Our Executive Director Ana Laura Rednak is the winner of the European Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Award for Eastern Europe in the manufacturing industry category.
Ana Laura, how does it feel to win such a prize at 38?
In 2008, when I joined the Skaza company, I did not dare imagine, even in my dreams, that I would be competing for European awards such as the European CEO Enterpreneur of the Year at the age of 38. Ambition, audacity and authenticity are virtues that have brought me to an environment where I still enjoy everyday decisions, where learning represents new opportunities, and where I actually live my dreams. The Commission personally informed me of their decision regarding the first prize award. I can still hear the words that it is due to the combination of my personality, the company performance and audacity in connection with the strategy of transition to own branding.
What does it take to be successful?
In the business world, there is no room for hesitation. After working in the company for fourteen days, I packed my bags and headed onto a plane with a technical dictionary and around the world in search of new business, with the aim of determining who our customers are. The first meetings were extremely strenuous, but inspiring. I brought home invaluable information, which helped us quickly adopt changes and upgrade the entire business towards increased customer value added. Today, you have to be present in many areas: online, social media, trade fairs, conferences. You have to make sure the right people find you at the right time. And when you get the chance, you must not get scared, but seize and exploit the opportunity.
Why is Skaza according to London Stock one of the 1000 companies to inspire Europe?
I would like to emphasize that Skaza’s vision is not based solely on knowing the customer, creating innovative products from environmentally friendly recycled plastic and investment in development. It is also, and in particular, based on investing in young people. Young people are unburdened and their ideas are limitless. Since young people are seen as having great potential, Skaza involves them in many projects, providing the opportunity to acquire valuable practical experience, which increases their employability rate.
Why do you like working with young people?
I see myself in the young people I work with. Today, I deeply respect the work of two exceptional mentors, business owners, Tanja and Igor, who worked with me. They never slackened, and always took time for me and my career, despite the fact that my surname is not Skaza. Ambitious young people need guidance, someone who will help them reach for their dreams. Working with young people is a great pleasure for me. Due my dedication and passion for work, many students who participated in the Skaza challenges told me, that they see me as a role model and a source of inspiration. By the way this was also one of the criteria considered by the Expert Committee of the European CEO publication upon the selection of the winner of the European Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Award.