Incentives came at the right time, because our company can benefit from them in 2021. when we intend to continue with our development and investments – says Tarik Zaimovic, co-founder and CEO of Bild Studio. He compliments the work, positive energy and hope that the Ministry of science infuses into the IT community as a whole.
Innovative services bills that Parliament of Montenegro adopted in July are a breath of fresh air, because they address incentives for research development, says Zaimovic. He is at the helm of Bild Studio which specializes in the fields of enterprise software solutions, design and branding and other services for 10 years now – intended to kickstart digital transformation and workload of their clients.
“If this bill that the Ministry proposes is implemented the right way, it will be the best help our IT industry has ever had, since I can remember. It’s comprehensive and offers IT companies the opportunity to grow, develop and innovate. Also, it gives a good initial position to the newcomers and it is crucial in their early phases”, says Zaimovic.
Bills for everyone
The best thing about the bill is that it’s not only for IT companies, but for those from other industries, as well. Zaimovic says that they can now create an added value with zero costs, with help from IT.
“This document gives them the opportunity to spare a portion of their income tax and invest in new technologies. And that’s how we create this big space for local investments by big corporations which in the end can result in a completely new ecosystem suitable for progressive development”.
Zaimovic emphasizes that entrepreneurs and all those who’d like to become one must seize an opportunity.
“The only thing that worries me is the state Montenegrin IT industry is in. It’s not developed properly. And if foreign competitors come and get the same chance – I’m afraid that this fragile structure will collapse.”
He says he understands that EU laws forbid protectionism and that Montenegro can’t adopt the bill that discriminates against anyone.
“But, I think it’s crucial to solve all the problems we have at the moment and we have to strengthen the market before opening it. Only that way can we eliminate possible fatal risks.”
Internal reform and education
Zaimovic says that the foreign companies are not developing our IT industry. On the contrary – they develop the IT industry in the countries of their origin.
“Main incomes and profits stay in their homeland, while on the other side they “take away” our best people we spent so many years on creating. High-quality staff is the key to developing any industry”, says Zaimovic.
Staff deficiency represents the biggest barrier at the moment.
“As it shows, our education system is flawed. It’s outdated, it doesn’t follow supply and demand and it’s not capable to cover the basic requirements of the IT industry. By quantity, nor quality”.
That makes the education and training of students companies’ problems to solve, because they have to do it by themselves.
“Like every other education, we talk about slow and extremely expensive processes. We can even talk about creating the unfair competition environment, which is not something we want to be part of. Especially since we operate with limited and valuable resources.”
He is optimistic, though, and believes that IT companies will come together and start joining forces. He sees it as a way to improve business, people and community altogether.
Developed countries rely on advanced technology
History tells us that the most advanced civilizations were the ones who followed the progress of technology.
“The same stands today. I can say with certainty that there’s no developed country that doesn’t rely on technology in every aspect. Those things are interconnected. Tech will and does change, not only what we do, but who we are. I am sure it’s going to affect our identity, privacy, ownership, consumer habits, free time, our personal and professional development, how we meet new people and treat them.”
Unfortunately, in his opinion, people in Montenegro still don’t realize the potential of the IT industry.
“Here in Montenegro, we don’t have big export-oriented corporations that are competitive in the regional and global market. The biggest employer in the IT industry is the state and it’s hard to get those jobs, especially for small enterprises.”
Zaimovic says that the research and analysis show that Montenegro isn’t the first choice for investors and companies that look for outsourcing.
“They are bypassing us because we have the least number of developers compared to the number of employees in the labour market. Also, we have the least number of IT companies in the region, especially if we talk about the percentages in the Eastern Europe. We still lack thorough and regular, strategic, research to paint the whole picture as it is.”
In addition to that, Zaimovic says that the region and Eastern Europe offer lots of big fairs, conferences, business incubators, co-working spaces, IT internships, competitions, organizations and associations that promote and develop their countries’ IT landscape.
“If we intend to advance at a high pace, I think the best way to do it is by implementing IT solutions into all industry sectors. For example: if we digitize public administration, we’d have centralised system with better information flow.”
And in his opinion, information is a key to developing anything.
“That means we’d be finishing our daily tasks faster, companies would make more, public administration could be far more efficient. All of that combined, in the end, could affect our quality of life. And that’s just one example on how tech is important.”
Cash reserves key to overcoming the crisis
COVID-19 crisis is a challenge Bild Studio faces with no radical cuts in wages and workforce. Not a single person has been laid off.
“In the first four months of 2020. we hit records, never seen in the history of the company. But, since we mainly work with foreign partners we had problems, because they are very cautious and financially responsible. Some of them left us because the crisis affected their business greatly, some of the contracts are postponed.”
Luckily for Bild Studio, Zaimovic says that they have learned the lesson: a company must have cash reserves.
“It’s one of our priorities since day one and it helped us get through this. The most important thing is that we didn’t have to lay anyone off, nor did we lower the wages. But we have the reason to worry. We project that we could be back on track early 2021. and we are preparing for it.”
Zaimovic talks about four phases his company went through since the inception.
“We’ve been building the company at first. Back then, we were into websites, graphic design and hosting for the domestic market. We had clients from all industries, state and NGOs. We even worked in the gambling industry.
Four years later, the second phase marked expansion to foreign markets when they got their first big client.
“During that period, we grew from 15 to 45 people and we’ve broadened our services to marketing, consulting, UX&UI. We went through many transformations during our growth phase, so after abandoning the full-service “BADGE” we decided to devote ourselves to specializing in enterprise software development and mobile apps. Our focus today is on creating a safe and healthy environment for our staff to grow and successfully do their job.”
90% of their services, Bild Studio provides to foreign markets, focused on Scandinavia, Benelux and USA.
“We employ 80 young people at the moment. All of them see the potential for personal and team growth in our team. Bild Studio has always been a good incubator for those who enter the IT industry or they want to perfect their skills. In our continuous internship programmes we managed to keep up with the pace and we are very proud that we still produce young IT professionals.”
Answering the question – how can new bills help their business processes, Zaimovic says that they are still not 100% sure, but that they have ideas on how to use the incentives.
Do you know the size of Montenegrin state budget? Do you know where the taxpayers money goes to and how it is distributed?
If your answer is no, than we have a contra-argument that’s only a few clicks away. Brand new, improved and updated portal called mojnovac.me contains all of the data that might interest you. It is the haven of monitoring all of the state’s spending, in detail, divided into municipalities and categories. Users are facing modern infographics, split by revenue and expenditure.
It is all a part of the project “Promoting financial responsibility in Montenegro”, financed by United Kingdom embassy. Upgrade has been funded by the European union, our partners from Institut Alternativa were in charge of implementation and this is their take on the project:
“Our goal was to give users the opportunity to better understand state budget and to make all the information available in just one click. Budget visualisation enables simple check on how the state made money and how the money was spent, and it also shows how the institutions used it – during which program. You can access capital projects using interactive map of Montenegro, which contains all the data concerning every single one of them. “
Making the process of money distribution by state more transparent is where we come in, because it had to be digital. Development was coordinated by our team made of C# developers, designers and project managers. Project was initiated in 2016. And it’s been constantly upgraded since. Today, we have contemporary product, which is modern in terms of design and easy to use. One of the most complex elements that was integrated at the end was to update the content in terms of capital budget of municipalities and then split it to programs. Paving our way to the unique design we used:
Server: Windows Server 2012
Web Server: IIS 8
Database: SQL Server 2014
Application structure: Client Server application RESTFull
Backend: ASP .NET C#
What seems as a simple task, in its form is very complex. Or, how we like to say – we had a ton of work. Infographics, interactive map, design, redesign, search option have been created so the user can get the information he needs – fast. It was Institut Alternativa who gathered the data from state institutions. Our job was to deal with it. Here’s the example of how tough it was: every single budget sheet contains 200+ pages and backup dates to nine years. Data entry had to be done by hand.
But, we made it. And anybody who wonders “Where’s the money”, can get the instant answer, to analyze and make comparisons.
On Tuesday, May 17th The Chamber of Commerce organized a lecture in Podgorica “Influencer in marketing”.
It might be hard to believe, but there are still some companies which rely on traditional marketing, a method that ceased to be successful a decade ago. With the introduction of new technologies, marketing is changing rapidly, presenting a new way of reaching customers.
Progress in technology brought us a new way in which we interact and communicate with potential customers. The unique style of communication is more personal and results in innovative professions and jobs that will help a brand reach a more extensive customer base.
It is no secret that nowadays, social media is an essential part of people’s everyday lives. Communication plays out through a variety of social media channels; we look for breaking news, brands and stores on our favourite social media platforms. Therefore, it is no wonder that influencers have a significant role in digital marketing since they have a tremendous impact on their followers base following, whether on the web or social media.
Although they advertise, influencers also speak from experience. They tend to be the first ones to try a product or service, upon which they talk about it in a refreshingly honest way. And what is a better way to engage more people than to speak from experience?
Research shows us that businesses or brands which rely on influencer marketing, gain impressive returns.
Therefore, who’s to say we cannot speak of influencers as a completely new profession on the labour market.
So, what does it mean to be an Influencer in Montenegro?
Adriana Vešović- @zombijana known as Zombiana Bones through social media known as Zombiana Bones, had social platforms turn to her advantage as she made her portfolio through social networks. It is not only the work style her illustrations communicate to the audience, rather she tells us about herself and the way she thinks about the world.
Nataša Gardašević – @njezvanova, Kana Tomašević – @kana_tomasevic, Milena Pajović – @milena_p_ and Kristina Mihailović executive director of the Association Parents, all talked about the advantages and disadvantages of being an influencer in Montenegro and how many companies recognize the importance of this profession. It has become apparent today that consumers are looking for information online before they decide to buy a product. Due to this, advertising no longer comes down to a story about product characteristics. Instead, it is about customer satisfaction. That is why influencers and bloggers play a crucial role in this business since the recommendation of a particular brand is more effective than the advertisement itself.
Recently, it became evident that brands are rapidly learning about the advantages of cooperation with influencers. We cannot say we are not glad to have witnessed the shift.
The most crucial tip we heard during the lecture went along these lines – if you want to be successful in this line of work, you need to love what you are doing, create a strategy for future cooperation and always share your private life with the online community. It appears that this is the only way you can engage with followers and gain their trust.
When you receive your first business offer, make sure professionalism and dedication make a top priority on your to-do list.
On Wednesday, May 9th, the IPC Technopolis, organized a conference “Go Digital” as part of the project “Female Youth 4 ICT”. One of the lecturers was Aleksandra Bošković, CEO of Bild Studio. The panel was also leaded by: Nada Rakocevic (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Montenegro), Mirjana Begovic (Ministry of Public Administration of Montenegro), Sanja Simonović (M: tel) and doc. Dr. Ivana Ognjanović (UDG) and Nataša Mijatović who successfully lead the panel discussion.
The purpose of this project is to educate and motivate young girls from Montenegro, Bosnia, and Hercegovina to start their career in the IT industry through the good practices and transferring of knowledge and skills from the European partners.
During the panel discussion, we addressed the fact that the times are changing and a lot of IT companies are taking further steps to organize internships and other forms of education that will attract more female employees and help them to find a job promptly.
Special attention was paid to the opportunities women in the IT sector have for advancement in their careers since it is not unusual for women to find themselves in middle management positions, while the top management positions are still “reserved” for men.
We also talked about many benefits offered by the IT profession, such as remote work, international working experience without leaving the comfort of your own home, constant improvement and access to the global labour market. The basis of a successful career is learning, keeping up with trends and their successful implementation. Building a successful career takes time, effort, and patience. If you’re willing to sacrifice some free time, and you are eager to get out of your comfort zone, you will succeed.
Commitment, enthusiasm, lifelong-learning and hard work is the only way to get a good job and allow yourself to work anytime from anywhere.
It was challenging to make a decision since every team had terrific and innovative ideas, which are designed to help local communities. However, we needed to make a decision, and the prize was awarded to a team of girls that created an application for people with diabetes disease.
IT Technopolis has provided valuable prizes, not only for winners but for all other participants, which we believe, motivated all participants to not give up on great ideas, but to improve. And who knows, maybe in future some of those patents that stemmed from this project will change the world.
We are delighted to have had the opportunity to share some truly inspiring stories and inspire women to switch their career and move into IT.
This type of conference is the ideal manner to inspire and encourage women who are uncertain of their careers, or they are willing to become a part of the IT profession.
Once again, we are grateful to IPC Tehnopolis for the opportunity to meet successful businesswomen and to discuss the importance of women and their contribution to the IT industry.
When one woman helps another, wonderful things follow.
Greetings from our team!
On Friday, 14th of December, we received the award “Care for Employees” for 2018 in the category of small enterprises. The award ceremony was organized by the Employers’ Union of Montenegro (UPCG) for examples of good practice in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (DOP).
We are delighted to be recognized as a company that values their employees and believes they are the core of its existence. We hope to meet the expectations of the community in the coming years.
Infofest, or Festival of Informational Technology Achievements, is a central ICT event of international character in the region. In addition to the discussion panels and presentations, the festival’s program includes thematic conferences, lectures, exhibitions, consultations, and seminars.
During the festival, representatives of Bild Studio participated in the panel “ICT Sector in Montenegro” organized by the Association for Information and Communication Technologies of the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro. During the presentation block of the program, attended by Montenegrin IT companies, Boško Kartal, a business development associate, and I presented Bild Studio at its best. We had the opportunity to present to the audience the current and previously successfully realized projects, the awards we received, and what makes Bild Studio so unique. And if you are to take us on our word, and you should, the strength of Bild Studio is in its people.
In addition to the presentation program, we attended the panel themed “Inspiring Women in ICT”, within the Erasmus+ project “Support to Young Women from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro in Entrepreneurship, Employment, and Leadership in IT”. This project aims to educate and develop the entrepreneurial spirit of young girls from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, prompting them to bravely step out on and begin their career in the ICT sector through practice, informal education and transfer of knowledge and skills by the European partners.
During the panel, participants spoke about their experiences in the ICT sector and the reasons for choosing this career path. Among the participants were Aleksandra Bošković, executive director, and Amra Jukić back-end engineer, representatives of Bild Studio.
Events like Infofest are an opportunity to introduce to the general public the policy of our agency and to inspire colleagues from other companies, as well as the youth who is at the beginning of their careers. We will be pleased to support this and the similar events in the future.
On the World Tourism Day, the National Tourism Organization of Montenegro organized a lecture and workshop on the topic “Tourism and digital transformation”. Curious to see what this is about, Boško Kartal, a business development associate, and I went to a lecture and workshop that was hosted by Nicholas Hall, founder of Digital Tourism Think Tank (#DTTT), and one of the world’s leading experts in the tourismindustry.
During the lecture, we had the opportunity to hear how one of the tourism industry leaders sees the future of this industry, but also to pick up a few tips and complete the knowledge. It is indisputable that digital platforms are undermining the way tourism is taking place today. They affect the way destinations attract tourists, the way in which the product develops, collect data, access markets, and attract visitors.
So armed, and divided into groups, we participated in the workshop. After a brief presentation of the presentation, our group presented the advantages and authenticity of Montenegro as a tourist destination in front of the audience. We have come to use the natural beauty, the hospitality of the local population, its adventurous spirit and how to promote it.
We rejoice that thanks to the learned tricks of Nicholas Hall we will be able to improve the cooperation with our clients and partners.
We used the opportunity to also visit 2 of the 3 biggest cities in Sweden – Malmo and Stockholm, and the capital of Denmark – Copenhagen aswell, and to exchange knowledge and experiences with some of the leading startups and IT companies of Scandinavia. Served with the good weather conditions we were able to fully enjoy our trip until the last day of our visit.
I would describe Sweden as an optimistic version of the future. It is adorned by innovative, clean and minimalist design, with a focus on sustainability and functionality. High life standards, attention paid on the development of ecological sources of energy, care about the historical heritage, de degree of respect of the human rights are only some of the aspects enjoyed by the swedish society. Special care is dedicated to kids where every child has its place in kindergarten, while the books in schools are free.
The Swedes have the longest lifespan in Europe, the largest number of PCs per capita, 90 000 lakes… Their official Twitter profile is run by another citizen of that country every other week and they are also deserving for the first national park in Europe. In Sweden there is also garbage deficit so they are forced to import it from abroad so they could be able to continue recycling processes that produce huge amounts of electricity and fuel.
Malmo, which was the main base during our stay in Sweden, is the largest city in the southern region (Scania region). This region is extremely technologically advanced and is the place where many well-known brands are founded, such as Bluetooth, Tetra-Pak, Absolute Vodka and one of the brands they are extremely proud of – Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This city, as well as the whole of Sweden in essence, adorns multiculturalism, organisation, cleanliness, meticulousness, architecture and many bicycles – everyone rides a bike. From Malmo we easily moved to surrounding cities such as Lund and Helsingborg, where we had a really warm welcome from our hosts who at first broke the prejudices about the Swedes as the cold people, then Copenhagen and Stockholm.
We set out to Copenhagen over a staggering traffic phenomenon – the Oresund Bridge that transforms into an underwater tunnel and is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe. There we had the opportunity to visit the CBS (Copenhagen Business School) and to meet a large number of young and ambitious people in the presentations and workshops, share experiences and get a lot of information from first hand about the digital world of Denmark, the IT industry, trends and everything that can help us apply it to us.
The last stop of our visit was the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, one of the cities with the largest number of museums in Europe and the city that left the biggest impression on us. At the exit of the station we were spattered by the amazing blend of tradition and modern solutions. Over the bridges, since Stockholm was built on 14 islands, we headed toward the oldest part of the city, Gamla Stan, where we passed through the narrow streets and passages to the Nobel Museum. Then we continued to the royal palace which is in the vicinity of the Swedish institute, where we used the opportunity to share ideas with the coordinators of the program for reconstruction and development of this part of the Balkans.
After visiting the institute, our friend from Croatia, Antonio, who has been a resident of Stockholm for a long time, waited for us and led us to a real tour of a large number of attractions, such as Vasa Museum, Stadhuset – Stockholm City Hall, Ridarholm Church, etc. I have to mention that, although a programmer, he was very good in the role of a tourist guide.
The night was reserved for hangout with some of the leading people from the startup world of Stockholm where, despite the cold and the rain that started, we enjoyed talking with warm, cozy and sincere people.
Full of impressions, new knowledge and acquaintances, we returned to Montenegro eager to share our experiences and new ideas with our colleagues and friends, and put at least some of them into action.
Bild Studio is a digital creative agency with decades of experience in doing business, owing to a team of talented and experienced strategists, managers, designers, and developers. They pride themselves to be curious and passionate about strategy, design, and technology.
Through the current housing program for its employees, realized in cooperation with Erste Bank, Bild Studio showcases its affinity towards creativity and good intention. We sat down with Tarik Zaimović, one of the founders of the Bild Studio, and discuss how they support employees in solving this critical family issue.
During the conversation, we touched upon other topics too, like the values that the company nourishes, its development path, their experience with young people starting their professional careers, the prospects of the Montenegrin IT industry and many more.
Housing insurance for the employees is an unprecedented initiative in the private sector. How did you come up with the idea?
Housing security is one of the essential life challenges for employees, and I believe every responsible company should aim to help in resolving this challenge to the best of their abilities. The purpose of every job should be to ensure the safety and stability of individuals and their families. This idea originated from the company’s foundations, but only now we gained the financial opportunity for its realization.
The goal of this program is to help our employees when they are buying an apartment since we believe that young and creative people need our support. In the first phase, we provided 15 apartments for favorable conditions. In particular, the price per square meter is 270 euros lower than the market price. The apartments are in a good location, of quality construction and from a trusted investor. On average, employees who took part in this program are roughly 29-year-old; something of which I am proud of.
Besides favorable conditions when buying an apartment, the company pays the interest on housing loans for the employee, give the bill of exchange as an added security and relieve employees of fifteen mortgage loan installments while the building is under construction. In this way, employees avoid a burden of rental costs and housing loan rates at the same time. This program allows employees to save between 25,000 and 45,000 euros, depending on the size of the apartment. The obtained savings were due to the exemption from the interest rates, the favorable price we received and owing to payments in advance.
This is the best example of how style, shared goals, and arrangements among the collective can bring benefits to everyone. The purpose of this program is to provide our employees with housing. We hope that in the next year or two, at the latest three, we will begin with the second phase of the housing security program and that at last, this will become a business practice and part of the operating expenses of our company.
Why did Bild Studio choose Erste Bank as a partner in this program?
Before we opted for Erste Bank, we studied its competition in search of the perfect fit for our company. What distinguished Erste Bank from the others was its response time, professionalism, and communication.
Erste Bank is a textbook example of good project management and customer relationship. Should such a trend continue, I believe our cooperation will be a long-term one, and that we will expand it to other fields too.
What is Bild Studio’s vision? What are your values and the most important concerns?
For Bild Studio to become a synonym of a company that sets standards of good practice in business. And to be known as the company which invests in employees, company development, useful knowledge, and technology. It is essential that we are always prepared for change and consider as the responsible firm. The goal is not just to introduce examples of good practice and trends, but to anticipate and create them.
What puts us apart from others is the structure of our agency. The average age of our employees is 28 years. Besides being young, all of them possess the fundamental human virtues like work ethic, principle, loyalty, coexistence, willingness to work and to strive, but also a willingness to change. The great success of our agency and what we are proud of is the unchanged composition of people of crucial importance with us since its inception.
There are many young people in your team. Some are working for a long time, while others are at their beginning, improving their skills.
The new generations have become incredibly impatient, striving to become experienced high-level professionals overnight. In reality, this is unlikely to happen. Young people have problems with focus, work habits, and ethics, accepting suggestions, and criticism. I think the challenge of all companies will be to adapt to such trends.
It is imperative for young people to discover what they are best in because we are all destined to be good at something. One should love their work, as I believe passion is the best drive for success in any sphere of life. It is essential to have faith in yourself and have a dream, not to give up. Being guided by passion, in my opinion, is the only way to be fulfilled in your profession, and life.
How do you perceive the IT scene in Montenegro? Is the size of the market a limiting factor?
The IT scene in our country is at a low level measured against the world’s parameters. There are only a few domestics companies developing software products, of which a large number focuses on the local market instead of placing its focus abroad, which gives more significant opportunities. Technologies applied by many of the IT companies are not in line with trends, such as artificial intelligence, IoT, Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Data mining, hardware platform programming, smart home, cities, etc. There are almost no domestic firms that sell their products on several continents, as is the case with the IT companies from the region. The deficiency of high-quality personnel is something that every country in the world faces. This is not only a problem specific to the IT industry. However, Montenegro has the smallest number of software engineers per capita in the region. There is no organized cooperation between IT companies, although this is necessary and already an established practice in the region and the rest of the world.
There are several limiting factors, but the ICT industry in our country records constant growth in all parameters – profit, income, the number of professionals, average salary. Although demanding, I think this is one of the best industries to work in and we need to explore it further.
It is undeniable that Montenegro is a small market, but regarding ICT you are not dependent on the local market. Instead, your market is international. To enter the global market, you need knowledge, the experience, a copious amount of failures and time.
You are a member of a working group for creating educational programs.
Bearing in mind that there is a deficit of the experts in the information technology field, not only in our country but also in the region, one of the main goals was to create an educational program in line with the needs of the economy and the market, which is in line with the latest technologies and principles.
The educational program for the secondary vocational schools in Montenegro, in the IT field, will be one of the more innovative programs in the region. I am proud I had the privilege to contribute to the creation of educational programs for young people, and I must point out that this project has recently been one of my favorites.
Bild Studio has received many awards for social responsibility.
Bild Studio focuses on socially responsible business, both in the domain of human resources and the community. We are flattered because our work was recognized and awarded several times over the last couple of years.
Bild in three volumes
Setting the foundations
Everything started in high school, 12 or 13 years ago, when we set the foundations of the agency based on friendships, integrity, and trust. The essence of our business stems from this. Our slogan illustrates it the best, “bild.better.together.” I have learned these principles and lived by them during my high school years. Besides being true to these principles, I was fortunate to be surrounded by curious people, who taught me a lot about music, sports, games, profession, upbringing, and adventurous spirit. I owe special gratitude to my dear aunts, with whom I lived while attending high school. These women gave me unreserved support and love, and I am honored to call them my other mothers. With them, I learned the importance of giving, harmony, care, and love.
We worked from our student dorms, with an eagerness, hope and desire to succeed. We invested the first earnings in the necessary equipment. At the insistence of our business partner, we took advantage of the opportunities provided by the Government Project “Business incubator.” In four years, we had subsidized office space, equipment, and electricity. For us, at that moment, it was enormous support. A few of us worked from 14 to 16 hours a day, while often the whole collective spent months in continuous work, including weekends. Some of the first websites we made at that time were the site of the Faculty of Information Technologies, CANU, the companies of Gugi Komerc, the Parliament of Montenegro, the Police Directorate, Cafe del Montenegro. These clients placed us in the Montenegrin market. This period was pleasant, even though we worked a lot, and it was somewhat stressful and financially unstable since we could barely earn our salaries.
Appearing on the foreign market
Appearing on the foreign market marks our third phase, during which we risked the most. It was the first time we got a project beyond the borders of Montenegro. A plan for which we did not have the knowledge, experience, references, or the team that could deliver results. We also raised a loan for purchasing adequate equipment and moving to the new offices. In this process, we were lucky because we met a few people, our partners today, without whom this company would not be where it is now. After this period, the agency had almost linear progress according to many parameters, such as the number of employees, clients, income, profit, investments, and wages. Today’s business would not be imaginable without these foreign clients. Of the company’s total revenue, 70 percent stems from the 30 percent of the jobs we do for the international clients. So far we have realized more than a thousand projects for over 400 clients from almost all industries. We began with the financial sector, small and medium enterprises, government institutions, municipalities, media, faculties, heavy industry, international organizations and corporations, NGOs, and the hospitality sector, even the gaming industry in the fields of software, websites and mobile applications, marketing, design, video production, press, project management, consulting and training. The largest retail chains in Belgium use some of the software we are developing, 60% of Swedish municipalities, leading Swedish universities, young athletes in America, companies like Burger King, McDonald‘s, etc. Regardless of the results achieved, I still cannot say we are a successful company. I think we have only made good foundations. Our business goal is to become a 100 percent export agency operating just in strong economic markets. The strategic goal is to transform the current agency into a group which will own specialized firms and products.
Final Conference for the Operational Programme “Human Resource Development” 2012-2013, was held on 24 October at the CenterVille Hotel & Experience, whereat the overall results of the projects were presented. After the conference, a Project Fair was opened on which 23 grant beneficiaries presented the results of the projects they been implementing in the previous period.
These two events are part of the project “Strengthening the Publicity and Visibility of the Operational Programme “Human Resource Development 2012-2013”, which we carry out in cooperation with the Directorate for Financing and Contracting of EU Assistance (CFCU) within the Ministry of Finance. This project aims to adequately inform the public about the activities and achievements of the Programme, which is part of IPA component IV, focused on the development of human resources.
The implementation of the Programme started in December 2014. 40 projects in the field of employment, education and science, social inclusion and technical assistance are in the final phase of implementation, and all activities will be finalized by December 31 of the current year. For the purpose of presenting the Programme’s overall results, we have created a video animation.
Although there are still several months of intense work until the official end of the implementation of the Operational Programme, when we will able to measure the final impact of this Programme on the well-being of Montenegrin citizens, we already have remarkable results, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Kemal Purišić pointed out.
Institutions composing the Operational Structure for the IPA IV Component and responsible for achieving these results are: the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro. However, the key collaboration through individual projects is established with representatives of non-governmental organizations and associations, local self-government, private companies and employers, faculties and schools, said Darko Petrusic, General Director of the Directorate for Scientific Research Activities of the Ministry of Science.
Mubera Kurpejović, Assistant to the Minister of Education, emphasized the importance of training of 180 teachers, which is a long-term solution for producing adequate staff on the labor market.
Equal opportunities for all individuals is the most important goal of this Programme, emphasizes Hermanne Spitz, head of the European Commission Delegation for Cooperation in Montenegro, This is reflected in the main message of the Programme: “We invest in people our most valuable resource” and adds that the European Union will continue to financially support Montenegro on its way to the EU in the forthcoming period.
Project Fair was opened after the conference, whereat 23 grant beneficiaries presented the results of their projects supported through the Programme. Bild Studio presented the outstanding results achieved in two projects:
- “Transfer of knowledge between education and research institutions and the business sector”, a project implemented in cooperation with the Faculty of Information Systems and Technology of the University of Donja Gorica.
- “Montenegrin Medical Tourism Information System”, as partner of the Faculty of Information Technology of the University of Mediterranean.
The total amount allocated for this Operational Programme amounts to € 5,803,344.00, of which 4.932.839.00 € are from European Union (EU) funds , while national co-financing is 870.505,00 €.
For more information on the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development” 2012-2013, visit the official web site: www.ipa4.me.
Foto: EU info centar.