Environment Where People Grow on Their Unique Personalities

The whole Coca-Cola system gives everyone a voice and builds consensus around common ideas that foster trust, credibility, and confidence in the futureWith Gorica Stojkovic, new general manager for Serbia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia in the Coca-Cola Company, we spoke about the secret of success, personal and business growth, and upcoming industry trends.

You have been working at the Coca-Cola HBC for over 16 years. During that period, you changed several positions in the Finance sector. What is it like to work for so long in the same system but in different positions?

The whole Coca-Cola system gives everyone a voice and builds consensus around common ideas that foster trust, credibility, and confidence in the future. And that is the place where people want to grow both personally and professionally. In every position that I held, we were learning together, with smiles, and that is common to the whole system. We bring together our diverse talent to achieve great results, and we are ready to share both our victories and our failures. We celebrate our diversity, equity, and inclusivity. The purpose of The Coca-Cola Company is to refresh the world and make a difference. Who does not want to be a part of that?

What human qualities do you consider most important for a successful career? Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to achieve the same business goals as you?

Human qualities that I value even outside the business context, and which I think contribute to good results at the workplace, are just being nice to people and easy to work with. Sounds easy, however, in my personal experience, this was the secret ingredient to success, much more than any specific finance or business expertise

We are shifting our mindset from ‘know it all’ to ‘learn it all’

As a finance director in the past and as a general manager in the present, your responsibilities entailed making important and not always easy decisions. How did you overcome your biggest business dilemmas?

To accelerate our growth and transform our business, we are shifting our mindset from ‘know it all’ to ‘learn it all,’ being curious and inclusive in all we do. We embrace continuous learning to improve our business and ourselves. We are future-focused, and we are continuously reviewing what is not working. We experiment boldly and see our failures as a stepping-stone to success.

When I have business dilemmas, the first thing I do is consult with my team so we can together familiarize ourselves with the newly created situation and understand the impacts of different decisions. Moreover, after many years of experience, when making big decisions, it is important that the entire team is behind it, that we believe in ourselves, and that we celebrate success together or learn in case of failure.

As a company, how do you stay on top of industry trends?

As a total beverage company, we are committed to offering people more of the drinks they want across a range of categories and in a variety of packages. In addition, we are bringing drinks to them in new, memorable ways with almost twice as many categories as ten years ago, including water, tea, plant-based beverages, and on-the-go coffee. We focus on our consumers, their lives, and changing needs, and we adapt to them. We are also bringing cutting-edge excellence in ingredients, innovation, design, experiences, and marketing. As part of this, we are driving the most radical marketing transformation in our history. We have moved away from focusing on broadcast TV ads to digital-first engagement. We are combining partnerships, technology, and our consumers’ passions to create unforgettable experiences in music, gaming, and sports. We are reformulating our products while offering a choice of pack sizes and intake of sugars. As we grow, we want our business to meet the needs of people and our planet, seeking to create a positive impact in the communities we serve. We Refresh the World and Make a Difference!

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