Marathon, Not a Sprint

On Sunday, May 15th, at 7 o’clock in the morning, in front of the Belgrade Marathon, a group of around 20 “Neltovci” gathered at Nikola Pašić Square. They’re easily recognizable by their brightly green shirts branded with Nelt’s logo and the name of our new strategy, Accelerate.

After several weeks of preparation (for the most serious, probably even several months), we’re all here, ready to run the best we can. But before the race starts, a bit of socializing, group photos, lots of jokes and laughter, and incredible team energy.

That energy is visible during and after the race; we cheer each other on, help each other out, and congratulate each other at the end. Times and personal records become less important; we enjoy the camaraderie and realize that while an individual can be fast, acceleration is much easier when you’re part of a good team. It’s precisely for this reason that I believe the team of good people and top professionals that make up Nelt is the greatest guarantee that we will accelerate and achieve the goals of our Accelerate 2025 strategy.

Why Accelerate? During my 17-year career, working in three different companies, across different businesses and on three different continents, I’ve had the opportunity to see and work on many strategies. Some of them were successful, delivering the set goals, while others, unfortunately, didn’t bring the expected results.

Experience tells me that successful strategies share two things compared to others. The first is a focus on revenue growth that is sustainable (long-term) and profitable. Revenue growth and cost optimization are key generators of added value. Cost optimization can bring good results in the short term, but long-term profit growth can only come from revenue growth. That’s precisely why the name of Nelt’s new strategy is Accelerate — because we believe there’s plenty of room for revenue growth in existing businesses, but also room to develop new businesses and form new partnerships.

I’d like to point out that focusing on revenue growth doesn’t mean a company shouldn’t work on cost optimization. On the contrary, the best businesses use cost optimization as a source of funding for further investments in revenue growth.

The second characteristic of successful strategies is a focus on the prerequisites needed for the company to excel in the segments it operates in and achieve the projected revenue growth. Prerequisites are the “foundations” of the strategy. Identifying sources of growth is only half the job when it comes to strategy — the other half is identifying the prerequisites necessary for the company to deliver that growth. To use a running analogy, the racecourse and workouts are just part of the success, but prerequisites like good equipment, adequate nutrition and rest, as well as good weather and team spirit on race day, are crucial prerequisites for success.

That’s why, during the creation of Nelt’s strategy, we focused on prerequisites, which we grouped into four categories: organization, knowledge and skills, infrastructure and technology, and sources of competitive advantage.

We have a multi-year marathon ahead of us with challenging goals. But we also have 30 years of successful history that we’re proud of, and we start the race at full speed with the wind at our backs, which is given by the excellent results of previous years. Most importantly of all — we have an unparalleled winning team, which has always been and will remain the foundation of our success.

A successful start to 2022 tells us that our passing time is phenomenal. Let’s continue then at the same winning pace… ACCELERATE!