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  • Foto del escritorThe Corporate Reviews

Vedrana Likan

Managing Partner at Colliers

 

Due to your work and being one of the winners of the 2024 Croatian Women of Influence Award, could you describe to us how it is to be in charge of a big company, such as Colliers, in three countries? What are the challenges of giving a worldwide company a local perspective?


Colliers first opened the doors to its office in Zagreb in 2004, and it is a great honour to be able to lead the company for 17 years. This experience has been rewarding and, at the same time, a little bit challenging, but I would not change it for the world. My position requires a delicate balance between maintaining a global vision and adapting to local nuances, especially if you consider I am working in the real estate sector, known for its dynamic nature, characterised by constant change and evolution. 


The rapid transformations and continuous shifts require so much learning on a daily basis. Multiply that by three markets, each very specific, no matter the geographical closeness, and you will get a glimpse of the complexity of my job, as well as the job of all Colliers’ experts. We are lucky Colliers is present in 66 countries worldwide, giving us an opportunity to share best practices and knowledge among 18,000 experts. 


We really have this worldwide access, which is a great opportunity for all of us to learn and to grow each day. It's wonderful to work in such an environment, knowing that hundreds and thousands of your colleagues around the world share the same vision as you do and are ready to assist you at any time. Of course, there are some challenges, but we all share the same goal of keeping Colliers at the forefront of the real estate industry, so we do not focus on the challenges, but rather on the positive outcomes of our dedicated work. 


In this sense, how important is it to connect the markets of the Adria-Balkan region?


This region represents a significant and relatively untapped market, with numerous opportunities. Thanks to its cultural heritage, natural beauties and economic potential, this region is becoming very interesting for international developers and investors. This is true for both commercial and residential real estate, especially for the Second home market, which is attracting more and more international buyers every year. 


By connecting those markets, we are improving the visibility, strengthening the image of the region, and making it stand out in the international markets. In that sense, Colliers’ offices in the Adriatic region decided to team up, and unite our eight markets. There is a strong sense of unity and a great level of collaboration that we take great pride in. We work closely with colleagues from the region every day, sharing knowledge and experiences, forging partnerships on various projects, all with the aim of providing the highest quality service to our clients. 


What are your team's short-term and long-term goals for the growth of the company?


In 20 years of the local market presence, one of the longest in Croatia, we were partners on dozens of projects, whose total worth is around 20 billion euros. This exposure on some of the biggest projects and transactions in Croatia is the result of hard work our experts do every day. Colliers’ goal is to maximize the potential of property and real assets to accelerate the success of our clients, our investors, and our people. But, whenever people ask me about our goals, I like to highlight the one that has been really important to me ever since I set foot in the Colliers office, and that is to take care of our employees, and make Colliers a place where people are happy to work at. We always strive to be a bit better tomorrow than we were the day before, and it is one of those all-time goals. As for the business, we are working hard to keep the position of industry leader in Croatia, and to strengthen our position in Slovenia and BiH. 


We are at the forefront of our industry, building for our future – and yours. Enterprise '25 is our ambitious five-year growth strategy supported by six key pillars: Innovate with technology, Build scale, Strategically acquire, Expand client relationships, Make culture count and Amplify our brand. We are achieving our bold targets by leveraging the Colliers Way - augmenting our internal growth with smart acquisitions that expand our service lines and build expertise in areas that matter to our clients.


How are these goals complementary with the development of Croatia?


Croatia is developing rapidly by the day. With Eurozone and Schengen, the changes are even more visible. It this fast-paced environment, our team's short-term and long-term goals are intrinsically connected to the development of Croatia. First and foremost, our commitment to taking care of our employees and creating a positive workplace culture directly contributes to the growth and development of Croatia. 


A motivated, skilled, and content workforce is essential for any country's progress, and we believe that by making Colliers a place where people are not just employed but genuinely happy to work, we're playing our part in fostering a talented and engaged workforce in Croatia.


In terms of our business objectives, we're contributing to the economic development and stability of Croatia. We actively engage with local real estate markets, clients, and communities, driving investment, facilitating real estate transactions, and supporting economic growth in each region.


Furthermore, our expertise in real estate and property management directly supports infrastructure development, urban planning, and the enhancement of commercial and residential spaces. We work closely with local authorities, developers, and investors to drive forward projects that improve the overall quality of life and business environment in Croatia.


In essence, our goals and vision for Colliers are closely tied to the development of Croatia. By fostering a positive work environment, maintaining leadership in the industry, and contributing to economic growth and infrastructure development, we are dedicated to making a meaningful and lasting impact on the country's prosperity and progress.


The ESG approach, one of our main policies in every project we do, not only relates to Croatia, but all our markets. This way we are helping drive the necessary changes worldwide, taking care of nature and people around the globe. 


Given your position as Board Member in the Academy for Political Development, could you share with us what are the Academy activities to promote their goals?


Academy for Political Development has a vision to contribute to the quality of political processes in Croatia by providing political education to young leaders and by motivating them to participate in public affairs. The academy's mission is developing democratic political culture and promoting dialogue and cooperation among future leaders. This vision is realized through many projects and activities, and the main ones include: annual educational programme (3 weekend seminars and Summer University for Democracy in Strasbourg), regional seminars, annual conferences, public discussions and evening lectures. By empowering young voices, and influencing policymakers, we are trying to create a safe environment for every member of the community, in order to promote democratic values of pluralism, tolerance, and dialogue within Croatian society through its activities. 


How would you describe the role of the Academy for Croatian society? 


APR is an association primarily dedicated to conducting educational programs and connecting young leaders and professionals from various sectors, including politics, the business sector, public administration, civil society, media, and science. APR aims to contribute to the development of social trust, reciprocity, tolerance, and cooperation among current and future decision-makers and stakeholders in various public policies. This effort aims to build the foundations of stable and effective democratic governance in Croatia. Academy alumni are the driving force behind numerous successful projects that contribute to positive societal changes. Given that project realization often involves collaboration among alumni from different generations, APR also promotes the importance of cross-sectoral cooperation and the connection of individuals from various fields working together for the common good. It is our role to promote active engagement of common citizens in politics, and all the spheres of the public life.

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