Our company will do everything to save the business
What are the business challenges and risks in the domestic economy? We talked about these topics with Nenad Tešić, a partner in Egzakta Advisory.
Was 2022 a good business year for Egzakta Advisory and what do you expect in 2023?
We finished a very successful business year and achieved the set budgets. Continuity in our business has been achieved, and the set plans were realistic. The most important indicator of a successful year is that we further increased our team, which now numbers 20 consultants.
When we started, we knew that bringing an entirely local management consulting company to our market would be challenging. We can even say pioneering. Dozens of completed projects, new clients, and a stable team have brought us a result we are proud of.
For this year, we are planning further growth, additional expansion of the team, as well as a serious entry into the regional market. We know how difficult it will be to realize our plans, with the expected recession and all the disruption in the geopolitical and economic sense. However, we at Egzakta believe that knowledge and dedication must bring results at the end of the road.
What is the biggest challenge for the domestic economy in these dynamic times? What are your predictions for the next three years?
The biggest challenge will be maintaining business continuity. So, we must look at all spheres of business, from the most demanding, in my opinion, which will be maintaining current liquidity, which will be impossible to defend from bank loans with this kind of interest rate growth, to retaining, finding, and forming people and teams.
We are aware of the seriousness of the problem to motivate people and keep up with inflation with salary increases. In a crisis business environment, with increased stress and an increase in work for an individual, retaining people will become an unfinished loop for every company.
We have already become aware that we need more people in the positions of drivers, sales clerks, warehouse workers, nurses, builders, painters, plumbers, gardeners, and the like. However, we have yet to become so aware of the problem that the situation is the same with professional, expert staff in all industries.
In the next three years, managers will have to pay more attention to who and how they will succeed in doing business. The struggle for quality staff and talent due to the flows that remained after the pandemic and the new habits of employees leads to a direct battle for every person on the global market. Workers have far more choices because digitization has made it possible to live in one country and work in another or globally.
The biggest challenge will be maintaining business continuity
Egzakta Advisory is known for strongly believing that digital transformation is imperative for all businesses. How is the digitization process going in our country?
I guess we started to talk about it before others, aware of the upcoming trend.
Digitization has become our everyday life. Serbia started the digitization of processes systematically so that almost most state administrations and services implemented many digital strategies, the use of paper was reduced or abolished, and the waiting time for a decision or response was reduced. With other state administrations and services, the path has already been taken. It is not far when every citizen of our country will truly become an eCitizen. The speed of digitization comes from the demands of end users. New generations of young people don’t want to wait, and they don’t wish to queue. They are used to having everything available immediately, preferably through their mobile phone. They are the ones who dictate the changes and the speed of the expected adjustments.
Awareness of the benefits of digitalization has quickly become commonplace in the business environment. Some of them are cost reduction due to time savings in processes, increased efficiency, elimination of business bottlenecks, and faster decision-making. However, the biggest challenge is that everyone has already become aware that digitization is imperative to keep up with the competition and maintain or increase market share.
Last year was full of challenges for many companies. Inflation and the energy crisis have significantly affected the business of many. How have businesses adapted to these changes?
If we look at last year and the indications in the economy at the global level, the economy recognized the crisis and started to adapt in time. What is not good is that significant investments have stopped, and assets are necessary to avoid the problem. Inflation has consumed the whole world. This is the first time that in a recent economy, we have had this kind of inflationary pressure and joint actions of some of the world’s largest economies to suppress it.
The energy crisis was caused primarily by the state of war. It will calm down soon, and relations regarding energy products will return to normal flow. Our experience with the local economy tells us that our businesspeople are aware of difficult times and that they know how to prepare in time. We already see drastically less credit activity, the introduction of savings measures and attempts to optimize operations. Of course, what pleases me is that I noticed how much is thought about workers as the most severe resource. Our company will do everything to save the business.
But we must be aware that due to our size, we are very dependent on the fate of many of the largest global economies and will feel the effects of their functioning on our local market.
What makes your company stand out from other similar companies in Serbia?
When we started, we had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve and where we would be in 5 years. We have set ourselves the task of being one of the top 3 management consulting companies in Southeast Europe. Egzakta was created by having a very passionate leadership team that loves what we do. We are still here daily and approach all business segments with the same passion.
Every day we encourage our employees to take on their crucial roles in joint success and business development. To behave within our strategy, to take responsibility and skip micro-management. Those things can be the biggest failure generator for any company that wants to grow further.
We work on diversification, try to set up different business units, and involve people and teams in other projects within various industries. In that manner, we increase knowledge and experience and create a team capable of adapting tomorrow to any task and challenge.