Dragoljub Vukadinovic Will Be the President of the Company for Another 4 Years


Members of the Supervisory Board are the professors and doctors Dragan Djuricin, Goran Pitic, Goran Petkovic and Dragan Loncar. Together with Radmila Trifunovic, who is also the executive financial director, the following executive directors are the members of the new Executive Board: Marina Jevtic – for sales and procurement, Biljana Cvetic – for human resources and law, and Vojin Vukadinovic – for development, IT and marketing. The current general director, Aleksandar Markovic, will lead the company Metalac Bojler.

These are the most important decisions after the Assembly of Shareholders and the session of the Supervisory Board of the Company, held on June 26 at Metalac in Gornji Milanovac. These personnel changes are a result of the common practice of the Supervisory Board of Metalac to react in situations when the business results over a long period of time are below expectations and when it is estimated that the strategy should be adjusted.

The highest-priority task of the new Executive Board, headed by Radmila Trifunovic, is to provide all managers of her company with a strong incentive for implementation of operational and strategic goals, together with the development of strong cohesion and accountability. On the other hand, it is believed that the experience, engineering knowledge and abilities of Aleksandar Markovic will be crucial for the more ambitious advancement of the company Metalac Bojler, which has been struggling to position itself in the region during the recent years.


During this interview with Dragoljub Vukadinovic, there was a paper on the table with key sentences that have been indicative of his career: Companies look like their employees * You always have to make a choice * I am both a democrat and a dictator * Integrity, hard work and learning are the most important * Trust is more important than anything * 5% of people are those that move things forward * We cannot change the world, but we have to change ourselves every day * We are the best because we rely on our own resources * Those who don’t care about success should not enter the game * Those who don’t want to succeed, find excuses, those who want, find solutions * The hardest times can be the best for big decisions.


You have accepted the position of the president of the Supervisory Board of Metalac Group for another four years. People who know you are aware that you did not intend to make such decision because you considered that the 60th anniversary of Metalac and 30 successful years at its helm were the right moment to accept a well-deserved retirement to more peaceful activities. What made you change your mind?

It is true that I had made a strong decision to leave the company. I announced this decision to the Supervisory Board on February 28 of this year, and already the next day I explained my decision in writing to the members of the Supervisory Board and the largest shareholders of Metalac. I had three reasons: first of all, for two years now I have been considering whether to take certain measures and stop a slight decline in Metalac’s performance in relation to results and dedication to work. I did not want to rock the boat before my retirement. The second reason is that I wanted to leave a successful Metalac, a company in which I have personally invested 45 years as well as 30 years of running it. And third, which is related to the previous point, the first two months of this year indicated that the results were getting better, as was the trend in Serbia as well. Taking all these factors into account, I considered this to be a good moment to create a new Supervisory Board and Executive Board which will continue to run Metalac and, in a way, erase the impression that Metalac equals Dragoljub Vukadinovic.
Unfortunately, after 15 days, coronavirus changed everything. The possible new chairman of the Supervisory Board, one of the largest shareholders of Metalac, experienced a family tragedy and therefore it was not possible for him to accept this position. Second, the market value of Metalac’s shares fell by 25%, just like everywhere else in the world, and suddenly there was pressure that I had to stay in the company, and that my departure at the time of the greatest crisis would be interpreted as if I knew some bad news and that’s why I was leaving. I had the responsibility to prevent such speculations and to make certain changes, even in this situation that the whole world has found itself in, when it was clear that nothing could remain the same – this is what made me decide to stay another 4 years at the helm of the Company. I will do this job as a volunteer, but my work will be as highly professional as possible and I will not allow any further erosion.

The last assembly of shareholders and the last session of the Supervisory Board, held on June 26, brought some changes in the management of Metalac. What are the main reasons for this and what do you expect from the new team?

What happened is nothing out of the ordinary. This is standard practice in Metalac that has existed for almost 30 years, ever since the first session of the Managing Board of Metalac, when we became a joint-stock company. Back then, we established the rule that the management can keep their positions only thanks to business results. Since our results have been declining for the last three years, and they are measured by profit and the growth of key performance indicators, and since cohesion among the management staff was insufficient, the Supervisory Board took the measures that are stipulated by its statute and replaced the general director and three members of the Executive Board. This was done with the intention to achieve a better future for all of us who work at Metalac, for all shareholders and everyone who cares about Metalac.

In the subtitle of this interview there are the key catchphrases that you were guided by during your 45 years of work at Metalac. Almost all of them express not only your personality, but also the times in which you, as the leader of the Company, created your life and business experience. What do you think about the current moment in the context of development of Metalac, having in mind that the whole world is shaken by major events that influence business?

Both I and the entire Supervisory Board believe that the coronavirus has definitely changed many paradigms. I am not sure that it will end with the first or the second wave, nor that there will not be another four or five coronas in the next ten years. But, at the same time I also believe that that is a lesson for us, that the world has to find a way to live even with such restrictions… and it is up to us to find our way to reach consumers, even in situations when they cannot reach us. One of the ways to achieve this is definitely online sales and communication, which has achieved considerable development in Metalac, and which rose four times during this period. There is also an example of our company in Russia, where everything was closed, and in April they made more than 200,000 euros of revenue through this sales channel. Of course, this does not exclude other channels that are still crucial for us, but we must be prepared for any combination of circumstances. Just like we were prepared for relaxation and cancelling of these measure. Despite the fact that production did not work for 50 days, we had finished products and a marketing plan, so we used some weaknesses of the competition to reach the consumers first and make a good revenue. As a result of this, especially in the core business, in the second half of May and June we almost completely made up for what we lost on the domestic market and partially in the region.
The changes in the Executive Board are not only personal, they are also functional, with the aim to find the best way forward in these uncertain times. The position of the executive director for sales and procurement is now professionalized, and we have also hired an external consultant with a great experience in this field. Now we need to study how to make the sales more efficient and reach our consumers. Metalac will probably have some form of centralized sales in the future. When it comes to production, it has to improve quality, increase efficiency and reduce costs. Of all my catchphrases, I would advise the new management to implement democratic or team decision-making and a dictatorial execution of the decisions made in this way. Second, I would like the new director to be the helmsman of the ship on which everyone is rowing together towards the goals.


If you could summarize everything into three clear strategic goals that the new Executive Board with R.T. as the acting general director should achieve, together with each of the 15 directors of subsidiaries, as well as 2,200 employees, how would you formulate them?

I have already formulated 20 tasks, i.e. issues that must be tackled and which are related to both the top management and all the employees. I presented them to the Executive Board and the new general director on this first Monday after they were appointed. I probably didn’t cover everything, but I am certain that we will achieve guaranteed success if they manage to work systematically on these 20 things only. Essentially, this is what I would work on and what I would do if I were in their position.

Metalac’s system of values, which you often emphasize, always insists on four company pillars: honesty, trust, respect and commitment. Would you like to add anything else today that is especially important for the future success?

I would say that the first three pillars are clear, indisputable and reflective of the situation in Metalac, and everyone who violates them should bear consequences. What seems to be a bit worn off is commitment. The cause of this is not only in Metalac, but in the fact that the society imposes the belief that every individual is self-sufficient. There is no more development of the faith in being together, in friendship, in the company… This has to be developed from the young age, and we should not become aware of the loneliness only when we are in difficulties. We constantly emphasize the values that excessively orientate people towards themselves. I even think that it has become a global pattern because in this way it is easier to control people. But Metalac will continue to nurture that spirit for community, commitment, faith and belief that we can help ourselves only together, relying on our own strength. Everything that we have created, our business results, our successes and reputation, were achieved because we were united, we believed in Metalac and were dedicated to it.