Czechs Should Be More Proud, Like Americans: Czechast With Václav Šulista, Czech Honorary Consul In Basel, Switzerland

Václav Šulista

Václav's story is one of transition and adaptation; from leading a team in a pharmaceutical corporation to embarking on an entrepreneurial path with his own consulting business. Apart from his professional achievements, Václav has been serving as the Czech Honorary Consul in Basel for several years.

Václav Šulista | Photo: Adrienn Vigyinszki,  archive of Václav Šulista

Václav's background is profoundly Czech: born in České Budějovice in South Bohemia, he went on to study analytical chemistry in Prague. And it was there in 1986, that he met his future wife: a young Swiss lady on a visit. They became pen-friends and romantically fell in love when Václav had to do his military service in still Communist Czechoslovakia. They got married two days after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the whole of Eastern Europe including Czechoslovakia was seized by a revolutionary wave.

"We were walking around Prague, taking part in demonstrations in the Wenceslaus Square. It was like in a Hollywood movie, perhaps one day I will turn the story of our love and marriage into a script!"

Václav Šulista | Photo: Agnieszka Wormus,  archive of Václav Šulista

jokes Václav adding, that after some time they decided to settle in Switzerland. On the surface, the move seemed a no-brainer but Václav was far from enthusiastic: "I was scared like hell," says Václav explaining that he was at first afraid that he might fail to find a good job and take care of his new family. But he soon started working for a small pharmaceutical company and later got an offer to work for the international behemoth Novartis, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world:

"At the end I led a team of 55 people and was responsible for sales of 1,2 billion as an end-to-end planner. But funnily enough, I was never happy. I was so desperate in the corporate world but I could not see a way out. Finally, at the age of 55, I decided to use all my energy and braveness together and start my own business."

Today, Václav has a consulting company:

"We are helping people to either find a new job if they are jobless or to get a promotion. We do it mostly by a combination of personal branding on LinkedIn and then networking. So, it's a very soft networking strategy, but it really works."

A few years ago, Václav was appointed the Czech Honorary Consul in Basel. He likes the fact that he can be useful for the country that he still considers his home, even though by now he has spent most of his life in Switzerland.

Václav Šulista | Photo: Adrienn Vigyinszki,  archive of Václav Šulista

In the full audio episode of Czechast Václav Šulista explains among other things that he thinks Czechs should be a little bit more like Americans: proud of their country and what it can boast of.

Author: Vít Pohanka
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  • Czechast

    Czechast is a regular RPI podcast about Czech and Moravian culture, history, and economy.