Entrepreneur's Story
One local businessman has managed to create new opportunities, but its not been easy...

Entrepreneur's Story

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LOCATION: Hillside overlooking Novi Travnik

Piece to Camera: Eggert Hardten:

So what we can see here is the town of Novi Travnik lying in the Laksva Valley completely built by the Braatstvo Kombinat. People living in these houses have been employed in the Bratstvo Kombinat. And now they have to find a new future, a new employment somewhere.

When you look down you will see that barren land, which is completely unused. It should be filled with companies, smaller bigger, producing of windows, carpentry, mechanical stuff and so on, as you have down there in this yellow building. Quite a serious company, exporting them all the way up to Croatia.

LOCATION: Novi Travnik

Slavko Zekic
Private entrepeneur ( N&S d.o.o, and UTP Zekic-Promet d.o.o)

"Bratstvo" was a "giant" that employed lots of people. Their production was guaranteed because it was a military conglomerate. They employed virtually anyone and everybody received a pay-cheque. It was obvious that it was all going to collapse one day. It didn't matter whether 9,000 or 10,000 people were employed, because the production could cover it. The end was inevitable.

I cannot employ a new worker easily. I first have to create a job for him. He has to earn his wages, and then make a profit for me. I cannot have 20 people walking aimlessly around the factory.

Q (Eggert Hardten): You said there is no political will to support production. What contact do you have with the State?

I have to laugh now... because the only contact I have with the State are the frequent visits from the Cantonal Tax Office! They visit me and others quite often. I wish that someone would come here from any level of the Government Regional, Cantonal or Republic level.

Q: What are you producing?

I produce coffins... Here is the brochure. I took part in two fairs, in Austria and in Croatia to promote my products. It was very costly to do that. It was a necessary expense because if you do not show the world what you do, you cannot succeed.

There are simply too many shops in Bosnia. From here all the way to Zenica. My Italian friends who came here were very surprised to see the numerous stores and resellers in Bosnia. They asked me; "how is it possible that all we do is sell imported goods to one-another"? Do we not see that such a system is bound to collapse someday? Production should be the foundation of everything?



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