Early bird catches the worm
“When our father passed away, we had a choice: Sell the farm…,” Velislav Simeunović begins. “…or continue in his footsteps and raise chickens,” his brother Zaviša finishes the sentence. “That was in 2010,” they both chime in.
The job market was still quite bleak at the time. Besides, they knew the business inside out. “So we made a go of it, just the two of us,” Velislav continues. The business is quite straightforward: they buy the chicks and feed from a major local poultry producer, raise them for 40 days and sell them back again to the poultry producer. “However, we still had to reach ‘critical mass,’ as they say, so we could spread costs over a greater number of chickens,” says Zaviša.
When they first approached MF Banka in 2013, the farm consisted of one building with a capacity for 17,000 chicks. The plan was to add two new buildings and double the chick production whilst raising the quality level. “MF Banka saw that we had a strong business plan with realistic numbers, and that’s how we got our first loan for BAM 80,000,” Zaviša remembers. “We took care of the construction on our own to keep costs down,” his brother adds.
Today, two loans later, Simeunović brothers raise over 34,000 chicks per cycle for the poultry producer, spread out over three buildings to ensure optimum conditions and a high-quality product. “We’ve come a long way in just a few years, and we look forward to hiring our first employee soon.”