learnt to deal with the pitfalls of running a business - and she has emerged victorious. Today the firm has five brands, so as best to meet its customers’ requirements, and it exports 90% of its production, of which 70% is for western markets. It is one of the biggest and best-known producers of uprights and grand pianos in Europe, a fact it is duly aware of. How can anyone summarise this story in a few questions? That would be impossible. Let’s try a different approach and look at the present situation through the eyes of Zuzana Petrofová.

The whole interview you can read here:


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