Panel: Family businesses and the next level
The tradition of re-established private entrepreneurship in Serbia is only a little more than 30 years long. This usually means that those generations who founded the first private companies in their youth and prime of life are now at an age where important decisions have to be made regarding the next few decades of the company. The process of introducing the second generation into the business, or the professionalization of the company, is not simple. There are centuries of tradition and experience in the world that can be referred to. With us, such ventures are still pioneering, but we believe that good examples of business transition are very important as an inspiration and indicator that a real business outgrows the people who created it.
Milovan specializes in providing legal advice in M&A transactions (i.e. company purchase and sale procedures, various types of reorganization and restructuring and status changes) and other business transfer procedures, with a special emphasis and experience in ownership and management transition procedures in family companies. In addition to the above, Milovan also provides legal advice in complex issues of company and contract law, as well as advice on labor law issues to domestic and international clients, i.e. subsidiaries of global companies operating in the region. Milovan completed official training as a mediator and consultant within the ASEE Center for the Development of Family Companies.
Aleksa gained his first work experience as very young when, during the summer vacations, he and his sister helped in the family company. These were jobs in the store, production and warehouse. During his studies in hotel management, he worked at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Belgrade, and after finishing his education, he got his first assignment at Art Ival, as a kind of retail coordinator. In the following years, he also took over sales to corporate customers (branded packaging, private label production), and after a few years, wholesale, and then export. He is currently working as a commercial director in charge of sales, procurement and marketing, and has been working for the company for 12 years. Married, used to play basketball, and for more than a decade played folklore in AKUD Ivo Lola Ribar from Belgrade.
Rade Vučićević, together with his wife Tatjana, founded the Art Agency in 1989, which organized manifestations and events for children and theater performances, and in 1992 they registered the company Art Ival, which was engaged in the trade of coffee in a small building on Zvezdara. Since they were selling high-quality coffee, and in the desire to differentiate themselves from the competition from the very beginning, they included chocolate delicacies in their offer, and so began a story that has been going on for three decades. Four years after the establishment of the company, they launched their trademark called “Premier”, which is protected by the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia. Today, they employ about 40 people who handcraft more than 200 chocolate products with a unique taste, and their products can be found on the shelves in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Montenegro.”
Aleksandar gained his first work experience working in companies outside the ITN Group, which included working in a multinational company in the brewing industry (ABInBew, the largest beer producer in the world). After completing his education abroad and gaining his first work experience, Aleksandar joined ITN Group and started his career as an assistant in the sales and marketing department, later going through other sectors within the company. He is currently the director of Budimka (the newest member of the ITN Group) and is the executive director of the ITN EkoPovlen sector (frozen fruit factory in Kosjerić), and is actively involved in the strategic planning and development of the ITN Group as a whole. He currently manages around 240 employees in these two sectors of the Group with total revenues of over 25,000,000 euros.
Dragan Marković is a professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Belgrade, head of the Department of Agricultural Mechanical Engineering, corresponding member of the Academy of Engineering Sciences of Serbia and president of ITN Group.
Prof. Dr. Dragan Marković graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade in 1982, then received his master’s degree in 1987, and defended his doctoral dissertation in 1991. After graduating in 1982, he got a job at the company 14. oktobar Kruševac – Belgrade Development Institute, where he worked on the development of construction and agricultural machinery. Since 1984, he has been working at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade, at the Department of Agricultural Mechanical Engineering, first as an assistant, since 1993 as an assistant professor, since 1998 as an associate professor, and since 2002 as a full professor. In engineering and professional work, he is a member of the Chamber of Engineers of Serbia, the author of 14 patents, 6 of which have been realized and are being serially produced today.
In 1992, he founded, with his wife Vera, a private company – ITN Group. Created with the vision of developing and implementing new technologies and techniques in agriculture and the food industry:
– ITN Group today is considered a regional leader in: – Engineering and distribution of specialized agricultural machinery in agriculture
– ITN AgroTech, – Engineering, design, production and assembly of complete technological lines and equipment, industrial refrigeration systems, electrical equipment and software for the food and beverage industry according to the “turnkey” system
– ITN FoodTech, – Processing, final packaging and export of frozen fruits and vegetables directly to hypermarkets around the world – ITN Eko Povlen.
ITN Group employs young, highly educated personnel. It mainly exports its products and services (over 70%) to the EU, UK, Russia and many other countries. All projects of ITN FoodTech are carried out according to the turnkey system: Frikom, Friglo, Carnex, Agrokor, Podravka, Pik Bečej, PKB-Al Dahra, Nectar, Podrum Palić, IMLEK and many others.