In less than three years, M&M has established cooperation with leading European companies and become an exclusive provider of logistics services on the Serbian market. They are successfully building the image of a respectable, successful, stable and, above all, reliable company, which will progress more and more in all market segments.
Due to great potential in the express service sector, M&M’s daughter company M&M Express will start operating at the beginning of 2023. We talk with M&M CEO Dragana Simović. She is looking forward to tackling new challenges and reveals that their plan is to become one of the leading courier services in Serbia.
When you entered the business three years ago, it was not simple, nor easy. Is your success all the more appreciated?
It really wasn’t easy. The competition is extremely high, the market is over-saturated, but there is always room for the right players, and we certainly are.
Thanks to our experience, knowledge, effort, dedication and a developed logistics network, we have positioned ourselves as leaders on the Serbian market in the field of transport and logistics. Our clients have recognised this and see in us not only professionals, but also a partner they can rely on. Today, when everything happens so fast, we especially emphasise expediency and accuracy as our trademark.
You started your career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked at our embassy in Germany. Did you learn a lot in those jobs?
After completing my studies in international relations and diplomacy, I took up a job at the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As I lived abroad for my education since the age of 15, diplomacy was a logical path. I learned this job by working with serious professionals, both at the Ministry and the Embassy in Berlin, and with the diplomatic corps around the world. I must admit that even today I use that knowledge in this job. Although I am no longer a diplomat by profession, I enjoy representing Serbia in a different, but equally beautiful, if not more beautiful, way.
How did you find yourself in the logistics and transport sector? Are things slowly changing in favour of women who are considered better organisers, and are also far more systematic than men?
In the past, logistics and transport were mostly handled by men, but things are changing in all areas, including in ours. I believe that there is no division into female and male professions and jobs, but the decisive factors are knowledge and personal preferences. Organisational skills and a systematic approach are my strong points and are certainly among the reasons for my business success.
In addition, I claim that hard work, commitment, dedication, a positive working environment and a good working atmosphere are the greatest guarantors of business success, whether you are a woman or a man.
All successful companies point out that their strength rests on the dedication of their staff, team spirit and good leaders. What kind of relationship do you have with your colleagues? How do they view women leaders?
Good interpersonal relations and a healthy business environment are conditions for a company to be successful. Only in such an environment can you expect efficiency and dedication from your staff. That is why we pay special attention to mutual respect, collegiality and professionalism at M&M. When it comes to work, I believe that my colleagues do not think about whether I am a woman, but how I do my job.
In my work so far, I have never felt a single bit of discrimination from my male colleagues. Moreover, I think they have always treated me in a gentlemanly manner, which I am particularly proud of, since mutual respect by all staff in terms of gender equality is something we work hard on and insist on.
Hard work, commitment, dedication, a positive working environment and a good working atmosphere are the greatest guarantors of business success, whether you are a woman or a man
I try to ensure that my relationship as a leader towards my staff is always as fair and as correct as possible, so in return I receive the same treatment from those I manage. Mutual respect, trust and good communication between managers and staff is one of the keys to business success. Satisfied employees are those who feel the respect of colleagues and managers, who are comfortable in the working environment. They are very productive, which benefits everyone. It is easy to manage a satisfied employee.
You work with a large number of men… Do you think they could successfully “juggle” in multiple fields and multiple fronts, as women do every day?
Equality between the sexes is a very important civilisational asset that must be adopted in all social relations, and especially in business. The attitude towards male colleagues is always professional, fair and correct. I don’t generalise things and I don’t discriminate against anyone on any basis, so I believe that there are many men who are great at multitasking just as well as women. For some, certain work tasks are more natural more than others, but this has nothing to do with gender. Staff are assigned to positions that suit them best on the basis of monitoring and the quality of the work they perform. This is where they will achieve the best results for themselves and for the company.
When a company grows as fast as yours, it requires dedication and a lot more work. Has it affected your private life?
Balance is something I strive for. I am ambitious, I love my job and I am very dedicated to it, but despite all that, my family comes first. I believe that only those who have a healthy, functional and harmonious private life can be successful and accomplished in business. One does not work without the other. My family is my greatest support. It gives me strength and the energy for all private and business challenges. My father, who is also the originator of the idea of starting this business, is my greatest supporter, but also my greatest critic. I learned everything I know about life and work from my parents. They are always there for me, to give me the strength to always move forward and I think that’s the greatest happiness and wealth a young person can have.
The well-known platitude “Everything is possible with good organisation” really makes sense. I have organised myself so that no area of my life suffers.
Will 2023 be the year in which M&M becomes one of the top three logistics companies in Serbia?
Over the coming year we are well on the way to materialise our efforts and work, and to be among the top three logistics companies in Serbia. We will continue to invest in further development, such as expanding warehouse capacity from 36,000 to 50,000 square metres, setting up new HUBs in Serbia and the region, and expanding our groupage routes.
Last year, we opened an express service department at M&M. However, due to the great potential in that area, our new company M&M Express of which I am the CEO, also a daughter company of M&M, will start operating at the beginning of 2023. In this regard, I am very much looking forward to the coming year, because I have a huge challenge ahead of me, to become one of the leading courier services in Serbia.
M&M Express is preparing a team of experienced professionals in courier services, as well as the entire infrastructure, to satisfy customers in the postal services market with excellent service and innovative solutions.