Vera Vujasić, director of the Fercam office in Belgrade – Strength lies in the team

Fercam, an italian transport and logistics company, in its 6 years of doing business in Serbia, has grown from having just a few employees to a team comprised of more than 70 members of staff. Along the way, they chose a bold strategy of offering scholarships to students, as a result of which the average age of company employees is under 30. The fact that, in addition to the number of employees, its income is also growing with each year, while the results recorded are at a high level, also demonstrates that this was a good move.

Since its establishment in 1949, the small local carrier Fercam has become one of the main logistics operators in Europe. This family-owned company, based in Bolzano, Italy, has offices today in 21 countries with more than 100 branches, and last year, it recorded a turnover of over one billion euros.

We spoke to the director of the Fercam office in Belgrade, Vera Vujasić, about how to create a good team, investments in each individual, as well as ways to foster good corporate practice.

PL: You have been with Fercam Belgrade since it was founded. You have made a significant leap – from the beginning when you had only a few employees, now you have more than 70. How do you guide each individual to use their maximum potential and contribute to the overall results of the company?

– At Fercam, we are very proud of the fact that we apply an individual approach to each employee. By observing the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, we can assign them the right tasks, provide appropriate support, as well as use their talents in the best possible way. Each individual needs to be in the right place, in order to be the best version of themselves.

I would also like to underscore that it is necessary for each employee to have a clearly set goal that he should achieve – in this way, it is easier for him to know exactly what path he should take, that is, where he should direct his focus and efforts. Regular feedback is also very important so that you can recognize your strengths as well as areas that should be improved. That is why, on a monthly basis, all team members receive both feedback on past achievements and expectations for the upcoming month.

It is also up to us to create a work environment that encourages commitment, creativity, and innovation. Of course, all initiatives are welcome and we strongly support everyone who wants to make suggestions for business improvement.

By combining all the approaches I mentioned, we motivate and support all team members to contribute to the maximum value of the company.

PL: The participation and position of women in logistics are increasingly discussed. In your team, the number of women and men is almost the same, both in the operative sector and in top management. Do you see your strength in the synergy of a mixed team?

– When hiring and selecting candidates, Fercam is guided exclusively by their personal qualities and knowledge needed for our business, regardless of their gender. Coincidence or not, today we have a mixed collective, with an almost equal number of men and women.

Mixed teams are great because of the different perspectives, experiences, and skills everyone brings. As you said – our strength lies in this synergy of diversity.

Of course, I believe it is necessary to support and encourage women who have decided to have a career in any industry. For a successful career, in my opinion, the most important thing is to balance private and work obligations. Although it is not an easy endeavor in logistics, with dedicated work and efficient organization of all tasks, we managed to create a schedule in which all work is completed during normal business hours, and the weekends are free.

From the very beginning, we decided to support the family life of our colleagues, so we have two funds – one to support employees who got married, and the other for those who have had children.

Considering that our team is extremely young, I am happy to say that there are no less than 21 children on this year’s list for presents from Santa Claus!

PL: Apart from the fact that you have a lot of female employees in this male-dominated industry, the Fercam Company also stands out by its large number of young employees. What is the average employee age at your company? What do you single out as an advantage of those just starting out their career, and what should be improved?

– We had a brave initiative to choose our future colleagues while they were still at the university. The competition for the 4th generation of FERCAM scholarship holders is underway. Of course, we started with the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, and then we expanded the cooperation to other scientific and educational institutions, such as the Faculty of Economics. On average, around 10 scholarship holders start their careers with us every year.

Some candidates who interned here stayed with us. All in all, a team whose average age is under 30 is responsible for excellent results and year-on-year growth!

Beginners come with enthusiasm and strong energy, ready to learn and tackle new challenges. On the other hand, we successfully solved their lack of self-confidence due to insufficient experience in solving complex tasks with a mentoring program.

With the additional training we organize, beginners develop not only self-confidence but also the competencies necessary for faster career advancement.

PL: In addition to the industry in which you operate, you also improve your knowledge in the field of psychology. What skills do you use to build a successful team that improves with each year?

– The ability to actively listen and communicate effectively is key to understanding the needs, ideas, and problems within the team. I also learned how important it is to motivate the team through clearly set goals, as well as individuals through proper career planning. Encouraging cooperation, respecting different opinions, and sharing ideas within the team, as well as developing team spirit, is also important.

Our industry is extremely dynamic and market demands dictate rapid changes, and responding to such opportunities requires flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to circumstances.

I solve challenges together with them and build a relationship based on trust and honesty, and I earn their loyalty in return.

Moreover, I would like to point out that, except at the local level, the entire Fercam group encourages continuous learning and development of skills within the team through various training programs. All members of our large Fercam community have a variety of online training programs available.

Using the aforementioned skills gives me the ability to create a successful team, which is flexible and can adapt to the challenges of running a business in this age. Clearly focused on the goal, we move forward with a steady step.