– Michał Świerczewski’s financial capacity is about twenty times greater than that of Darek Mioduski – former Legia co-owner Bogusław Leśnodorski said in the media recently, comparing the assets of two important figures in Polish football – the owner of x -kom and the former chairman of Kulczyk Investments.
While Dariusz Mioduski, the right-hand man of Harvard University graduate Jan Kulczyk, built his career incrementally, starting working in law firms in the 1990s, and in the new millennium developing various companies from the stables of the richest pole, Michał Świerczewski, a graduate in computer science from the Częstochowa University of Technology, he can only enter one element in his CV: president x-com. These two words, however, are enough to appear in the ranking of Forbes. And not only.
What were the beginnings of his career? In 2002, Świerczewski – then still a student – started in the IT industry with his first idea. With two colleagues, he founded a company related to his field of study and his interests, that is to say a shop of computers and components. A business run on an area of 30 sq.m. on Wolności Street in Częstochowa had difficulty getting started at first, but eventually failed.
Desktop computers, on which the x-kom offer was based at the time, were already enjoying considerable popularity in 2003 – customers preferred to come to smaller, more user-friendly outlets than to buy hardware in department stores from anonymous sellers. The following year, the company was able to sell more than 300 computers per month. The result, as for these realities and possibilities of a very small x-com, sensational.
An excellent strategist
Two strategic decisions increased the company’s turnover to 5 million PLN in 2005. First, x-kom began to expand the range, introducing, among other things, laptops, which at the time were more of a whim than a quality purchase for customers, and when the mobile revolution started, smartphones immediately appeared in the offer of the company from Częstochowa.
Second, the Częstochowa dealer jumped online. When the company appeared on Allegro in 2007, it quickly became the platform’s biggest seller. Michał Świerczewski later admitted in the media that he had many concerns about the profitability of online sales. And he regretted not having decided on this maneuver sooner.
At the same time, he invested in two lines of business, creating al.to, a store for toys, board games, products for mothers and children, as well as electronics and household appliances. Later, Combat was launched, where you can buy, among other airguns, defense items and flashlights.
The owner of x-kom has also started creating a chain of showrooms in all major cities. Its activity has grown almost exponentially: in 2010 the company already recorded 150 million PLN in revenue, in 2015 – more than 1 billion PLN, and a year ago – 2.5 billion PLN, of which almost PLN 100 million net profit.
At the same time, employment in the company increased – even more in 2003, x-kom employed three people and now has more than 2,000 people. employees.
In 2018, the site was visited by 4 million users, 600 thousand. people have subscribed to the newsletter, and the company’s mobile app, released in 2017, has had more than 1.1 million downloads to date. Czestochowa x-kom was even mentioned in the report “1000 Companies to Inspire Europe 2017”, which is included in the list of the 1000 most inspiring European small and medium-sized companies, prepared by the London Stock Exchange.
In 2019, Michał Świerczewski was honored by the then Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology, Jadwiga Emilewicz, with the Medal of the 100th Anniversary of the Restoration of Independence for his meritorious services to the Polish economy. The same year, he decided it was time to conquer Europe. So he started by expanding overseas, starting with Germany. Last year, the president of x-kom was appointed to the Economic Council – the team of economic advisers of the Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland.
A big football fan
However, business in his life is not everything. There are still passions. Michał Świerczewski has been a huge football fan since childhood. In the 1990s he faithfully encouraged his native Raków, which in 1998 fell from the top league, and in the following years even fell to the 4th league. Then Świerczewski promised himself that he would bring Raków back to Ekstraklasa one day. And he made his way. Slowly but surely.
First, in 2011, x-kom became the club’s strategic sponsor, and on December 30, 2014, Świerczewski completely took over Raków and enthusiastically began to rebuild it. – I never had a talent for sports, but I filled the gaps with my character. Both in sport and in business, I love competition. And I like winning even more – he explained later “Forbes”.
He was not afraid of bold decisions – he replaced practically the entire team of players and hired Marek Papszun, then a completely unknown coach.
In March 2014, still as a sponsor of Raków, he presented the club’s development plan. He assumed that in 2019 the team would be promoted to Ekstraklasa, and in the Ekstraklasa 2020/2021 season the club would take the best place in its history. Both objectives were achieved on exactly these dates. Raków is the medalist of the Polish Championships, he won the Polish Cup. Above all, Świerczewski managed to inspire the club to work independently on their successes.
The president of x-kom does not stop there, however. He wants to further develop a large sports base in Częstochowa – including a stadium for 12-15,000 people. supporters or the football academy. And given his achievements so far, both in business and in passion for football, there is every reason to believe that his plans will be implemented. Probably on time.
This year he received the statuette of a friend of Silesian football from the hands of the president of the Silesian Football Association, Henryk Kula.
“Forbes” ranks Michał Świerczewski among the 50 most influential personalities in Polish sport. And at the same time estimates the property of the owner of Raków at more than 1.7 billion PLN, placing him among the twenty richest Poles.
Świerczewski likes to repeat that we are only limited by our imagination. His thoughts on business are years ahead. Because of this, he became more and more interested in esports. At the beginning of 2018, he became the title sponsor of Venatores, a team from the Polish top Counter Strike. Then the team changed its name to team x-kom, and two years ago joined AGO Esports with the aspiration to enter the world leaders.
In addition to the growing esports market, which by the end of next year could surpass $3 billion globally, x-com, by working with e-sports people, can significantly increase its marketing reach. So keep increasing your income.