In the past, when the word “war” was associated only with the Second World War, Kievguma supplied its own rubber, latex, PVC, TEP and silicone products to more than 30 countries. Every month we launched the production of dozens of new products. We were the sole Ukrainian manufacturer of the full cycle of the industry – with our own design department and tool workshop.

How business survives and works during the war

That is, we could not only make a product to order, we could also develop drawings according to customer requirements, and immediately, within the walls of our tool workshop, make all molds.

Our team consisted of almost 450 people in 33 services. And everyone was in their place. Everyone was confident in his “tomorrow”. We made plans – bought new equipment to optimize production, conducted training. We were preparing a fresh issue of the corporate newspaper, we planned to greet our employees women. And despite all the disturbing news, we tried to “keep the land under our feet” at least here, at work.

It seems that the dawn of February 24 did not come

All the planned and dreamed was overshadowed with the wall with the inscription “WAR. What will happen next is unknown”. On the same day we stopped production. Like most Ukrainians, confident that everything will be resolved in a day or two (because this cannot really happen in the 21st century), we have agreed that everyone will spend the weekend with his family and something will become clear by Monday… Well, then you know.
From the very first days, customers and partners from different countries called me and my colleagues every day to express their support. And we appreciate that. Because, behind every business, first of all, there are people.

For one or two days, we just handed out all the first-aid kits we had. And we continued to receive a very large number of requests for first aid kits from everywhere. Therefore, realizing the urgent need for tactical medicine, we organized a group of our staff, which was able to complete the first-aid kits in a few days and hand them over to the needs of the Territorial defense forces and the Armed Forces. People didn’t just work at the company, they just lived here for a few days. And I am personally very grateful to the employees for their work in such a difficult time!

The main difficulties

If we do not take into account that fighting took place in the country and in the immediate vicinity of our company, the main difficulties we had, first, with the organization of the company activity. Because, the physical presence of the employee in the workplace is a necessary condition for work. Many of our employees, like most Ukrainians, left their homes in the early days in search of safer place. But it is impossible to start the line without an operator, or to repair equipment without a mechanic, or to make a shipment without a logistician who will prepare all the accompanying documents. So we started to organize – who is in place, and who can replace someone (become someone’s hands).
Secondly, the problem with logistics. There was a period when we simply could not ship the goods because we could not find a driver who agreed to go from the left to the right bank of the Dnieper River.
Third, the difficulty of loading production with work. Because, the war not only forced us to rethink values, first of all, our needs changed. And many of our products have simply become unclaimed, and the question before us is how to provide people with jobs? So we have focused on producing our serial products, which are now in demand. Only our pharmaceutical stopper workshop continued to operate stably. We focused on the production of other tactical medicine facilities – Esmarch’s and Omega harnesses, occlusive dressings, nasopharyngeal tubes, etc. And also we started to make overlays for body armor. And have already established mass production of this product.

How business survives and works during the war

We hold the line on the economic front

Like most Ukrainians, we are gradually adapting to the life and work during the war. I am absolutely convinced that while our courageous guys are selflessly and professionally defending our country on the front lines, we, here in the rear, are obliged to keep the economic front. Now Kievguma works, providing the budget with taxes, people with jobs, and our military with tactical medicine devices.
We cooperate and, if possible, help to many charitable foundations. Among them are the Red Cross, Serhiy Prytula Charitable Foundation, Vilni UA Charitable Foundation and others. By the way, Taras Topolya personally came to our company, which amused our employees.
And yet, despite all the enemy’s attempts to bleed and destroy us as a nation, tens of thousands of babies have been born in Ukraine during the war. So we also plan to donate a batch of baby care kits to charity. Because among the 4,000 products of our company there are products for babies (pacifiers, bottles, nipples, etc.)

Free and prosperous Ukraine

I sincerely believe that now all Ukrainians are united by a single dream of an independent Ukraine. It is worth working for such a dream. So, despite all the circumstances, we are trying to move in the planned direction – we are taking steps to improve the energy efficiency of the enterprise, working to expand production capacity. Just three months ago (and it seems in the past era) we invested in new equipment. Thanks to our Armed Forces, we have the opportunity to work, so we try to do our best with hope and prospects for the future.

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