NAME: Petra Melanšek
BACKGROUND: High school education
ORGANISATION: Vivapen d.o.o
My Background and Career
I work in a company Vivapen d.o.o. as Managing Director and Head of Sales. This is a family business that was founded in 1967 by my father as a craft workshop and where I have found my first and still current job 23 years ago.
Even as a child, I knew that the enterprise is not just a job and employment of my parents, but this is our way of life. As a high-school student, I took summer jobs in the company, mainly in manufacturing, and then I started working as a clerk in sales and purchases. I passed the exam and obtained the certificate of approved exporter, and was responsible for all customs procedures and logistics in the company.
In 2007 I took over the management of the company and was later included in the ownership of the company. I am still the only one besides my father, who is engaged in sales and not only the management of the company.
I am proud of my parents, my colleagues and our achievements, but the most in my life, I am proud of my son Luka, who gives life its meaning.
My father and I are so far the only ones in Slovenia, who were awarded by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce for outstanding business and entrepreneurial achievements, namely the management of the family business Vivapen as a father and daughter separately. My father Jože Melanšek received this prestigious award in 1993, and I received it 19 years later.
I listen to and help others. This is perhaps one of the biggest obstacles in a career path, but I prefer to take it as an advantage. For myself, I would say that I do not build a career. I do this because I like what I do – not because of the high goals.
From the first day, my mentor, the role model, the first authority, the leader, the critic – was my father. He taught me and introduced me slowly and unconsciously into the business, since my first job was meant to be only transitional. My mom was also always at the company, from her I have received more support in terms of comfort. Even now, they both stand by and mean a great help to me.
There are no sharp boundaries between private and business life. Working is our way of life and as I have been part of the Vivapen since birth, so is my son. There is no Sunday lunch without talking about the company. Concerns are not left behind when you close your office door, the workday does not end after 8 hours. I have concerns for all 84 employees and their families too. It is necessary to maintain a high degree of business culture.
Critical success factors are that we are innovative, we have a personal, long-standing relationship with our partners and we achieved good references on the market. Fair work and attitude, quality, flexibility and innovation is what convinces our customers.
Being successful requires a great deal of dedication of the team, to come together and jointly push forward in key moments. Business is a team sport. Only a happy customer will return. In all areas, I am trying to develop a long-term co-operation, be it with colleagues, customers, suppliers or subcontractors. It is very important that we help each other, work together, to learn from one another ... Good communication is very important, so the transmission of the information is correct and up to date. Given that our work is development of ideas, design, etc. – it would be very difficult to have an effective process without cooperation between departments and among colleagues. We repeatedly do the rotation of employees to know and appreciate the work of colleagues in other departments.
Our advantage is also the flexibility. In any event, I give emphasis on trainings, education, improvement of communication, awareness of the importance of good work, decision-making and accountability.
Education, innovation, creation, and development are a key input into the future.
A good leader must like their job first. They must be skillful in communication. They must be a source of inspiration and a motivator, assertive and persuasive, and above all a team person. The true measure of tolerance and patience does not harm, and this is not a problem if you like people. A good leader must be a person who associates with trust, respect and must believe and live what they require from others.
Hints & Tips
It is necessary to build a solid foundation and then build the "height" and reach for the stars. Be honest. Always do so that you do not regret anything, that you are not closing any doors, and do not worry about who/what is "behind your back". Retain the high moral principles and a clear conscience. It is necessary to listen to constructive criticism, buyers and the market, as well as your heart.
Our company never works only in the short term. We prefer to conclude minor jobs for which we hope will be long-term, rather than do a big leap that are repeatedly fads.
A product or service is good only when the customer returns regularly. I believe that it is necessary to love what you're doing, and to enter the job with a great deal of personal note. Entrepreneurship is not just numbers, but also a way of life. We also make mistakes, but we try not to repeat them, but turn them to our teachers. Mistakes are only an intermediate point on the path to success. The success is the height you achieve when you bounce from the ground.
It is true that happiness accompanies the bold, but the courage and impudence are two different concepts.
They say that life is a mirror. If you laugh at it, it returns the smile. What you give, you get back. I believe that good comes back with good. I am an optimist. I try to understand every bad thing and find something positive in it. I love author Pavček's words: "No road is not straight, no road is poor, but each is demanding and only yours - MAIN."