Tell us about the activity of Port of Adria and why it was important to open the representative office in Serbia?
The former Port of Bar, now Port of Adria, deals with transhipment of goods, storage, and cargo handling. It was important to us to be present on the Serbian market and to have our offices in this particular space, primarily because of workload. Almost 70% of goods that go through our port gravitate towards the Serbian market and it was important to us to have our “threshold“ just in the territory of Serbia. Our company has business operations in 17 ports, the current headquarters of the company is in Istanbul, the legal team has its office in London, while the marketing director is in Barcelona. My company needed to have somebody on the Serbian market who is familiar with this market and who can attract and recruit clients, explain the advantages of Bar, and maintain close communication with these clients.
Is there a big competition, especially because this is a landlocked country?
We live in the time of fast changes, globalisation of everything, in the world where information travel fast and where the competition for Serbian goods on the market is really big. As for its geographical position regarding the maritime transport, Serbia is a landlocked country, i.e. a country without its coastlines. Literally 7 regional ports are focused on the Serbian market, such as Trieste, Kopar, Rijeka in the North... It’s interesting that about 65% of the Serbian import and export by sea takes place through Port of Rijeka. Other not smaller ports are Port of Ploče and, of course, Port of Bar, Port of Adria, which is my company, along with Durres in Albania and, of course, Port of Thessaloniki, which has been privatised and focused on Serbia to attract clients. Our strategy was that by opening this representative office we give serious significance to people and companies having their business in Serbia.
What are your impressions of the first year of your work in Serbia and OfficeMe space?
In the first place, OfficeMe helped me by providing liberty that I can always invite clients into a modern space and that our clients perceive us as an international company. Such business oriented space gives me freedom to come and leave whenever I like, to schedule a meeting in an office with projectors, regardless of the number of people, boards (drinks and food services go without saying), and very kind personnel. Clients are welcomed by in a cultural and professional manner, which, in addition to big money saving, allows us to represent ourselves the way we want, that we are professional, present on the market and big as much as the market demands.
How many employees do you have at the moment?
By chance I am the only employee in the representative office, because I simply have to be in Montenegro at least five or six days a month, so I travel a lot, but the moment we need additional employees, which is planned for the next year, which can be arranged within 24 hours in cooperation with OfficeMe. We can find a solution, whether a bigger office or two offices, and with manager Branko we can quickly and simply arrange this, which is the most important to me.
Are you familiar with the co-working space concept from your previous job?
I became familiar with this concept on my previous job, as I worked for a competitor company; they were more rigid, but certainly professional. It seems to me that I have adapted better here. This space is most convenient for me and my work dynamics, as well as for what it is expected from me in this business, and that means, unfortunately, that I am always available, that I always have to reply to clients, and that they can always come to my office. This is what this space actually offers to me.
Can you single out something that maybe other co-working spaces do not have?
I will mention several trivial things: to me it’s very important to be on the ground floor, which gives me certain wideness. In the period from May to September I can physically step into a garden, which I personally like very much. Since I spend a lot of time on the phone, because of the nature of my business, I try to spend some time in the nature, so to say.
Do you socialise with colleagues?
There are a lot of people employed in IT sector, there are also colleagues from commerce, and I can talk to people who are outside my business sphere while having a cup of coffee or a drink. However, during small talks you can unexpectedly come to some solutions. My subjective feeling is that the people here are open and very active in their business and, therefore, it makes you wish to create something as well, at least that’s how it affects me. The entire work atmosphere contributes to my productivity as well.
What could be improved?
I don’t really know what I could single out, it’s true, this is not a fake PR. Branko is very direct and he is always there, ready to talk, which is very important to me. When I came here looking for the space, it was an excellent sales moment (although not decisive), when he said: “Here it is, look, choose, left, right, sit here, sit over there, see where it suits you, and then we’ll make an agreement.“ I found it relaxing, what I needed, since my job is rather stressful. The core activity is sufficiently complicated, we all have deadlines and I really needed to have everything ready to start working. The fact that you can come in, leave, and this open space concept, seriously increase productivity of responsible people.
Commercial Director of Port of Adria