Zdenko Lekan, director of Konsing, regards the new economic and social climate of our country of our country with great optimism
When Zdenko Lekan, director of Konsing, one of the leading companies for telecommunication consulting and engineering in our surroundings, says that he and his team started from scratch, then a question imposes of what kind of magic helped them complete last year with the 20 million dollar revenue. The futuristic business building on Bežanijska kosa is only the first contact with a firm which today employs 200 workers, mostly young, educated people, but also fitters. All the rest is a story that could become reality for many enterprises in Serbia.
The first project of Konsing was introducing paging systems in Serbia, of the system of Mobile telephony 061, 063, for Mobtel (Mobile telephony of Serbia), now TELENOR, in order to gradually spread the reference list of users of their services to big systems such as Telekom Srbija (Mobilna Telefonija 064 (Mobile telephony of Serbia) and the project of wireless fixed-line telephony in Raška area), Telekom of Republika Srpska, EPS (Electric power industry of Serbia), MUP (Serbian ministry of the Interior)) and other users in the country and abroad.
Konsing was founded 12 years ago as a company within the A Holding Corporation, and since 2002. it has been doing business as a company with joint investment of the American firm COMgroup International (70 percent capital) and the A Holding Corporation. Last summer the share of A Corporation it has become the property of Konsing, and the business name has become Konsing d.o.o. (limited liability company).
Expert teams and management of Konsing give clients technological offers which include consulting, design solutions, construction, carrying out of installation works, organization and supervision of works, as well as system maintenance.
With the arrival of the third operator TOPNET and the purchase of Telekom of Republika Srpska and the license of the third operator in Montenegro this list will be considerably extended.
Lekan points out that in the maturing of Konsing into a serious company American capital has significantly contributed and what is even more important, that the foreign investor has reinvested all its earnings in our surroundings. The 2,500 square meters business building has, however, been built with their own resources, and it will be so this year as well, when a new edifice springs up in its vicinity.
Zdenko Lekan does not consider the business secret the data that the two million euro revenue, which is the amount, collected in 2001. has been trebled at the end of last year, nor that the plan for 2007. is the revenue of as much as 25 million euros. The next step, firmly marked in the development plan, is the reorganization of the company which should from 2008. on develop into a holding.
Last year’s registration of a “daughter” firm on Kosovo with a hundred percent American capital, but also with a hundred percent employment of the indigenous population together with whom they see a mutual successful future, fits in into the development policy of Konsing. Another “daughter” company with good profit results will be opened in Montenegro and Republika Srpska in a month.
– Apart from the basic activity on which we have laid foundations of this company, we are developing one more segment, the sale of servicing. Namely, we have received a license for wireless internet of based on the newest technology with which we will spread over Belgrade this year- says Lekan. – With an additional service, the sale of top-ups for mobile telephones, we have realized an around three million dollar revenue last year.
If we put aside the figures which unambiguously confirm the effects of the business policy of Konsing, what is left is the essence which explains why the philosophy of the company gives fascinating results. Zdenko Lekan interprets it with the change of approach to work, giving people a chance to see their own interest in the company, with the stimulation of employees and the transparency of rules which he introduced into doing business: everyone knows in advance how much they will earn, what they should do for those earnings and how. He explains the results with the introduction of ISO 9001 standards among the first in his line of doing business. It indeed makes work more expensive, but, on the other hand, increases productivity manifold.
Having in mind the fact that he is member of the board of directors in a company in Fort Miles, Florida, Lekan has a chance to transmit their experiences to Belgrade. Today in the West, he says, money is primarily earned on a flawless organization and a system of work perfected to the utmost. Automated information systems do much to increase productivity in all segments of society, but the rigid systems of control of doing business are inevitable. For that reason no one even thinks of taking a counter-direction, whereas in our country, on the contrary, finding a loophole and stretch it as wide as you can is considered to be the wisest thing, and the upshot of that is, naturally, the firm doing badly.
When it comes to the future of Serbia, Zdenko Lekan is an optimist without reserve. He considers water resources, energy and the Vojvodina which has not been made sufficient use of to be the dominant resources. That is the reality to the development of which the biggest obstacles are the political situation, laws unadjusted to the interests of the investors which is reflected in: exorbitant taxes for construction sites and high construction costs, complex procedures of obtaining different sorts of permissions, etc.
– Right now- Lekan claims- American companies are prepared to invest between two and three million dollars in Serbia. But, it would be necessary that in our country a practice of doing business exists as well. Also that efficient state control of all investments exists as well. It goes without saying that there should be a consistent application of contracts as well as the social policy that goes with it.
Konsing was among the first Yugoslav companies in the field of communications to receive the ISO 9001. certificate in 1999. The new certification from 2003. provides it with the highest level of professional work regulated by the recommendations of ISO 9001-2001 standard.
– I see the fact that City Bank entered Serbia as a very good sign that the end of our sad story is very close – Zdenko Lekan says. – The whole business world knows that Serbia has extremely good resources, people, and potentials. Belgrade has not been announced a city of the future for no reason. But people in Serbia are “spent”, they have been fatigued by the politicians with their idle attempts to outwit each other, not leaving the people the opportunity of a democratic advancement. Our chance, but also inevitability, is the arrival of some new, young, practical people with a different view.
Lekan announces the arrival of other American banks with big capital and an accelerated procedure of simplifying the permit regulations with Serbia soon. He also announces a significant flow of money and big investment work, primarily in infrastructure. Those are, in his words, all the elements that will bring a new economic climate to Serbia very soon, but also the positive atmosphere when it comes to living which everyone needs now. Primarily to the young, who have paid the highest price for the troubled past.S. Andrić