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Prokopije Perić, CEO, Plus d.o.o.

Market Demands Are The Most Important Guide

Plus d.o.o. Podgorica is a major importer of consumer goods on the Montenegrin market. Its products span from healthy food, through cosmetics, personal care and household chemicals, to household products. According to official reports, it accounts for more than 45% of sales of imported cigarettes and is the absolute leader in the tobacco products category

The basic principles of our business are effective and efficient distribution, the synergy of international products, successful launches, excellent cooperation with retail and customer satisfaction and trust – explains Mr Perić, emphasising that its staff give the company its greatest advantage over competitors

Your company is a leader in successful business and knowledge, but also in the way it does business. What are the basic principles of your business? Are all these great results based on them?

– Caring for our partners and staff, stable company development and profit growth, and active contribution and support to developing the community are our basic postulates. We believe that only in this way can we be sure of always moving forward.

Our company is an important importer of consumer goods on the Montenegrin market. We do business in a large number of categories, from healthy food, through cosmetics and personal care products, to household chemicals and household products. The basic principles of our business are effective and efficient distribution, synergy of international products, successful launches, excellent cooperation with retail and customer satisfaction and trust. With a diverse offering, the number of customers is increasing day by day, and so we are expanding our range. Bearing in mind that Montenegro is a tourist destination, we listen to the needs of the market, both in and out of season. A great sales team, with suggestions and criticism, is an important compass for us.

The Montenegrin market is small, but specific, among other things because it needs to meet the needs of the local population, but also tourists from all over the world. What else distinguishes it?

– The Montenegrin market is much smaller than others in the region, but it is incomparably more complex. Both domestic consumers and tourists visiting Montenegro have very high expectations, especially in terms of the quality of the products they buy every day. Considering the geography of Montenegro, as well as the tourist season, distribution is extremely demanding, which stretches our logistics capacity. Our priority is high quality brands, including Sobranie, Winston, Una, Esse, L’Oreal, Zewa, Garnier, Libresse, Philips, Durukan, Hausbrandt, Ronnefeldt, Pago, B52 and many others that quickly gain regular and loyal consumers. I would also like to mention the category of smokeless tobacco products, where we were pioneers on the Montenegrin market with NUSO products and ISMOD devices, and relatively quickly showed great potential in this category.

Can you explain your market dominance and competitive advantage by your wide range of consumer goods?

– Our company really has by far the most diverse range of products in a large number of categories, but we are constantly working to further expand it and launch new products. As I mentioned before, we also have a great distribution network, but I think that our staff give us the biggest advantage over the competition.

We believe that the right knowledge and professional development are a sure way to improve the business system, which is why we regularly organise constant training and seminars. Such human resource management encourages dedication and job satisfaction, which enables greater productivity.

By constantly developing appropriate skills and competencies, the staff can exceed not only their own goals, but also the company’s. We are focused on energy, adaptability, communication, commitment to the client, precision in our work and the team spirit.

We can additionally boast of an excellent vehicle fleet, 4,000m2 of modern facilities for storing and dispatchng goods, 1,500m2 of office space and a cold store of 500m2.

Are you satisfied with the speed of development and expansion of your HORECA division?

– Thanks to our energy, knowledge, experience and suppliers, we have become a long-term strategic partner that has increased its market share and become one of the highest quality suppliers in the HORECA segment in Montenegro. We have positioned ourselves as the highest quality supplier to HORECA facilities, able to provide a fast and high-quality service and meet the different requirements of our customers, ready to quickly adapt to new trends and requirements on the HORECA market.

Both local consumers and tourists visiting Montenegro have very high expectations, especially in terms of the quality of the products they buy every day

The basis of our success in this business segment lies in good organisation, technical and logistical support, well-selected staff, excellent distribution, a system that guarantees reliable and timely servicing of all our clients on the principle of ‘today for today’. We offer an essential range necessary for the functioning of hospitality facilities, an efficient distribution system, experience and knowledge, and – in coordination with our marketing team – we provide clients with many promotional activities, through tastings and promotions, to designed interactions.

How much does the opening of luxury tourist facilities and the arrival of elite clientele affect your business? Does that encourage you to focus on high quality premium products?

– The opening of luxury facilities definitely affects the arrival of a clientele that is willing to spend more, which is very important to us given the strategy of our company, which focuses on top quality products. All this requires additional efforts to understand the needs of these consumers, but we are here to listen carefully and meet the demands of the market.

The distribution channel for hotels and hospitality facilities for elite clientele strives to meet the requirements of our customers in the best possible way from day to day, and to offer them a full range. I think it is very important that we are able to provide a fast and high-quality service, and to adapt to new trends.

You have always had great ambitions and always managed to fulfil them. Can you share with us some of your short and long term plans?

– Years of work, dedication and desire have led us to our ultimate goal – of becoming an absolute leader, because our ambitions are very realistic. Our greatest success is certainly the sale of cigarette brands, in which we are constantly growing and which has resulted in JTI becoming the company with the largest share of cigarette sales in Montenegro, with a total market share exceeding 33%. In the meantime, in cooperation with the Sarajevo Tobacco Factory, FDS, we have developed our own UNA Slims brand, which in 18 months of distribution has reached a market share of over 12%. The great FDS team, with their enormous experience and expertise, have helped us produce and create a strong and recognisable brand.

Our plans are always big. One of them is to maintain our leading position, together with JTI, in the coming years and increase our market share, but also to conquer a large part of the market in the slim cigarette segment with UNA Slims and try to expand this brand to the markets of the region. This year we are boldly embarking on the distribution of beer, because we have signed a long-term agreement on business cooperation with the Banja Luka Brewery and their NEKTAR beer brand. The beer segment in Montenegro is extremely demanding and competitive, but I am convinced that we have a team of people capable of handling stiff challenges.

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