Developing a business-minded brain from a young age in a geographically, economically but also technologically limited state as North Macedonia is very challenging. Elmedin Ademi showed his ambitions for business very early, ambitions that reflected not only a desire for profit but also a desire for social change.
His journey into business began at the age of 19, in 2008 as becoming the youngest CEO in North Macedonia to manage a multimillion dollar company.
His business portfolio reflects courage and diversity. Today after 13 years, hi is yet above everyone else, being one of the only several businessman to own and manage a conglomerate company in North Macedonia.
He is the chairman of Eurovia Holding, an investment holding company, with its main activity is the development of New business opportunities in the Macedonian market and beyond. EUROVIA Holding is operating in different business fields such as construction (Construction Company EUROVIA since 2010), marketing and advertising (Screen Media Out – of – Home Advertising Company since 2008) and distribution and logistics of various FM-CG Brands (EUROVIA DMD Distribution & Logistics).
Recently, Elmedin was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions from DISRUPT MAGAZINE , and we know you’re going to get a lot out of what he has to say. So without further delay, here is the interview:
- I already know you Elmedin but I will still like you to introduce yourself to my readers and fellow young entrepreneurs. So please could you please tell us about your humble self and business?
I come from a family of hard workers who since my childhood taught me the responsibilities towards obligations as well as the sense of creation. Contributing to society was the first initiative that inspired me to start my business journey.
Today I am 32 years old, with a healthy family and two daughters who are my main inspiration.
I graduated from the Faculty of Contemporary Sciences and Technologies at SEEU University in Tetovo.
My first work activities were at a Local consulting company as an Associates for implementing Business Plans for technology development and digitalization.
At the same time, I started to get more seriously involved in the family business – the construction company EUROVIA which at that time existed for more than 20 years.
But, inspired by the spirit of new technologies, I started my first individual business in 2009 as an Owner of an Outdoor Advertising Company – SCREEN MEDIA Ltd.
Screened billboards – Citylight and Megalight – were presented for the first time in the Macedonian market. It was impossible for me not to embrace such a challenge.
After several years of development of this business in 2016, I took over the family legacy – the construction company EUROVIA, with the sole purpose of implementing modernized processes to raise the company to another level.
Today Eurovia is the lead member of the business pillar that I manage intertwined in the EUROVIA Holding Group
2. How did you build up an entrepreneurial spirit at such a young age, do you believe you were born with it or you developed it?
To be honest the courage and desire to challenge myself I think have been the main initiators to start in the direction of entrepreneurship.
I have not always been determined to venture, but the desire for change in society and the creation of new opportunities are the main culprits that I am here today.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone.
It often takes years of hard work, long hours, and no recognition to become successful. A lot of entrepreneurs give up, or fail for other reasons, only and only because they do not have the patience to reap what they will sow. Which is definitely not overnight success!
To be honest, I am convinced that my development as an entrepreneur has just started. Today I have the direction and I obey my wishes, but my final goal is very still far away.
3. What were the main challenges you faced at the early stages of your business? And do you still encounter them to this day?
The main challenge of the beginnings, among others, has been distrust and decision-making. As a young entrepreneur it is very difficult to be confident in the decisions you make. Lack of experience. You only have the desire and the courage, things that are often not enough to convince others but also to convince yourself that you are on the right path. After 13 years of experience today it is much easier to decide for my business or for my employees. However, running a conglomerate business is not easy due to the diversity of industries but also activities. Every day is different, every day a decision is required that still cannot be predicted up to the maximum percentage. Today I have not only the responsibility to my dream but the responsibility to the team which relies every day on the decisions I make!
So there is not much room for mistakes.
What experience helps is the management of mistakes and the elimination of the same to the extent that the whatever damage is done, it will not affect the course of success of the company!
4. I guess you own Eurovia Holding Investment Company? How did you come about the idea?
As I already mentioned contributing to society was the first initiative that inspired me to start my business journey.
Conglomerate business is something that offers the dynamics of success development at the level that challenges me! The thrill that every business offers, conglomerate business takes it to another level.
On the other hand, operating with different industries intertwined, the impact on society is inevitable. Creating new businesses or developing existing ones gives you the opportunity to create a better future for everyone and not just fulfill your personal ambitions.
6. If you could turn the time, what would you love to do in regards to your business?
The biggest mistake that I made in my first few years of entrepreneurship was setting the bar too low. My small goals confined my sales targets and made me operate way below my potential. I understand that it was only because I couldn’t calculate the exact target!
Now, my business goals are expanded. I prefer to fall short on a seemingly unrealistic goal than to achieve a mediocre one. By making my goals larger, and focusing on serving a larger geographical space, I have been able to work with clients on four continents!
7. Well, this question might sound funny; do you think it is easy to be an entrepreneur?
No! Given the fact that it is not a 9 – 5 job, but it is a lifestyle it makes it even harder.
The characteristic of entrepreneurs is that they lose the sense of boundary of how far their business should develop.
Every minute for them is taking care of their business: plans, negotiations, targets, micromanagement. It is an overloaded process and certainly not for every one .
Patience, prudence and desire are required outside of any previous existential form, extraordinary impulsive spirit that will enable you to manage any obstacles that will arise during the journey as an entrepreneur.
But, the main point of an entrepreneur is vision! No entrepreneur who does not have a vision for the future can be successful!
8. What keeps you going even in hard times?
My people! Starting from my family: the unconditional support of my wife, the future of my children and the way my father follows me as I continue the legacy that my great grandfather started!
Then again, my employees who are definitely my other family, their future and their support. Their contribution is my force for any challenge that my business might face!
As an CEO it is very important for me to be an inspiration and support for all my co – workers and business partners! That is how I know I can rely on them anytime, just as they can rely on me!
9. What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship for young people especially in an economy where jobs are harder to find?
Entrepreneurship rewards those who preserve and think big with freedom. It’s not for everyone but it’s a great option if your goal is to be free.
The most important thing that each of us should have is our ability to define our desires. Figure out what you want, be able to know what you are willing to give up to get what you want and then work towards fulfilling those goals!
10. How do you define success; do you believe you are a success?
By definition success is the state or condition of meeting a defined range of expectation. On the other hand, success is a relative concept. An entrepreneur can aim to make a profit, and if he achieves the desired profit, they believe that they have reached the desired success. Profit is desirable and necessary. It’s the result of a business on the right track.
However, being a successful entrepreneur is a more complex concept.
Having a loyal team and loyal collaborator shows that you are successful. Having a quality product that survives the competition is a sign of success! Passion, resourcefulness, willingness to improvise and listen to others and strong determination to succeed is what makes an entrepreneur successful. And this is what you have to keep in mind as well if you want to be a successful entrepreneur yourself.
I believe I am on the right path! I have my people, proven to be loyal to me, and I have my intuition, which I follow for reaching my goals. Both of them, haven’t failed me up until now!
11. What do you think it takes to succeed in business?
Perseverance and a hungry attitude. The reason why you see a lot of successful people failing after they reach their success is because the hunger that made them successful is no longer there. Without hunger you will never be successful. The peace of mind and clear focus
12. What two pieces of advice can you give to someone who wants to become an expert in their chosen field?
An important quality of a successful entrepreneur is openness in adopting change. Change is the only thing that is constant in business no one can make any profits on age old methods.
Competition should never scare an entrepreneur. In fact, competition is what a successful entrepreneur thrives on. An entrepreneur should be highly energetic and motivated. He or she should always be on the go. At the same time, the commitment levels have to be pretty high. Only when a person is motivated can he do justice to his line of work.
Accepting rejection or constructive criticism can go a long way in making an entrepreneur successful. Criticism shows what he or she is not doing properly or where change is needed. However, it must be remembered that accepting criticism is a very important way of getting success. This is because a person will then be aware of the shortcomings of his business and accordingly make amends. Hence accepting criticism is actually a good way of improvising.
13. What is the last ‘one word’ advice you will give to my readers when it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur?
The path to success lies in evolution, whether it is evolution of ideas, services and products or technology. An entrepreneur should have an open mind and eagerness to learn new things. It is imperative to understand that the only way to keep at the top is to keep on changing and evolving with the time.