In Vip women and men are equally represented in all positions. The conditions for promotion, earning and training are the same for all. Dejan Turk, CEO Vip mobile, tells us about the specificity of their business and further plans.
Vip mobile is known as a company that takes care of individual (private) users who support business users. You participate in a whole series of actions that strengthen entrepreneurship, small and medium-sized enterprises. Which projects are currently most current? What kind of support your customers can count on?
— Best interest of our customers is the most important guiding principle of our business, which both private and business customers have recognized and, as a result, have higher expectations from us. We have set standards in the market by introducing the recognizable unlimited communication within the national traffic and by being the first to provide better conditions for roaming charges. This year, we continue to pay close attention to what our customers have to say and we are the first company to create a special offer for new mothers in 2019 – free subscription for any postpaid tariff for a period of nine months. We believe that family values are crucial, so with the help of Dečja zona app, Bezbedni klinci website and Čuvarkuća service, we are providing an opportunity for parents to live a more peaceful, stress-free life, to ensure the safety of their family, and to protect their children from inappropriate online content. As for the business customers, in addition to the offers by which we support small and medium-sized enterprises, we aim to establish and maintain a strong partnership with them, as well as to improve their business, through various projects. Our business customers are among the first on the market to be presented with innovative smart solutions, such as Vip Mobility Insights, which uses Big Data to help them improve their business and understand the needs of their customers. Also, the Narrowband Internet of Things technology can be applied broadly in Serbia, which is why we are among the first operators in the world to enable the use of this technology in the development of IoT solutions that will automate a great number of business processes. Our customers can be absolutely certain that, by taking part in a number of similar cooperations, we are working on improving the business environment in Serbia.
How do you assess the company’s operations in the past period? Are you satisfied with the financial results and the number of users?
— We are glad that we are still offering “a different story” to our customers and that we are able to surprise them again and again. In the previous period, we have achieved excellent results and success in various fields. We have once again brought innovations into the telecommunications market for the benefit of our customers, whose numbers have now exceeded 2.2 million. According to the official reports of our parent company A1 Telekom Austria Group, Vip mobile in 2018 reached a market share of 24% and generated EUR 249m in revenues. Last year was very dynamic for us and the results speak for themselves, owing to the innovative offers we have introduced to the market and the unique campaigns that make us recognizable. Despite continuous investments in the market, services and infrastructure, as well as in mobile frequency licenses, Vip has been able to maintain sustainable growth for several years, which is reflected in a constant increase in the number of customers who place their trust in us, and a steady increase in the market share.
What are your plans for this year in Serbia? Are you planning a new investment or acquisition?
— We will continue investing in the market, services and infrastructure, as well as in the mobile frequency licenses, considering that for several years Vip mobile has been able to maintain a sustainable growth, also reflected in a constant increase in customer numbers. Vip’s objective for the coming period will not change: our aim is to give a significant contribution to the digitization process in Serbia by investing in infrastructure, creating competitive tariffs and making smart devices available to a large number of users. In accordance with its role as innovator, Vip initiates projects that will speed up the process of digital transformation by upgrading the network and developing modern solutions and services that we also use in our socially responsible projects, which is one of the most important aspects of our business.
Vip is known as one of the most gender-sensitive companies. Can you tell us more about your actions in this field?
— I strongly believe that gender equality should no longer be a challenge to employers, but something that they should promote and genuinely apply in practice. In Vip, the conditions for career advancement, remuneration and professional development are completely the same for all employees. The empowerment of women is a matter that we take very seriously in our business philosophy. At the end of last year, we were presented with the “Most Gender-Sensitive Company” award by the Association of Business Women of Serbia, and we felt that it was a natural progression for us. Vip has 1,200 employees and the ratio of men and women is 50-50. We are particularly glad to see that same ratio in the managerial positions.
You are also Vice President of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC). Can you tell us your opinion on the business environment in Serbia today?
— Serbia is evidently making progress, perhaps not at the speed that we would all want to see, but the progress is constant, which is clear from the economic growth and the gross domestic product. Perhaps even more important fact for all of us in the private sector is that the outlook is positive, as confirmed by the European Commission’s experts. The results suggest that domestic demand in Serbia will see a steady increase, and spurred on by a rise in consumption, investment activities as well, with the support of a continuous inflow of foreign direct investments. Of course, private consumption has seen a rise primarily due to a reduction in unemployment, which has an additional impact on business. Over the past years, Serbia has made considerable investments in the process of digital transformation. I believe that without digitization of the government system, the financial sector, education, as well as of corporate business processes, there can be no progress. Digital transformation is the way for Serbia to keep up with all the other countries in the region and across Europe.