Czech owner of concierge services says Roma employees sometimes perform better than ‘white’ ones
Entrepreneur Martin Fajner (left) (2022). (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)
He’s in a business involving work that most people in the Czech Republic don’t want to do – janitorial work. He is successful.
His company’s clients include Metrostav, Toyota and CzechInvest. How does it feel to do business in the city of Most, which has a reputation for prejudice, and to employ Roma staff?
“I know everyone in our business, everyone comes with their own story,” owner Martin Fajner said in a recent interview for ROMEA TV. “That also applies to Roma.”
“They live in a completely different world, a world that other people can’t even imagine,” Fajner describes. “I’ve never experienced any of the things they sometimes tell me about.”
“Unfortunately, they did,” says the entrepreneur. His own story is quite simple.
Fajner and his business partner personally disliked doing janitorial work in apartment buildings once a month, so they started a company that offered cleaning as a service. After joining forces with the Krušnohor housing cooperative, the company has grown and now has about 70 employees and stable collaborators who work in several cities of the country.
Growth has involved both negative and positive aspects. Graffiti with the company’s logo appeared all over Most (the company has nothing to do with this development) and several other hateful attacks against them were perpetrated via social media.
This is partly because the company employs Roma people, including in management positions, and the materials promoting their services also feature images of Roma. “I would be sorry if we didn’t put this person in our promotional material,” Fajner says.
“What I see is how that person does the job,” he explains. “Sometimes a Roma, when brought into the team, works twice as well as a ‘White’, I would say.”
In the interview, Fajner also gives tips on how to start a similar business and what a business should be based on if starting in a small town with high unemployment. His company qualified for the regional finals of the “Firm of the Year” survey in 2020.