IT Runner Tackles a Global Marathon Tomáš Břeský manages an international IT business from Ostrava where he lives. He is a keen and motivated professional with deep understanding of IT processes, with nearly a decade of experience. He is responsible for IT projects done for Home Credit China with a team of over 100 experts. Besides his global work, he is a sports enthusiast and chairs a youth sports club. Mr Břeský, you lead a team of young people. What do you find attractive in the IT job, and what can you offer to young people to make them stay in the Moravian-Silesian Region? Many people still consider IT jobs something nearly mysterious, yet they demand simple rules and common sense. What I find fascinating about this field is “interpretation”; I mean interpreting the ideas and language of IT into the language of business. Young people often cannot see their opportunity for fulfilment in the region. I notice that with our interns who often want to get some practice for their jobs in our IT centre, and are then surprised to discover opportunities locally that they expected only to find with international employers in Prague. We offer them a good opportunity to grow personally and professionally and, with more experience, to work abroad as well. You work in Ostrava and in China. What is your business and could it be performed from Ostrava only? You can do any business from Ostrava but of course, the role of a personal contact is irreplaceable. EmbedIT is an IT centre supporting the activities of PPF Group, its groups of Home Credit and Air Bank in particular. The operation in Ostrava provides IT service to Home Credit in China. That involves full IT administration and maintenance from design and implementation of software to hardware. Do you sometimes switch off your computer and phone, or are you on-line all the time? There are not many moments like these but a few times a year I disconnect completely for a few days, to relax and recharge. However, when it is possible, I keep in touch somehow to be available in case of serious emergencies even though I am not at work. What keeps you staying in the Moravian-Silesian Region besides your job and family? What is the quality of life here compared to other parts of the world? I think that a few people truly understand the charms of environment we live in. There is good access to good quality health care and education, and nothing can replace the safety and beauty of our country. The same applies to our region. There are beautiful places all over the world. I have travelled numerous countries, but Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region is where my home is. Ostrava has developed considerably in recent years; a range of new organizations and businesses have emerged, offering leisure, excellent meals, and delicious coffee. If you want to relax from the buzz and fuzz of the city and its traffic, go to the mountains: it is not a long way to the Beskidy, Jeseníky or Tatra Mountains. Businesswise it is not a long way to important cities such as Brno and Prague. Moreover, when you need to travel long distance, 18 ǀ POSITIV 2/2019
either to Vienna or international airports in Poland, it is just up the road. I do not want for anything here. What attractions of Ostrava would you recommend to a foreigner? I will repeat what I have said. To make the long story short, Ostrava and all our region have almost everything. Anybody will have their heart’s desires filled: there are opportunities for active athletes, there is an increasing number of entertainment and cultural events, workshops, lectures and festivals, most of them with an international impact. On the other hand, relaxation and peace can be found on a hike in the mountains, on a day at the ZOO, visiting a castle or an arboretum, going to see an exhibition, play or concert, all handy. At first sight, you do not look like a typical IT nerd. As a top IT manager, how do you keep fit? I have always been very active. I do not wish to become a workaholic with hypertension and growing belly who has no time to eat properly, do hobbies and meet friends. I regularly work out and go running--outdoor activities are the best. I cannot imagine my life without a paddleboard any more. After a good exercise I love relaxing in a sauna. Tomáš, you are also a sports enthusiast and chairman of a local sports club. What sporting events do you recommend as an insider? As a chairman of the sports club Atletika Poruba I must mention the Golden Spike (Zlatá tretra) first, an athletic meeting annually held in Ostrava for nearly sixty years which has brought numerous world records. However, there are many more sporting events, not just track and field, but for example the Fed Cup and Davis Cup, regular ice-hockey and football matches. Hikers may participate in a few extreme events (marathon LH24 or the Beskid Top Seven hiking race, Beskydská sedmička). Each visit to a sporting event is a cool experience because people of Ostrava are great sports fans. What is your favourite place, local specialty, or recipe? I sincerely love the Slezská Harta dam. It is a marvellous place for active sports and relaxation. Nothing beats a few days there by the water. Just paddle a few beats and float. You can grill your lunch on the bank, or order yourself a tankard of golden beer. These are the places and moments which recharge my batteries. I am not very picky with food: a grilled lunch and a cold local beer make me happy. Thank you very much for the interview. Editorial of Magazine.