Before the war, the company employed more than 5,000 people, had 25 sales offices worldiwde from Santiago to Bangkok, had 4 manufacturing plants operating, two of which were located in Kharkiv (NE of Ukraine), one in Vinnytsia (SW of Ukraine) and a factory in russia a town just across the border from Kharkiv.
The total production area was more than 300 000 m2
*russia, russians, putin etc. is officially spelled in lower case letters in Ukraine now
Plants in Kharkiv immediately found themselves in the war zone, they were repeatedly fired upon with heavy artillery and rockets, and bombed too. The russians dropped four 500 kg bombs (FAB-500) on UBC PROMO plant in Kharkiv. One of them did not explode, which is good news, the efficiency of russian bombs is 75%))
3 days before the war, at PROMO we launched a new workshop for glass processing with laser equipment and special custom-made tools for figure cutting. That workshop lived for 3 days…
Part of our warehouses with packaged products was destroyed. One of the warehouses happened to be 2-3 km away from the front line back then. It burned down at the very beginning of the war. When a rocket from a Russian MLR Smerch/Tornado/Typhoon whichever hits a warehouse, which has 5000 coolers in 4-5 levels of palletized storage space, after the explosion it all turns into a big pile of burnt iron with ashes 2 meters high. The war actually broke out at a really bad time for our business. All warehouses were overfilled with finished products ready to be shipped to clients before the season starts. Some orders for our clients had to be produced for the second time, but at the new location already as we were forced to relocate it to SW of Ukraine.
The plant for the production of customized promotional products: commercial parasols, awnings, restaurant furniture, etc., we had to relocate it to Bulgaria. We moved the plant for the production of draft beer coolers such as mini and midi remote, integral and water coolers, beer fonts as well, from Kharks to SW of Ukraine to Vinnytsia, where we have already been producing chest freezers for ice cream market and bottle fridges for beer and soft drinks industry since 2018.
Vinnytsia is a convenient geographical location- 200 km to the border with Romania and 300 km to the Polish border. Easy access to the ports of the Black and Baltic Seas. Odessa port was of course our main shipping port before the war, which obviously is on hold for now. Hope not for long.There in Vinnytsia we’ve expanded our existing plant and have launched a new production facility of 20,000 m2.
The business has adapted. After the outbreak of the war, we stopped all operations and closed offices in belarus and russia (yes, belarus is also spelled in lower case now). We have focused on the markets of Western Europe and North America.
The key country for our business in Europe is the UK. We are opening a separate company with a local warehouse in the UK. Our products are tailored to the UK local market requirements.
One of our strengths is the rapid development of new models and modifications of beer coolers and beer towers according to the specific requirements of each client. At our production facilities in Vinnytsia and in Bulgaria, we have created teams of engineers focused exclusively on the UK market. Ukraine has all it takes to become a manufacturing hub.
According to Microsoft rating Ukraine is #4 IT outsourcer in the world. In the year before the war, Ukrainian technical Universities produced more engineers than any European country. Ukraine is a traditional labor donor of skilled labor for European countries. 5-7 million Ukrainians were working in the EU even before the war.
We are an energy-surplus country with a developed nuclear power industry and metallurgy. Ukrainians are fighting for the right to be Europeans. 90% of Ukrainians unambiguously support integration into EU and NATO. We are ready not only to fight for our country, but to reform it, to work hard as a righteous members of the civilized world. We have everything for this: human resources and technical capabilities. We are from Ukraine.