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Eva Primus Kovandová

Eva Primus Kovandová has been working for five years as the director of the office of the Board of Directors of the Prague 1 Chamber of Commerce, where she commutes daily by train from Klánovice. She lives there with her husband and raises their two daughters. In addition, she manages to take care of the accommodation that she rents. She is still able to save time for her big hobby, literally, because it is a horse. Therefore, finding time for an interview was not easy, but fortunately we succeeded.


Success Does Not Come without Work and Overnight

Most people probably know what the Chamber of Commerce is. But you work in the Prague 1 Chamber of Commerce, is that another organization?
No, the Prague 1 Chamber of Commerce is part of the large nationwide chamber; it is its district component. Our Chamber brings together business entities with a registered office or business interest in the territory of Prague 1, while unlike other business associations it operates mainly on the territorial principle. This means that we associate self-employed persons, entrepreneurs, and companies from the center of Prague, providing them with various services from press monitoring, through legislative information, assistance in communication with the state or autonomy administration. We also organize various events, meetings, workshops and seminars. In short, we make every effort to defend our members with their business and defend their interests. We have about 500 members, which makes us the strongest district chamber ever. But we are trying to recruit more and more members. The more of us there are, the stronger our voice will be when dealing with politicians or the state administration.

What does your work entail?
It is a long series of activities, a lot of negotiations, but also administration. However, the basis is communication with our members and subsequent communication of their suggestions, interests, and complaints further, whether to the relevant politicians or officials. In our case, it is mainly the City Hall of Prague 1 or the City Hall and various organizations that fall under them.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like meeting new people and communicating with them. In addition, our members are mostly really interesting and inspiring people, each with a slightly different business story. They are hardworking people with great determination. This manifested itself in the time of COVID and will undoubtedly continue even now, as more economic problems are coming. These times have been extremely difficult even for entrepreneurs, but they are fighting hard. I am pleased when we succeed in helping them in their efforts.

This year you will celebrate your five-year anniversary. So you are a “long-distance working runner”?
Before that, I had worked for more than 10 years in a pharmaceutical company. I believe I will stay here for a long time too. I know from experience that success does not come without work and overnight. If you want to build something and leave a mark behind, it is a long-term job. We are doing well in the Prague 1 Chamber of Commerce.

Everyone would probably like to succeed. What do you think is the right recipe?
There is no universal recipe for success, although hard work and continuous improvement are a must. The secret of my “success” lies first and foremost in the support of my husband and daughters. They are great and support me in my working career, although sometimes it is difficult for everyone. But we enjoy the moments together all the more. I am also lucky with the people around me.

Can joining the Prague 1 Chamber of Commerce help entrepreneurs succeed?
Yes, definitely. Within the chamber, every entrepreneur will receive support, a lot of information and advice, but especially great opportunities to meet new people, gain new contacts and thus opportunities or inspiration for their business. We organize several events such as business breakfasts, workshops, seminars, members’ meetings. I know from the feedback from our members that all these events bring them both joy and added value for their business. And that makes me very happy and motivates me to continue working.

You have also established a Lady club within the Prague 1 Chamber of Commerce. What is it about?
The Lady Club is an informal platform for women within our number one chamber. It is open to both businesswomen and, for example, managers of our member companies. In this way, I want to connect women, enable them to make new contacts, share experiences, but also offer interesting opportunities for spending their free time. We meet, we organize events. So far, the response has been very positive, which makes me happy. COVID has slowed us (as everybody else) down a bit, but we are already breathing again and planning further events. It occurs to me that just like men sometimes need to go for a beer without women, women in a purely female team can sometimes relax more, because we have logically similar experiences and problems.

In addition to working at the Prague 1 Chamber of Commerce, you and your husband also run an accommodation facility. Can you introduce it to us?
It is the Náčkovice Residence (www.rezidencenackovice.cz), which is located in a beautiful landscape halfway between Ústí nad Labem and Česká Lípa. We have been successfully renting the residence for more than 10 years. At the same time, we are also constantly improving it and trying to make all our guests feel comfortable with us and make them want to return. Fortunately, this is happening.
I would like to invite readers there, but I am afraid that it has been fully booked for this year. You really need to book your stay months in advance.

In addition to everything we have talked about, do you have any hobbies?
Horses have become my favorite hobby lately. I am still learning to ride. My daughters also love horses, so we enjoy them together, and that is the most important thing for me. Sometimes I even persuade my husband. If we can, we also like travelling. My husband and I both like skiing, and in the summer we enjoy the sea or historical monuments.


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