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Michal Meško

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Class of 2021, Slovak Republic

Michal Meško, CEO of Martinus, s.r.o.

Michal Meško’s love of books created a thriving business for a nation of bookworms.

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Michal Meško

Michal Meško was still in high school when he joined Martinus, one of the first private bookstores to open after the fall of the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia. A self-taught web developer, he came on board to help develop an e-commerce site, but he soon proved himself to be indispensable. He was offered a stake in the company, and in 2008, when one of the owners lost his battle with cancer, Michal was appointed CEO.

Michal’s strategy of having dual pillars to the business — cozy bookstores with cafés, alongside an efficient, tech-savvy online store — has proved successful. Today, Martinus is Slovakia’s largest internet bookstore and second largest bookseller, running three e-shops and 13 brick-and-mortar bookstores and cafes. His success has been recognized by various organizations, including Forbes 30 Under 30 and the New Europe 100 list of innovators, compiled by the Financial Times and Google. 

Michal is particularly proud that Martinus has been able to connect several million readers with over 20 million books, and the company now employs over 500 people. His ambition is to ensure “every child grows into a lifelong reader, with books that help them relax, dream and grow skills for whatever the world of tomorrow brings.”