The first press conference to present the “Top 100 in Montenegro” project was held on Tuesday, 13th February at the Chamber of Economy of Montenegro. The speakers at the conference were: Ratko Nikolić, founder of BI Consulting, business information provider, Nemanja Katnić, M.E., state secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Radosav Baćko Babić, M.E., director general of the Directorate for Transformation and Investments of the Ministry of Economy, and Samo Jovićević, director of the Corporate Sector of the Societe Generale Bank Montenegro.

The project is being organised in Montenegro for the first time, through the partnership between the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy and business information provider and with sponsorship from the Societe Generale Bank Montenegro. “Top 100 in Montenegro” entails selection and presentation of top Montenegrin business entities, based on clear, exact and objective criteria. Categories within which top 100 will be selected respectively include large, medium-sized, small and micro companies, by their revenues, number of employees and profit. In addition to twelve mentioned categories, ten more categories by business activity, as well as the category of the fastest growing company, have been defined.

The lists of the best companies will be published in a special, deluxe annual publication “Business Newspapers – Top 100 in Montenegro 2018”. Winners will receive the awards at the gala ceremony to be held on 30 May at Hilton Podgorica.

“Top 100 in Montenegro” project is implemented in Montenegro for the first time, by the franchise of the Business Newspaper from Sarajevo. Based on clear parameters from financial reports for the business year 2017, we will select 100 micro, small, medium-sized, as well as large companies respectively and rank all of them according to clear and publicly available business parameters from their regularly submitted financial reports: total revenues, net profit and number of employees. We will also select and rank 20 companies from 10 key sectors respectively, and publish all of them in the exclusive annual publication, a collector’s edition, which will include all major business achievements from the previous business year,“ Ratko Nikolić, initiator of the project and founder of BI Consulting, has said.

Given that BI Consulting is the leading agency providing credit rating and business information on legal entities from Montenegro and beyond through BInfo.me and Bilansi.me business portals, that database will serve as a basis for the ranking. “It is important to note that the criteria and ranking parameters are public, very clear and precise, as well as the conditions for companies to be ranked at all. I will mention some of the ranking criteria: lists will include only those companies that submitted correct financial reports for 2017, which were not on the lists of blocked companies in the last 12 months, which regularly pay their taxes or regularly execute the reprogramming obligations, companies that have been operating for at least 3 years, which have more than 100,000 euros of capital and more than 3 employees … detailed conditions, criteria and categories are publicly available on our web site www.100.najvecih.me. Top ranked companies in mentioned companies and one, the fastest growing company by the same parameters, will receive awards within a ceremony to be held on 30 May at Hilton hotel. The ceremony will also be an opportunity to present the publication. The goal of this project is to promote positive business practice in Montenegro, to make the most relevant Montenegrin companies, the biggest taxpayers and the biggest employers more visible. Despite many limitations, objective and subjective barriers in doing business, it should be noted that there is a significant number of companies in Montenegro that continuously accomplish significant results and it is not a small number of them. We are of the opinion, and the same idea brought us and our partners together, that such companies deserve recognition and respect of the wider community, which is why this Project is dedicated to them”, Nikolić has concluded.

Nemanja Katnić, M.E. and the state secretary at the Ministry of Finance, has said: “First of all, I would like to congratulate the organiser for initiating this project in Montenegro. The Ministry of Finance strongly supports such initiatives and we are happy to be a part of the “Top 100 in Montenegro” project. We are particularly pleased by the fact that up-to-date financial reports were used as a basis to search for and obtain data needed for the project. It is also the way to promote the importance of financial reporting from the perspective of the private sector and the state, as users of information included in those reports. Additionally, we are pleased with indicators resulting from the “Top 100″ project survey. They show significant economic activity of the Montenegrin economy, which is a result of its ability to record good results despite the challenging post-crisis times.” Katnić has added that they at the Ministry hope the project will be continued, i.e. that it will become a regular annual activity and thus provide another opportunity to identify and award the best ones.

“We at the Ministry of Economy have recognised the “Top 100 in Montenegro” project as a creator and bearer of positive business practice promotion, which emphasises and respects the role played by successful companies in the overall economic system“, Radosav Baćko Babić, M.E. and director general of the Directorate for Transformation and Investments, has said and added: “According to the Tax Administration’s data, there were 26,000 registered companies in the first 6 months of 2017 in Montenegro and all of them will be included in the competition for the selection of the best and most profitable ones. The project is promoting domestic companies whose quality products and services have been recognised and acknowledged in the domestic market, and I am sure even beyond, which has a direct effect on formation of positive opinion about the country’s economy. At the same time, the project like this one will show the existing and potential investors that they can find credible business opportunities and partners in Montenegro. Additionally, it will inspire and encourage start-up projects, particularly in the category of micro and small companies. It is up to us from the Government and the state to create favourable environment and provide growth and development support to entrepreneurs. In 2018, the Ministry of Economy will implement 10 different programmes to support development of businesses and I hope that some of our beneficiaries from previous years will be on the list. I am convinced that this kind of project represents an additional incentive to domestic business people to use available assistance from the Government to be able to continuously improve their business operation in the future and thus help their own efforts to be included in the “Top 100 in Montenegro” list. Finally, I must say that this project enjoys our full support and I expect that the creation of the mentioned list within it will become a common practice. Let me also remind you that the Ministry of Economy is a reliable partner to all companies in Montenegro and I believe we will have a successful cooperation.“

Samo Jovićević, director of the Corporate Sector, has spoken on behalf of the project sponsor, Societe Generale Bank Montenegro: “On behalf of Societe Generale Bank Montenegro I would like to express our great pleasure to be part of this important project. Societe Generale Montenegro has been recognised as the bank that strongly supports development of businesses in Montenegro, and not only of large companies but also small and medium-sized enterprises. Given the support we have provided to Montenegrin companies for many years and successful cooperation we have had with them, we felt the need to be a part of the project that will additionally highlight and reward the largest, the best and the most successful Montenegrin companies. Also, we are sure that, with further support from the bank, many of them will continue to grow and develop dynamically this year and will become members of the club of the best and the most successful ones in the years that follow. We believe it is very important to highlight the positive examples and companies that have given exceptional contribution to the Montenegrin economy and to the development of small and medium-sized business, not only for the purpose of recognising and rewarding hard work and accomplished results, but also in order to give an example and show that it is possible to achieve good results with persistence and commitment and contribute to further development of the overall business environment and entire economy. For this reason, we have not had a slightest doubt whether to accept this sponsorship and support the “Top 100 in Montenegro” project.