Slavenko Ristić, Tehnički Remont Bratunac: We Have Conquered the Ammunition Market

The backbone of our turnkey service and manufacturing activities is the construction of complex infrastructure, facilities and complete factories based on our technology. The Despot vehicle and the RS 9 pistol (Vampire), which is the product of our engineers, best testify to what we can do

Undoubtedly, Tehnički Remont Bratunac /TRB/ is easily recognizable in the defence and civilian sector,” says Slavenko Ristić, the company’s director general. “TRB has received true recognition and is represented in the global market. We have participated in the five most influential trade fairs in the world – in Abu Dhabi, Paris, London, Egypt and Belgrade. Our presentation at these trade shows has attracted a lot of attention and this has greatly helped us to get new contracts, as well as to position ourselves on both the national and international market,” says Mr Ristić and adds: In the last five years, we have invested a lot of ideas and knowhow in marketing activities, in order to bring this company, which has been operational for 60 years and is the industry’s former giant, back to life and to restore the interest and the references that we once had. We have created a recognizable company and brand with the resources and the effort we put in, and with the help of our young employees who give their best every day at work.”

Which products and services do you consider most important for further market penetration?

In terms of our product portfolio, which we are continuously expanding, developing and modernizing, I would like to single out ammunition production lines as the most attractive. The backbone of our turnkey service and manufacturing activities is the construction of complex infrastructure, facilities and complete factories based on our technology. We are conquering new technologies in our industry daily, and this is something that is most profitable in TRB. Currently, the Despot vehicle best testifies to what we can do and has generated a lot of interest. We have delivered a couple of these vehicles to the Government of the Republic of Srpska and we continue to cooperate with them. We are also exporting to the Namibian market, and quite a lot of countries are interested in the RS 9 (Vampire) pistol, which is the product of our engineers and designers. We are continuing with our operations in this direction.

Transparency is very important for your scope of work. What principles do you adhere to in this area?

The arms industry has always been kept under wraps. For the last 40-50 years, it has not been popular to talk about this topic as most of it was considered a state secret. Since we are a company that is 80 per cent privately owned, we strive to be completely transparent and to publicly reveal everything we do and make it accessible to everyone, including the media. Of course, we are doing this as much as we can, because our clients are the state and military institutions. We, as a company, are trying to get closer to the people in the Republic of Srpska and to show them what and how we do, as well as where we do it. We will continue to be transparent as much as possible.

To what extent has the relaunch of production in TRB attracted foreign investors to the company itself and the Republic of Srpska?

We have had various offers, from buying stock to forming partnerships, joint ventures and the like, but at the moment, we do not want to have any co-owners in the company. We have been promoting the Republic of Srpska through our acquisition and marketing activities. We are changing the notion that people have of us and our companies and we are demonstrating that it is also possible to be competitive in the global market despite being based in this part of the world. In our industry, we are constantly maintaining contact with many ministries of defence, state authorities and investors, and I am confident that both the Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina have benefited from that. Promoting the industry, its capacity and all that we have to offer has produced certain results, and time will tell, in the next year or two, what they are.

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