Martin Hrdlička started his business with his father Miroslav thirty years ago when they started a small family business. In fact, surveying became an integral part of the Hrdlička family four generations ago. Miroslav Hrdlicka's father was also a surveyor and other family members also worked in the field. Now the youngest generation of the Hrdlicka family, Martin's sons Ondřej and Vojtěch, are involved in the business.
The official date of the beginning of HRDLIČKA spol. s r.o. is Monday 16 September 1991, but the joint business of father and son Hrdlička started even more than a year earlier, as soon as the situation in the Czechoslovak Republic allowed it.
As early as 17 April 1990, Miroslav Hrdlička submitted an application to the Department of Trade and Services of the District National Committee in Prague 8 for "a permit to provide surveying services and engineering activities". On 23 April 1990, the ONV granted the application, and the business at Lešenská 535 in Prague's Bohnice and at Tetín 45 (where the company is still based today) could begin.
The wild nineties, as the period between 1990 and 1999 is sometimes called today, were also in surveying, although in a slightly different way... They were full of work and full of opportunities. Anyone could start a business and establish a company, which was unprecedented after 40 years of socialism. As a rule, people started as self-employed and continued for many years.
But Martin Hrdlička and his father had a different plan. Martin had the first idea to start a family business when he was 15. His dream came true. His original plans for a small family business came to fruition. Thirty years later, HRDLIČKA Holding has a total annual turnover of over 325 million crowns and employs more than 260 people. The company, therefore, has room to develop further products and services. At the same time, it offers a chance for self-fulfillment to prospective employees. It is the capable colleagues in the company that give Martin Hrdlička room for non-profit activities. He can also participate in the development and cultivation of the business environment in the industry through the established Association of Geomatics Entrepreneurs, of which he is the father of the idea and the current chairman.
Entrepreneurs who started their companies in the 1990s certainly had a head start in terms of time and also the opportunity to start from scratch. It took courage that is hard to imagine today because none of them could have had an entrepreneurial role model. If we could describe the entrepreneurs of that time in one word, the best word to use would be 'pioneers'.
In this day and age, when almost everything can be handled digitally, a letter can be emailed around the world, and information can be looked up online on the internet, the 1990s and business in that era are truly fascinating compared to today.
Together, father and son Hrdlicka have managed to ride the entrepreneurial wave while not resting on their laurels along the way, and perhaps not breaking up as has happened in many other cases. Just to give you an idea, the company had a turnover of almost nine million crowns within a year of its foundation, which was a huge amount of money for that time and it confused many people. However, the Hrdlicks invested virtually all of the money they earned in the latest production technologies. And the investment paid off handsomely.
Gradually, the Hrdlicks created a company that is active in surveying and a number of other related fields. In the early days, the company focused heavily on contracts in neighboring Germany, which required surveying excellence and knowledge, not just of the German language. Thanks to the contracts, the company grew rapidly and turnover reached 55 million crowns in 1999.
Miroslav Hrdlička once said of his son, "Martin was the driving force behind our business. He is even more active than I am."