Damir Faruk Saracevic

6 days ago

English subtitle

Mistral is one of the three leading
IT companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It started with four employees 5-6 years ago,
and today it has more than 100 workers,
and could have more, of course, as well as many companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in region,
if there was enough human resources.
Through the business we always face
two, actually one problem.
So, our problem is not market,
there has always been market,
the problem is qualified human resources.
I want to say that we have put on hold,
a lot of projects that we are not able
to take because we don't have
enough human resources.
There was a need to, actually,
seeing that our school system does
not produce qualified human resources,
not only to us, but in the whole
IT sector, we decided to
establish our own school, let's say,
Mistral school, where according to
our curriculum, to our needs,
experience, and what the clients require,
we could equip with skills and knowledge certain persons
who have a tendency towards that,
or minimal knowledge.
We started with 10 students two years ago,
in another cycle there were 12,
and now we have 19.
Approximately our employment rate is
around 90%,
so, 90% of people after
that works in Mistral
or somewhere else. This is very high.
Seeing that our project is very
successful,
that we were, for 6 months through
that curriculum, through that training,
able to build skills and knowledge of persons that after the training can be employed.
We came up with an idea to bring it
to a higher level, to start
thinking about something
bigger like an academy, school,
which would work according to our positive experience in cooperation with companies,
with clients, and at the same time which
would give young people,
unemployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
who are many just like in other countries
of the region, to learn that,
let's call it craft,
to earn well and stay in their homeland
and not to go somewhere out of it.
All of us have the same problem,
we have potential for IT sector,
we have good people who work well,
we have a good time zone,
we have... usually in our region
people speak English well,
they have some cultural, European
background that suits our western,
American clients, therefore those
are our predisposition.
But at the same time we have the same
problem, which is lack of qualified human resources.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina we are, I don't
know, five hundred, one thousand,
In Serbia a few thousands,
and that should be
measured by tens of thousands.
Therefore there is big potential
in that sector which can be used,
only if we could band together.
If we would say - let's just
sit down all of us centers,
let's see what are our common problems,
what are our potentials,
what did Zagreb well to copy it,
what does Novi Sad well,
what does Sarajevo well,
and to make somehow some
platform of cooperation,
and according to this cooperation to apply
for EU funding
that are huge, and are
waiting for us to say
that we utilize for some projects here,
because it suits everyone.
It suits them that we stay here,
that our young people stay here,
to not leave the country,
and it suits us even more,
that our young people stay here.
Our mental barriers with
the borders is still...
that slowness in deciding
to cross some real,
virtual border, to cooperate,
to do something...
We are still somehow mentally
divided to us and them.
I think that this is what slows
us down to communicate much easier,
if we were now...
We would be more often in Belgrade,
or Belgrade in Sarajevo, or in
Prishtina, and say - people,
put on side that we are from
different countries,
and let's see how to solve
the same problems
that we all share and how to
get bigger benefits from it,
by employing our young people,
we'll get the money in the budget,
we will make billions, like today
Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus do,
countries which were many steps
behind us, but recognized the
IT sector potential,
and whose profit from IT sector
is today measured,
we got those information
in a study we did,
by tens of billions, in
Moldova 5 billions,
which is a lot of money, of course,
especially for us that are so small.
I think that first step would be
the easiest and basic
before something serious,
one good conference.
Regional, international, conference
which would band us together,
which would gather us in one place,
so let it be in Sarajevo,
because we are already here,
and which would give us an opportunity
to meet with each other for two-three days,
to share experiences, simply
to share contacts,
to say - aha, you are those,
you have IT center, you have
Klaster in Novi Sad,
you in Prishtina do this...
And to link with each other that
way and then from that friendship
and contacts to make some concrete
first steps that later can be increased and strengthened.
Mistral is a software company
that is for the american market,
for highly appreciated clients, one
of the biggest companies in the world
makes software's,
just like many companies in the region.
They are really satisfied with us,
if a company with 300,000 people
in America that is one of the
biggest in the world,
or one of the biggest car producer in
the world is satisfied with our software,
then we can proudly say that
we can offer our expertise,
our knowledge, our experience to others,
the community, the country,
the Kanton, students,
those children who want to
do programming,
to identify their love,
and to identify a good way of
earning money,
which is not something to
throw away, of course,
so, we give them that opportunity
to use our knowledge
where everyone benefits. They get employed,
and Mistral and another companies...
I'm speaking now because I worked
in Mistral until recently,
so this is my biggest experience,
but generally the experience of
Mistral or any other company
in Bosnia and Herzegovina, whether
it is Autoart partners,
whether it is Atlant, whether it
is Symphony,
whether they are companies in Belgrade
for that, it is the same experience,
more or less.
Everyone does really good
software's for international market,
for America, for Sweden, for Germany,
and everyone lack qualified people.
I just focused on that experience
of Mistral because it is familiar to me
but in general, it is more or less
the same, copy-paste system wherever.
We were only in the Kanton
Sarajevo which is a small part
of the region, that shows us
that we need 12,000
developers until 2020.
So, that market can,
how do you say in English,
generally to receive, to absorb
that number is necessary.
Only Kanton Sarajevo with these
10, let's say, big companies,
in the next 5-7 years.
I think before 2025,
so, these are big numbers.
The same thing can happen in
Belgrade, Zagreb, Nish, Prishtina,
wherever, every city that has
a company nucleus
in general has at least 5-6
six times bigger need for workers
than possibility.
Every country has something special,
someone has aluminium, someone has
tourism, there are some specialties,
but from my experience, living
and working here,
I think that are definitely
IT and tourism in general.
Of course there is, let me say
again, someone has this,
someone has fruit growing,
agriculture,
clear food and so on,
but I think that these two are
definitely underestimated and unused.
There are huge potentials for employment,
for the money and budget and
all together.