Hassan comes from Jordan, but he grew up in Damascus and first came to the Czech Republic in 2008 on business. The range of his activities is very wide: among other things, he deals in acquisitions. In Brno, however, you’ll most frequently find him in a small shop downtown where he mixes perfumes to match each individual customer’s needs.

The Alchymista (Alchemist) perfumery is a brand-new concept of production and sale of perfumes. During a personal meeting, based on a conversation with the customer and their olfactory preferences and the perfumer’s intuition, an original aroma is created directly for each customer, which is absolutely unique, irreplicable, and custom-made. At Alchymista, you can mix a perfume yourself or attend a unique workshop on mixing aromas.

Business opportunities and safety

According to Hassan, there are many business opportunities in the Czech Republic, and Brno in particular has an excellent ecosystem to support entrepreneurial and creative people. Hassan appreciates the beauty of Brno and adds that he didn’t choose Brno, but that it chose him. “Brno always takes you by surprise. You can think big here. It’s a beautiful place, and if you want to invest into your future, this is the place to do it.”


What’s important for him is the safety this country provides (the Czech Republic is the seventh safest country in the world), educational opportunities for his children, and the fact that this city offers unlimited opportunities despite looking small at first sight. “You can start from scratch here and still build something big. There are lots of people here who come up with new ideas. Also, Brno has great energy, and I’ve already decided that I don’t want to live anywhere else.”

In short, Brno is an ideal place to live and work for Hassan. Vienna and Bratislava are just around the corner, Prague isn’t far, and it takes only a short while to get to Germany, Austria or Poland. Starting a business and reaching nearby cities around is much easier here than elsewhere.  

Problems with pricing

When it comes to establishing a business in the Czech Republic, Hassan says it wasn’t difficult at all. “I was told the local bureaucracy was too complex, but – to be honest – I’d seen worse in other countries. If you have a good team, the paperwork gets processed relatively quickly.”


For him, the different kinds of local regulations are a bigger problem. There are some regulations for example for restaurants, different ones for his business, and it’s problematic to be aware of them all. And what’s absolutely necessary is having locals as colleagues. Just like with everybody, the beginnings weren’t easy for him. Pricing was quite a problem, as people here don’t really like to spend money, plus Brno is full of students who don’t have much to spend. “You have to be patient, as it takes a while to convince the locals. Once you’ve succeeded, though, they’ll start to trust you, open their hearts, embrace you, and their trust is ultimate and absolute.”

An even better #brnoregion

The world of aromas is a world of emotions, and a withdrawn, introvert person isn’t likely to become successful in it. The emotions put into each of his perfumes come back to Hassan in the form of loyal customers. And he doesn’t hide his emotions for the city he now considers his. “I love Brno! Maybe too much. And I feel it still misses something to be even better, especially for the people from outside of it.” He feels that foreigners are an important part of Brno and there are lots of things that could be done for them. In return, he believes that these efforts would make the city more attractive. “Just take a walk downtown – what will you see? Almost no descriptions in English – in hospitals, trams, public spaces… nowhere. And that’s a shame.”


For Hassan, life isn’t about money but the ability to do what he likes. He thinks that the Czechs never really had an opportunity to discover and use really good perfumes, which is one of the reasons he decided to open his shop here. Hassan would like to be as useful to his city and its people as possible, and he has a big dream – to build a museum of perfumes people from all over the world would come visit. And where else than in Brno.

Hassan’s advice for foreigner thinking about establishing a company in #brnoregion

“Surround yourself with local people, as they speak the language and understand the rules. Never start a business here without being in contact with the locals. Your accountant needs to be Czech, your lawyer needs to be Czech. And the same goes for your personal assistant, so simply build up the core of the team from the locals. Only the people who were born and spent most of their lives here understand the stories of this country. And they are the only ones you can learn these stories from.”

23. 09. 2019
Photos: Hassan Šejk archive

More articles

Foreigners in #brnoregion: Johan Nilsson Work

Foreigners in #brnoregion: Johan Nilsson

A constant runaround – that’s how Johan Nilsson described the lengthy process of establishing his company in #brnoregion. It was much more complicated than back in Sweden, where yo... Read more
“Dálník” – the dream of a pilot who wasn’t allowed to fly Work

“Dálník” – the dream of a pilot who wasn’t allowed to fly

The history of this single-track cabin motorcycle is a story of freedom. “Dálník”, which is what this Czech invention is called, was supposed to be a cheaper and more economical al... Read more
Unique registry improves care for stroke patients Work

Unique registry improves care for stroke patients

Patients who have suffered a stroke get world-class care in the Czech Republic. One of the reasons is the RES-Q international registry, created by Czech experts, which helps partic... Read more
Foreigners in #brnoregion: Emanuele Ruggiero Work

Foreigners in #brnoregion: Emanuele Ruggiero

“A dynamic country with a wide range of job opportunities.” That’s how Emanuele Ruggiero, founder of Kinovision Production, sees the Czech Republic. And for him, Brno is a city whe... Read more
Stay calm! We’ve found life Work

Stay calm! We’ve found life

In their experiments for the CEITEC research centre in Brno, scientists Judit and Jiří Šponer travel four billion years into the past to try and figure out how life emerged on our ... Read more
Expert on product reliability and safety: I have to do a top-quality job Work

Expert on product reliability and safety: I have to do a top-quality job

One of the best experts on the reliability and safety of products in the Czech Republic lives and works in #brnoregion. While this discipline isn’t too common here, Michal Vintr al... Read more
Laboratories with no white coats Work

Laboratories with no white coats

The extraordinary concentration of universities and research centres in our region create an ideal environment for research. However, once the thorough research is done, where is t... Read more
GAMING INDUSTRY BOOM IN #BRNOREGION Work

GAMING INDUSTRY BOOM IN #BRNOREGION

Anyone who knows at least something about the video game industry in Brno knows Jakub Bedecs and Zdeněk Záhora, as they’ve been very actively pushing game developers from #brnoregi... Read more
Winemaking technologies in #brnoregion Work

Winemaking technologies in #brnoregion

Even though we’ve been making wine for over a thousand years, in #brnoregion there’s always room to innovate. In fact, we’ve been researching new methods and inventing new technolo... Read more
Needles don't fly Work

Needles don't fly

What do hot-air balloons and your jeans have in common? And what’s the relation between physical laws and the Civil Aviation Authority? Why can’t needles fly? And why is constructi... Read more
Man in the Room? Work

Man in the Room?

We’ve learned how to protect our virtual accounts as well as computers in various ways and companies use sophisticated solutions to protect their data. Yet new threats keep emergin... Read more
Kentico plants a tree for each bug found Work

Kentico plants a tree for each bug found

The developers at Kentico Software are proud to say that bugs in their website design tool are very rare. For every one that shows up, however, Kentico plants a tree. Why do they d... Read more
Psychology diagnostics remotely Work

Psychology diagnostics remotely

Since the day it was created, Hypothesis software has travelled an unusual path – from cartographers directly to the army, which uses it for remote psychology diagnostics of its jo... Read more
Left Netflix and Elon Musk Work

Left Netflix and Elon Musk

David Pavlík graduated from the Faculty of Informatics at Masaryk University. Strong-minded as he was, he went on to successfully work for several top American companies in Silicon... Read more
The Industry 4.0 has arrived in #brnoregion Work

The Industry 4.0 has arrived in #brnoregion

Digitalization, robotic process automation, autonomous production, machines taking people’s jobs… Hey, slow down, would you? Each industrial revolution brought changes. In #brnoreg... Read more
The devices by PSI are used all over as well as beyond the planet Earth Work

The devices by PSI are used all over as well as beyond the planet Earth

Photon Systems Instruments from a small village in #brnoregion has been developing and producing devices for research of plants for over twenty years now. Read more
The best care for your head and heart Work

The best care for your head and heart

No, we can’t help with your broken heart in #brnoregion (well, we actually could, but let’s leave it for some other time…), but if you’re looking for the best experts on diseases, ... Read more
There are no space technologies as such Work

There are no space technologies as such

To bring Space back to Earth and start-ups into orbit is the motto of space visionary and avid fan of startups Frank Salzgeber. Read more
4 centres of excellence – 4 reasons to be proud Work

4 centres of excellence – 4 reasons to be proud

Some people know the word of “excellence” only from the diplomatic protocol, since expressions like “Your Excellency” abound there. If this word existed only in the sense of an h... Read more
Red Hat presents Brno as an example for the whole world Work

Red Hat presents Brno as an example for the whole world

Software giant Red Hat launched its Brno subsidiary in 2006. At that time, it was manned by just a couple of people and its office wasn’t larger than a flat. Today this company emp... Read more
University spin-off companies drive innovation Work

University spin-off companies drive innovation

Universities research, explore and develop. Useful things emerge! They can also come in handy outside of the academic sphere, where they can bring money (that can be used for furth... Read more
Girls and Technology? Perfect couple Work

Girls and Technology? Perfect couple

Right. There is still majority of men in Czech IT and engineering. However, #brnoregion supports bright brains regardless of gender, and ladies and girls take the plunge! Read more
We Don´t Hack Around Work

We Don´t Hack Around

A gang of professionals, limited time, uncompromising deadline and useful software at the end: congratulations, you’ve just passed a fast track hackathon. This programming format i... Read more
Sound Engineers Work

Sound Engineers

You have certainly seen many movies with agents filtering off sound layers off a crime suspect’s phone call to discover where the caller is. Nowadays the real job is very very simi... Read more
Ice flowers for scientists Work

Ice flowers for scientists

There’s winter in #brnoregion, however we still haven’t got any snow. A team of scientists from Brno couldn’t wait and set off to a polar district ... thanks to their special elec... Read more
DO YOU BELONG IN #BRNOREGION? Work

DO YOU BELONG IN #BRNOREGION?

Region of South Moravia is one of leading centres of science, research, and innovation in Europe. Let´s check if you belong to this region too! Read more
TIME TO MAKE IT REAL! Work

TIME TO MAKE IT REAL!

JIC STARCUBE is now launching registration for its ninth run. Teams with promising technology or products now have until 31st October to apply to central Europe’s longest running a... Read more
From #brnoregion into space. And back Work

From #brnoregion into space. And back

#brnoregion has had a great influence on the relationship between the Czechia and the rest of the universe. And it still holds true to this day. Read more
Enantis: Out of University Lab into Business Work

Enantis: Out of University Lab into Business

Interesting conclusions of university research do not necessarily end up in academic files. They often become the driving force in business. One of the ways to introduce the scient... Read more
WHY INVEST IN #BRNOREGION Work

WHY INVEST IN #BRNOREGION

RedHat, Honeywell, or NetSuite. And Kiwi, Y Soft, or Safetica. These are very successful companies based in Brno. The list of leaders and their achievements is much longer and beyo... Read more
BRNO: PROMISED LAND OF ELECTRON MICROSCOPY Work

BRNO: PROMISED LAND OF ELECTRON MICROSCOPY

In 1947 the first electron microscope was brought to Brno as part of UNRRA help after World War II. Only three years later, in 1950 scientists in Electron Optics Laboratory at Czec... Read more
LIFE BALANCE IN #BRNOREGION Work

LIFE BALANCE IN #BRNOREGION

In April 2017 an IT company Artin introduced unlimited holiday. Their web informs that they are not interested in overworked employees sitting in the off... Read more
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more