Doing business in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Two companies share their stories

By Amra Tabaković and Irma Ahmetspahic, Raiffeisen Bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina

As in most countries, small and medium-sized companies play an important role in the economic growth of Bosnia and Herzegovina and are essential for creating new jobs. But overcoming obstacles and starting a solid business is never easy. Begex doo Hadžići, a kitchen and wardrobe manufacturer, and Domus Arredi doo Zenica, a manufacturing company of beds and sofas, shared their success stories with Discover CEE.

What steps did you take to develop your businesses?

Begex doo Hadžići

Our speciality is custom-made kitchen and wardrobe manufacturing. The BEGEX Company has been an absolute favourite for fans of high-quality furniture ever since its establishment in 1998. However, our products are not only exquisite, they are also designed to be long-lasting.

©Begex

Our secret is cherishing quality above all. We always meet very high-quality standards, which is why our products remain fully functional even 15 years after their production. The result is a high level of customer satisfaction.

Our quality was recognised by Norwegian buyers 13 years ago, and since then BEGEX has been successfully operating outside Bosnia and Herzegovina as well. Today, in addition to Norway, BEGEX also exports to Switzerland, Austria, Holland and Sweden.

Domus Arredi doo Zenica

We manufacture beds and sofas and are proud to say that we are producing up to one hundred beds a day. Our products meet a wide range of customer demands.  The luxury and good-quality of our products have been recognised by both local and foreign buyers.

©Domus Arredi/bed Ruben

We export 90 per cent of our products, which are well-received by end buyers in Italy, Germany, Belgium, the US, Libya, Saudi Arabia, India and other countries.

At the same time, we are aware of our importance as an SME-segment company which plays a key role in economic development. SMEs are forerunners in being innovative, having a dynamic approach and creating jobs.

How were your beginnings? Were there any difficulties in starting your business? Did you receive the support you needed?

Begex doo Hadžići

Our main success drivers are good ideas and a strong will. Our values are present in everything we do, allowing us to preserve consistency with our principles. We meet our own high-quality requirements, have a specific approach to business, work hard to break down boundaries and we are committed to continuous improvement.

We did have some difficulties in the early stages of our business, but mostly of an administrative nature and due to the lack of raw materials on the market. However, we did not think of this as an obstacle. On the other hand, we received support by foreign suppliers and banks, primarily Raiffeisen, all of which have remained our partners until today.

Domus Arredi doo Zenica

Previous work experience in globally-known wood-processing companies was the key for starting the Domus Arredi company in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was especially challenging in times of the economic crisis, to open a company whose headquarters is situated in Zenica and bravely start working on our own.

Unfortunately, during that process we encountered many obstacles, from administrative problems to a lack of qualified workers and difficulties in implementing new technologies.

In order to stay competitive on the market, companies must constantly improve and be innovative. This means constantly developing new products and making new investments. What have you done so far and what are your plans for the future?

Begex doo Hadžići

Since the very beginning, we have focused on keeping up with the latest trends in terms of our products and the production process. We have already automated certain parts of our production, which resulted in excellent progress. Our plan for the future is to continue with the automation process to further facilitate the very production process, reduce the error occurrence rate and relieve employee workload. We are also planning to robotise our paint-spraying booth to speed up the entire process.

Domus Arredi doo Zenica

Today’s industrial production is unimaginable without the utilisation of modern equipment, which enables us to create even the most complex forms. In our production facility we have a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine for wood processing, which allows fast and precise processing at top quality. This technology reduces the number of steps from the initial idea to the final product.

In order to stay competitive on the global and European markets, Domus Arredi doo is continuously investing in new equipment and technology. Also, our company constantly invests in staff training to ensure quality in the production process and meet the expectations of business partners.

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