Interview with Sir Paul Judge, the Chairman of British Serbian Chamber of Commerce. Interview was conducted by Milena Milićević, The School of Engineering Management lecturer and PEXIM Alumni. Recording and production: ActioPro
Milena Milićević: Sir Paul, thank you for your lecture. My question to you is about entrepreneurship potential in Serbia. How can young (Serbian) people who want to start their companies do that in Serbia, because we know that even Nikola Tesla had to emigrate to start his own business?
Sir Paul Judge: Obviously anyone can start their business from anywhere, Bill Gates and people like that started it in their bedrooms or even their garage so it is not difficult to start a business; you need to have an idea and to make it work; you need to have a little management team and you need some money; you need to have a marketing message and you need to have sales and distribution. When you got those five things, you can do it from anywhere. I know that there are number of IT companies in Belgrade and many companies are outsourcing to Western Europe in marketing and other areas so it is quite possible.
Milena Milićević: So would you advise IT and marketing to be the dominant industries for knowledgeable young people here?
Sir Paul Judge: Well, those are industries that young people i.e. former students like to do and they are easy entry; they are human, people businesses you do not need a lot of kit or factory; so the service industry of all sorts are usually the place where entrepreneurship starts.
Milena Milićević: And finally, given your position and affiliation with Cambridge and the institutions that deal with British-Serbian relations such as The School of Engineering Management, PEXIM Foundation, British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce how do you feel that they can all collaborate in creating more entrepreneurship opportunities for Serbian people?
Sir Paul Judge: Well, it is great if they work together and most importantly if academia collaborates with the existing businesses because a lot of people like engineers or scientists may have very good ideas or be computer persons, but they really do not understand business very much so they need to have a bit of business understanding, as well. Many things can help in this sense; internships maybe managers coming to talk about their business because you should try to get as much interaction between academia and businesses, as possible.