[FROM MIROSLAV MIŠKOVIĆ’S BOOK “I, THE TYCOON”] One of the most important abilities of a company or an individual is to recognize its moment and opportunity. The best business move may turn into the worst one if made at a wrong moment. You can either earn or lose a lot of money from the same business solely depending on the moment when you make your move. People are wrong when they enter a business at its height. Business has its cycles, its curve and it will soon begin to drop. For example, you must exactly know when to sell your business. A businessman knows when to buy or sell something, when to start and stop. It somewhat looks like a talent of a good gambler who feels when to enter the game, but also knows to go out on time. He knows to withdraw while he is still winning because he sees the next moment, the next move and knows that he will lose then. That is why he is withdrawing at the right moment.
Moreover, it is equally important for a man to recognize real partners for his business. You will ruin the best idea with a wrong partner. And if you miss the right one, if you don’t recognize him and let him pass by, then you have missed a chance which, as a rule, you will never have again. Not until you start doing a new business.
You must take care of your partners just like about yourself, sometimes even more. A man must not forget about it. Delta has never made a deal in which we were winning while the other side was losing. There were some deals in which we earned more and our partner less, but there were also some deals in which our partners earned more than we did. But that they were losing while we were winning, you won’t find that anywhere.
When you enter the market, what you must keep in mind are correctness and honesty. You must never cheat in business. Never. If you want to last, you must be honest. That is the way things are done in the West. Your word is more important than any agreement or signature. Trust is the key and basis of everything. Delta was trying and is still trying to introduce Western principles of doing business here. Why did our bank become the best? Simply because it did not lie. In banking, it is not about trading with money but trading with trust – you will give your money to the bank you trust. The best bank is the one people trust most. The same refers to the best company. That is why Delta is the strongest in the region. Mention Delta anywhere in the territory of ex-Yugoslavia – and now in a much larger territory – and you will hear the same: Delta operates in a reliable and fair way; it repays its loans, pays taxes and shares profits with its partners. That is why it has a name and trust; those two things are the largest capital in business and at the same time, the hardest to obtain. It takes years for a company to build its name and gain trust. In the history of Delta there have never been blocked accounts, loan installments which were not paid on time, salaries which were late or liabilities to the partner which were not fulfilled, no matter whether it was defined in an agreement or confirmed by a handshake. That is exactly the thing I have been trying to achieve all the time: that people who deal with Delta have a feeling that they deal with Germans. Of course, here I am speaking of large and serious German companies – with them you really do not need an agreement. It is unimaginable that a large German company will trick you. Therefore, I am a Morava man with a German business style.
Business is done with emotions and passion, but decision-making must exclude emotions. Decisions are made with a cool head because the market is ruthless and it should be like that. The market is not familiar with friendship. Business correctness is one thing and friendship is something completely different. Friendship may exist at a private level, even among business rivals, but it doesn’t exist in the market. The one who is strongest in the market will beat others, but he must be ready to be beaten tomorrow if there is someone stronger than him. It is important that a man does not „fly too high“ in his own eyes. The one who is the most powerful in the market can dictate rules for others, but must not exaggerate because everything comes back like a boomerang. If you don’t take care of rivals and the future, if you start winning in an unfair way, the situation may soon turn round.
My goals are leadership, development and profit. I always want something more. In business there is no ultimate result and there should be. Great businessmen are called sharks, referring to their being predators. There is some resemblance, but of a completely different type. The nature gave a shark a task to move constantly. If it stops, it will sink. A businessman’s life is definitely a life without stopping. Virtually speaking: there is no retirement for a businessman. Whatever he achieves or whatever wishes or goals come true, he must not stop. Always look out for the next thing and go on.