After acquiring Marbo Product, PepsiCo Inc. has, during its ten years of business in the Western Balkans, invested into new production lines, increase of production capacity and expanding its portfolio, working conditions and employees and environmental protection platform. Total sales revenue increased by 96% while the exports to EU countries rose by 67%. The company has distinguished itself as one of the major manufacturers of salty snacks in the markets of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina whereas Clipsy, Pardon and Gud product brands are a part of the global PepsiCo portfolio.
This year PepsiCo will mark a significant anniversary - ten years of doing business in the Western Balkans. We talked with PepsiCo West Balkans Commercial Senior Manager Nenad Miscevic about the first decade of business, company results in the previous period, business strategy and company plans for the next period.
When PepsiCo acquired it in 2008, Marbo Produkt became a part of this multinational company, the leader in food and drinks industry which has subsidiaries in over 200 countries across the globe. The first ten years of the company is an excellent occasion for us to proudly present everything we accomplished previously in the Western Balkans markets. Everything good we upgraded and further developed through implementing high, global PepsiCo standards. We made investments into new production and business models, we increased our production capacities and expanded our business portfolio. That is why we are proud of the results which show the total sales revenues rise of 96% and exports volume increase of 67%. We are endimg our first ten years as one of the biggest salty snacks manufacturers in the Western Balkans, Nenad Miscevic points out.
eKapija: What does the PepsiCo West Balkans portfolio include? Where are your production facilities located?
– Local brand Chipsy, Clipsy, Pardon and Gud have become a part of the PepsiCo family after the acquisition and the local portfolio also includes globally popular brands such as Quaker Oats and Lay`s brand that is manufactured locally and marketed in the Slovenian and Croatian markets and other markets in the region. Our company has plants in Maglic near Backi Petrovac and in Laktasi near Banjaluka. The Maglic plant is one the most representative PepsiCo facilities in Europe, which is only confirmed through last year`s expansions in production capacity with latest production line for making crackers intended for EU markets. We are talking about highly demanding markets in France, UK ,Spain and Portugal, and Benelux states. When it comes to local brands, Gud is exported to Romania while Pardon is marketed in Bulgarian market.
eKapija: What are the sales and marketing strategy of PepsiCo West Balkans ?
– Our brands are among leading brands in their categories and they have established their market position by their presence and availability in retail stores.
We care about our customers and we follow their preferences and 67 different flavours in our portfolio prove we listen to their wishes. We complement that with strong advertising and retail campaigns while international stars such as Leo Messi, who are available to our customers too, give exclusivity to our products.
Thanks to PepsiCo Inc. we can follow the regional development strategy in all the leading categories and the freedom to connect with local needs and customer habits, which puts our brands in a desirable position. For instance, our partnership with the prestigious UEFA Champions League is a privilege and something we can offer to our buyers and consumers. We are pleased that by the end of the year, due to Crvena Zvezda qualifying for UEFA Champions League, our consumers will have the opportunity to witness the impact of such campaigns more intensively.
eKapija: Which direction will PepsiCo take when it comes to company`s desire to position itself as a socially responsible business?
– We apply our socially responsible Performance with Purpose to every segment of our work. Our people, products and community we do business in are our priorities.
We are aware of the importance of educating consumers on healthy life styles and sport and physical activities and therefore we support the National strategy for preventing obesity that Serbian Ministry of Health introduced recently and "Tezi Ravnotezi" national health campaign. We apply this responsibility to our business activities. During this year only, we donated more than 15,000 balls for elementary school students in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro through strategic partnership with Ministries of education and sports in these markets.
In addition to that, we proudly underline a brand campaign that had a social responsibility aspect to it. Last year we conducted a “Every day has a better taste with a smile” campaign with our Chipsy brand wherein we set up “Chipsy corners” for 10 student dormitories in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This donation brought a smile to faces of more than 8,000 students.
When it comes to environmental protection we have achieved results in that area that we can be proud of. Ten years of investing in plants and production modernization resulted in lowering CO2 emission by around 300 tons, water consumption was reduced by 63%, power consumption by 43% and more that 93% of waste is being recycled. This is one sector we actively work on and which will remain our priority for years to come.
eKapija: How many workers does PepsiCo employ in Serbia and B&H?
– Our employees are our most valuable and most important investment. We have more than 1,300 employees in Serbia and B&H and we are especially glad about the fact that we have an almost equal gender representation, that is, in our business structure women make more than 48% of all employees.
Total number of workers follows our business model. For instance, in the last quarter of 2017, the factory in Maglic hired more than 100 workers which was the outcome of expanding production capacities with the latest production line for making potato crisps.
Our continued goal is to give support to new talents, young and ambitious people who want to improve their professional skills and build their careers. Through PepsiCo Go: Start we hired 6 graduates without work experience and this year six more will participate in out one-year paid internship programme who after the training is complete will get the chance to join our team.
eKapija: Beside PepsiCo Go: Start project you also have other projects through which you assist young and talented people?
– We help the young talents through specifically designed projects. This year we carried out Chipsy Agro Academy for the first time, which teaches practical skills in potato growing to students of Faculty of Agriculture in the University of Novi Sad. Considering we are one of the biggest local potato buyers in Western Balkans, that goes into Chipsy and Lay`s production, that sort of knowledge is available to our cooperatives too. In the last ten years we bought over 400,000 tons of potatoes from the local growers, who grow it by the highest PepsiCo standards which is one of the ways in which we contribute to local community.
We also carry out global PepsiCo projects in Serbia, and through the PepsiCo Nutrition Greenhouse programme we invited local entrepreneurs, who will ahape the future food and drinks industry, to compete for project financing and for mentorship with our colleagues who run brands.
eKapija: What are PepsiCo plans for the next period?
– Although we mark our ten year anniversary of doing business in the Western Europe markets this year, we see those ten years as just a beginning in our long-term dedication to these markets and local communities. We believe that all we accomplished so far is a great boost for Serbian economy and a firm base for long-term growth and new business victories.