4 minute read 28 Feb 2020
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Zoran and Nikola Andjelkovic named EY Entrepreneur for the Year 2019 in Serbia

By EY Global

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

4 minute read 28 Feb 2020

Founders of Andjelkovic-al family business Zoran and Nikola, have been named overall winners in the 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Serbia.

Founders of Andjelkovic-al family business Zoran and Nikola, have been named overall winners in the 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Serbia for their tremendous efforts in building a strong position of a leader in the manufacturing and trade of materials for the production of aluminum and PVC joinery. Always ambitious to keep moving forward, Zoran took smart risks in diversifying, most recently by adding the mineral water brand “Duboka” to his pool of businesses.

“The recognition we received in February - EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in Serbia, had an immense significance for us because we got confirmation that we took the right entrepreneurial path, that everything we have done so far is exceptional, and that this success is recognized. It was a great honor for us to represent our country at the WEOY award ceremony, and I am especially proud of the fact that my son Nikola and I represented our company together and proved how successful family companies are in our region.”- Zoran Andjelkovic, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 in Serbia.

Forced to leave their home by the Kosovan war of 1999, Zoran Andjelkovic and his family had to make a new start. For Zoran, that meant leaving his career as a veterinarian and embarking on a journey as an entrepreneur. Almost two decades later, he has succeeded in building one of Serbia’s most respected family businesses. Andjelkovic-al is a leader in the manufacturing and trade of materials for the production of aluminum and PVC joinery. His son, Nikola, is Director of the company and instrumental in leading the business forward.

Zoran founded Andjelković-al after he realized there was a gap in the market for quality joinery materials that could be bought in quantity. He started buying other businesses in the sector that were underperforming and made them profitable, then reinvested the profits into the company. He began adding new product lines and reaching new markets, setting the company on a strong growth trajectory.
Always ambitious to keep moving forward, Zoran took smart risks in diversifying, most recently by adding the mineral water brand Duboka to his pool of businesses.
Zoran Andjelkovic had been practicing as a vet for only 11 years when he was forced to leave Kosovo and Metohija with his family in 1999. Although he believes every cloud has a silver lining, he admits this was the most difficult time of his life. There were no jobs in Serbia during that turbulent period, and as long as he was seen as a refugee, he didn’t believe he would be able to practice veterinary medicine again. But he had a family to support and needed to start somewhere, so he took a corporate role in the office of an aluminum profiles trade company. And that was all it took to start building one of the most promising family businesses in the Republic of Serbia.

From 1999 until 2003, Zoran was the Director of the representative office of a Greek company in Belgrade that handled aluminum semi-product distribution. With a knack for persuading and selling, he was soon making a quarter of the sales in the Serbian market. Customers began to contact him directly, but the company couldn’t respond to their requirements fast enough. He soon sought a new partner, meeting with the owners of Alumil, a company just entering the local market in the early 2000s.
“It was the first time I truly had to start from square one, with no previous knowledge of the field,” says Zoran, “but within two years I managed to completely acquaint myself with the work and realized that change was necessary. Soon, I drew the conclusion that I could achieve much more on my own.” In 2003, he started Andjelkovic Al with a grand vision to build a future family business. Initially, the company dealt in the trade of aluminum profiles, but only two years later Zoran realized he’d have to start something more challenging — a sidestep from trade into manufacturing.
Today, Andjelkovic Al has 42 employees, including 9 family members. People and family are very important to Zoran. He noticed that his son Nikola would spend most of his school breaks helping with clients, working in the company’s storage units and on other tasks. In doing all this, Nikola has acquainted himself with all the company’s operations so that in the future there will be nothing in the business he doesn’t know about.

Summary

Founders of Andjelkovic-al family business Zoran and Nikola, have been named overall winners in the 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Serbia.

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By EY Global

Multidisciplinary professional services organization