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Dragana Ðujić, General Director, Kibid d.o.o.

Only The Best For Babies

For three decades, Kibid has been engaged in the import and distribution of baby food, primarily Aptamil and other products of Nutricia, which is part of the large Danone group. Trust in the company, products and people, commitment to health and top quality nutrition for the youngest are important premises of their work

As a woman in a leading position in a private company, which is also a leader in its product category in Serbia, I can say that with work, a professional approach, respect for all of my colleagues and the team and a clear vision and well-set business goals, success cannot fail to follow ~ says Kibid’s director.

Your company is practically the best friend of young mothers, it gives strong support to family, parents…? How does having a woman at the head of the company affect this?

Our entire team is dedicated to our work with great responsibility. We are leaders, importers and distributors for Serbia and for the countries of the region of the European brand No. 1 in baby foods – Aptamil, and of all the products of Nutricia, which is part of the large Danone group. That leadership is actually a great obligation for me and for all my colleagues at Kibid.

I see success through the learning, dedication and trust that we cultivate in the team and that we pass on to our users. For example, when you think you know everything and have nothing more to learn, you’re facing a big problem. There is always something different, special, something to strive for and pay special attention to and something that can be learned. Here, I have just returned from managerial education in the Netherlands… Our long-term partner Nutricija educates us so that we can always go one step further, and that’s why it feels good to be part of an international team.

And when I say commitment, I don’t mean giving things up and burning out, but a good feeling when a good job is done, a chance is presented, communication improves, a problem is easily solved. I also mentioned trust as an important premise of our joint work at Kibid, trust in the company, products, people, and above all in myself.

When you say Aptamil is the number 1 brand, you don’t mean figuratively, but literally?

Yes, yes, Aptamil was awarded the number 1 brand in Europe by Euromonitor International Limited among the brands of growing up milk formula, based by data Euromonitor International Limited packaged food 2022 edition, value sales RSP, 2021 data. Aptamil includes Almiron, Aptamil, Bebilon, Gallia and Nutilon.

We are very proud of it because it is the result of decades of work and research by the Nutricia team, with more than 500 experts who study the quality and composition of breast milk. Thanks to that effort, we now have a formula that is the closest in its composition and nutritional values to a mother’s milk, which is of course the best food for a baby’s immunity. As representative of Aptamil and other Nutricia products, Kibid decided to operate in this segment many years ago, fostering above all a commitment to health on the one hand, and the highest quality in nutrition for the youngest on the other.

You are able to influence the health and formation of healthy eating habits of our youngest population. Do you feel that’s a privilege?

You can call this a privilege and it really is. But we share the business philosophy that we above all have a responsibility towards our users, and in that there is no improvisation or compromise. Mother’s milk is the best food for babies and that is always our position. Compliance with the World Health Organization’s code on breastfeeding and baby nutrition is a basic postulate for us that we never question, and all of our staff know this and strictly adhere to the rules in communication.

Because the users are babies, this very sensitive product category requires compliance with the highest standards in all areas of business. The category of baby food is classified as a category with legal restrictions, also in advertising. In 1981, the WHO passed a code that limits the advertising of adapted formulas to encourage breastfeeding, and Nutricia, as a signatory to the WHO code, and our company as a distributor, strictly respect this regulation in all areas of business.

Thanks to all these standards in business, we can say that we have the privilege of taking care of the health and healthy habits of the most sensitive and wonderful population – our babies. We know that we help many people, that we bring smiles back to the faces of both parents and children, that thanks to us, many babies will sleep peacefully tonight. This is our peace, this is our success.

You have been dealing with children’s food for a long time, and so indirectly with the birth rate and population policy. Can you judge whether it has become more challenging to raise children today?

I can answer this question more from a parent’s point of view. I think that parenting, producing and raising children has changed a lot. Parents today understand this role very responsibly. They work extremely hard and the vast majority want to give their children the best. Not only in the material sense, but also in learning, working with them, care and most importantly providing emotions. Parents are very caring, already during pregnancy, and of course later. In some other countries, even in more developed ones, the approach to raising children is different, I would say it is more relaxed, so you can ask whether it is better that way, whether their children are better prepared for life later on. I don’t really have the best answer to that, because it’s the feeling of every mother, every parent…

Compliance with the WHO code on breastfeeding and baby nutrition is a basic postulate for us that we never question and all of our staff know it and strictly adhere to it

We are a people with a lot of emotions, and I think that love and hugs are the most important things that every parent should give to a child. Parenting is always a challenge, in every time and in every society. Because everything starts from the first touch of mother and baby and the first breastfeeding. And our corporate mission is to be a support in those first months of the greatest concern and fear if the need arises.

How do you see the concept of women’s leadership and what is it that sets women apart in the business world?

Regardless of their gender, leaders have many common principles that guide them through solving everyday business challenges. It is not always easy for women in our environment. It often takes more strength and more time to stand out, but for real leaders, in the end, neither gender, nor political support, nor a wealthy family matter. Their quality alone fights for its place.

I have already mentioned commitment as one of the basic premises of a successful business. I believe that continuous work on yourself and learning is necessary for success. Leaders should encourage their young colleagues, create their successors, invest in young people who have leadership potential. This is what should be equally important in our managerial work. When people around us see how hard we work and continue to upgrade our knowledge and skills, I believe they will follow in our footsteps. That teamwork can on its own represent a good way for the further development of the company we run.

Finally, I can highlight my example as a woman in a leading position in a private company that is also the leader in its product category in Serbia. I am sure from my own work, professional approach, respect for all my colleagues and the entire team, and with a clear vision and well-set business goals, the success of every leader cannot fail to follow.

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