HIFA OIL GROUP: Crown of the 15-years development was the entry into the production area
Kenan Ahmetlić, vice managing director and member of the Board at HIFA Oil group is guest at the Manager Club.
Within the project Manager Club we introduce leading people from the world of entrepreneurship, as well as professionals from different areas who make our everday-life better and more interesting. In the country and the region, which is at the bottom of European and World ranks, when speaking about the economics and business conditions, an exchange of positive stories and experiences are quite necessary for all of us. We are sure you are going to be surprised how many successful people do live among us. Some of them you may already know, but you may have never heard of others. Maybe someone 's story or answer encourages you to try to do something similar or even more.
26-year old Kenan Ahmetlic is cirrently managing one of the most successful Bosnian-Herzegovinian companies. He obtained his degree in Economics Sarajevo School of Science and Technology, and currently acts as vice managing director and member of the Board at HIFA Oil group.
Since you are managing one of the most successful Bosnian-Herzegovinian companies, could you briefly describe its development?
Hifa Oil has been established 15 years ago with the goal to offer premium quality in the segment of oil and oil derivatives distribution on the domestic market at first. After that, in order to increase the quality level of service we initiated a special company with focus on transport Petrobit. Until 2009, we have been operating exclusively in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, recent trends and an increase of offer capacity in the region have affected the new company answer - presence on the regional markets as well as the European ones. In that sense we have developed the companies Bitrol Slovenia and the new Hifa Oil CG (Crna Gora-Montenegro). On the other hand, we have dispersed our business on three companies Euro Metali, Euro Roal and Euro Stil, of which each is the leader n the domestic market in its segment. Euro Metali is the leader in distributing products and semi-products of black and coloured metallurgy in B&H, Euro Roal is the leading distributor of Aluminium, PVC LB. Profiles, stainless steel materials, polycarbonates and plexiglass, and Euro Stil is the leading distributor of pellet and briquette. The crown of this 15 year development cycle was our entry into the area of production, as we like to say, “big style entry”, by buying the famous German company with the longest tradition in manufacture of profiles for doors and windows LB. Profile GmbH.
Before that we operated as the representative of that brand which exists over 50 years, and later we deecided to buy this company.
It has been a long time now, that HIFA Oil is considered as one of the leading importers, exporters and distributors of oi derivatives in B&H, and according to relevant parameters amongst the15 top companies in B&H, considering all econmic areas and activities. From our range of clients, we would like to point out the NATO forces, with whom we have signed agreements on supply and distribution of all types of derivatives, includiing aviation fuel, for their needs. Furthermore, since last year we have invested in increase of the quality level of our aviation fuel supply service, by which except NATO as our long-term partner, we have gained the trust of the biggest World airlines at Sarajevo airport.
As HIFA Oil consists of a larger number of smaller companies, in which industries is the Group present?
Therre are three business areas of the Group: distribution, production and transport. Within distribution and sales we are focused on oil, metals and pellet. Last year we launched a new project Euro Markets within our brand Euro Oil, where we are going to develop the retail segment as support for the development of our new brand of petrol stations. Within production we are focused on PVC profiles through the brand LB.Profile, while in transporta we are active in several segments of our business, providing premium logistic services for companies within our Group.
How many companies are there as part of the HIFA Oil Group, and do you intend to add more companies in the future?
HIFA Oil Group is made of: Hifa Oil, Euro Metali, Euro Roal, Euro Stil, Petrobit, Bitrol, Hifa Oil CG, and LB. Profile. All together as the Group we have an annual turnover of over 500 million BAM. However, except these parameters, our business is built on other important grounds and postulates, such as development of human potential, social responsibility and the improvement of the ecological systems.
Of course, we have long-term plans. Further expansion will be directed towards strengthening the leading position on the domestic market, and a better position on regional markets. More important for us the EU market where we are present with our products and services from the Netherlands, over Germany and Austria, to Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Croatia. We have proven that we have something to offer to these markets and our partners recognize us as a new value and new strength with whom they want to further develop strong business relationships. Our future is tightly bond to Europe and we are aware of the chances we have. That is why our future business will be more oriented towards the development and strengthening of our position on the EU market.
HIFA Oil Group 's distribution network spreads all over B&H, and you export into the countries in the region, as well as to Europe. How satisfied are you with the achieved results on the domestic and foreign markets, and what do you consider as the most important success?
There are many significant successes we had so far, but the most important are the acquisition of the German LB.Profile GmbH and the Slovenian leader in metal distribution Mersteel with its capacities in B&H. Additionally, a great success is the supply of the Austrian and Slovenian markets with bitumen. Moreover, during 15 years of experience and ongoing growth we established partnerships and trust with almost 200 companies in the field of oil and oil derivatives distribution. Today, HIFA Oil covers over 20% of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian market, and the status of the most serious and high quality distributor has been kept on the markets of the region which is proven by the cooperation with the biggest companies from the field of asphalt paving in Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and other countries of the region.
Last year was closed with a total quantity realisation of around 300 000 tons of different derivatives in nine countries of the region. All of these markets have recognised us in each segment of our business as a partner who is capable to provide added value nd that in fact is the reason of our expansion.
How would you describe the business climate in B&H at the present, and how does it affect the business of the Group?
In order to be more efficient in total as the economy, it is necessary to increase the level our our total competitiveness. “Made in B&H” has to become a strong brand, wanted and needed far beyond our borders. we should, all together, improve our environment, make our infrastructure and communications stronger and more modern. It is neceessary to significantly invest in education and new technologies. Our administration has to be up to date in a way to be more efficient and competitive. Furthermore, our politics should be more inclined to the development of economy. However, all of this makes sense if political stability is achieved. I hope that very soon we will have a solution to this which will cheer up the people in this country, and the workers as well as the employers, and those who seek employment. then, everything will be more simple and easier. I am sure, we will take that chance all together, and push this country in the direction of long-term success and wealth.
In your opinion, how important is it to invest in education and new technologies, and follow European and World standards?
There is no development without investing in knowledge, people and technology. Our company employs around 50% young people and as many of them do have a university degree, among them we have doctors of science and several masters. We invest in education, as we are aware that people are our most important resource. That is simply one condition without which we cannot reach the necessary competition level on global level.
Which are the key factors enabling HIFA Group to become the leader in its business?
We have always been very committet to what we do. We were very disciplined in performing the tasks ahead of us, and we treated partners thhe way we wanted to be treated by others. The trust we gained is based on safety and quality. Simply, our partners know we will do anything for them. On the other hand, it is one special feeling and pleasure to see you have managed to solve another challenge for your partner. Such a relationship in the long-term means mutual interest and builds up an unbreakable bond.
What are your future plans for further business development? In 2018 we plan to continue our investment cycle with several important projects which will be directed on further strengthening our overall position on the market. We also plan to enter the markets we are not yet present on. We will be able to provide more details during the year.
When you leave the office, which activities do occupy Your free time?
In my free time i ride the bicycle and I spend a lot of time in the nature. The remaining free time, I usually spend with my family and friends.
How do you define a successful manager?
A successful manager is someone who, by his example, encourages enthusiasm in his co-workers.