How do you see your company in 20 years? What are your goals, visions?
Marino: We, the European market makes up 78 % share for our company. We are already working on making it 60 % or less. This does not mean that we plan to ignore the European market, but that we must develop other markets. The world is big. We want to expand to the USA, not with sales, which would be impossible, but by copying the factories we have in Europe. We will definitely also conquer other markets. I do not see China as a challenge, so we won’t build there, but India, SE Asia, Middle East are definitely interesting. We will definitely move some things to these markets in the next 20 years. This is what multinationals do. If there is a crisis in Europe and you are too dependent on the European market, and the crisis repeats cyclically, this is a very hard blow. But if you also operate on other continents – economic and financial crises are always regional – you are not hurt by local crises as you operate all over the world. Our recipe is what I already said: light is for all people on this world, we all see it the same way. Investing heavily in development projects and innovation puts the team on any continent in a position that brings them motivation, confidence and success.
What are the encouragement and responsibilities related to the EY Family Business Award of Excellence 2021 you just won?
Marino: It is always nice to receive an award. We were also happy to be selected as one of successful companies in the EY Family Business Slovenia book years ago. It is a great honor to be selected as the winner, especially as there are no silver and bronze medals in the game of entrepreneurship, only golden: either you get the contract you invested in, or you don’t. We see this award as further encouragement and motivation. Awards are always important. Imagine that you come to a winery with 46 cabarnet sauvignons, which is my favorite wine. You do not know the wines; you can only select them according to their labels. You will certainly choose or at least try the awarded wine. I believe this recognition is very important for our company and we will definitely know how to promote it.
What is the “recipe” to grow a small family company into an international corporation.
Marino: The recipe is very simple. When the company is small, everything is simpler, everything is based on teamwork, everyone knows everything or almost everything, everyone understands the directions, learns from each other and cover several areas. But this of course limits the growth. However, when these people become independent and can pass their knowledge and experience onto others, departments start to form, new people come in and pass the same culture on. This is when you can make the next step. And if you know how to repeat these steps, it is very simple to create a corporation. If we look at today’s corporations in Amerika, which are based on knowledge and innovations, or Chinese corporations, which are based on masses of employees and low prices, we do not see ourselves in these directions. Our direction is to create pleasant ambient for our users, our final customers, and for people who design their spaces. The continent in large. Some people want to go straight to Mars and other planets, but our challenge right now is the Earth.