The bankrupt Energetický holding Malina, which even last year claimed to be the market leader in the installation of rooftop solar panels, today employs only fifty employees. In the future, it should be even less, and the company will hire the vast majority of work externally. Malina’s new crisis boss Lukáš Uhl explains this plan by saying that installing photovoltaics is a great professional skill and not everyone has it. “There are companies that have the advantage of being smaller and have every screw pretty well under control. In such a model, you have greater certainty and guarantees, which we now not only want, but also need,” says Uhl.
As part of Malina’s insolvency proceedings, a meeting of creditors was recently held, and they agreed that the solution to bankruptcy should be reorganization, and not bankruptcy. What does that mean for you?
It is of course the better option. At the same time, a lot of responsibilities and work are related to it. Within 30 days, we have to create an overview of the contracts that we are and are not able to fulfill. At the same time, we solve personnel issues. A number of people resigned before I arrived, whose notice period is ending these days or will end in a few weeks. For us, this means that we are dealing with their replacement and also creating a new operating model without some of these employees. We did count on the downsizing of Malina, but several departing employees are so key to the company that we cannot do without their replacement.
How many employees does the company have today?
It was 49 in September and now it will be similar. In the future, it may be somewhere around 35 people, which is based on the content of business activities that I think Malina should perform. In the past, implementation teams were part of Malina, but we no longer count on this model in the future. We want to hire installers, electricians and inspectors from companies that specialize in this. Malina will then have the task of managing them, purchasing material and administering contracts, subsidies and the like.
Not long ago, Malina was also a company specializing in assembly. Where is the difference?
I don’t want to evaluate that because I wasn’t in the company. The truth is that installing photovoltaics is a really big professional skill and not everyone can do it. There are companies that have the advantage of being smaller and have every screw pretty well under control. The owner goes to the field with his workers and participates in the installation, for which he is then responsible. In such a model, you have greater certainty and guarantees, which we now not only want, but also need. When you have a huge number of assembly parts, their motivation to give maximum care to each individual customer may be less, also because their responsibility for each individual job in a large organization is simply dispersed.
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