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In Memoriam

Ilija Kamchev (1937-2009), founder of “Orka” and President of the Board

There is an eternal truth that the very best people leave this world while being on the very top of their glory, strength and capability….It’s more or less a sacrifice for the rest of us…it’s as if un unfamiliar force wants’ to keep these people apart of all that is easily forgettable…Strong face to challenges, realistic for the future, dedicated to his family and never selfish during all of his glorious life  ....The day that Ilija Kamchev left this world was indescribably sad for all of us who had the privilege to learn from him, to get to know his generosity and to remember him as a visionary who succeeded in creating one of the most recognizable companies which made us all proud. We are deeply saddened to announce that Ilija Kamchev past away on August 14th, 2009.

Nothing was impossible for Ilija Kamchev and with his strong will and potential he always managed to find solutions for the accruing problems. Thanks to his visionary power, dedication and unselfishness, “Orka” reached the highest level on the scale among today’s most successful companies with a brand which signifies quality and stability. His skills, virtues and humanity give all of us, who had the privilege to be a part of his life, inspiration and motive for success. 

We proudly tell his memorable achievements starting from the very beginnings. His life story is an example of sacrifices, hard work and dedication that resulted with creating and sustaining one on the most powerful companies in the region.

Ilija Kamchev was born on December 6th, 1937 in the village Marena near Kavadarci. Because of the very difficult financial conditions and only one income for all of the family comprised of 7 members, they move to the capital- Skopje in 1944. After finishing primary school and high school, the Jung boy enrolls at the University of Economics with a lot of enthusiasm and graduates with grate results. His first working experience was at the export -import department in one of the biggest production companies at that time specialized in textile import and export- “Makoteks”. In the years that followed, Ilija Kamchev was developing his entrepreneurial skills. One important success story which we would like to share with all of you dates from 1976, when, as an employee of “Makedonija koop”, Ilija Kamchev founds a representative office of the firm in Sofija, Republic of Bulgarija which made him the youngest representative in all of Yugoslavia. After coming back to Macedonia, Ilija Kamcev starts working in the firm “Tehnometal” in the export- import division as a Director of representative offices and re- export. The success stories continue in the sports equipment factory for trade “Makedonija sport”. Being at the head of the firm which at the moment was facing liquidation, Ilija Kamcev was before a great challenge and he had to decide for the future of the factory and the 230 employees. During those extremely difficult times for “Makedonija sport”, Ilija Kamchev demonstrated exceptional dedication, strong will and knowledge and the firm failed to vanish. Being someone who was always striving to provide quality products and services, Ilija Kamchev opened a completely new factory which had the latest technological equipment, and shops that at the moment were very modern and where the clients recognized high quality. The factory and the shops employed over 600 people.  The investments in the production and sales capacities together with the investments in human resources were made without any debt. Ilija Kamchev worked as general manager of “Makedoniaj sport” until 1989 when he moved to Belgrade to work a short period of time in the firm “Centrotekstil”.

The most important date for all members of the Kamcev family is January 30th, 1990 when Ilija Kamchev founded his own  private company “Orka”. The beginning of the year 1990 was also the beginning of a new era in the Macedonian economy. That very day, a dream became reality, and that reality lives until today. Ilija Kamchev created a very powerful company with his own funds and hard work. We are all very proud of today’s success stories of “Orka” but we have to remember that all of what we have today is the result of good management, hard work and a lot of investments in every sense, regarding all partners, clients and employees. Every move he made was strategic and challenging. At the beginnings “Orka” counted only 30 employees working in production and 1 shop. Over time, the company was expanding its capacities following world trends and promoting a model of successful corporative management. Today, after 3 decades since it’s founding, Orka Holding has over 1000 employees, and represents a company which is uniting different types of activities in the country as well as abroad: export, import, representative offices of foreign firms, production, distribution and retail sales, sports journalism and private health.

During his 40 years of professional life, Ilija Kamchev was respected by his closest family, friends, employees, partners and clients whom he transferred all of his knowledge and experience.  He will always be remembered by his deeds as a person with a big heart. Ilija Kamchev had a strong emotional bond with his family, his home country and his employees.  He managed to create a successful team who is committed and continues working following his ideas, strategies and principles. It is unarguably simple to continue directing a company which is based on the principles of honesty, vision, dedication, quality and trust. We are all proud to say that we had the privilege to know him and learn from him.