Vice President of MK Group and Director General of MK Group on Agility in Agriculture
The Vice President of MK Group, Aleksandar Kostić, and the Director General of MK Group, Mihailo Janković, participated in the “Consumer Rules Summit 2023” conference, organized by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in Zagreb. The conference was dedicated to agriculture, FMCG and retail sectors, as well as the topic of distribution in these areas.
Aleksandar Kostić was a panelist on how to do business successfully in current global events and circumstances that include ongoing crises, inflation, supply chain issues and other consequences of the war in Ukraine and the pandemic. Speaking about the need for companies to be agile, he said: “MK Group’s comparative advantage, but also part of our recipe for success, is maximum efficiency.” We constantly review business models in every business segment, review business processes and their organization. Efficiency and people are our focus. We try to recognize and appreciate talent, to keep the best, but also to attract new quality staff.”
Continuing on the topic of problems that many companies face, apart from the lack of human resources, he highlighted over-indebtedness as a serious problem, especially in the current circumstances. He emphasized that MK Group places great emphasis on strict financial discipline, liquidity and stability, which enables the company to actively consider new investment opportunities at any time. “We always think and plan in advance, and we are guided by the fact that “when the water is over others’ heads, it must be up to our necks”. That is why we successfully dealt with every crisis and were always able to further invest in development”, concluded Aleksandar Kostić.
In his speech, Mihailo Janković used the opportunity to announce the new investment cycle that MK Group is starting in the year when it marks 40 years of business operations. He said that the company will invest as much as 1.6 billion euros in these three years, which is equivalent to what it has invested in the previous 40 years and the best indicator of how MK Group copes with all the challenges the economy is facing. The panel he participated in dealt with the topic of supply chains and ensuring security in the light of geopolitical events and economic trends, including the state of the energy and labor market.
„No one has been immune to the supply chain challenges of the past few years; it’s just a question of which business has been affected. Vertical integration helps and contributes to a more stable supply and additional flexibility, but to achieve complete immunity, self-sufficiency is required, which is not easily achievable. I will give an example of our meat industry – our company Carnex covers 80% of its meat needs from internal sources, from its own farms, but we buy the remaining 20% from the market. Certainly, in this sense, we are in a much better position than those companies that are not organized according to the principle of Farm to Table”, said the CEO of MK Group.
He referred to another change in the business operations: “While earlier the focus was on capital owners, now there have been major changes and it is necessary to satisfy all stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers and the community”. Speaking about crises on the market, he stated the importance of “looking ahead” and on that occasion quoted the famous Canadian hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, ” I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been”, and emphasized that looking into the future is which is what MK Group is guided by when investing.