Miodrag Kostic







Business education and consulting

Digitalization of businesses in Serbia during Covid-19 crisis article in Blic newspaper

On the Business Pages of Blic Newspaper there was an article on SPEED program online digital transformation  workshops I have implemented with two of my clients. This workshops were implemented through our Center for Digital Transformation consulting support program for Serbian SMEs.

STATE OF EMERGENCY CHANGES THE WAY OF DOING BUSINESS Pandemic accelerates digitalization
The digitalization of business during the global health crisis caused by the spread of the corona virus is becoming an imperative, a condition for the competitiveness and survival of companies. Consumer habits and ways of doing business are changing, with a focus on online sales, document exchange, service delivery, video conferencing, cloud solutions and data security.
In response to the challenges faced by most micro, small and medium enterprises in Serbia due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Center for Digital Transformation of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (CDT PKS) in cooperation with the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ) created SPEED program, to support companies to better digitize their business.
With the help of certified digital transformation consultants, 100 companies did a free analysis of the current situation and received advice on the development and implementation of priority digital goals and strategies, how to increase sales and productivity with the help of available, mostly free digital technologies, said Predrag Nikolic, director of CDT PKS.
For the company “Monarch“, a manufacturer of uniforms for restaurants and hotels, all orders were stopped with the introduction of emergency measures, while for the company “Berko Production“, a manufacturer of agricultural machines that exports more than half of its production, closing borders seriously jeopardized business continuity. Companies have applied for the SPEED program and sought the support of expert consultants.
“At the first online meeting, we analyzed in detail the current state of business, defined problems, obstacles, challenges, as well as opportunities to improve work using digital tools and new business models. We set priorities, what we can immediately improve through SPEED workshops, and what through regular CDT programs As the goal of both companies is to keep existing and acquire new customers, a Value Proposal Map has been created that provides an overview of the characteristics and values of the product for customers and the reasons why they buy it, “explained Miodrag Kostic, SPEED consultant.
The company “Monarch” will use the advice of the consultant to strengthen messages for customers in electronic materials, product catalog and company profile, as well as through online communication channels, social networks and the website, points out Miroslav Krstanović, director.
“Berko Production” is currently redesigning the website, so it will direct all recommendations from the SPEED program to improve communication with clients on the new website, said Andrea Horvat, director.
As they point out in these companies, through the SPEED program, they have learned a lot about how to improve their business by using digital tools, and they will also apply for other trainings organized by CDT.

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Workshop on Digital Transformation in Special Edition of Danas Newspaper

On the cover page of the Special Edition of Danas Newspaper on Digital Transformation there was my picture conducting the Expert Analyses workshop in company Slovo. This workshop was implemented through our Center for Digital Transformation consulting support program for Serbian SMEs.

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Major Sales Account Strategy workshop for Academy of Modern Management in Serbia

On March 8th I performed Major Sales Account Strategy workshop, at STARTIT CENTRE Belgrade for ESTIEM – Academy of Modern Management and Case Study Show 2020.

ESTIEM LG Belgrade represents a Local group of ESTIEM (European Students of Industrial Engineering and Management) in Serbia.

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VEZA Inc – BusinessKnowledge.biz Business Consulting and Training Company 16 Year Anniversary

Celebrating 16th anniversary of my company VEZA Inc. (BusinessKnowledge.biz) together with my clients.

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Effective Negotiation Skills training course for Qatar Skills Academy clients in Doha

Once more I had an opportunity to be part of Qatar Skills Academy trainers’ team; to plan, prepare and deliverer Effective Negotiation Skills training course for their clients in Doha, Qatar. The QSA team has provided me with exceptional level of professional support and hospitality.

This public training was carried out in Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by my training participants’ enthusiasm and receptivity.

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The first preparatory training for CMC certification organized by UPKS in Belgrade

For the first time in Serbia, the UPKS (Association of management Consultants of Serbia) organized and delivered the preparatory training for CMC consultants certification. CMC Global – International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) is headquartered in Zurich and gathers the most prominent associations of business consultants around the world and its main brand is CMC – Certified Management Consultant.

I was one of the of CMC Preparatory Training Program trainers for “Management Consulting Process and Tools”.

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Advanced Communication Skills for Effective Professionals training course for Qatar Skills Academy

I had a great privilege of being part of the Qatar Skills Academy trainers’ team; to plan, prepare and deliverer Advanced Communication Skills for Effective Professionals training course for one of their clients in Doha, Qatar. The QSA team has provided me with exceptional level of professional support and hospitality.
I was pleasantly surprised by my training participants’ enthusiasm and receptivity, especially with their motivation to improve their interpersonal communication skills.

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Career development workshop for young talents at Lady Center in Belgrade Serbia

This was my  7th volunteering engagement at the Belgrade Youth Center where I held interactive workshop on career development  ”How to develop successful career?” for talented girls at the School for Talents in Belgrade Serbia.

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RI2integrate project – Strengthening the research infrastructure in the Danube Region training

I was participating at the conference on knowledge transfer within the project “Strengthening of excellent research infrastructure in the Danube region”. The conference was organized by RAS (Development Agency of Serbia) on 9th September at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Belgrade.

At the training within the project “Strengthening the research infrastructure in the Danube Region – RI2integrate” I have presented the Project Action Plan (where I was the co-author). The Project RI2integrate is part of the Danube Transnational Programme. The total of 17 partners are included in project realization: Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Slovakia.

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CMC Certified Management Consultants certification in Serbia

For the first time in Serbia, the UPKS (Association of management Consultants of Serbia) organized and held the CMC consultants certification. CMC Global – International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) is headquartered in Zurich and gathers the most prominent associations of business consultants around the world and its main brand is CMC – Certified Management Consultant.

I was one of the members of UPKS certification committee, who were accredited to assess, certify and re-certify Serbian CMC consultants.

Our association was visited by the Chair of the Quality Assurance Committee of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI), Mr. Louis M. Loizou.



As part of the process of development of consultants and consulting firms in Serbia, Mr. Loizou presented ISO 20700, as a guideline for individuals or organizations for efficient managing of management consulting services.

Innovation training and transformational management in Belgrade Serbia from Miodrag Kostic, CMC

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Certified IT Security and GDPR Data Protection Expert by WIFI-WKO Austria


At the award ceremony in Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, at the Center for Digital Transformation in Belgrade, I have received IT Security and GDPR Data Protection Expert Certificate issued by by Austrian Chambers of Commerce – WIFI – WKO

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Trainer for CDT Serbia Digital Transformation Consultant Certification Program 2019


The Training and certification of second group of consultants was organized by CDT Center for Digital Transformation in Belgrade on 13-15 April and 11-13 May 2019. I was one of the Digital Transformation trainers under mentoring of trainers from WIFI, certification competence center of the Wirtschaftskammer Österreich (WKÖ). The second module was the training for Certified Digital Transformation Experts for IT security, data protection and GDPR.

Workshop digital transformation strategy digital road-map training from Miodrag Kostic, CMC

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Digitization challenges in Serbia my article on digital transformation survey

Last year, my company VEZA d.o.o. Business Knowledge, in cooperation with Poslovni Softver company implemented a project to support the development of private sector in Serbia “Private Sector Development” PSD. We researched and analyzed the preparedness of Serbian enterprises for digital transformation and digitization. This project was implemented by the Development Agency of Serbia RAS in cooperation with the USAID United States Agency for International Development. During the research, the following questions were asked:

  • How much are you using business software solutions and digital business models?
  • What is the level of preparedness at your company for digital transformation?
  • What are the problems when using digital technologies and what are your needs?
  • What needs to be done to speed up digital transformation so you can have visible benefits?
  • The survey was conducted in the period February-March 2018. The research involved 27 companies.

Research analyses of the state of digitization in Serbia These are some of the research results:

  • A survey on the use of computers in Serbian companies shows that 100% of companies use a computer, regardless of the size, activity or location of the company. However, the percentage of employees who use the computer every day is significantly lower compared to the EU countries.
  • The percentage of IT resource allocation for Serbian companies (on average 0.5% of revenue) is several times lower than the EU average (4.0%).
  • It is encouraging to note that 100% of surveyed firms have a good connection with the Internet. It is mainly about broadband internet access. Most of the companies use cable networks (63%), followed by ADSL internet access (40.7%).
  • All surveyed companies reported individual IT budgets of less than € 5,000 per year, so that the combined (joint) budget of all companies is only about € 50,000 per year. On the other hand, the estimated business revenues of the surveyed companies amount to about EUR 20 million, so IT budget share in total company revenues is, on average, less than 0.25%.
  • Only two companies out of 27 respondents said they had their own server, which indicates low LAN network coverage and poor connectivity of their computers.
  • The analysis shows that only 4 companies (14.8%) electronically sell to other companies, 4 companies receive orders through a website or mobile application (14.8%), while only 2 companies or 7, 4% have Business 2 Business web portal.

What is the conclusion of this research and analysis? The good news is that the digital transformation of companies in the south of Serbia has already begun. Of course, even without this research, we know that they have just begun their journey to reach the level of digitization in advanced Western countries. There is a huge space for the improvement and full implementation of digital technologies and business models. Recently, global digital disruption and increased competition has forced Serbian companies of all sizes, especially SME-s, to start working on improving their competitiveness, most often by digitally transforming their businesses. What are the challenges of digitization in Serbia? At our most recent CDT digital transformation project in December 2018, while working with four Serbian SME-s, I have discovered that their biggest challenge is to change their perception that digitization is only the use and application of software. Unfortunately, when buying a business software package, most Serbian companies treat the procurement and implementation like they are purchasing “toilet paper”. For them, it is only important that the software is purchased, installed on computers, or on the local networks, and then it is forgotten. They do not see that installing software is just the first step and its application and use the next more important step. I witnessed that in some companies the use of the Google Calendar had a much greater impact on improving organisation and efficiency than the implementation of some very expensive and sophisticated software solutions. The conclusion is that most Serbian companies that have already implemented some of the very best software solutions do not use them well. Their employees do not want to use them, or those who want to use them do not use them properly. Unfortunately, they do not realize that the installation and implementation of software solution does not automatically implies its successful exploitation. As we know in practice, the application issue is never a question that can be answered with YES or NO. It is always a certain % of performance (which is usually in a range of 30% to 70%). Also, to create a masterpiece you do need good tools (software), but much more than that you need a master craftsman (motivated employees). The most difficult task of a digital transformation consultant is not to determine which software is needed and how to install it, but how to get it accepted and used by all employees. How much are companies in Serbia prepared for digitization? The main problem is that their current business models and business processes are not optimized for the use of sophisticated software solutions, and very often they do not have the effect of improvement for which they are applied. They need to understand that digital transformation is not an application, but a change (transformation), and we know very well how “easy” is to make any changes in Serbia. Nowadays this is often called “lipstick on a pig” phenomenon. Many companies in Serbia believe they are successfully implementing digital transformation, but in reality they are not prepared for it and they are using it as a makeup, just to hide their weaknesses. This is also the problem of the best and most advanced companies in the world, and Bill Gates himself said about it:

  1. Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.
  2. Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.

Meaning: First, optimize your business models and business processes, and then install and use software solutions. The best software in the World will not help you if your business models are not effective and if your business processes are not efficient, or if your employees do not: “Do the right things at the right time, in the right place and in the right way”.

“Given a bad start, trouble will increase at an exponential rate” – Parouzzi’s principle

Digital transformation training digital roadmap workshop in Serbia Belgrade from Miodrag Kostic, CMC

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Digital Transformation project training and consulting workshops for SMEs in Serbia

At the Center for Digital Transformation d.o.o. (CDT) In November and December 2018 together with Tijana Sekulic I have implemented digital transformation project – consulting / interactive workshops for Serbian SMEs: Mokrin House doo www.mokrinhouse.com, Slovo doo www.slovo.co.rs, Aledjo doo www.aledjo.rs, Panon doo www.kolysocks.com, facilitating digital transformation, creating digital road map, digital strategy and implementation action plans as part of the GIZ program – German Organization for International Cooperation, mentored by Austrian Chambers of Commerce – WKO https://www.wko.at/

Digital transformation consulting digital consultants serbia belgrade from Miodrag Kostic, CMC

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Career development training for young talents at Lady Center in Belgrade Serbia

This was my 6th volunteering engagement at the Belgrade Youth Center where I held interactive workshop on career development  ”How to build successful career?” for talented girls at the School for Talents in Belgrade Serbia.

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Digital transformation workshop at Dare to Be Original Conference in Belgrade Serbia

At “Dare to Be Original Conference” in Marsh Open Space in Belgrade, Miodrag Kostic and Tijana Sekulic working as trainers and consultants for GIZ (GIZ- German agency for international development and cooperation), performed a digital transformation workshop for young Serbian entrepreneurs. The conference was organized to promote entrepreneurship development in Serbia by “Original” Contemporary Magazine for Students created by Novak Djokovic foundation. At the digital transformation workshop we have discussed with entrepreneurs what is digital transformation and how can they use digital technology and digital business models to successfully transform their businesses? Digital transformation training

What is digital transformation training interactive workshop belgrade serbia from Miodrag Kostic, CMC

Trening digitalne transformacije poslovanja obuka radionica from Miodrag Kostic, CMC

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Certified Digital Transformation Expert by Austrian Chambers of Commerce WKO


At the award ceremony in Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Serbia I have received Digital transformation expert certificate issued by by Austrian Chambers of Commerce – WKO

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Digital transformation certification training in Serbia by WKO Austria



Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia has decided to establish the Center for Digital Transformation d.o.o. (CDT). Digital transformation is defined broadly as any change associated with the application of information and digital technologies in all aspects of the establishment and/or operation of (start-up) companies, public sector bodies, associations and human society as such. The project for the establishment and development of the Center for Digital Transformation is supported by the GIZ – the German Organization for International Cooperation, as well as the Austrian Chambers of Commerce – WKO. As part of this program, from June 22 to June 24 I have participated in Digital Consultants Certification Preparatory Training Modules – Development of Digital Roadmaps and Digital Transformation (Business Models & Processes).

Workshop digital transformation strategy digital road-map training from Miodrag Kostic, CMC

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Employee communication tools for business Public seminar in Belgrade Serbia

We held public seminar on business communication tools in business at Hotel Astoria in Belgrade. The trainers were:

The training topics were:

  • How to evaluate the type of personality with the help of non-verbal communication?
  • How to apply models of personality types in improving team relationships, selection and development of employees, negotiating and selling?
  • How to influence colleagues and employees?
  • What is facilitation, and how to use it?
  • How to facilitate communication in a group?
  • How to use group decision making?
  • Feedback and how to implement it?

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Workshop facilitation and mediation for the meeting of entrepreneurs with representatives from Serbian institutions

As part of the GIZ (German Cooperation Agency) regional programme to strengthen the cross border tourism at the Middle and Lower Danube through the Danube Competence Center (DCC) we have performed workshop facilitation and mediation for the meeting of entrepreneurs in the tourism sector with representatives from Serbian Chambers of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Tourism of Serbia, Business Woman Association of Serbia and local Tourist Offices. The goal of the workshop was to find out and share: “What help and support is needed by entrepreneurs, and what services could be provided by participating institutions and organizations to address that needs”? The workshop facilitation was performed using “World Cafe” model.

Workshop in Rogljevacke Pimnice near Negotin in Eastern Serbia

Workshop in Rogljevacke Pimnice near Negotin in Eastern Serbia

Workshop for tourist entrepreneurs in Sombor Municipal Library

Workshop for tourist entrepreneurs in Sombor Municipal Library

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