Dear Student,

nadam se da će moji kratki odgovori inline bellow biti OK za potrebe ovog rada.

Best regards, Mladen Vukmir
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2012 2:49 PM
To: Mladen Vukmir
Subject: Small business

Postovanje Profesore,

Pitala sam vas na satu biste li mi mogli odgovoriti na par pitanja u vezi vaseg posla, vjerujem da necete imati vremena, ali evo svejedno vam saljem u slucaju da stignete odgovoriti.

Becoming a Mediator in Croatia

What was the hardest thing in growth of your business?
I guess the hardest thing was the complete absence of any market or apparent need for mediator’s services in Croatia a dozen years ago. If I wouldn’t have an established legal practice to back up my efforts in ADR it would be difficult to persevere in structuring the future market for such services.

What entrepreneurial skills do you possess?
Having built a sizable legal practice in the field that also did not exist in the country at the time I started working on it, which is intellectual property, I was confident that if one follows the “build it and they’ll come” attitude will bring success. Although us Europeans do not intuitively follow this principle my experience has taught me that this is the shortest possible way to taking a lead position in any field.

How did you decide to become mediator/lawyer?
I became a mediator when I became convinced that this is a superior way to assist the need of my clients in their business problems. I come from a family of lawyers (judges, attorneys, law professors, in-house counsel etc.) so it was an easy choice, although I thought of studying architecture or art history before settling for law. I thought it will be easier following art developments while being a lawyer then following law being an art historian. I was not good enough in math to try architecture, I am afraid. I still believe that one can make a bigger social impact as a lawyer that in some other professions and I thought this is relevant for me. However, I sometimes regret I did not go to read natural sciences which I did not think of at all as a young person.

Did you expect such success of your company?
I don’t know how other people see our firm, and how successful they perceive it. Success is not a result it is a constant flux of efforts and it is hard to see it from inside. Having said that, my firm did develop in accordance with my expectations, but I believe that anyone who is serious and dedicated to their pursuits will have success.

What are some difficulties that you cope with everyday in your business?
Being employer is not easy, but it is rewarding. Coping with constant changes of the market conditions is even harder, but dealing with, generating and managing change is even more rewarding. The crisis brought incredible difficulties but as it lasted it started showing us that our essential views of our business is right and that our clients wish to use our services just as they did before the crisis.

How does your business cope with changes?
We try to be ahead of the changes, we try to generate changes in order to create a more meaningful social environment, just as in the case of choosing mediation as a next step more than a decade ago. In the modern world the change is the only thing that matter and we are as a civilization so behind of where we ought to be with seven billion people that we should all jointly work much harder at creating change rather than opposing it or complaining about it.

What are your main competitive advantages?
In the field of intellectual property it is both the depth and breadth of the services that has only a few comparable peers in the region. We have specialized in a way of becoming more expert with our knowledge, taking always new challenges which exposed us to a number of industries and different business relations.

Who are your direct competitors?
I have various competitors in different field of our activity. Some of them are other large Croatian law firms, but none of them has tried to build a comparable expertise in intellectual property. In the field of patent and trademark agent services, we have other competitors such as smaller and medium sized law firms and patent and trademark agencies. The agencies do not have comparable legal expertise. We are on a very good collegial and friendly terms with our competitors as we believe that we should share our difficulties and contribute jointly to regulating and building up the market. As a mediator I work together with my competitors in building up the future market for ADR services in Croatia.

What are your plans for future growth of your company?
We have always preferred organic growth and I expect this to continue. Nevertheless, if a right partner expresses their interest we will look into such an opportunity very carefully in light of the Croatia’s integration into the common market.

How will the fact that Croatia will enter EU affect your business?
As I have said above we do think that Croatian entry into the EU will impact doing business for all of us. At the same time I am convinced that integration is the only option for the entire world, not only Europe. We are confident of the qualities of services that our firm has and are looking forward to the opportunity to offer those services at the EU markets. It will be difficult but we already know a lot about the EU market for legal services and know how to structure our intellectual property and conflict management services for Croatian and other EU companies.

Hvala na interesu, nadam se da je ovo OK. Ako treba neko pojašnjenje biti će mi drago štogod dodati.

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