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Grégoire Armaos : Now is the time to invest in Serbia and other Balkans countries.


Grégoire Armaos : Now is the time to invest in Serbia and other Balkans countries.

Thanks very much for conducting this interview. I’m curious on how you first got the idea to make investment in a Serbian company? What is the story behind ?
I first came to know *nbgteam when I was in Geneva, Switzerland through a work colleague of mine. I was looking for investment opportunaties in emerging countries, and more specifically in start-ups with solid base and strong potential. As we were talking, he suggested we have a look at how good a company known in Serbia as*nbgteam was performing. I was totally blown away by their portfolio ! They are in the market for over eight years, they have amazing talents, they have a very strong client-oriented service which gave them a solid base of fully-satisfied customers, they offer a complete array of services,   invest in R&D (research and development) etc... I called them afterward to talk about the business, upcoming projects... that's how it started.
Do you think that small investments in very early stage startups represent a growing trend, and if so why?
Starting a business today has never been so easy I think we all agree on that, being successful thought, is a different story ! Common knowledge says you need to be almost a millionnaire before starting a business, but today it is not the case anymore. You can start a small company with a small investment and as you grow bigger and bigger you can put in more money... Banks, sponsors, government, private associations, organizations... can also help you financially and provide you with resources. I think the most important thing when you start is to have a good concept, a good business plan, be well informed and prepared, knock on doors, have a visual identity, and most importantly have a excellent website. *nbgteam is very active at all different stage of visual identity creation and marketing.
Why do you think that starting a business today has never been so easy ?
Nowadays almost everyone has access to all necessary information in order to start a business : online internet guiding, online start up tips and advise, online legal & registration tutoring... are very easy to find and facilitates the technicalities that you will have to go through. All these sources are expanding fast and becoming the new trend   As I said before, you can get a lot of financial help as long as you knock on doors. Also, when compared to 25 years ago, today we almost all know or are aware of what crucial ingredients you need to blend in order to build and maintain a healthy company : a long-term perspective, strong customer service, a solid image we all know this almost instinctively compared to older generations, but one new aspect has come into the play these days that a lot of struggling small and medium businesses trying to boost their sales are overlooking and that is a strong website ! As obvious as it is having a efficient and stylish website is of upmost importance !
Why is having a good website more important than the rest ?
You get to know a company primarily by it's image, not it's products. Regarding online stores you will always prefer a new stylish and efficient-looking website for online shopping than something dull old fashioned and not up to date... so the first impression phenomenon does not only apply among humans it applies to things, objects and of course to websites. Therefore we can say that your website will win or fail you. But this process applies even more to web industry. Why ? Because there is so many website out there and key words are so overused. There is always tens of thousands of results for one word. You If you cannot create a strong and positive impact from your visitor within the first few seconds he will forget you and move on to your competitor. As obvious as this sounds there is still a large portion of start-ups and medium sized companies trying to get a bigger share of the market but don't seem to know how. By putting more money into publicity ? Lowering my prices ? hiring a business advisor ? I say to them “no, look closer, do you have a website ? / let's have look at your current website”. For all these reasons *nbgteam will release shortly a software suite : *nbgCreator for small and medium size companies to create their own website from start to finish. From now on and for a minimum investment every company can obtain a stylish, good-looking, and efficient website with today's market standards and functionalities !
What is this *nbgCreator ?
*nbgCreator is a software produced by *nbgteam in Serbia and is available now in four different languages : serbian, english, french and portuguese. Russian and spanish will probably be the next languages we will add. Our software makes website creation and configuration a child's game. Inside the software, as administrator, you will have the choice to develop your website in 1, 2, 10 or 50 different languages ! No more complex and costly hours of programming, no more costly add-on fees, no more frustrating endless dialogues with your website developer trying to make him understand what you mean. What we offer is a tool that makes you the master of your website from the very first day ! We made it very user-friendly and the navigation inside is very natural and intuitive, but if for any reason you desire more help on a certain parts, we offer free video tutoral access that covers every aspect from setting up your domain account to in-depth configuration and management. We even provide free hosting the first year !
So *nbgteam will discontinue to offer fully customized business and web solutions ?
No ! We will still be present and respond to private specific needs of course. Nbgcreator is a solution that will save time and money to the small and medium companies but we will remain active into per-to per customized solutions for private and multinational companies.
Our readers are investors already present or about to launch their business in the region. What advice do you have for them?
You don’t want to fly over the market, huge investment of money can boost you, but what you want is to sail on the market. Having a good name, good stability, strong customer relations and partnership will guarantee you to navigate and sail on the market for long long years. Have a great website, good image, business plan, investing time in net-working, be aggressive and build a strong customer oriented policy !
Do you foresee growth in your business sector. What are your plans for 2010?
Yes I see growth ! We plan to strengthen our position here in Serbia and expand our offer of web solutions in the European and Asian continent. We already have sales representative in Paris, Portugal and Switzerland and plan to expand in Ukraine and Russia as a new sales representative has recently joined us. Maybe tackle the American market by 2011 as I am Canadian myself. We are also currently working on a very promising new project. 
Have you ever been in Belgrade, Serbia ? What is your impression about city and people ?
Yes I’ve been to Belgrade on a business trip for one week in September 2009. I would be a very fortunate man to come back again in the near future. I spent a lot of time at the fortress and visiting the town. I also went to Smederevo. The people and atmosphere were very nice everywhere. I keep a very good souvenir of this country.
Ok a simple one... : What does *nbgteam stands for ?

NBGteam stands for New Belgrade Team !
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