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Stoyko Ivanov Meshkov, CEO, Trace Group Hold PLC Belgrade Branch

Process Digitalisation Is The Route To Efficiency

For us, construction is not just a business, but rather a mission, and part of that mission is shaping the Western Balkans as an important geopolitical region

The Trace Code of Conduct prioritises professionalism and vision, to ensure that the work we do remains for the generations to follow. The financial result serves in the function of the first objective, and not the other way around ~ says Stoyko Ivanov Meshkov, CEO of Trace Group Hold PLC Belgrade Branch, which is engaged in a large number of highway construction projects in Serbia, as well as railway reconstruction and modernisation works across the country.

What distinguishes Trace from its competitors the most, in the opinion of our interlocutor, is perhaps the desire to change and advance not only at the level of the company, but also at the national and international level. “The company and management team, headed by Professor Nikolay Mihaylov, have spent many years working on the development of the construction environment across the region. For us, construction is not just a business, but rather a mission, and part of that mission is shaping the Western Balkans as an important geopolitical region,” says Meshkov.

The Trace Group invests continuously in young experts by offering them positions that enable their professional development, as well as the opportunity to feel as though they are part of a company with a tradition and a strong company culture.

What are your business objectives and how do you plan to achieve them?

Sustainability, diversification and growth are key words that define our development path over the course of the next decade. Development that’s evolutionary, as opposed to revolutionary, is one of the fundamental models of our journey to sustainability.

We ensure our growth by expanding the scope of our activities, which are already established in our portfolio, with an emphasis on the digitalisation of construction processes.

We ensure our growth by expanding the scope of our activities, which are already established in our portfolio, with an emphasis on the digitalisation of construction processes

The desire for diversification is linked to our positioning on another market beyond those of Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania, which the Holding management team is already working on implementing. Experience shows that this is a process that serves to accentuate the importance of our first goal: sustainability and durability.

In which areas does your expertise find its most effective applications when it comes to Serbia?

Our comprehensive experience in the construction sector makes us unique when it comes to specific projects that combine different infrastructure elements, for example, a metro and railway, the construction of residential and commercial properties with deep underground levels and a ground floor setup that includes accompanying infrastructure etc.

In the area of railway infrastructure, Trace designs and implements key projects for the Republic of Bulgaria, while in 2020 it signed the Agreement on the Modernisation and Rehabilitation of Railway Tracks in the Republic of Serbia. Trace has been participating from the outset in the Sofia Metro, which represents the most successful infrastructure project in Bulgaria. Trace’s own designers, engineers and construction teams have successfully constructed 11 metro stations, including some that had complex geological and hydrological conditions, and one that passes under the active tunnels of Line 1. Our colleagues are currently building the Trakija metro station, which forms part of Sofia Metro Line 3.

In terms of future works, what area are you interested in developing?

The implementation and use of artificial intelligence in construction. AI can do anything that crosses your mind, but it lacks intuition and emotion. In corporate governance and managerial actions, leaders very often make decisions by paying attention to their intuition or listening to their heart. The challenge for us is to understand how these two forms will fit together.

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