We adapted to the outbreak of the pandemic and thus continued our business activities without any interruptions. Our main objective was, and still is, to protect the health and well-being of our employees and customers.
Immediately prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, MFIC BoD member and Jugopetrol AD CEO Antonis Semelides was declared the most successful manager among large enterprises and joint stock companies in Montenegro. We first asked Mr Semelides how challenging his job is under the current circumstances.
“First of all I would like to say that being awarded among many successful managers and leaders is a very special honour that reflects entirely on the success of Jugopetrol AD and all of its dedicated employees, my colleagues, as we share the same ideas and business goals. When you share knowledge, experience and responsibilities, even the most challenging situations become opportunities from which you can learn lessons and improve the way you conduct your business. Certainly, under these difficult and demanding circumstances, the job of a manager has become extremely challenging, but through teamwork, focusing on priorities and frequently assessing the changing conditions, the best possible results under the circumstances may be achieved.”
How has this year been for you and what are your predictions for 2021?
– This year is particularly challenging, as the situation with the novel coronavirus is certainly unprecedented and very unpredictable. From the outset we respected and followed all the measures and recommendations of National Coordination Body and Institute of Public Health of Montenegro, but also our own internal policies, as our main objective was, and still is, to do everything we can to protect the health and well-being of our employees and customers.
Having established from the very beginning that our most important priority has to be the health of our employees and customers, we still needed to handle our normal business activities under these extremely adverse circumstances.
MFIC has for years been an organisation whose opinions and suggestions for the improvement of the business environment carry considerable weight, and which the State institutions are willing to consider seriously for adoption.
We adapted to these new circumstances by changing priorities and modifying certain business processes, and therefore managed to continue with our business activities and other projects without any interruptions. All of our filling stations remained open and continued to serve our customers, while our project for the reconstruction of stations also went ahead as per plan, with only minor delays. We have opened one new EKO petrol station in Berane and will soon open a brand new filling station on one of the main city boulevards in Podgorica.
As is the case every year, we have also realised different CRS projects, given donations and established new partnerships. We paid special attention, of course, to the needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis by making targeted donations and providing support to the National Coordination Body and the Red Cross.
It is very difficult to make predictions for next year, as the situation is still very volatile and unpredictable. We can only express hope that vaccinations will become widely available everywhere and allow for a gradual return to normality.
How can MFIC help its members?
– MFIC can provide valuable assistance to its members, which are of course foreign investors doing business in Montenegro. MFIC is a rich source of information on various important matters that are essential for businesses, such as how public administration functions, the applicable legal framework, the tax system, labour laws and relations, company law, construction law and so many others.
MFIC offers a forum to its members, through which they can collectively discuss issues that impact on their operations and then address them to the State in an organised, comprehensive and efficient manner.