It is an obligation of every business leader in Serbia to employ the Serbian workforce
The business philosophy that the value of a company is comprised of its personnel, that there is no business without the creation of new value, and especially that the absence of dynamic expansion and constant seeking of new work results in deadlock and setbacks, has guided Dragoljub Zbiljić, president of company ‘Energotehnika – Južna Bačka’ (EJB) in all of his business activities – positioning EJB as one of Serbia’s most successful companies.
To what extent has the company that you head changed over the last year?
– If we were to compare the situation at EJB over the last 12 months, the company’s strength and our capabilities have – without exaggeration – advanced in every respect. We’re entering new spheres of business in the energy sector, and it’s with great enthusiasm that we are awaiting works for Serbian Railways, because it is clear that – apart from the works on the Belgrade-Budapest railway – it is also necessary to renew the network in other vital directions. Electrification is our speciality, and in that area we have no competition, thus it is to be expected that EJB will also be engaged in these works. We have formed a new sector called “Eko Južna Bačka” [Eco South Bačka], which is dealing with preparing our participation in all tenders related to the environment – from water treatment to other installations in that area. We are following a cycle of public investment that will become increasingly substantial, due – among other things – to the commitments to the EU that we have taken on as a country.
It’s with great enthusiasm that we are awaiting works for Serbian Railways, because it is clear that – apart from the works on the Belgrade-Budapest railway – it is also necessary to renew the network in other vital directions
EJB doesn’t satisfy itself with its previous achievements and constantly persists with new challenges and business prospects?
– One of the most important rules of contemporary business is that if you stop even for an instant, lulled into an acquired position, you run the risk of stagnating and disappearing. That is the harsh logic of capital and business operations. If you want to survive, you must expand your business. The state is the largest investor at present, though we are also quite heavily engaged in works that are led by a significant number of foreign investors. We are currently fighting to get a job for Chinese company Linglong, and it would be really impressive for us to work for them. This relates to the tyre factory in Zrenjanin that is also among the biggest investments in Serbia, worth 800 million euros. We closely monitor every business opportunity that emerges on the Serbian market.
How would you assess the work of the Government of Serbia and the head of state when it comes to improving the business climate and initiating economic potential?
– The state leadership, led by Aleksandar Vučić, is more than partially taking all the necessary steps, and here I’m not only referring to the regular agenda of the European Union. Growth of four per cent, which is also rare among EU countries, shows that a capable and responsible leader – the likes of which we’ve unfortunately lacked many of in our past – can initiate economic development in Serbia in all fields.
Your Company has clearly announced its intentions and plans to participate in foreign markets on multiple occasions.
– Given that the Serbian market has “exploded”, we’ve slightly delayed our expansion beyond the home market. We were practically fully occupied with our participation in a large number of domestic investments. I am also delighted to see that our competition is also engaged in many projects. The large number of tenders we participate in limits us when it comes to stepping boldly onto foreign markets, especially the Russian one, where we believe we can prove successful. That’s why we’re focused on our neighbourhood and the former Yugoslav republics.