Ivan Bakić, HR Director, Nectar Group

We Proudly Nurture Our Winning Spirit

Nectar was founded as a small entrepreneurial venture that has rapidly developed into a regional leader in the production and sale of juices, refreshing beverages, water and food. Although we operate on 10 business locations in three countries, all the employees function as one team, one family

Nectar is a family company that puts the consumer at the centre. We also insist on excellence and innovation in what we do, and care for both the environment in which we operate and for our employees. We are proud of all our successes and we nurture our winning spirit, they say at Nectar.

Within two decades, Nectar has grown from a small family company to a regional leader with more than 1,300 people. Would the company be so successful if the people did not perceive it as their second home?

– I’ll answer right away – certainly not. We started from the production of apple vinegar and became a regional leader in the production and sale of juices, refreshing beverages, water and food at a tremendous speed. The great initial enthusiasm of the owner was transferred to the first “core” of the employees, who carried the company’s expansion, development and marketing of new products. It’s impressive how quickly the entire expansion took place and how high product quality has been maintained throughout the innovations.

This core group of people who carried out the development and growth of the company has attracted similar people – people who share the values of entrepreneurship, a positive and engaged attitude, a focus on solutions instead of obstacles and the idea of achieving the most through teamwork. I mustn’t forget a very important aspect of the efficient use of resources and the enormous energy of the employees that have been transferred through acquisitions of the companies that are now members of the Nectar Group.

So far we have done a lot to strengthen the capacities of our people, both in technical and management skills

The business philosophy “It does matter” encourages the employees to be interested and motivated to learn, to improve and prosper?

– I can state proudly that everyone at the company is living our “It does matter” business philosophy in the way they approach the business and how they treat the wider community. I think it’s already a common phrase that continuous improvement is imperative to develop the company through the development of individuals.

So far we have done a lot to strengthen the capacities of the employees in two directions – one is the development of personal resource management skills, and the other is the management of others. I believe that the best result in terms of costs and effectiveness, or investment, can be achieved by combining external and internal training.

A good HR manager has to understand the essence of the business of the company in which he works, but also to be well acquainted with the desires, needs and expectations of employees. How can you reconcile these two things?

– In a company that is so widespread (10 business locations in three countries), it is a great challenge to unite all the employees and create a constructive organisational culture, especially because each location and each member company has their specific organisation, management, geographical and socio-political differences and, of course, great individual differences among employees. It is imperative to be present, to have direct contact with people and, as a beautiful Japanese statement says: “Go to the source and see”. There is no HR tool or approach that can replace direct contact with people.

We have developed a whole range of tools to support our employees in achieving their maximum in the company – from a precise job introduction programme, support programmes for new colleagues, mentoring projects, work performance assessment system, talent identification and special development programmes and a training system, to promotions and rewards.