Zoran against the World – Entrepreneurship in Transition

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It’s likely to be the most advanced printing plant within the Balkans in regards to technology. It was estimated that $2.5 million was invested into it. This project took less than one year for construction. It’s located in war-ravaged extremely impoverished Macedonia.

The story behind this incredible enterprise, which is unique in this day and age the story can be found Zoran Rosomanov. An archetypal visionary sporting an edgy look, fiery eyes and a massive physique the man was able to construct an incredible factory that was reminiscent of Star Trek all by himself despite circumstances that were unimaginable from his Western peers.

They were all on their own Operating heavy machinery to remove dirt and loading bricks on cranes, and digging up muddy soil. He pleaded, begged and fought. He succeeded. Every hopeless person in the bleak nations of the East could learn from his tale.

The Balkans and Eastern Europe and the Balkans the 36-year-old Zoran is a model for an emerging kind of “can-do” business owners. Zoran’s perspective is due to direct interaction with Western management techniques and ideas. He doesn’t depend on the state to help his company or him. He constantly seeks international sources, such as contacts, money and knowledge. He is proficient in many languages, rich and a consummate. He is a maniac about electronics and technology.

But, he prefers to think of his role as one of creation or artist, rather than a money cow. He is particularly focused on his company’s design-related endeavors. He boasts of his interests in photography, music, and even home design. His home and office are advertising for his talents as an artist and not for his riches. He’s equally elegant and stylish as the people in the West. He loves his country Macedonia however, he believes that he is an equal citizen of the world.

At first, Zoran worked as a music editor on the TV state-owned television channel in Macedonia. The apex of this short time in his career was an Budapest concert in support of human rights. He soon realized the business world was his real career choice. He began working as a traveling salesman for a trading company with its headquarters in Belgrade. He was appointed the head for the company’s sales team at 21 with the responsibility of the 185 employees.

But, Yugoslavia was breaking apart. Yugoslavs were waking up in the form of Macedonians, Croats, Serbs and Bosnians having lost their common identity overnight. With his money, Zoran returned to Skopje and established an 11-store chain of retail stores that are electronic.

He also realized that how you market is just as important as what you are selling. He was educated about marketing. After a short period of studying at Milan, Italy, he returned to Macedonia and created “Divajn” the year 1992. “Everyone from Italy were asking questions questions about Macedonia I observed. There was a lot of interest. I made the choice to connect individuals. The company is the very first company to offer an all-encompassing, vertical marketing campaign service, which included a full solution that covers everything from posters advertisements to sales representatives.

He also noticed that there was still a substantial need for paper products, despite the fact that the office was paper-free. In his usual fashion, Zoran purchased an expensive computer and began to create similar products for his friends. However, after the first order was successful I was not involved and they immediately went into the printing.

He made the choice to join forces with a print-related business to become printer. He put up an advertisement and picked one of the applicants. Since then, they’ve not been apart. The facility is managed by their joint company, “Bato and Divajn,” and Zoran’s partner is responsible for running the day-today operations. According Zoran, Zoran, “is in people not in dollars.”

For the past 11 years working with the same secretary for eleven years. He has worked with Miki who is the great head of the pre-press department and quality control for the last ten years. Zoran values his commitment. He personally mentors his employees. Each of his employees (soon to turn the age of 55) is a graduate of an apprenticeship lasting 6 months. They are then free to go about their business. I believe in delegation but I don’t lose sight of the small details Zoran, says Zoran. Also, I am a person with high standards.

Zoran required new equipment as the company expanded. Foreign and domestic investors were sought out however, he did not succeed. Therefore, he approached the friend of a colleague in Holland. The man who owned an envelope maker and was willing to offer one of the machines for around 400000 DM which is roughly $180,000.

In typical seductive giddy grin, Zoran gave him a down amount of $13,000. Zoran vowed with sincerity, “I will pay you the rest over the three years to come.” The seller was stunned and inquired, “What is your guarantee?” Your trust,” Zoran retorted. The Dutchman shocked and awe, agreed. Within 2 years Zoran made him pay back.

This unrelenting confidence in oneself, infectious joy and non-conformity are a part of Zoran’s business practices. When he walked into the shop and presented the samples of labels that he’d scanned off beer bottles that were empty He was then able to get an order for one million labels. He is now the brewery’s primary printer.

He was in the company of a different customer in April of last year , when he heard an argument about the issue with an Slovenian supplier. The firm supplies all the blue-chip businesses in Macedonia. Do you want to purchase from me if I wanted to set up my own facility in the country? He said. They all agreed, and a lot of others agreed with him. He is beaming and says “It it was my research.. If there’s a better alternative in one’s own backyard, why would one import from Slovenia? Zoran strongly believes in the importance of importing substitution and supporting local companies. While it is patriotic, it is also sense financially.

He began searching for land immediately. The project for building was developed in his own company. He only needed printing presses. He had only about 100,000 dollars in money. He needed $2.4 million. This deficit was seen as insurmountable to others. Zoran not.

He decided to buy the most powerful tools available, which was “Heidelberg.” Then he took the phone to call the Heidelberg’s East Europe director, Alexander Hufnagel. They asked for a bank guarantee after he requested to pay for the purchase using credit. When Zoran visited Komercijalna Banka, the second-largest retail bank in Macedonia He brought along an outline of his business plan. He asked for $1 million, some of which would be derived from IFC incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Before the Macedonia’s independence, which occurred at the end of 1992, the economy had been in shaky condition. The unemployment rate was close to one third of the workers. The politically polarized and insufficiently capitalized banking system is in a lot of disarray. There is hardly any money being given to businesses. It was a novel request from Zoran.

In an industrial area outside of Skopje in which Zoran laid the foundations for the first time of the city, a civil war was raging in the region between Macedonians as well as Albanians. Helicopters and fighter jets swarmed over the sky as soldiers and police were swarming into the nearby town of Aracinovo. There was a feeling of fear.

In the event that Komercijalna Banka requested a collateral, Zoran offered the brand-new equipment. Zoran stated “Title will be transferred to me only when I’ve paid you. He was unaware of the leasing. He then changed his mind to offer Heidelberg Komercijalna’s cash as equity. After a few hours of inquiry, Heidelberg decided to grant him credit from the supplier for the remainder. He was required to personally ensure the credit. He agreed.

After that, Zoran persuaded them to start a repair shop, equipped with spare parts in his brand new factory. Zoran reveals in a sly manner “I do not charge them rent. My equipment has to be operational 24 days a week and seven days a week. Maintenance personnel and spare parts are useful to have in your arsenal. The next step would be to serve as their representative in Macedonia. “I’m trying to solve the issue. To be able offer financing with the equipment, I’d like them offer me credit that is revolving.

But Zoran’s assets have been ravaged due to this financial magic. Zoran used a well-tested communist technique called barter, or compensation for recompense in East European parlance. He traded print-related tasks in exchange for construction equipment. It was among the coldest winters that I have ever experienced that saw temperatures drop to below the freezing point. But the workers who were shaking persevered in their work inspired by Zoran’s personal examples.

The equipment eventually arrived, Zoran was given a invoice of $450,000 that contained the recently introduced value Added Tax. Zoran was able to overcome this obstacle and also repaid the loan from VAT refunds due in the near future in a financial flurry. The building that was half-finished featured a NASA-style control system as well as cutters, printers, and templates for a variety of cigarettes brands.

This is my home and it’s beautiful,” says Zoran, smoking an cigarette. In simple terms, we need assistance. Without the help given for me through Heidelberg, Komercijalna, the IFC as well as my customers, I may not have made it. My wife was with me. This assistance network is vital. In absence of it, entrepreneurialism and innovation aren’t possible!

Are you afraid of not being successful?

“I’m not worried. We must continue to exist regardless of all the issues we face. We must be alive.” Some people think I’m crazy However, only time will determine who is successful. Do not quit. I would have sought out a different bank in the event that the bank had not responded positively. There is always a solution. My suggestion is to include your suppliers. Since Heidelberg has a stakein Heidelberg, they’ll recommend clients to me. They asked me “You would like me to be an employee?” You can give me credit, and then!

In Macedonia it isn’t simple.

“Politicians ought to behave as CEOs and a nation should be managed like corporate entities. Macedonia could be the region’s Switzerland however, it has to concentrate on making the most of its climate as well as soil-based resources. The future of the country lies in agriculture. We need to strengthen the law enforcement and legal system, safeguard property rights and increase foreign investment. We need to emulate international investors and learn from their experiences.

But, foreign investors might be competitors to yours.

He laughs in hysterics as he leans his head back:

“The Slovenians attempted to blackmail my clients, defame me, and track my business. If I’m in my Serb business, I am able to be competitive with them. My expenses for transportation are much lower. I be employed by the largest multinationals anywhere all the way from Turkey to Switzerland due to my well-developed equipment. The ISO certification of quality will be issued in the near future. They’re therefore scared. What am I doing to make them feel better? I purchased additional land to prepare to grow.

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