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Maja Živković, General Manager, Steel Impex Ltd

Time Is Our Most Valuable Resource

Steel Impex is a regional leader in the waste management sector and a member of the NALED Fair Competition Alliance, which is composed of some of the largest domestic employers and taxpayers

Our suppliers know we can offer a complete solution for their waste, whether it is steel scrap, non-ferrous, plastic, paper, tires, etc. When you have the capacity to handle 100,000 tonnes per year and no steady local buyer, there is no other option but to export, says Maja Živković.

Steel Impex is a regional leader in the waste management sector, despite unfair competition and the informal economy. How do you handle all the frustrating circumstances and are they the reason you’re orientated towards export?

We always strive to operate under the rules of fair competition. It pushes us towards innovation, creativity and new ideas. Even though it’s hard in our line of business we are able to accomplish it by digitalisation of our daily operations, increasing awareness through our social media and always new and better conditions for our suppliers. By expanding the range of waste we handle we are increasing our presence on the market, but also decreasing our fixed costs.

Our suppliers know that we can offer them a complete solution for their waste, whether steel scrap, non-ferrous, plastic, paper, tyres, etc. When you have the capacity to handle 100,000 tonnes per year and no steady local buyer, there is no other option but to export. Unfortunately there are limited users of recyclables in our country, while for some there are none at all. Those there are either have small capacities or purchase through their suppliers.

As a free market, there should be more operators and transparency that will bring improvement and quality on all services, but when it gets hard to export and payments are not secured with guarantees we are not developing as a market.

By expanding the range of waste we handle we are increasing our presence on the market, but also decreasing our fixed costs

Steel Impex is a member of the NALED Fair Competition Alliance, which is composed of some of the largest domestic employers and taxpayers. Are you satisfied with the progress that has been achieved by your work and engagement? Could even better progress be achieved?

As a member of NALED we are actively involved on the subject of Fair Competition, sharing our experience, the problems we face in our sector and the misinterpretation of rules. This cooperation is very important, where straight from the field we are able to address the pros and cons of the recycling industry. NALED’s efforts and their dedication to fair competition is helping improve the situation, to establish a fair and equal approach for all, with no grey zone.

You are a strong advocate of reducing the administrative burden on companies that operate legally. How and how much does bureaucracy hamper your company’s operations and slow your growth and expansion?

The world has changed, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. We need to be able to take decisions and execute them immediately. To do this, we need a digital infrastructure that we can apply to everything in our offices, to make our meetings or attend our inspections. This will also bring a certain transparency. Time is now our most valuable resource and we cannot afford to lose months obtaining a license, approval or any kind of report from state institutions. At the same time our laws and regulations must follow the times we live in, changes are necessary. Our inspectors from any institution still require documentation on paper and not in digital form.

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