Aleksandra Stojanović: Success is to be happy with yourself
Victory belongs to the most persistent, said Napoleon Bonaparte, and knowledge, experience, dedication and diligence are just some of the necessary preconditions for success. These are the traits that Aleksandra Stojanović, a young Director who skillfully and knowingly manages Corporate Affairs at MK Group. After completing her Master’s studies at the University of Sheffield, she begins her business career at MK Group, where she is already employed for nine years. As a young leader in a highly responsible position, Aleksandra was our interviewee in the newspaper column Belgrade’s strong women.
How did your development path go in a company that is one of the most successful in Serbia and the region?
It is often said that strong brands today must have their own so-called personality based on attributes and values that overlap with the characteristics and attitudes of people who are fans of a particular brand. I also believe that employees need to share the same interests and think in a similar way to the company they work for, because in the end, they are the best brand ambassadors.
Our group has grown a lot over the past 10 years and from a successful domestic company it grown into a regional leader in the branches in which it operates. With the development of MK Group, my business path has evolved as well. From Chief of Stuff to Corporate Affairs Director and Board Member of Fintel Energija – a leader in the Serbian wind park industry. In a word – dynamic.
You are at the forefront of the Corporate Affairs Sector. What does all this entail? What is the significance of a well thought out strategy and communication today?
These are competencies that include maintaining and promoting good relations with all relevant stakeholders, including governmental and non-governmental organizations, the business community, and cooperation with the media. In addition, it is within the scope of my duty to promote the holding company, but also to build a good reputation in the public. In a nutshell, a fairly broad field of activity that provides a new dose of creativity in work, making my work interesting over and over again. When you work for a company with a well-defined purpose and a clearly defined vision, then it is a great challenge, but also a responsibility, to implement each of the goals in the plans that are being achieved through an effective strategy and teamwork. I believe that in the present-day online community, transparency of business and communication of the company with the public is crucial.
What are the most important qualities and skills that a good manager must have? How many do you apply in your private life?
Responsibility to yourself and others. A positive attitude and good energy are also important as they are passed on to all team members creating a good business climate. In every relationship, including business, effective communication solves the most difficult problems. That is why we strive to pass on the key values of the company, such as reliability, team spirit, innovation and responsibility, to all members of our collective. In the end, a good manager is made up of an experience of successes and downsides. Just like in life, mistakes are learned. It is the duty of the manager, like parents, to relay their experiences to team members selflessly.
MK Group operates in the field of agriculture, tourism, finance… What are you going to focus on in 2020 and in the future?
I would like to take this opportunity to mention first of all that we are closing this year with one humanitarian, but above all, socially responsible action. Namely, for all our employees who became parents in 2019, we secured a cash subsidy and thus made it known that MK Group does not only take into account business balances. We are closing this year with 165 newborns and this is a figure that is of great importance to us.
If we talk about business plans, next year we will continue with new acquisitions in the fields of banking, tourism and agriculture, thus clearly confirming our strategic commitment to growth in these branches.
In recent years, women have been increasingly occupying high positions in business that were usually “reserved” for men. What is your impression of having a better road to success than men?
I honestly believe that success is only a matter of personal commitment and ambition and as such has nothing to do with gender.
What is success for you? Which one are you most proud of?
It is a success to be happy with yourself. Whatever you do and wherever you are, you need to feel good in “your skin”. I am proud of the contribution my team and I make to the development of MK Group and the results the company achieves.