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Ukraine’s IBIS on track in Europe after setting up in Poland


One year after establishing a new company in Poland to overcome the complexities and challenges of operating in a war zone, IBIS from Ukraine – owner of the Favorite brand – is on target to transform itself into an international business.

In a discussion with Evgeniy Sheiko, CEO of the IBIS Group, in the Ukraine, it is evident that significant progress has been made.

The company now operates as a fully Polish entity under CEO Tomasz Mulka, formerly with top brands that include Nash Tackle, Trakker and Spro/Gamakatsu. It employs Polish staff and adhering to the country’s tax system.

“We have become an international company with operations in Poland (Łódź), Ukraine (Kyiv) and an independent partner for the Favorite brand in Missouri, USA”, Sheiko, CEO of the headquarters company, IBIS, explained. It stocks and distributes four private labels – Favorite, Select, Brain and X-Fish – and has exclusive rights to represents several Japanese brands that include YGK/X-BRAID, Zipbaits, Megabass, OSP, DEPS, Reins and Zojirushi.

“By the end of this year we will have 20 employees in our Polish operation responsible for sales, marketing, financing and operations.” Additionally, the company will have sales representatives working where it does not have exclusive distribution agreements.

“Our primary objective is to support our partners across the EU with our own warehouse and stock,” added Sheiko. “We aim to secure a significant market in Poland as our home market and become one of the leading companies in the EU by employing a hybrid distribution strategy for B2B operations.

“We are very satisfied with our first year of operations in Poland and the EU and we are optimistic about the future. By the end of 2024 we plan to be present in 400 stores in Poland and have signed new sales representatives and distributors across the EU. By the third quarter of 2025, we plan to complete a new logistics centre with a 3000sqm warehouse. (see graphic)

“In addition to strengthening our positions in current markets, we are open to exploring new opportunities in Spain, the Benelux countries, Scandinavia and Turkey.”

In Ukraine IBIS still has a large presence with a team of 900 managing the distribution, B2B and B2C operations for its domestic fishing, hunting and outdoor markets. “Since the war and establishment of our operations in Poland, 55 employees from our head office in Kyiv have been responsible for supporting our Polish operations.

“Our research and development team in Kyiv looks after product development for the Ukrainian, Polish and EU markets.”

Sheiko describes opening its Polish operations in the middle of the war in Ukraine as a ‘profoundly’ meaningful experience for every member of the team. “This project has kept us busy, focused on development, growth and diversification and has strengthened our relationships with suppliers and factories.

“It was a significant challenge that we embraced. This initiative created a well organised mix of cross functional relationships, enabling us to leverage best practices from each country to deliver better results.”

Evgeniy Sheiko highlights two challenges he asks of his team


Always strive to be better and one step ahead in all aspects of the business – whether it be product, service, CRM or even packaging. “We aim to become the number one in Poland as part of our long-term plan. We must set new standards in products and services.”


“We need to think of the future, gather trends and see how the more advanced markets are developing – making decisions after thorough evaluation. Fishing is more challenging in Ukraine, so anglers tend to be more discerning and thorough in studying products. While this may not apply to all fishing styles on average, the fishing culture in Ukraine is highly developed. We should aim to introduce, promote, and establish a new fishing culture in Poland, inspired by Ukrainian experiences, while fully respecting Polish and European traditions.

Main picture: Tomasz Mulka (left) and Evgeniy Sheiko.


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