Dejan Turk, CEO Of Vip Mobile and A1 Slovenia

Year Of Important Lessons

Vip mobile has behind it a number of years that were excellent in terms of business results, and the company’s top man even expects the growth trend to continue this year, despite the crisis. Vip manages to make the most of every situation, even this one, and to offer more to satisfy the needs of their users to the greatest possible extent

For Vip mobile, as the first recipient of the Family Friendly Certificate in Serbia, the health and safety of employees and their families remain an absolute priority. Investing in their well-being is considered the most important investment in the future, regardless of whether they operate under the Vip or A1 brands.

It was planned for Vip mobile to change its brand to A1 this year. Did the pandemic influence that plan and, if so, to what extent?

Vip mobile– The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted on shifting the focus and strategic goals of companies in all branches of industry. During times of great uncertainty, people come first – the health and safety of employees and users are our top priority at this moment.

From the outset, like the rest of the A1 Group, under the auspices of which we operate, we monitored the development of the situation, formed a crisis team and began preparing various scenarios for protection against the virus. We quickly started introducing preventative measures, in order to protect people, but no one could have predicted the scale of the pandemic. Quite simply, you have to adapt to the situation.

The new conditions have led to increased demand for the services of mobile operators, apart from roaming. Will you record a profit at the end of 2020?

– Apart from a stable network that can support the increase in mobile traffic, the crisis has given rise to some new products and services, and we have also tried to be a reliable partner in this segment. We have supported the development of telemedicine – through the DokTok platform, Serbian citizens nationwide can consult doctors from various fields free of charge and thus avoid having to go to a health centre. We also launched the first virtual shop on the market and went a step further when it comes to the advanced user experience.

We supported the development of telemedicine, launched the first virtual shop on the market and also started the project dedicated to empowering the oldest

During this summer we also restored the most favourable NEO tariff, and since October – the month dedicated to the elderly – we have been empowering the oldest members of society, enabling them to share their wisdoms with the world within the project Stari znalci. However, it is still too early for a final prognosis. We are awaited by a quarter of the year that could change a lot, given that a new wave of the pandemic is predicted. As an eternal optimist and someone who sees an opportunity in obstacles, I believe that we will soon look at 2020 as a year of important lessons that inspired us and taught us to be better.

With more than a billion euros invested, Vip mobile remains the largest greenfield investment in Serbia. Will your Telekom Austria Group continue to invest in our country?

– I’m glad that, with a more than 25 per cent share of the domestic market, we are among the companies that influence its advancement. Our plan is to maintain the continuity of our sustainable growth and continue further investments, but we remain flexible enough to be able to adjust our short-term goals to the situation and needs of the market.

Serbia has so far being worthy of praise for the way it’s handled the challenges of the pandemic, and – despite global uncertainty – the domestic market has remained competitive and receptive to foreign investors, while there are no indications that it will abandon long-term investments. I have emphasised repeatedly that Serbs are an extremely hard-working people, dedicated and creative, and those are qualities that investors recognise and value. 

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