Simone L. Apolloni, CEO of Aliquo Group – 10 years of successful business in Serbia

Our best projects are the Žeželj bridge in Novi Sad, the foundation and design of the Free Zone Smederevo and the Think Plastic Group’s investment in Subotica

Aliquo Group is an international group of companies and professionals that provides advisory and complete support to foreign investors developing their projects in Adriatic region (SEE South East Europe + Italy), by providing the opportunities for M&A deals, services such as Corporate Finance, Project Management, Construction Field supervision, Technical Advisory, Fiscal services, HR selection.

The CEO Simone L. Apolloni, discuses the future plans of the company and goes back to the roots of its creation.

Simone L. Apolloni, CEO of Aliquo Group

What prompted you, in a country with turbulent economic history, to start managing foreign investments and consulting services?

— I have started my career 20 years ago as a business development manager, and shortly after as an investment/project manager in various countries like Brazil, Russia, Germany, Italy etc. I have got my first assignment in Serbia when Fiat bought the Zastava factory in Kragujevac for the construction of the Quality Center building. Since then, several clients contacted and hired me to manage their projects in Serbia, so I decided to stay and incorporate my own company, instead of being a freelance investment manager. Yes, there have been turbulences both in the Serbian economy and in our path here as Aliquo Group, but I believe that in an unstable market often both uncertainties and great opportunities cohabitate, exactly the opportunities we always look for and try to catch. I always look for niches in the market that few are looking into, and avoid the trendy “Hypes” that everybody
is in love with (crypto-currencies are a good example of them imho). The numerous greenfield and brownfield investments, as well as some M&A transactions we successfully managed in the last 12 years suggest that I was mostly right.

It has been 10 years since you decided to establish a company for investment and project management services. Which projects, successes, and results during that period, would you especially highlight?

— We have worked very hard in the past decade, opening 1000 job positions, which is something I am especially grateful and honored to have done with my team. Seeing the positive social impact of our work is the greatest satisfaction. The best projects being the Zezelj bridge in Novi Sad, the foundation and design of the Free Zone Smederevo, lastly, the Think Plastic Group’s investment in Subotica which was our fastest development ever.

I am especially grateful and honored to have helped the Serbian economy and people by opening almost 1000 job positions during this period

The corona virus pandemic has affected almost all areas of business, how has it affected foreign investment in Serbia and what will the recovery of that business segment look like?

— The pandemic has had a limited effect on FDI’s, because of their specific nature. Surely these investment activities were slowed down and in some cases put on stand by, but never stopped because of their multi-year planning process. During 2020, we suffered from the delay of the already agreed investment projects, but we supposed they would have a fresh start in 2021, from the moment vaccines were found. I think that a comeback to the previous FDI market conditions (at least similar to 2019) could happen in Q2 2022, when the majority of the world will be vaccinated. Let’s hope I am right!

What are Aliquo Group’s further targets and plans in these new circumstances?

— We have lots of plans for the near future but also some middle term goals. We are pushing hard in this moment towards the complete digitalization and automation of Aliquo Group’s processes, from document creation, managing and storage to CRM and Dynamic Knowledge Base. I think this will be a crucial competitive factor in the next years. At the same time, we had to postpone from 2020 to 2022 our “Investment Portal” project, a very important innovation for our business that we are planning for 5 years now. Even if I cannot be more specific, what I can say is that I think that this project will bring benefits to many industries and professionals in Serbia. Stay tuned!

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