Source: eKapija | Sunday, 28.01.2018.| 19:06
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2017 RETROSPECTIVE – Investments in TELECOMMUNCIATIONS & IT which have caused the greatest interest among eKapija users

(Photo: Viewvie/
The investment team of eKapija has performed the analysis and formed the list of investments and investment ideas which caused the greatest interest among our users in 2017. The results are very interesting, some of them expected, though there are lots of surprises as well, which is why we`ve decided to share the information with you.

We present the most interesting projects in the TELECOMMUNCIATIONS & IT category.

When it comes to the field of telecommunications and IT industry, the year 2017 brought a lot of good news in Serbia, thanks to local IT companies, which are becoming more and more serious players globally, as well as big foreign companies which still see Serbia as a good location to expand their business, but also, and this needs to be emphasized, the state.

We will start with the latter.

In 2017, the Office for IT and eGovernment of the Government of Serbia was formed with the task of providing a state network, cloud infrastructure, common e-services and support to other state institutions in implementing IT and eGovernment services. This is the first time that the institution in charge of e-government is raised to the level of a government office. The first big piece of news arrived in late 2017, to be discussed in detail below.

Furthermore, regulations were adopted which should enable an accelerated development of this sector and facilitate communication of the business sector and citizens with state organs. The Law on Electronic Document, Electronic Identification and Trust Services in Electronic Transactions was adopted, and the implementation of the new Law on Administrative Procedure, which obliges state institution to share information, began.

Also, the National Portal of Open Data was initiated, payment for services of e-government by payment cards and other electronic means of payment was enabled...

Another important effort by the state was directed at resolving the issue of the deficit of workforce in this field. Programs of retraining for work in IT industry are in progress, computer science was included in elementary school programs, several high schools got computing classes, whereas certain faculties established new departments.

Of the remaining important events, the Digital Serbia initiative, launched in order to improve the Serbian society and economy in the era of digital transformation, should be mentioned.

The topics of bitcoins, crypto-currencies and blockchain technologies are inevitable when it comes to the most important trends in 2017. This is also shown by the fact that Belgrade is the 4th city in the world in the number of blockchain developers.

However, some issues are still waiting for a satisfactory solution. There is still a deficit of IT workforce in Serbia, and the topic of alternative sources of finance, especially significant for startups, never seems to be on the agenda. Furthermore, we are still waiting for the laws on non-banking financial institutions and alternative investment funds.

On the list of investments that caused the greatest interest among eKapija’s users in the sector of telecommunications and IT in 2017, the first place belongs to the agricultural platform Agremo.

(Photo: Budimir Jevtic/
Aside from changing the former name of Agrisens in 2017, this platform of the company Logit Solutions marked the previous year by winning the eKapija’s traditional Aurea Investment of the Year 2017 award.

This platform, let us remind, is a unique technological solution which enables users to process survey images and analyze data gathered from agricultural fields through drones or other types of aircraft. The software processes the data and offers advice to agriculturists as to how to best take care of the quality of the sowing and the plantations, the expected yields, areas subject to various forms of plant stress and other important aspects of the production.

That this technology is applicable globally is shown by the fact that the app has helped drone operators in Portorico to estimate the agricultural damage following Hurricane Maria, thereby enabling agriculturists to present concrete numbers measuring the damage suffered.

As the company told eKapija, Agremo is soon to get a new version of the app, which will contain additional features and benefits for users from the field of agriculture, and the plan is to also educate small and large agriculturists and technology aficionados interested in improving their activities in the field of agriculture.

Although the interest in the implementation of the software in Serbia is growing, they add, there is still a big difference compared to states like the USA or Canada, where an increasingly large number of agriculturists recognize the value of drones combined with analyses provided by Agremo.

The second spot belongs to the American technology giant NCR, which announced the construction of a business campus in Block 42 and the employment of another 1,500 workers. This company also plans to invest as much as EUR 400 million in Serbia over the next 10 years.

NCR, which has had its service and operations center in Serbia for years, should thereby reach the number of 3,600 permanent employees in Serbia in the upcoming years. This company, which produces, sells and provides services for monetary transaction devices, received EUR 10.2 million from the state as incentive for the construction of the said campus.

We have already mentioned that an important piece of news came from the Office for IT and eGovernemnt in late 2017. In mid-December, the first State Data Center officially opened in Serbia.

This project, worth EUR 9 million, should enable efficient functioning of electronic government and development of new services for citizens and the business sector. The State Data Center frees various state services and institutions from the need to have their own data centers. Instead, all the data will be stored in a single center.

At the same time, it was announced that electronic payments by payment cards had been enabled through the national eGovernment portal and that payment through integrated electronic banking (e-banking) and using electronic money (eWallet) would be enabled through the portal in 2018, which solidified this piece of news in the third spot on our list.

It has been well known for a long time that Serbia is a very interesting destination for global companies. Educated workforce, a favorable location and considerably lower costs of doing business and salary costs then in more developed countries attract investors from all over the world. Even though in most sectors this means that a large number of workers are paid below average salaries, this is not the case in the IT industry.

(Photo: ronstik/
In mid-2018, the German automotive industry giant Continental opened a software research and development center in Novi Sad, in which, as announced, employees will be paid a gross salary of EUR 2,300 a month.

A little under 100 people work in the center at the moment, and the company plans to employ a total of 500 engineers in the upcoming years. They are to develop technologies and innovative solutions for interior control and safety of passenger and commercial vehicles in Novi Sad. The fact that the company (a division of which, ContiTech, already has a mechanical car component plant in Subotica, in which it employs 700 people) has been exploring the possibility of one such investment in Serbia proves how serious the investment is.

This investment placed fourth on our list, whereas the company SBB takes the fifth spot.

This provider of cable TV, internet, landline phone connections and other services continues to expand in Serbia, both organically and through acquisitions of competing companies. In April 2017, they officially completed the purchase of IKOM, which ceased to exist as an independent operator after a period of integration after January 3 and became fully integrated into SBB. The same happened to EUnet in February 2017, and SBB also formally acquired the Cacak-based Kabel Group 85 last year.

During 2017, SBB made several more moves that attracted public attention. The EON platform for watching TV program through the internet was launched. It has recently become available to those who don’t use SBB’s services as well. The Unifi network was expanded to include the Unifi Travel service, which provides free internet in over 60 million Wi-Fi spots in over 120 states of the world. They also launched a new TV channel, TOP, which exclusively broadcasts one of the most-watched local TV series, Ubice mog oca.

SBB also started cooperating with the IT company Lanaco, in order to offer ERP solutions of Lanaco to its business users. The solutions are distributed through a SaaS (Software as a Service) model from their own Data Center.

The sixth spot belongs to the investment of EUR 1 million of South Central Ventures in the company CUBE. The funds are meant for a further development of their business data platform, which enables the following and the comparison of companies’ financial parameters and their digital presentation on the web.

This local company, founded in 2012, evaluates credit risks, reports, monitors, analyzes business markets, prepares trade reports and follows the competition. This investment also shows that results of data gathering and analysis (Big Data Science) have become inevitable in everyday business activities, the reduction of risks of doing business and the optimal utilization of business potentials.

Smart business solutions have long since become very important tools in doing business, in practically any industry. One of those was presented in 2017 by Future Reality Systems, placing seventh on our list.

(Photo: Monkey Business Images/
This Nis-based startup developed an app for the presentation of residential-office complexes using the technologies of virtual and augmented reality. They were supported in this project by the local construction giant Energoprojekt, for whose residential complex Sunnyville they created a mobile app.

By directing the mobile phone camera to the flyer, the app initiates the augmented reality mode on the screen and allows the user to move between the structures of the Sunnyville settlement.

In late 2017, their project Arxitekt also received EUR 80,000 in grants from the Innovation Fund of the Republic of Serbia for the development of an augmented-reality-based mobile app for interior design.

Eighteen years after the demolition of the old building of RTV Vojvodina, the foundation stone for the new building was laid down on November 22 in Miseluk, Novi Sad. The ruins of the former building were removed by the Belgrade-based company Elita Cop, whereas the new facility is to be built by a group of suppliers (Pro-ing Novi Sad, Modulor Belgrade, Karin Komerc MD Veternik, MPP Jedinstvo Sevojno, Elsing Group Novi Sad and Fitis-ju Subotica), headed by SMB-gradnja Subotica.

This consortium signed an agreement worth RSD 654 million (RSD 784.8 million with VAT) with RTV Vojvodina on September 18, after it was awarded the contract at the tender as the sole bidder. The new building will have 17,530 square meters, five television and six radio multifunctional studios, and the total value of the investment is around RSD 2.6 billion. The deadline for the completion of the first stage of the works is 480 calendar days, and the procurement and equipping are expected afterwards. The facility is expected to be completed in around three years. This piece of news placed eighth on our list.

The ninth spot belongs to science-technology parks. In mid-November, agreements worth a total of EUR 20.2 million were signed on the construction of a unit of the Faculty of Electronic Engineering in Nis, the science-technology park in Nis and the building for the Verrocchio project of the Institute of Physics in Belgrade.

The laboratory unit was part of the original project of the Faculty of Electronic Engineering in Nis back in 1975 and will now finally be built, whereas the science-technology park will also contain a business incubator for around 30 startups, as well as an area for research and development of products of larger companies.

The Verrocchio project of the Institute of Physics in Belgrade will help connect various fields of knowledge, such as the development of new generations of accelerators and detectors, the modeling of complex systems, supercomputing, analysis of big sets of data... The construction of a prototype plan of 1,000 m2 and basic infrastructure is planned as well, and the works are to start in 2019.

As we’ve already noted, the enhancement of the IT sector in Serbia is high on the list of the state’s priorities. The construction of a science-technology park is in progress in Novi Sad. Its 30,000 square meters will include a section for startups.

The construction of a new building of the Center of Digital Agriculture at the BioSense Institute in Novi Sad is announced for this year, and the plan is to also have a new building of the Faculty of Organizational Sciences in Belgrade and a building for higher education of IT engineers in Belgrade raised.

The top 10 is rounded up by the news about the beginning of the implementation of the eZUP information system of June 2017. The system enables public administration employees to access data quickly and in a simple fashion and provides citizens with a quicker and more efficient service.

In the first phase, the eZUP system connected 14 databases of six big institutions in Serbia – the register of the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, the databases of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Tax Administration, the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund and the National Employment Service and the Central Registry of the Mandatory Social Insurance, thereby eliminating the need for the citizens to get birth record copies and other documents issued by these institutions.

With the establishment of the State Data Center, the laws adopted, the enhancement of the eGovernment portal and the establishment of eZUP, it seems that the digitalization of state administration is progressing, slowly making unnecessary expenses and paperwork a thing of the past.

Take a look at the complete list on investments in the TELECOMMUNCIATIONS & IT category and compare it with your own thoughts, estimates and projections.

Also, have you seen our list of the projects that have caused the greatest interest in the ECOLOGY, TOURISM, ENTERTAINMENT & RECREATION, UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE & ENERGY, HEALTH CARE, REAL ESTATE (residential and office space), AGRICULTURE AND FOOD INDUSTRY and INDUSTRY categories?

Companies: Beograd
Logit d.o.o. Novi Beograd
NCR d.o.o. Beograd
Vlada Republike Srbije Beograd
Ministarstvo privrede Republike Srbije
Kancelarija za informacione tehnologije i elektronsku upravu
Telekom Srbija a.d. Beograd
Continental Automotive Serbia d.o.o.
IKOM Beograd
SBB d.o.o. Beograd
Cube team d.o.o. Beograd
Investicioni fond South Central Ventures
Energoprojekt Holding a.d. Beograd
Future Reality Systems d.o.o. Niš
SMB-gradnja Subotica
Radio televizija Vojvodine Novi Sad
Euro Gardi group Novi Sad
Fakultet organizacionih nauka Beograd
Institut za fiziku Beograd
Elektronski fakultet Niš
Grad Niš
Kancelarija za upravljanje javnim ulaganjima Vlade Republike Srbije
Evropska investiciona banka EIB
Ministarstvo prosvete, nauke i tehnološkog razvoja Republike Srbije
Ministarstvo državne uprave i lokalne samouprave
PIO Fond Beograd
Centralni registar obaveznog socijalnog osiguranja
Fond za inovacionu delatnost Beograd
Poreska uprava Srbije
Nacionalna služba za zapošljavanje Kragujevac
BioSense Novi Sad
Elsing group d.o.o. Novi Sad
FITIŠ-JU d.o.o. Subotica
Karin komerc MD Veternik
Pro-Ing a.d. Novi Sad
Modulor d.o.o. Beograd
MPP Jedinstvo Sevojno a.d. Sevojno
Contiental Subotica
eKapija retrospective
eKapija retrospective 2017
retrospective telecommunications
retrospective IT industry
Office for IT and eGovernment
computer science in elementary schools
Law on Electronic Document Electronic Identification and Trust Services in Electronic Transactions
Law on Administrative Procedure
National Portal of Open Data
retraining for work in IT industry
Digital Serbia initiative
crypto currencies
Law on Non Banking Financial Institutions
Law on Alternative Investment Funds
Aurea award
State Data Center
electronic banking
electronic money
Kabel Group 85
EON platform
internet tv
Unifi network
Big data
residential complex Sunnyville
augmented reality
virtual reality
Fitis ju Subotica
science technology park
science technology park in Novi Sad
Center of Digital Agriculture
Institute BioSense Novi Sad
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