01/01/2017 marked a turning point in my life. Not only professionally, as my business life is largely reflected on my personal life, whether I like it or not. I decided to leave the safety of a large corporation and steer my career into the waters of a then much smaller but fast-growing company – Serengeti.
I heard about Serengeti before I was even given a chance to apply for a position here. I read articles about how a small company from Zagreb had been included in the Deloitte 2016 list as one of the three fastest growing Croatian IT companies. Due to a combination of circumstances, a few months later I received an offer to become a part of it. Now it is apparent that I accepted the offer, in fact, without much thought. Somehow, I knew it was a good decision.
So, I started 2017 as a Legal Advisor in Serengeti. At that time, Serengeti had about forty employees. The Črnomerec office, the warm welcome, the family atmosphere, and the cheerful environment is what proved from the first day that the decision I made was good. From day one, I grew with Serengeti, learned from my mistakes, and improved myself by participating in improving the then small company.
After less than a year and a half, I was promoted to the position of Director of Operations and General Affairs, where I am today. It was a huge challenge, even bigger than when I first started at Serengeti. I ventured into the unknown. Managing General Affairs, which consist of Accounting, HR, Internal IT, Legal and Human Resources, Administration and Procurement, is a challenge. When it comes to a company that grows by 50 employees in a year, it’s all but easy. Establishing procedures that will work well for a while and then needing to change the same procedures again when we outgrow them… really challenging.
Now that I look back on the beginnings, the challenges that seemed huge to me at the time seem likeable now. However, as I mentioned earlier, Serengeti and I grew together – I developed my knowledge and competencies and gathered valuable experiences. Along the way, Serengeti allowed me to get additional education in the field of management, from a range of soft skills trainings, the Gustav Kaeser Training, to the General Management Program at the Bled School of Management.
In early 2018, my team of people numbered approximately 10 employees. Today, there are over 20 people in my team. No matter how much knowledge and experience I had had, or I have gained over time, no matter how many training sessions I have passed, success cannot be achieved without a team of people to achieve it with. Today, General Affairs cover the entire business of Serengeti, not only in Croatia but also in Serbia and Kenya, where we have development centers. I am especially proud of the step forward we have taken – building a company in Serbia and establishing procedures from scratch, which means starting a company, is a challenge we have overcome – I dare say – without mistakes. Serengeti Serbia has reached over 20 employees in less than a year; Serengeti Croatia has over 150 employees. I can proudly say that my General Affairs team provides daily support to our business. A team of people who keep up with me, with Serengeti and with our continuous growth.
It is difficult to sum up five years in only a few sentences – five years of growth, change, maturation, entering various international markets. Five years of challenges and of joy when they are overcome, five years of socializing with people who have enriched my life both privately and professionally, five valuable years that I will always remember with joy – my five GETI years.