Tigar Tyres is the winner of this year's Aurea Investment of the Year Award which is presented by the business web portal eKapija. This Pirot-based company opened a new tire production facility in October 2014, and once the whole project is completed (by the end of 2016), the investment will reach EUR 215 million and additional 500 people will get a job. Production capacity expansion and the launch of new range of tires for passenger cars and light utility vehicles will make it possible for the company to increase its production volume by 50%, and all the products resulting from the capacity boost will be intended for export.
The award was handed out to the winner by Ronald Seeliger, the president of the German-Serbian Business Association and the general manager of Hemofarm.
Milena Tosic, a representative of Tigar Tyres who received the award, pointed out that initiatives like the Aurea Award were very important for the promotion of successful projects in Serbia and the promotion of our country as a good economic environment for new investors.
- By implementing this significant investment, Tigar Tyres has got a modern factory that brings about a new balance between human resources and smart machines, given that the production process is automated to a great extent. In this way, we will efficiently, with a flexible model of manufacture, be capable of producing a total of 12 million tires in 1,700 diferent sizes in our existing and new production facilities. In order to meet market demands, our portfolio has been expanded to include eight tire brands for passenger, light utility and four-wheel drive vehicles: tigar, riken, kormoran, orium, strial, taurus, idilis and sebring - Tosic said and added that tires from the Pirot-based factory will be marketed all around Europe, Africa and the Near East, so that overall exports were expected to reach the value of EUR 420 million as early as the next year.
In addition to the main award, eKapija also presented two special awards: the Best Innovation Award went to the startup TruckTrack for its software for managing the operations of transportation companies, whereas Women's Center Uzice had the honor to get the Best Social Utility Award for opening the Textile Recycling Center.
Zdravko Loncar, the managing director of eKapija, said that the idea behind the Aurea Award was to help the development of the culture of innovation and responsible behaviour so we could progress towards better and more developed societies.
- If there were more innovations around us and if we cared more about the society and environment, we would be a much happier and more beautiful society to live in. We don't need to take out new loans or work harder to make that happen. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to work smarter and build an innovative and responsible culture within our society. The key to business success lies in constant work on innovations and constant changes.
A real example is today's winner of the Aurea Award - Tigar Tyres, which opened a new production facility in Pirot that is one of the kind in the world for many reasons and features numerous technological innovations which guarantee a safe future for this company and the Pirot Region.
The strategic partner of eKapija on the Aurea 2015 project is Coface insurance company.
- We are honored to be able this year again to support this event which aims to reward the companies aspiring to the development of innovative solutions and engaging in the implementation of new technologies and quality improvement. By partaking in this year's project as a strategic partner to the Aurea 2015 event, we want to communicate an even stronger and clearer message: Development of new ideas, uniqueness and quality represent the only safe path in the recovery of our economy and our society. For Coface, a company providing insurance service for claims and assessing business risks all around the world, the Aurea project is even more significant, especially considering that another year filled with challenges for our economic society is ahead of us – said Djordje Zivanovic, the general manager of Coface Serbia.
Aside from awarded investments, this year's finalists for the Aurea Investment of the Year Award are also the following five projects: Naftachem - Facility for fuel additives adding, Ragweed destruction device, Feplo – Factory for producing waterproof ECO building panels, Meter&Control - IDIS interoperable electric meters, and StartLabs – Technology accelerator for IT entrepreneurship development.
The winners of the main award and two special awards were decided by a five-member jury, and votes were also cast by the visitors of web portals ekapija.com and aurea.rs. In order to compete for the award, projects had to be implemented in the previous calendar year and to meet the following three criteria: innovation, social utility and financial potential.
The Aurea Awards Ceremony at Belgrade-based Aeroklub restaurant was attended by numerous representatives of diplomatic corps, business community and the media.
Partners of eKapija on the Aurea 2015 project are also Global IT Factory and the PR agency Chapter 4.
About the Aurea 2015 Award winner
Tigar Tyres' investment in Pirot will result in the launch of new range of tires for passenger and light utility vehicles as well as the expansion of current production capacity from 8 million tires in 2013 to 12 million tires by 2016.
The Big Tigar project represents a benchmark on the level of the entire Michelin Group. The new plant is equipped with the state-of-the-art equipment which guarantees a top performance of tires and makes the production quite „clean“. Everything is robotized and machines are doing most of the work.
With the construction of Big Tigar, the number of articles coming out from the Pirot-based factory has grown from 300 to over 1,500.
The total value of this project in the period 2013-2016 is EUR 215 million with the procurements from domestic suppliers accounting for more than a half of the total investment. The new factory will hire 500 new workers. Once this project is completed, Tigar Tyres will employ a total of 2,700 people.
Tigar will be exporting to Russia, the European Union, Africa and the Near East.