Uber is definitely coming to Croatia and Serbia, Zagreb and Belgrade to be exact, because our goal is to be wherever people need a safe and affordable transport, confirmed Uber’s Anthony le Roux, General Manager for Eastern Europe at the 8th Weekend Media Festival. the decision on when Uber will enter the Serbian and Croatian markets is still not final, they are looking for local solutions, because Uber tries to adjust its business model. “We expect resistance in every market, which is why carefully examine the regulations before entering the market, but we do not think that markets in this region are more challenging than other markets”, stated le Roux.
Uber is definitely a technological platform or transportation; it is surely not a carrier, because it doesn’t own any vehicles, repeated le Roux, adding that people who work with them are not their employees, but entrepreneurs.
„Uber is an interesting example of the new definition of work and employment. Technology has taken a big step away from classic employment, transforming employees into entrepreneurs. Their work hours are a substantial problem, but Uber enables flexibility and opens new possibilities. Our associates make more than the competition on average, which makes Uber better”, stated le Roux in Rovinj. He also thinks that it is a completely new economic platform which can be applied to many other sectors..
Dejan Ljuština from PwC Croatia presented the data that shows that digitalization is growing in an exponential rate, and it will soon take over in many other sectors. Large companies that have not adjusted to digitalization, like Kodak, went under. The fourth industrial revolution, which we are witnessing, is bringing more innovation such as delivery via drones, smart houses or automatic car insurance. “In order to survive, companies need to change their business models in accordance with digitalization, but they also need to digitalize internally, which mean take on the digital culture, but also the good solutions of successful digital companies, like those that don’t even have a call centre”, said Ljuština.
The next sectors where digitalization will bring big changes are energetics and banking, and Telenor bank from Serbia is one of the pioneers of this trend. Its President of the Executive Board, Martin Navratil stated that Serbia entered the internet banking segment because they saw space there, on the one side, with high shares of cash transactions, and a high number of internet users on the other side. “We are pleasantly surprised with the reactions to our services, and now we are one of the fastest growing banks in the region. We have almost 90.000 users, and usage of internet banking has almost tripled”, said Navratil. Nevertheless, he thinks banking will not die out on itself, but those who work in banking today, will.
Božidar Pavlović from EGCP Croatia agrees that today’s banks need to desperately change because the new banks will swallow them. Physical banking is a dying breed because no one wants to go stand in front of a bank teller says Pavlović. That is why banks need to change their business concept, otherwise they are ready for failure.