Tomasz Czechowicz

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Tomasz Czechowicz
Tomasz Czechowicz photo.jpg
Tomasz Czechowicz
Born1970
Legnica, Poland
NationalityPolish
Alma mater Wroclaw University of Technology
Warsaw School of Economics
OccupationBusinessman
Net worth $122 million (March 2016)

Tomasz Czechowicz (born June 1970) is a Polish entrepreneur and private equity investor. He is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of MCI Capital SA, one of the most dynamic growth/private equity groups in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as supervisory board member of companies across Europe. He runs a group of investment funds active in Poland and CEE, Germany, Austria, UK, Scandinavia, Russian Federation and Turkey, [1] mostly supporting technology, travel and internet-based companies. [2]

Contents

Education

Czechowicz holds the title of Master of Business Administration received from the University of Minnesota and the Warsaw School of Economics. He also holds a master's degree in management, which he earned from the Wrocław University of Economics with prior bachelor's degree in industrial engineering.

Business ventures

First business activities, as a teenager, included coding, along with producing and selling computer accessories at the trade center in Wrocław, [3] later in Warsaw as well. [4] When he moved to Wrocław to attend the university, he also began importing old and new computers to Poland, among them Commodore 64s, which made him one of the company's largest European customers. [3]

In 1990 Tomasz Czechowicz, Janusz Krasnopolski and Tomasz Gomułkiewicz co-founded JTT Computer SA. The company continued importing Commodores, but in 1997 a milestone was achieved by reaching an agreement with Intel and Microsoft to begin assembling their own PC's called ADAX. [5] Czechowicz was the company's CEO until 1998. During these eight years he turned the company into a leading Central European PC assembly and distribution center, [2] which generated the revenue of over $100 mln in total. [6] In a 2006 interview Tomasz Czechowicz said that experience with this company was very important to him and his future business ventures [7] and in an interview from 2016 he admitted that JTT Computer S.A. was one of the biggest business challenges and prepared him well for the following business plans. [4]

After leaving JTT Computer S.A., in 1999 Czechowicz founded MCI Group, one of the leading private equity groups in Poland [8] and in Europe, and has been its Managing Partner since then.

Within the MCI group, he is jointly responsible for preparing and implementing the long-term development strategy, preparing and execution of the business plan, as well as the group's risk management. Tomasz Czechowicz is a member of various supervisory boards, being jointly responsible for providing opinions and decision-making on key strategic and operational matters in the portfolio companies, which have assets under management of PLN 2.3 Bn (Q3’2017).

MCI Capital is a growth capital investment fund focused on digitization and invests in companies from digital disruption, digital adaptation and digital ecosystem areas. It aims to build regional champions. Usual investment ticket ranges from EUR 10M – 25M in growth companies, and can reach up to EUR 100M in buyout companies.

MCI Capital is investing in over 40 companies, including ABC Data, Answear.com, Azimo, eCard/Dotpay, Frisco.pl, Gett, Morele.net, NaviExperts and Prowly. [9] The group is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since February 2001 and on its first day it increased its worth by 50%. [4] MCI is also a member of the Polish Private Equity Association [10] and the Polish Association of Stock Exchange Issuers. [11]

Interesting facts

Obtaining Invia

One of the companies in the MCI's portfolio was Invia.cz, which today is the largest e-travel business in the Central and Eastern European region. Polish edition of Forbes describes a story of obtaining it by Czechowicz, which is related to his love of rock climbing. It took five tries for Czechowicz to reach the summit of Matterhorn, [3] but after his last and successful try by the end of the 2007, he went to Zurich to have a meeting with the representatives of Internet Travel Holding (which were back then the owners of Invia). Forbes implies that Czechowicz reaching the summit of “the symbolic mountain” made such an impression on the ITH's representatives that they decided to sell him Invia. [12] Invia was sold in 2016 to investment fund Rockaway. This action allowed the MCI Group to have one of the best returns in its history. [13]

Investing against Uber

Tomasz Czechowicz, via MCI Capital, invested in Uber's competition – GetTaxi (Gett), an application originating in Israel. It, similarly to Uber, allows to hail a taxi, but with appropriate licences and permissions, including the access to bus lanes in London. As Czechowicz remarks in the interview for Polish edition of Business Insider, “Uber created a brand, which taxi drivers perceive in the same way as unemployment. (…) This is kind of like discussing about the pharmacies. Do we want to have little and local pharmacies with appropriate licences or the big market chains and pharmacies becoming leaders of the market. I don’t think it’s all about a taxi being cheaper by another 5-15%, but it also should be about this service being associated with a certain kind of quality". [14] Since 2016 Gett is in his investment portfolio as a “unicorn” (a company which is worth over $1 bln), at that time first in MCI's funds. [15]

Awards

Boards' memberships

Czechowicz is a member of a statutorily required supervisory board or comparable domestic or foreign supervisory body in the companies set out below:

Personal interests

Tomasz Czechowicz devotes his free time to a number of sports. [7] He was quoted in Onet Biznes, saying that “Doing sports allows me to decrease the amount of days I need for the holiday. Thanks to this hobby, I keep myself in good condition, which is necessary in this profession." [4] He is active in:

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