TV Show Exclusive Featuring Verbalisti as the Main Supporter of the Macedonian Pop Idol Talent Show (VIDEO)

Skopje, Macedonia – April 17, 2011 – Ivanna Hadzievska, the host of the popular TV show Exclusive, speaks to Jasmina Saric, director of educational programs, PRODIREKT, at the onset of the Pop Idol finals about her company’s media and educational support for this talent show.

TV show Exclusive featuring Verbalisti as the main supporter of the talent show Macedonian Pop Idol
Ivanna Hadzievska, A1 TV (left) and Jasmina Saric, PRODIREKT

PRODIREKT, a company that owns one of the fastest growing educational social network Verbalisti, will award a two-week language course at Kings Colleges for the first Macedonian Pop Idol. Even at the very start of the of the Macedonian Pop Idol finals, language education has become a true hit among the young in Macedonia, while the Facebook page Verbalisti hit the record on April 3 by getting more than 1,000 new members.

About Pop Idol in Macedonia
Macedonian Idol Season 1 (Macedonian: Македонски идол – Makedonski Idol) is the first season of the Macedonian version of the worldwide known talent franchise series Pop Idol. The show started airing on November 13, 2010 on the Macedonian national television A1, while the auditions commenced in the summer 2010. Ivanna Hadzievska and Nenad Gjeorgjievski, famous for being hosts of the show-magazine A1 Exclusive, are the hosts of the show. Three Macedonian celebrities have been chosen to be the judges: Kaliopi Bukle (singer), Igor Dzambazov (TV host, singer and actor) and Toni Mihajlovski (TV host and actor). Ten Macedonian cities are included: Ohrid, Kavadarci, Strumica, Veles, Štip, Kumanovo,Skopje, Bitola, Tetovo and Prilep. Twenty candidates have been chosen for the final cut of the show.

Interview (in the Macedonian language):
Ivanna Hadzievska, A1 TV and Jasmina Saric, PRODIREKT
Show Program Exclusive, April 19, 2011

The Attraction of Success – Serbian Monthly Prestup Features an Interview with Dejan Trpkovic

Monthly Prestup features an interview with Dejan Trpkovic about the career aspects and his views and expectations of the Serbian market

Read the full article in the Serbian language: PRIVLAČNOST USPEHA, Olivera Miloš Todorović, Prestup

Olivera Milos Todorovic of Prestup, a cutting edge independent monthly, talks to Dejan Trpkovic, the founder of Prodirekt, one of the leading management development firms in Serbia and Montenegro, about his career, views of his home country business landscape, the winds of change in local marketing and PR, and how he sees his country in the future.

The Attraction of Success, by Olivera Milos Todorovic, Prestup, November 26, 2004Dejan Trpkovic graduated from the Belgrade Faculty of Economics and got his MBA at the University of Colorado in Denver, USA. At the young age of 31, he assumed Regional Director position in Hasbro and headed, first from London, and then from Vienna the regional business for one of the world’s largest corporations. Four years later, he moved into the world of telecommunications and digital media and became Vice President of the fast-growing company World-Link, based in New York. After accomplishing a great career abroad, Dejan returned to Belgrade, his birthplace. It’s a common thing for people who have lived abroad for a long time to idealize their home country. Questioned whether he actually knew what he was coming back to when the decision to return home for good had been made, Dejan answered with certainty:

“It’s true that people are prone to idealizing their home country, but it’s also common for us to glorify life in the western world. Although I believe that an ideal place for living is a very personal thing, our roots and childhood places are probably the most important. Having lived and worked in many countries, one realizes that life, social norms and habits typical for one country are by no means “better” or “worse” than any other – they are simply different. When you have lived more than two years in a foreign country, got to know diverse cultures and habits, only then you acquire objectiveness, and single-minded opinions become very rare. The fact that professionally I achieved so much as a relatively young man was in many ways crucial to my decision to return to Serbia four years ago. I wouldn’t want to use the worn out phrase “I’ve come back to help my country”. Although that is true in my case as well, still, the personal decision to go on living in “my” surroundings was the most important factor in my decision to return home”.

Dejan has set up several companies all of which, in their own walks of life, have made a name in the Serbian market. What made him invest in Prodirekt, a consultancy which develops managers, or in Prodide, a marketing and PR agency? His explanation is simple and earnest: “Although there were several lucrative corporate job offers, the opportunity to finally prove myself as an entrepreneur and a company creator prevailed. Professionals who excelled in the three different management roles of a business engagement – being a senior manager in a large corporation, taking up a successful management consultancy role, and finally, being a creator/owner of a business, usually command the highest value in the western economies. They have gained management experience from the three most important perspectives. Becoming an entrepreneur both filled the missing link in my career and proved a good opportunity to pass my experience to others in a very direct way”.

Prestup interview - Dejan Trpkovic, PRODIREKTAsked about the low importance of marketing in the monopolistic Serbia and the fact that marketing is regarded as an expense and not an investment, Dejan Trpkovic says: “As the competition gets stronger, the game on the market will be changing, as well as the managers’ attitude towards marketing and other professional services. Unfortunately, it is true that there are still powerful lobbies and tycoons who scare people with foreign competition, representing it as a threat. Competition might be merciless in the beginning, but in the long run it would always prove better for the end consumer. I think the times have started to change in Serbia. It’s becoming obvious to our managers that they need to invest in marketing to survive”.

This was an excellent cue to share Dejan’s view on ethos in Serbia regarding the marketing profession: “In business, more specifically in marketing and PR professions, there is still no ethos, no clearly defined set of values, or at least it’s teething, in the process of being defined. An established set of values implies that there is the firm connection and harmony between education and business practice. Here, the vast majority of young people graduate from universities completely unprepared for real work. For example, many want to become PRs because it’s trendy, while they are unaware of how difficult and responsible that profession is. The true PR professionals are business elite”.

On the subject of how much globalization negatively affects the markets of Serbia and Montenegro, Dejan Trpkovic pointed out the importance of competition and free economy: “It is not that important who provides a certain service. The most important thing is that a consumer has a choice and that there is a healthy competition on the market. Foreign competition has its own advantages. Global quality standardization of services and products as well as the presence of foreign companies in Serbia bring the quality of the local market offering to a higher level and introduce professionalism in business relations. Although it is wise to be somewhat protective and careful about privatization of certain strategic industries that can directly and immediately affect the standard of living of citizens, it is crucial that our privatization law treats everyone equally. It is not good to favor an indigenous investor over foreign capital. We ought to choose what is best for us. The claims we sometimes hear in the media, stating “foreigners will take over everything, and then, exploit us” is at least fallible. Do you really think that local business chains and indigenous investors would do things differently, or that they can actually remain successful without reducing the excessive work force in their companies?

When asked what he valued the most in young, talented professionals, the reply was straight and heartfelt: “The courage to come to grips with the opportunities in life, and the stamina to endure in making these opportunities come true”.

Read the full article in the Serbian language: PRIVLAČNOST USPEHA, Olivera Miloš Todorović, Prestup


When a Job Finds You

Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro – 28 April, 2004 – Status magazine interviews job seekers, major employers and leading management recruiters to determine changes in the employment trends and practices in Serbia

Personal connections and nepotism are being replaced by professionalism in the employment practice in Serbia. In the interview to Status magazine, the representatives of Delta Corporation, DaimlerChrysler, Hill International and Prodirekt all agree that high unemployment, expatriates returning home, and the Western hiring standards, introduced by foreign corporations, have laid down a new set of rules for job seekers. Qualifications and interview performance have become ever more important in getting the right position.

Status magazine singles out Prodirekt as one of the few firms, which have been able to maintain focus in providing their management recruiting service. Dejan Trpkovic, founder of Prodirekt, describes the company’s interview process for management candidates as flexible and relaxed, without long testing procedures. “Top managers, with considerable experience, don’t feel it is appropriate to go through the same testing procedure as other candidates for lower positions. And they should not. Management selection in Serbia in this respect is going through evolution. Prodirekt operates as retained executive search firm, evaluating managers through interviews and social gatherings,” says Mr. Trpkovic.

Full story: Vesna Sekerezovic: “When a job finds you” in Status magazine (April 28, 2004, in the Serbian language).

Prodirekt provides strategic management and human resource consultancy services to clients ranging from large corporations to emerging growth companies in southeast Europe, across a broad range of industries and sectors. The company has earned a reputation for successfully completing the most complex management searches in the region due to Prodirekt consultants’ in-depth knowledge of specific industry sectors and years of direct senior-level experience and long-standing relationships with top leaders.