Clemens Sachs, LEONI: Serbia Marked as a Strategic Country

With our further investments, we remain reliable investor, who provides thousands of jobs contributing to the growth of economy, living standard and decreasing of unemployment rate in communities where we have our business

LEONI, a global provider of energy and data management solutions in the automotive sector and other industries, celebrated today 10 years since the beginning of its activity in Serbia. The employees are the most valuable resource of the Company and, consequently, they are continuously supported in their professional development. In this respect, LEONI has invested more than EUR 420,000 in training and specialization programs to enable the employees to perform in a very dynamic and challenging business environment.

This year, LEONI Serbia marks 10 years since its establishment and launch of operations. How do you evaluate the business climate in Serbia today?

— I would say business environment in Serbia today is encouraging and challenging at the same time. The country is open and supports further investments which is really good. And that is the reason so many foreign companies, especially German companies decide to invest here. That keeps bringing more new jobs and offering more career opportunities for people here that on the other hand affects the labor market that is quite changed now. The competition grows, but these challenges are also good for the business.

In the last ten years, LEONI has invested around EUR 111 million in buildings and equipment, delivering wiring harnesses for international premium car manufacturers. What are your future plans for investing?

— Our business here is stable and keeps growing, since in addition to our plants in Prokuplje, Doljevac and Nis, we are building our forth plant in Serbia, in Kraljevo that is about to employ close to 5000 people by 2023 and it will be our biggest plant. We plan to invest huge amount for the construction works and entire equipment there. With our further investments, we remain reliable investor, who provides thousands of jobs contributing to the growth of economy, living standard and decreasing of unemployment rate in communities where we have our business. In addition to that, we will keep investing in our employees, in their development, new skills, because our success is directly linked to our people.

In 2020, Germany’s Leoni will be employing over 10,000 people, which will make this company the biggest employer in the industrial sector in Serbia. What are the key reasons for the constant expansion of your production operations in Serbia?

— Due to our already achieved results and the increasing of production capacities and interests of our customers, premium European carmakers, Board of LEONI Group marked Serbia as a strategic country and decided to expand our business here. Aside to that, from the very start of our business here, in Prokuplje, in 2009 till now, 10 years later, we have had several most important preconditions to invest here. First of all, here in Serbia, you have great human capital potential, highly educated, skilled and experienced people with great work ethic willing and available to work. Since we are mainly manual industry relying on the people, this precondition has been very crucial. Not less
important is good infrastructure we found here, nearness of highway etc. And finally, I would like to mention the support and openness of the Government of Republic of Serbia and support from the all local Self –Governments, municipalities and cities where we are located which were essential from the beginning of our business here. I would add that our 10 years expansion and existence in Serbia directly contributed to growth of Serbian economy not only through our investment, but also through foundation and growth of many small and medium enterprises who became our suppliers here.

The digital transformation is progressing quite steadily at LEONI: how has this changed the company so far?

— Digitalization in LEONI is the process that is constantly being improved, since our production process requires developing various digital tools so we could be able to produce, to monitor the production process in real time and to create the valid data reports. It is based on software for gathering and data analysis in order to support and to improve production process. LEONI Serbia is implementing all new systems coming from the headquarters, following global trends. Our local IT department is in charge for digitalization process here and so far they made a lot of best practices examples, developing couple of applications for planning and production control which made significant changes and savings in our company.

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