The Czech online market has undergone a major expansion in a short time, with nearly 50,000 e-shops currently operating, and online payment transactions are an integral part of it. Ivana Kupková, who has been working at PayU since 2014 and taking care of clients, has been on a revolutionary journey of establishing e-commerce in the Czech environment together with her clients almost from the beginning. She now advises them on how to expand into foreign markets, among other things.
Ivana, what do you find most interesting about e-commerce?
I really enjoy Ecommerce, I find it one of the most interesting sectors on the business market, it is very dynamic and changes almost from minute to minute. When I joined PayU in 2014, it was a step into the unknown for me, e-commerce was just starting out in the Czech Republic, a lot of our clients were starting from scratch. I had the opportunity to watch them grow into big, successful companies in just a few years. As our clients grew, we grew with them, not only in business but also in people. We accompanied them along the way, sharing information and learning from each other. Businesses were looking for ways to make e-commerce work best, and we were trying to make changes in the online payments field to fit their needs.
What are you specifically responsible for at PayU?
I work as an account relationship manager, where I am responsible for VIP clients, including international clients. Together we identify their key needs, propose solutions and develop the overall business relationship, including expansions. I am also responsible for our company’s business partners. In this position, I propose opportunities for cooperation to intersect to the satisfaction of our customers.
What are the biggest challenges companies are currently facing that you can help them with?
Due to the saturation of the Czech market, an increasing number of companies are thinking about expanding abroad. As an international company, we have a comprehensive global view of e-commerce. With my clients, I try to analyse their needs and expectations in detail in each market. My clients trust our company, they put their confidence in our knowledge of global markets. Most of the time, I also discuss with my clients how to grasp communication in each market with respect to the mentality of the nation and the market segment/potential.
Which countries make sense to expand to, which ones do you recommend?
Certainly the countries closest to us, they offer a lot of space, Poland and Slovakia have interesting potential, but also many other European countries, especially western ones. We can help clients expand into all foreign markets, but currently some of my clients are interested in expanding into Latin America. We arrange deals and transactions for Czech clients outside Europe and in other markets such as Latin America, India, Africa, Middle East. For large e-commerce players with the potential for online payments, we offer the use of the global PayU HUB (PaymentsOS) platform, which is designed to connect markets across continents.
Do you have a favorite business segment?
Personally, I’m close to travel, so I’m interested in all industry verticals related to travel, but in a broader sense also e-commerce focused on sports, travel insurance, pharmacies, etc. During my time at PayU, we have managed to build friendly relationships with some of our clients. For most of my clients, I am also their customer.
What areas do you like to travel to?
I’m always looking forward to a holiday somewhere warm with surfing. I try to play sports not only on holidays but also during the year. I play tennis, go hiking and walking, a lot depends on the weather. At home I like to relax with a book or a Spanish book.