The year 2023 did not have a promising start. Not only for Enlight Engineering, but for companies on a global level.
The world was headed toward recession due to constant hikes in interest rates caused by inflation, and the economic slowdown of the countries that are the main engines of growth.
So, in 2023 our focus was risk management.
Preparing for unexpected situations and managing risks is something that we constantly work on, whether there is a crisis emerging or not. Our goal is to make controlled adjustments in our business to adequately meet the needs of all our clients.
For us, 2023 was the year of revelation – we turned to optimize internal processes, explore new markets, and develop new ways of delivering the best service.
On a global scale, the latest geopolitical developments have greatly influenced the IT market, especially the IT sourcing market. In general, due to recession, many companies decided to stop or slow down their IT development projects, which in turn influenced IT sourcing companies to lose projects or have difficulty obtaining them.
However, this development instigated the need to dive deep into the market, to think strategically, and to optimize internal processes.
Our primary objective was to minimize risk through informing, monitoring, and adjusting business operations, processes, and objectives, guided by strategically managed and controlled growth. We aimed to stay informed about both commercial and labor markets and regularly assess if we were aligning with our strategy and prevailing global conditions.
We identified the most crucial risks and opportunities and made strategic preparations for them. Investment was made in our workforce and working systems, with the anticipation that this growth and development strategy would help navigate the crisis affecting everyone in the market.
We decided to invest heavily in marketing and sales, which meant creating and implementing a mechanism that will provide us with a relatively safe and continuous placement of our offerings on the market that keeps changing us day by day.
Additionally, due to the prevailing sentiment where clients harbor certain fears regarding trusting the unknown, losing control of the project, and investing in third parties for domain knowledge and know-how, we realized that our internal processes must be top-notch, and everything has to be documented.
In 2023, we formed a new marketing team which moved from operational to strategic approach and focused campaigns in support of the sales process. We worked hard on getting to know our target markets, technologies of interest and were able to gain valuable insights into which direction our company’s activities should move toward.
Chief Marketing Officer Vuk Stanivuković shared insights into how Enlight Engineering views the role of marketing in the company:
“At Enlight Engineering, marketing is not just about immediate results. It's about understanding the pulse of the market and aligning the company with the evolving needs and values of our clients. It plays a key role in shaping the trajectory of our company, providing us with market intelligence, and contributing to the competitiveness of our market offering.”
We also focused on strengthening our sales process, implementing new channels, latest technologies and best practices etc. In order to deliver fast, correct and detailed information on what we have to offer.
It’s also worth mentioning that we had a revision of ISO 9001:2015 and 27001:2013 certificates for the quality and safety of information by TÜV AUSTRIA, which we successfully passed. Our KAM Danijela Milićević shares her views on the importance of ISO standards:
“ISO certification isn't just a stamp for Enlight Engineering. It's our commitment to pushing boundaries and keeping our clients happy. It proves we're not just talking about quality and security – we're living it.”
Our HR department, on the other hand, strived to keep management in check, so to speak. Three full-day workshops were held with an external consultant on the topics of communication and emotional management for our Executive Management. The goal is to enhance communication skills through awareness and familiarization with communication techniques that we can apply. Here is what our Head of People Operations Branko Vukovac shares:
“Our HR activities are both directed toward creating a pleasant environment for our employees and for offering support to the company’s overall business, which in 2023 resulted in 17% new hirings, employee retention above 95%, and client retention above 90%. The real challenge will be maintaining these fantastic numbers; however, we do believe that 2024 holds the best things for our team.”
As for people development, we managed to implement internal projects, which not only served to develop personal competencies, such as Knowledge Maps, but also to fill the gaps in technological skills. Our CKO Boris Šijan says that setting up processes to overcome challenges, learn about important technologies, and fill any gaps in our tech skills was successfully achieved – a significant win for our team. It’s also worth mentioning that we have held a second edition of the FAROS scholarship program in cooperation with the Faculty of Technical Sciences of Novi Sad.
Under the leadership of our Chief Engineer, Slobodan Gaćaš, our Team Leads continued their excellent cooperation with existing clients, further solidifying our teams' positions in the projects we are engaged in. He emphasizes our view of successful partnerships:
“While showcasing our skills to new clients is essential, the ongoing cultivation of strong relationships with existing clients is equally important, because it shows that we are a reliable and trustworthy partner who cares about our clients’ business.”
Our CEO Ivan Rajković notes: “It is clear that the challenges of 2023 will persist, but normalization in the job market and the transition to a steady state is evident.
We plan to continue with investments in developing systems for a confident placement of our offerings. More precisely, we will proceed with developing sales processes and expanding into new markets and opportunities.
Internally, we aim to sharpen our know-how and upgrade our tech skills according to market requirements.”
Our COO Petko Milidragović, sees the start of 2024 like this:
Our objectives for 2024 are ambitious, with a strong emphasis on achieving our goals in the Q1. We believe that success in Q1 is crucial for setting a solid foundation and positioning ourselves for a successful year overall. Meeting our targets in the initial quarter will provide the momentum needed to navigate through the challenges and ensure a smoother path towards accomplishing our annual goals. Otherwise, failure to achieve our Q1 goals may pose significant challenges in realizing our yearly objectives.
2024 has already started off promising; we have acquired some new clients, which will lead to new hirings.
More importantly, we also have new projects and expanded work with existing clients, which is a testament that our dedication to being trustworthy and skilled partners is recognized.