A woman who pushes boundaries. That sentence would briefly describe Snjezana Kopruner, one of the most successful entrepreneurs from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the owner of the company GS Machine Factory Travnik (GS-TMT), who, after electric bicycles, also launched the Evo – an electric delivery vehicle, even after their German partner withdrew and left them to fend for themselves.
What can you tell us about the new project – the first BiH electric delivery vehicle Evo?
”In 2015, we already applied for a light transport vehicle in the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 project and almost passed. Ideas have been brewing in the minds of our engineers for a long time. Since the fall of 2019, we have been working with a partner from Germany on the already-started development of an electric delivery vehicle for the needs of the forwarding company that works for DB. However, due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, this cooperation was unfortunately stopped, and the partner gave up further development. But we did not want to give up on the task we had already started and, as you can see, we brought the development of the prototype to an end. Only now are we facing the biggest challenges – to find the first major customer, adopt serial production, and work further on development.”
You also opened a factory in Rama, what will be produced there, and have you already found a workforce?
”The factory in Rama will initially produce parts for Liebherr excavators. Today, GS-TMT d.o.o. in Travnik has slightly more than 30 employees working on this project. Most of them travel every day from Prozor to Travnik. This shows how much these people are willing to sacrifice in order to work from home in the future.”
”By the end of this year, we plan to have around 100 employees working on the project in Rama. The plan is to have 200 to 250 of them working at the Rama factory in three years of operation. And when we adopt products for Liebherr, we will work on adopting other products.”
In Travnik, you employ more than 500 people with an average net salary of 1.400 BAM. This is above the BiH average, and we also heard that your workers have other benefits as well?
”Today, we have 517 workers with an average income of 1.475 BAM. I think that this is not such a high salary when you know that everyone here earns that salary. The Management Board’s policy is to have satisfied employees, so we pay them once a year for all systematic inspections, not just mandatory ones.”
”We have a fund for mutual aid and our own kindergarten. We give scholarships to the children of our workers, as well as to other students who pass tests here. When you live in a country that is not very functional, then you need to take over some functions that it does not fulfill.”
”When you talk about 1000 BAM, I think you are talking about the minimum wage. I am of the opinion that it is impossible for employers who work in low-accumulation industries, such as leather and textiles, to pay that amount. Now is the time when we especially need to take care of employees because there are fewer and fewer of them. I think that those employers who do not understand how valuable and educated an employee is to them, the greatest asset in the company will not survive,” she concluded, Biznis Info reports.