The immediate occasion for the interview was “20PLUS20”, an award given to Biocrystal® by Interzum Guangzhou, as an outstanding furniture accessory. However, the interview followed to Vesna’s entrepreneurial beginnings, the challenges that follow the road of international business focused on innovation, as well as other fields and industries Vesna is as successful as with Biocrystal® technology.
We are sure many of you will relate to Vesna’s stories of entrepreneurship, as this is the path reserved for the courageous ones only.
Translation of the Mrs Pavletic’s interview for “Entrepreneur” follows, enjoy the read.
Biocrystal® technology have become a globally recognizable product
Mrs. Vesna Pavletić’s interview for the magazine Entrepreneur
An interview by Mr. Vladimir Mihajlović
Vesna Pavletić is the founder of BC Tech d.o.o., a serial entrepreneur and innovator. She started her successful business career at age 23 as a leader in a German company, and already at the age of 25 years becomes a manager in a Dutch company. There are not many people who are so young set out on this journey. How is Vesna today looking back at herself?
Looking back, I recognize that youthful courage and boldness. You just decide and you do it, more so that I got at the age of 25 a director position in the office and I had a secretary, a team of people… I remember they were calling me Wunderkind. Once you jump into the river, you have no choice but to swim. It is interesting remembering those times and how everything worked when there were no mobile phones, emails, Google, social networks… When I look back, I wonder how we are worked at all.
You are an undeserved graduate of the Hotel and Tourism College, behind you is about a hundred completed workshops, seminars, conference… Who is Vesna Pavletić?
Today it seems to me that there has always been an entrepreneurial spirit in me. My father went from civil service security to entrepreneurship so from an early age I experienced the life of an entrepreneur. And already as a little girl I “played” that I was selling ice cream, shells on the road… There was always something pulling me into that magic of sales. At only 20 years old I have already concluded that the owners of smaller firms do not have time to wait in lines at the then ZAP, pension, etc., so I came up with the idea of someone doing it for them and opened its first craft called Pony Express that did services for entrepreneurs. But with the war happening it didn’t really go according to plan. My husband and I started breeding chinchillas, and we also sold whips for Saint Nicholas Day, ikebana, etc. In short, I always found ways to start and do something of my own. And so hard work and perseverance came to this, everything I have achieved to date. As for school, I’ve always been a campaign that often resulted in success, and sometimes, as in the case faculty, did not end most gloriously. Fortunately, there is that insatiable hunger in me for acquiring new knowledge so behind me is a huge number of completed workshops, seminars, Ramiro NLP Academy…
There is no doubt that you are an ambitious person, serial entrepreneur, and innovator. Why, in 2002 did you bring the decision to start one’s own business, with an office of 10 m2, in your own home?
It was another step forward and even to this day, I wonder because I left a comfortable executive chair and an excellent (secure) salary to go do something completely new. The decision was made due to a minor disagreement with the strategic decisions of the then owner of the company in which I was the director, and additionally encouraged by my husband who believed that despite everything we can start and succeed and also our friends who jumped in as guarantors for miscellaneous loans. They were really hard times and difficult beginnings, from raising loans, mortgages, and uncertainties. Those moments when it seems to you that everything is against you and yes no way to get things started. But perseverance proved in this case as one of the most important factors in our development and growth. At one point you sit alone in a small office and think about the future, and in the next, you are in the delegation with the Prime Minister or shaking hands with the Turkish President and participate in large football transfers.
From two employees and a family company, Pavletić d.o.o. you have created a company with 150 employees. You become a leader in the sale of sleeping products in this part of Europe. In 2010 you got a CROMA award in the youth manager category. You had no fear at all, restraint, risks in front of the eyes… Did you immediately know what your niche product is?
There were fear, restraint, and risk before eyes and a bunch of sleepless nights, hundreds of work weekends. What was the important thing is that we had a vision and we knew that we have not only a good product, but also superior service. We worked a lot and invest in marketing, brand development – one of the protective faces was a singer Ivana Banfić, then there were collaborations at various campaigns or events with celebrities. We also worked a lot on human development potential, employee education, care for employees. There is a large number of teambuilding and travel that we organized to homogenize employees and thus increase their efficiency. We all traveled together even to Germany, Italy, France … In the development human resources, we also cooperated with the well-known firm of Ramiro which was in charge of additional education and development middle management.
You founded a company in India too, why?
India is a huge market, and in addition it is the strongest world power in the textile industry. Many innovations in the field of textile innovation come precisely from India. All of that was more than enough to decide to open companies in India. In India, we hired our sales representative whose task was to research the market and find potential partners who would implement our technology in their products. In addition, we also hired top consultants who have guided us through our installation project technologies in yarn intended for making different types of fabric. Their project task is to grind our crystals to a size less than 1µ, to make them suitable for incorporation into yarn.
And then in 2013, you start a company Biocrystal® Technologies, later you change the name to BC Tech d.o.o. With experience in the furniture and bedding indutry, with a team of experts you initiate creating innovative technology known as Biocrystal®. What is the secret of this innovation, why is it significant?
Our technology is inherently very simple, it is based on the choice of several precisely defined species completely of natural crystals and their mixing in a precisely determined quantity and proportion. It is precisely this quantity and ratio that is what of “Ordinary” crystals make up the technology, for which measurements and testing were required almost nine years long. It is important to note that in the effect of this mixture nothing else participates. It’s a mixture without any additives, especially not some chemicals. The crystals in the mixture were crushed up to 400 µ and even 3 µ, depending on their purpose for installation in different products. The tests we conducted by measuring physiological parameters before and after using the built-in product Biocrystal®, they undoubtedly showed as Biocrystal® allows faster relaxation, slows down rapid breathing, and work heart, which ultimately confirms the strong anti-stress effect of such products. Emollient stressful situation allows users better sleep, reduced feelings of fatigue, better mood, and mitigation of all consequences related to the state of stress, as one of the major problems of modern society.
Systematically monitoring global innovations and trends, while evolving its technology is not easy. Is your market the whole world? Have you developed any more crystal based products?
Our main product is a blend of crystals crushed to a size of 3 – 400 µ. This mixture is intended for installation in different types of products, hence the list These products are almost unlimited (mattresses, pillows, blankets, armchairs, carpets, car seats, home beds pets, plant care products… ). Our strategy is reflected in defeat for partners who recognized our product as a component for installation in their products, thus their product gets the added value given by our technology.
You yourself, but also as a company, are a winner of numerous awards. You name your favourites. You are the winner this year “20 PLUS 20” awards at the fair in China, Interzum Guangzhou. You are recognized as a natural technology!
My favourite award is the CROMA for Young Entrepreneur of the Year because it is it was my first prize after all. Remember to his speech in front of a full hall filled with Croatian entrepreneurs who came to congratulate me on my own speech, what a success. As for our last prize, it also makes us very happy and we are proud of it because it came from the greatest fair in Asia. It is registered at the fair over 1500 exhibitors, and if your product proclaimed among the top 20 “outstanding and innovative furniture accessory “, then it really means something. It makes us happy that the jury recognized our technology as a truly innovative and technologically huge potential for installation in an almost unlimited number of products for daily use.
The stress somehow became a big problem and challenge of modern society. How would you define it and how can your products soften its impact?
Stress is a consequence of the modern way of life, hectic with the crowd business and family obligations, with a deficit time to rest and relax. Stress hinders our effectiveness and creativity. Stress is holding us back in effectiveness and creativity. Physiologically, stress accelerates breathing, heart rate, creates tension in the muscles and burdens our brains’ anxiety and incessant during thought. Not all of us lets relax and distracts us by not allowing us to get some sleep properly. Physiologically, stress speeds up breathing, heart rate heart, creates muscle tension and our brain is burdened with anxiety and incessant flow of thought. Not allowing us to relax, and it hinders us and not allowing us to sleep properly. And we find ourselves in a circle from which it’s hard to get out. These are exactly the parameters on which Biocrystal® acts; it slows down breathing, heartbeat, relaxing muscles, allows us to relax, rest, and in the evening we fall asleep easier. Using products with Biocrystal® over time we become more relaxed, our dreams become better and we are better and more ready for challenges and the efforts that life puts before us.
You wanted to be different from others and design a product that no one else knows. And you did it, with your husband. You must have invested a lot of time, knowledge, experience, funds…?
Behind us is a huge number of traveled kilometres, hours and hours spent on planes, countless flights, about 500 business meetings with potential customers in all parts of the world, countless sleepless nights, a lot trial and errors…
We’ve been traveling for the last few years from China to the US and Brazil, met with different cultures and completely different business practices, for which, no matter how much you read, you can’t prepare as personal encounters. I taught twenty young Chinese managers in Shanghai, presented to fifteen top managers in the largest car factory in India. Basically, all those experiences have given us the idea to turn to travel and open up a travel agency specializing in long journeys, especially to Asia.
Part of your energy, experience, and knowledge passes on to young people. Last year you visited the Economics School of Mije Mirkovic in Rijeka. What did you say to students? Is being different in entrepreneurship advantage or a “slippery floor”?
Lecturing at the School of Economics was a special challenge because I had to convey to the young generation, and they aren’t fans of listening to seminars, my entrepreneurial spirit. 45 minutes of attentive listening and clapping is proof that I succeeded. What is important today to convey to young people is to be different in entrepreneurship is a “slippery floor” by which you walk very easily if you are flexible, fast, and stubborn, but you also slip temporarily if you are not careful.