Café as a motive for entrepreneurial wisdom exchange

Jelena Novaković
Jelena Novaković
April 28, 2017

We had an honor to attend the fifth Business Cafe event in Montenegro. The topic of this event was “How to recruit and keep the best people”. On the behalf of Bild Studio was Tarik Zaimović, co-founder and CEO.

Founded in Zagreb, in 2011, by Kristina Ercegovic, Business Café is regularly held over six countries in the region (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Macedonia and Montenegro). The event has a mission to educate present and future entrepreneurs about business processes in entrepreneurship, to give them opportunity to share their experience with others, to make new business acquaintances and renew the old ones, to have an opportunity to spread the word about their business. In short, Business Café gathers business people and those who want to become one, with the aim of networking, improving and starting their own business. 

Source: Business Café

Sunny April 12 at hotel Podgorica, moderator (and the main contact person for this event in Montenegro), Ms. Slavica Nikolic started a number of interesting topics with her guests, who are successful personalities from the business world in Montenegro. Speakers were: Slobodan Mikavica, co-founder and CEO of Elko teamSrdjan Vukcevic, founder and owner of consulting company Blue Coach and Tarik Zaimovic, co-founder and CEO of Bild Studio. Speakers shared with us many lessons from the business world, the ups and downs they gone through and how they motivate their best employees through interesting stories mostly driven by personal experience and casual chit-chat with the moderator and the audience. To make it more interesting and fulfilled, organizers hosted an artist Snezana Ljubojevic, who was singing and performing on the guitar. Snezana is an informal member of the Bild community. :)

Source: Business Café

The story began in the early 90’s, when Slobodan Mikavica decided to leave a secure, public job in the Aluminum Plant Podgorica and went to “entrepreneurial waters” with his wife. The path was not easy. With very modest financial resources and limited technology, hours of work and effort invested, they managed to make a profit and the first contacts with suppliers from abroad. They proved that success is inevitable when you invest energy, clearly define your  goals, mission and vision. Numerous awards and prizes that Elko team won so far, are a clear evidence of this supposition. Regular sports meetings with partners, hiking tours, casual team meetings, continuous investment in professional development of every member of the team, are just some of the ways that top management in Elko team motivates their employees for making a progress at work and sticking by.  

As an elementary school pupil, Tarik Zaimovic gained his first entrepreneurial experience, not even being aware of it. You are guessing – computer related. Occasional ban from his older brother to use his computer, made Tarik to visit Internet centers and make a deal with their owners. Namely, Tarik gave the Internet centres’ owners an offer they could not refuse – voluntary work in exchange for access to their computers. Of course, they accepted it, and he made deals with owners of ten Internet centers. So, in the end, he had 50 times more computers than his brother! :D

During his students days, with two of his best friends, Danilo Puric and Nikola Kalezic, entrepreneurial venture has become little more serious. We can say that these guys are the main “culprits” for the establishment of Bild Studio. From the beginning until nowadays, Tarik unconditionally trust that every single company’s success is a result of a team effort.

Source: Business Café

When asked how to become a “Bild-person” (a member of the Bild Studio team), Tarik replied that before joining the team each member has to go through several filters:

  • compassion and honesty
  • fitting into organizational culture 
  • passion and curiosity
  • having as many hobbies as possible

Unlike Tarik, as a young boy, Srdjan Vukcevic was pretty lazy.  However, his father decided to rectify this demerits and found him seasonal job in Budva. Job that Srdjan was doing was purely commercial and included selling the corn on the beach. Even though he hated his father because he forced him to work, now he is very grateful to him, because he learned many life lessons  from that experience. And that he really meant what he said, Srdjan showed by introducing summer workshops for kids, through the Blue Coach’s project “Smart Steps”, that involved making and selling lemonade in Budva. According to Srdjan’s words, the profit that these youngest entrepreneurs gain is not bad at all. :)

Source: Business Café 

Having over 300 management trainings held throughout Montenegro with a Blue Coach company, Srdjan came to the conclusion that we have only few true leaders, and more of those self-proclaimed, which means that we need to improve a lot in this field. True leaders motivate their employees to be better than themselves and arrogance and ego are not their obstacles on the path to success.

And so, after inspiring presentations, socializing continued by networking with coffee (and refection as well :) ). We have met many brave people who took the risk and built their businesses and those who are just starting this journey. We listened to their stories, obstacles encountered and tried to help them in the domain of our knowledge. We applauded to the successes achieved and supported the efforts of the speakers to promote entrepreneurship in our country and corporate social responsibility. All in all, we are glad to have been a part of the Business Café event and we are thankful to the organizers for the invitation. To the next café…

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