General Business Development Director 2019 BH Telecom (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Since 2005 BHTelecom has invested U$10.5 million in social projects in sports, culture, education, and in the work of charity organizations. U$55,500 will be invested in start-ups along with specially designed support platform in 2020. BHTelecom is beyond regular telecom company. It senses and lives the emotions and tradition of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It understands their needs and integrates newest technologies to satisfy these needs. Their branding tag the “Good Story” (Bos. Dobra priča) summarizes the company’s mission – to live goodness and communicate it.
Can you tell us how one big company such as BHT decided to invest in socially responsible projects in sport, culture, education, and startups?
Social responsibility is part of BHT business practice and it is continuously manifested through different activities such as donations to non-profit organizations, support to sport, culture, and charity events through sponsorships and continuous investment in education and other projects important for the development of Bosnian and Herzegovinian society. Since 2005 until now approximately U$10.5 million (19 million BAM) has been donated to different non-profitorganizations.
Companies often ask how an investment in social projects especially youth can be measured? Can you tell us Your experience?
We have to be objective and say that most of the projects that have a socially responsible character don’t have a classical marketing effect. The real effect of investment in youth and social projects generally is building trust, strengthening partnerships, developing a positive reputation, and the image of a company. As a public company, we feel responsibility to help all segments of society and we are honored because we are perceived as the most socially responsible company in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The most important to us is that our customers recognize and value our endeavors, which is, eventually, the biggest sign of the investment in the relationship with our customers and others in the public domain.
BHTelecom donated $55.000,00 (BAM100.000,00) for start-up development and in 2020 BHT plans to create a platform for their development. Why is the investment in start-up important?
We want to create an unique platform on the market in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is open to our start-up community. Start-ups will have a permanent chance to apply for cooperation and support from BHT in each phase of their project development or service until their implementation. We will also give them an opportunity for a future partnership. Results of studies say that generally on the open market nine of ten start-ups (90%) fail in the first four years. We aim to eliminate as many as possible causes of these outcomes through financial support, team support, marketing, support in finding clients, product testing, and every other type of support that will contribute to the mature ideas to develop fully. Also, through this initiative, we want to support bringing new technologies in the society of Bosnia and Herzegovina and eventually we want to be recognized as the company that makes people’s daily activities and tasks of a business subject easier. Finally, we want to be recognized as the company that thrives to adapt well from CSP (Comm. Service Prov.) to DSP (Dig. Service Prov.) provider in new business models as well as the company that positions itself as an integrating system that offers ICT (Information and Comm. Tech.) services of the new generation.
Why investments in socially responsible business, social entrepreneurship and sport are vehicles that can share values in society?
When big companies invest in sports they get a lot, besides the fact that they motivate young people on a healthy lifestyle they promote sports activities as well. We support elite athletes, national teams but also amateur sport, especially in smaller communities. When we support sport organizations in smaller communities we directly improve the quality of life in these local communities.
At the same time, we increase awareness about our services among the residents of the communities because part of the costs that they pay for our services is brought back to them and their children. As we invest in the sport we continuously strengthen reputation because we connect with successful sports brands.