Branislav Savić, Plant Manager, Ball Packaging Europe:Years Of SuccessfulBusiness Operations In Serbia

Rising from a 200-dollar loan to the largest beverage can producer, it has been 138 years since the Ball brothers’ founded Ball Corporation, and in that period the company has grown into a global leader, operating on four continents and employing more than 18,000 people

The history of the company’s success also includes Ball Beverage Packag-ing Europe in Belgrade. It has been operating in Serbia since 2005, and today it has more than 200 employees and produces five different can sizes at two production lines for more than 20 markets.

Branislav Savić is at the helm of the Belgrade factory. Mr Savić, first of all, congratulations to you and your team! Ball Packaging Belgrade has won the title of the best factory in Europe among 22 can and cap factories operating within Ball Beverage Packaging Europe (BBPE). To what do you owe this prestigious award?

“The most relevant selection category was operating without work-related injuries. Another category for the judging was the low number of customer complaints. Other assessment criteria included efficiency and spoilage reduction in the production process. The Belgrade team has won this significant award for achieving the best results in all those areas. Some other parameters included innovation, for which the factory in Belgrade is renowned. What places us at the top is the selfless sharing of best practices. This award confirms the commitment and efforts of our employees, who constantly improve our operations. For all of us, this award will represent an additional incentive for achieving even greater results.”

You have been operating in Serbia for years. When the factory was opened in 2005, it was the largest greenfield investment in Serbia. The investment in the factory reached EUR 70 million and 120 new jobs were created. When you sum up the period behind us, what are your impressions about operating in our market?

“Operations in Serbia have fully met expectations, primarily owing to the committed, educated people that encounter everyday business challenges with amazing passion within Ball Beverage Packaging Europe in Belgrade. We produce exclusively some of Ball’s innovative products like the BRE cap, enabling closing of a can until further consumption. Not only do we have 200 employees in the factory, but also around 100 more working at the Global Business Service Center (GBS), and this confirms that we have an excellent team that does a great job in Serbia. The centre in Belgrade provides various services and manages some parts of the corporation’s operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East in the area of finance, planning, HR management and internal auditing. Thus the GBS in Belgrade follows and creates global business trends.”

We plan to grow our business and aim to employ more excellent people in Serbia, maximize production and, owing to the growth of Ball Beverage Packaging in Belgrade, contribute to Serbia’s economic development, bearing in mind the share in the export balance of the country where we operate

Ball has also done a lot in the area of recycling in Serbia. You often point out the significance of recycling and sustainable development…

“We are a factory that produces alu-packaging, and cans are fully recyclable. On the other hand, Ball has been completely committed to environmental protection in all business segments globally for many years. By establishing the Recan non-profit foundation in Serbia as well, we have executed educational programs engaging 2.5 million people, 264 schools, 30 kindergartens, 5 faculties and more than 40 companies. Both globally and locally, we strive to create a responsible future for ourselves, for our children and for the generations to come. We do this together with our employees, the best and most active promoters of recycling.

You have years of successful business operations behind you. Since constant progress and advancement are top priorities in the company, how do you plan to improve further these excellent results?

“We plan to grow our business and aim to employ more excellent people in Serbia, maximize production and, owing to the growth of Ball Beverage Packaging in Belgrade, contribute to Serbia’s economic development, bearing in mind the share in the export balance of the country where we operate.”