Profil - Toplica Spasojević / Profile - Toplica Spasojević
četvrtak decembar 14, 2017
CULTURE
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Profil / Profile - TOPLICA SPASOJEVIĆ
Preduzetnik / Entrepreneur

Toplica SpasojevićStudirao je ekonomiju jer je tih godina bila popularna i perspektivna. Bivša SFRJ imala je uspešne firme u kojima su mladi ekonomisti, odmah po završetku studija, nalazili posao i dokazivali se. Kada su početkom devedesetih uvedene sankcije, znanje i nagrade koje je stekao baveći se spoljnom trgovinom u jednoj od najvećih jugoslovenskih firmi, preporučili su ga za posao u inostranstvu. Danas je jedan od naših najuspešnijih preduzetnika, čije ime nećete čuti samo kada je privreda u pitanju. Svestranost dokazuje i angažovanjem u sportskim društvima kojima, kao nekadašnji sportista i uspešni biznismen, pomaže na različite načine. Sport je jedan od njegovih glavnih „ventila”, a energiju nadoknađuje i čestim putovanjima i dobrom muzikom.

Moje životno opredeljenje bilo je bavljenje naukom i tehnologijom, ali sam se, u poslednjem momentu, odlučio za ekonomiju kako bih napravio poziciju u kojoj slobodno vreme mogu da investiram u ideje i druge zanimljive stvari koje su me interesovale. Krenuo sam tipičnim putem za to vreme, a jedina mesta gde smo mogli da radimo bile su spoljno-trgovinske firme koje su tada bile najatraktivnije. Privatnih firmi nije bilo. Dobio sam posao u Jugoslavija komercu koji je zastupao velike strane firme. Radio sam u zapadnom sektoru i prvi posao mi je bio Soni. Vrlo brzo sam postao direktor za bivšu SFRJ i, sticajem srećnih oklonosti i nekih poslovnih poteza, moje odeljenje je postalo ubedljivo najznačanije u firmi, pa je privuklo i pažnju centrale, tako da smo dobili podršku za dalje širenje i povezivanje, a 1988. godine i nagradu za najbolju prezentaciju i najbolju prodavnicu. Mi smo tada bili najprofilisanija i najbolje definisana marka. To nam je pomoglo i kod drugih brendova. Kriza koja je devedesetih pogodila zemlju odrazila se na poslovanje svih društvenih firmi i ja sam postao svestan da ovde više nema prostora za rad i da je vreme da odem. Pokušali smo da privatizujemo firmu ali smo shvatili da je bolje da krenemo iz početka.

Kriza i sankcije odveli su Vas van zemlje?

Kada su uvedene sankcije, morao sam da izađem iz Srbije. Počeo sam od Londona. Brzo sam shvatio da su tamo karte podeljene, pa sam otišao u Rusiju i počeo posao sa metalima i robom široke potrošnje. Ubrzo je došao i ugovor sa firmom Najk. Postali smo distributeri za zemlje bivšeg SSSR. To nas je kvalifikovalo za neke druge poslove. Posle sankcija, postali smo jedan od najznačajnijih distributera raznih brendova (Loreal, Pionir, Žilet, Boš i sl.) za ovaj deo sveta. Kasnije je bilo lakše sa takvim poslovnim pedigreom. Od Najka smo 1996. dobili nagradu za najboljeg distributera, što nas je kvalifikovalo kod najboljih zapadnih brendova. Bavimo se i distribucijom repromaterijala za prehrambrenu industriju, trgovinom metalima i ugljem, danas smo aktivni i u opremi za hidrocentrale. Da bismo mogli da se bavimo distribucijom, napravili smo najmodernije skladište jer nismo imali logistiku. Danas smo mi logistika drugima jer firme više ne moraju da se bave i transportom. Za vreme krize, investirali smo 15 miliona evra i zaposlili 500 ljudi. Uvek smo se trudili da ispunjavamo obaveze i prema društvu i prema partnerima, dakle, da budemo odgovaran član društvene zajednice.

Mnogo poslova je urađeno ali velike firme poput Vaše postavljaju sve veće ciljeve u poslovanju.

Trenutno, naši ciljevi su da ostanemo na liderskim pozicijama u poslovima kojima se bavimo. Srbija nije najbolja destinacija za investiranje, a da bismo se održali moramo da imamo novu tehnologiju i nova znanja. Osim na polju distribucije i logistike, želimo da ostanemo i jedan od lidera u proizvodnji hrane sa našim brendom smrznutog voća i povrća – jupik. Imamo kapacitete u Apatinu koji prerađuju deset hiljada tona hrane godišnje, a još toliko otkupljujemo od drugih proizvođača. To prerađujemo i izvozimo u deset zemalja. Cilj nam je da ojačamo i taj segment. Pored toga, aktivni smo i u industriji metala i uglja. Na tom polju će tek da dođe do raslojavanja i ukrupljavanja, tako da se nadam da ćemo i mi biti deo nekog konzorcijuma i da ćemo ozbiljno nastupati u celom regionu jer je naša firma jako ugledna i u Rusiji.

(Nastavak teksta u štampanom izdanju)

 

A better environment for businessmen

He studied economics because back in those days it was a popular and promising profession. Former Yugoslavia had successful companies, where young economists were immediately employed. When sanctions were imposed in the early nineties, he found a job abroad thanks to the knowledge and rewards that he obtained, while working in the field of foreign trade in one of the largest Yugoslav firms. Today he is one of our most successful entrepreneurs. His name is well-known beyond the field of economy. He proves to have a remarkable versatility, by participating in sport associations, which he helps in different ways, as a former athlete and successful businessman. Sport is one of his main “escape valves” and he compensates energy by traveling often and listening to good music.

My vocation was science and technology, but in the last moment I decided to study economy, so that I could obtain a social position that would later allow me invest in ideas and other interesting things in my spare time. I began in the typical way for that time and the only place I could do it was a foreign trade company, which was the most attractive choice then. There were no private companies. I got a job in “Jugoslavija komerc” which represented large foreign companies. I worked in the western sector and my first assignment was Sony. I quickly became director for former Yugoslavia and thanks to some lucky circumstances, my department became the most important one in the company and we attracted the attention of the headquarters. That is how we got support for further expansion and interconnection and in 1988 we were granted an award for the best presentation and the best store. We were then the most well-profiled and most well-defined mark. That helped other brands as well. The crisis that hit the country in the nineties affected the operations of all public companies and I realized that there was no more room to work and that it was time to leave. We tried to privatize the company, but we realized that it was better to start from the scratch.

Did the crisis and sanctions make you leave the country?

When sanctions were imposed, I had to leave Serbia. I started in London. I quickly realized where cards were being dealt, so I left to Russia and began working with metals and consumer goods. Very soon, we concluded a contract with Nike and became distributors for the countries of the former U.S.S.R. That qualified us for other jobs as well. After the sanctions, we became one of the most important distributors of various brands such as Loreal, Pioneer, Gillette and Bosch for this part of the world. Of course, such a pedigree made things easier for us. In 1996, Nike granted us an award for the best distributor, which qualified us to represent the best western brands. We also worked on the distribution of raw materials for food industry, as well as in the trade of metals and coal. Nowadays, we are active in the field of equipment for hydroelectric power stations. In order to work as distributors we built a state-of-the-art warehouse, because we did not have the logistics. Today we offer logistics to others, because companies should not be obliged to deal also with transport. During the crisis, we invested 15 million EUR and employed 500 people. We have always tried to fulfill our obligations towards society and our partners. That means; we are responsible members of the community.

Much has been done, but large companies like yours set more and more goals in their operations.

Currently, our goal is to retain a leadership position in our field of activity. Serbia is not the best destination for investments and, in order to prevail, we need new technology and new knowledge. In addition to distribution and logistics, we want to remain one of the leaders in the field of food production with our brand of frozen fruits and vegetables, Yupik. We dispose of capacities in Apatin, which process ten thousand tons per year and we buy as much from other producers. We process and export our products to ten countries. Our goal is to strengthen that segment. Besides that, we are active in the industry of metals and coal. Segmentation and consolidation are about to begin and I hope that we will be part of a consortium, which will seriously compete in the region. Actually, our company is very important in Russia.

(Continue reading more in printed edition)

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