It is an eternal truth that the best people leave this world when they are at the top of their power, ability and sacrifice… as if some unknown force wants to preserve their grandness from oblivion… Strong in challenges, realistic for the future, dedicated to his family, brilliant and selfless in life… Ilija Kamchev’s departure was a sad moment for all of us who had the honour and privilege to learn from a man with a big heart, a visionary who created a highly renowned company that we are all proud of. We regret to inform you that Ilija Kamchev left our world on August 14, 2009.

An inspiring life path and a story that is an example of how hard work, dedication, knowledge and clear vision can create, grow and sustain a powerful, highly valued and respected company that offers significant values to all.

Ilija Kamchev (1937 – 2009)

Ilija Kamchev was born on December 6, 1937 in the village of Marena, Kavadarci. In 1944, he moved to Skopje with his seven-membered family. Using his great enthusiasm and vision for things, he graduated from the Faculty of Economics with excellent results. He gained his first work experience in “Makoteks”, a large company specializing in textile, in the import-export sector.

In the years that followed, Kamchev was developing his entrepreneurial skills. One of his biggest successes was recorded in 1971, when Ilija Kamchev, as an employee of “Macedonia koop”, founded a representative office of the company in Sofia, thus becoming the youngest representative in what was then Yugoslavia. After returning to Macedonia, he became director for representation and re-export in “Tehnometal”, in the import-export sector.

He continued his successes at the sports equipment and trade factory “Makedonija Sport”. In 1978, he was appointed head of this pre-liquidation company, facing a major challenge – to decide the fate of the factory and its 230 employees. In those extremely difficult moments for “Makedonija Sport”, thanks to the strong will, sacrifice and knowledge of Ilija Kamchev, the company did not shut down.

As a person always striving for quality, he opened a completely new factory that incorporated the most modern equipment at the time, opened new stores in which customers recognized quality, and secured the future of 600 families by employing new staff. The entire investment in new production, sales and human resources was achieved by Ilija Kamchev without any borrowing. He was the manager of “Makedonija Sport” until 1989, when he left for a short period of time to work at “Centrotekstil” in Belgrade.

January 30, 1990 is written in the hearts of the Kamchevi family as the date when Ilija Kamchev together with Jordan Kamchev founded the private company “Orka”. The beginning of 1990 meant the beginning of a new era in the Macedonian economy. That day became the reality that Ilija Kamchev had been dreaming of for decades – creating a powerful company with his own capital and hard work.

The successes of “Orka” that we are now proud of have been the result of hard work, selfless investment and skilful management, trust and confidence that the founder instilled in his partners, employees and customers. Ilija Kamchev’s “Orka” started modestly with a team of 30 production workers and one shop. Over time, the company expanded its capacities by following latest operating trends and promoting a model of successful corporate governance.

During his 40-year career, Ilija Kamchev had been respected by his loved ones, employees, partners and clients to whom he selflessly transferred his experience and knowledge. He will remain in our memories primarily as a man with a big heart. Ilija Kamchev sincerely loved and respected his country, “Orka” employees and his family.

During his career, he created a successful team that tirelessly continues to follow in his footsteps. It is easy to continue running a company whose foundation is based on honesty, vision, commitment, trust and quality. We would like to stress that it was a great pleasure and a great honour for us to have been his collaborators.

His life achievements from the very beginning are proudly recounted of. Thanks to his visionary ability, dedication and selflessness, “Orka” has succeeded to rise to the level it is today – a renowned company whose brand is synonymous with success, quality and reliability. His skill, virtue and humanity are the inspiration and motivation for all of us who have had the privilege to be a part of his life.