homepage_name! > Editions > Number 125-126 > Interview - Ana Radun

Interview with Ana Radun, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Nectar and Foundation Manager at the It Does Matter Foundation

It Does Matter – For a Better Future

After 20 years of successful business, growth and development, finally positioning ourselves as the regional leader in the fruit juices market, the time came for us, naturally, to give back, in a systematic manner, to the society from which we came and in which we live and do business. Socially responsible activities have always been an integral part of our business, however, as an additional activity of Nectar. By establishing the It Does Matter foundation, we want to leave our mark in a strategic, permanent and transparent manner there where we believe that we can make the greatest contribution through our efforts, knowledge and experience.

1.Ms. Radun, where were you born? Where did you grow up and go to school?

Thanks to the nature of my father’s job, my family lived abroad for a while, but it was always clear to us that we wanted to live, create and achieve success as a family in our own country, in Serbia. I was born in Belgrade. For the first half of my primary education, I attended a school in St. Petersburg, Russia. I completed the remaining half of my primary education, graduated from high school and the Faculty of Economics in Serbia and completed my master’s degree in Italy. I currently live between Novi Sad and Belgrade as does my entire family brother, sister and parents.

2.How did your career develop before you reached the position you are in today?

After finishing my studies at the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, I completed my master's degree in Italy and stayed there as an intern at Microsoft as part of their finance team in Business Controlling, as they called it there. When I returned, I wanted to go into auditing, but then the Fructal acquisition project began and I joined it and stayed in the company. I worked in various positions and undertook various responsibilities and I believe that I still have a lot to learn and am looking forward to growing together with Nectar.

3Nectar, the leader in fruit processing and juice production in both Serbia and the region, established the It Does Matter foundation. How did you get the idea to establish this kind of a foundation?

It happened naturally and spontaneously, from a belief we had within the family, and with management’s support. From Nectar’s very beginning, we, the Radun family, have had an idea to launch the production of healthy products for our consumers. After 20 years of successful business, growth and development, finally positioning ourselves as the regional leader in the fruit juice market, the time came for us, naturally, to give back, in a systematic manner, to the society from which we came and in which we live and do business. Socially responsible activities have always been an integral part of our business, however, as an additional activity of Nectar. By establishing the It Does Matter foundation, we want to leave our mark in a strategic, permanent and transparent manner there where we believe that we can make the greatest contribution through our efforts, knowledge and experience.

4.What will be the foundation’s basic focus and what projects do you have planned for the upcoming period?

The It Does Matter foundation will be active in three areas family, nature and education, because these are the actual pillars of our values. We believe that the best things we have come from nature and we think that we need to understand and conserve nature and pass this knowledge on to our children, and being a family-run company, we also know how important family and being a parent is. Education comes as a natural path to us because we keep learning and we believe that the best way to gain experience is to stay open to new knowledge and learning new things and we want to pass our experience and good practices on to the next generations and contribute to the support of the survival and further development of agriculture in Serbia. The Foundation’s first project concerning family matters, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, is the founding of counselling centres for in-vitro fertilization in health centres and the founding of an In-Vitro Fertilization Centre with a toll-free national information line providing citizens with all necessary information and psychological support in the process. To reach even the remotest places in Serbia and help as many citizens as we can, we have created a Guidebook with clear steps to lead them through the in vitro fertilization process. The Guidebook will be distributed throughout the country. As for returning to nature, being a company that owns fruit and vegetable plantations and closely cooperates with farmers, we want to cooperate with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia to organize a whole series of projects and programs that will allow children to spend as much time out in nature as possible, to understand nature, to get information on how important proper nutrition is, and to spend time outdoors and doing outdoor activities that are for their proper growth and development. Education is the third area that the It Does Matter foundation will be involved in. It is our goal to share our knowledge and experience in the field of agrarian business with young people and give as many of them the opportunity to stay in their villages and engage in agriculture. We want to use internships and scholarships in this area and to modernize the ways of doing business and living conditions in villages to increase the chances for young people to find their place in agriculture, on farms, and in agricultural households.

5.At the beginning of November, you presented a toll-free national line for in-vitro fertilization in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. What will the citizens of the Republic of Serbia get by calling this number?

By calling the toll-free info number on 0800 333 030 all citizens of the Republic of Serbia who need advice, information about the in-vitro fertilization process in Serbia and treatment procedures, as well as the necessary documents, etc. can get support and answers for free to all their questions, every work day from 9:00 to 20:00, from the members of the Chance for Parenthood Association. Psychological support will be provided by the Centre for Mental Health Care. We opened the info line during the European Fertility Week that took place this year from 4 to 11 November and it is aimed at informing citizens about the problem of infertility, as well as calling for greater awareness and supportive policies to address the unequal availability of fertility treatments across Europe. Nectar’s It Does Matter foundation initiated, together with the Ministry of Health, a project to raise the awareness and access to counselling and experience in the IVF process, because as a successful family company based in Serbia, we want to take an active part in the process of creating conditions to increase birth rates.

6.Which institutions and organizations will be involved in the implementation of the Foundation's projects?

We are very glad that all relevant partners were involved in the Foundation’s first project – we are cooperating well with the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia and the Chance for Parenthood Association, as well as with the Centre for Mental Health Care and city of Belgrade. We believe that we are stronger together and it is our goal to add value to and connect partners on all our projects. I am sure that our return to nature-based projects in the future will strengthen our relationship with the Ministry of Education and with other stakeholders in this very important area for our children's development.

7.Ms. Radun, what was your personal motivation to start the foundation?

My family’s motivation, which is also my own personal motivation, is our wish to do something important and to make our contribution for a better tomorrow for us and for our children, and by doing so, leaving our mark. We believe that only by creating a better society for all can we make true progress as a society and as an economy. I am very glad that, even with all the challenges we face daily, our company has reached the level where we can mobilize resources and make an effort to implement the above-mentioned projects. The idea to establish the Foundation has been alive in our family for almost five years now, and we are thankful to Mihailo Janković, our CEO, who gave us the push to make it happen, to put it colloquially.

My very personal motivation is to set an example for my child on how to behave responsibly towards the society in which we live, to be fulfilled and happy, and to be able to have some kind of influence with regard to improvements in society in general.


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