Left Netflix and Elon Musk to return to flourishing #brnoregion

22. November 2018
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 Valley, California. Now he has returned to #brnoregion. What drew the software engineer back home?
Left Netflix and Elon Musk to return to flourishing #brnoregion

We respect all the Czechs who’ve found success in Silicon Valley, and we’re even more pleased by those who worked hard to gain some experience and then came back to put it to good use in #brnoregion. David Pavlík comes from the Czech Republic and after several years working for top American companies, he’s returned to #brnoregion to become a head of the IT department at Kiwi.com in Brno. This smart flight ticket search engine couldn’t have asked for a better boss.

(Read Kiwi.com: A rocket from #brnoregion)

Pavlík was among the very first Czechs to make it to the American technology centre in Silicon Valley, and the only Czech to work for Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which he joined after previous jobs with Microsoft, Amazon, and Netflix. He admired Elon Musk’s management style and loved the company culture in Netflix. And Netflix was where he wanted to return to after his four years in SpaceX, but the offer from Brno won his heart over.

“My colleagues in California told me they used Kiwi.com to buy flight tickets. They had no clue the company was Czech,” says David Pavlík, confirming how globally successful this company is.

One beer with friends changed it all

One day David received a text message inviting him for a beer. Oliver Dlouhý, founder of Kiwi.com, and his right-hand man Jozef Képesi were in Silicon Valley and wanted to meet up. And their friendly, three-hour chat resulted in a job offer that later accepted. Even though he had already agreed to join Netflix, he felt homesick and this interesting job offer from Brno won out.

“A well-known and experienced member is joining our team, and I think we’ll have an opportunity to learn a lot from him. The fact that he chose Kiwi.com after spending 10 years in excellent companies in the USA clearly describes the potential we have and what we’d like to achieve,” says Oliver Dlouhý about their new employee.

Guardian of internal technologies

Kiwi.com is the fastest-growing Czech startup. Even though it ranks among the smaller companies on the flight ticket market, it’s one of the most successful ones in Europe. Its yearly turnover reaches hundreds of millions of euro and continues to grow. And that’s another reason why David Pavlík’s experience comes in handy. His job is to secure the internal systems and prepare the company technologies for the planned growth.

His primary goal is to take care of internal technical support, such as support for e-mail systems, development tools and data access, as he tries to make all these areas beneficial for the company as a whole. “We have internal customers, developers, customer support, marketers and so on, and we do things to enable them all to do their work as best as possible. Not long ago I said I’d like to become a kind of invisible organization. I’d like to come to the office someday and see that everything is working there in an automatic way,” says David Pavlík.

At the same time, Pavlík will supervise how the company works with its huge volumes of data. In fact, he used to work with data even in SpaceX, where he contributed to the automation of data flow, for example, for the Dragon Rocket project.

David Pavlík is excited about his work for the company so far: “In Kiwi.com, our mission is ‘To make travel better’, and we’ll pursue whatever makes sense to us. And the fact that we can try new things is quite energizing for me. The sky is the limit.”

Currently, Kiwi.com is working on the integration of bus and train lines in order to create a truly unique service which will simplify traveling more than ever before. This platfom will interconnect various types of traveling to plan a client’s trip completely from their home to their destination. The itinerary will thus cover not only classic and low-cost airlines, with whom Kiwi.com is already working, but also bus and train travel.

“We see this as the future of travel. Looking ahead, we want to use smart tools and artificial intelligence to create a platform to book and buy a trip for people, based on their preferences and requirements. Neither Kiwi.com nor any of our competitors are there yet, though,” says David Pavlík, describing the direction Kiwi.com is taking.

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