homepage_name! > Editions > Number 110-111 > Interview - UNIQA

Gordana Bukumirić, the Executive Board President, UNIQA insurance Andrija Prlainović, Milan Aleksić, Sava Ranđelović i Dušan Mandić, Water polo players and the new faces of UNIQA insurance

UNIQA Supports The Dolphins

Water polo players Andrija Prlainović, Milan Aleksić, Sava Ranđelović and Dušan Mandić the new faces of UNIQA insurance as of this July. In the coming year, these top athletes are going to defend the colors of thiscompany in the same way that they,as national team members, have been defendingthe medals of the most awarded national sport in Serbia so far. On behalf of UNIQA insurance, the contractwith the new promoters was signed by the Executive Board President, Gordana Bukumirić. She has expressed great satisfaction with thecooperation with the European, World, Olympic and Club champions, and pointed out that they are the best proof that years of hard work, commitment to the team and the common goal pay off.

1.Water polo players Andrija Prlainović, Milan Aleksić, Sava Ranđelović and Dušan Mandić will be the new faces of UNIQA insurance as of July this year. How did this cooperation come about?

Gordana Bukumirić: Since its very establishment, UNIQA insurance has been operating guided by the key values, such as commitment to people, honesty, openness, a constant aspirationto developing and pushing theboundaries, as well as a sincere desire for success.

On the foundations of these values, we have built a relationship of trust with more than half a million of clients in Serbia. It took us only 12 years to be amongthe top five insurance companies inthe local market. What’s more, year after year, we are recording growth – in all segments.

Therefore, these values are highlyimportant to us. Each and every member of our UNIQA team relies on them in their everyday work, their relationship with colleagues, clients and partners. They empower us. We think ofthem as a signpost leading us to constant professional and personal growth. Since the establishment until now, they have been the pillar of our corporate culture, and basically, it is them to whom we owe such a great success that we achieved in a relatively short period of time.

These top athletes, just like us, do what they love doing. They are committed to each other and are guided by a common goal. Tremendouslove that they putin every training sessionand every match bring about victories that come as natural and well-deserved. They inspire and, by setting their personal examples, they show that goalpostscan always be moved to a higher degreeand that each our record exists only to be broken and a new one set.

These values were the basic criterion in selecting our promoters. In the national water polo team players we have recognized a strong brand, which is founded on the same system of values as ours.

UNIQA has also been the official insurance provider, a partner and a friend of the national water polo team of Serbiafor years now. This makes such choice even more natural, and, in fact,itis a new step on ourway to strategic commitment tosupport our most successful national sport.

2.What are your expectations related to the future cooperation with the World, Olympic and club champions, who will defend the colors of your company in the coming year?

Gordana Bukumirić: Just as they do it in the pool in crucial matches and in the most important competitions, I am highly convinced that UNIQA’s new promoters will surpass all our expectations in ourmutual cooperation, as well. I strongly believe that each of them individually, as a top professional and exceptionalman, will weave something into our UNIQA brand. On the other hand, united as a team and absolutely unstoppable, they will certainly leave a big and important mark, and inspirenew strength and depth to the values we promote.

The cooperation with them will be an opportunity for us to revise and improve our knowledge ofcommunion, fair play and achieving top team results. I hope they will learn something new from us,as well, and that we will provide them with security and support on the road to new successes.

3.Your new promoters are holders of the most prestigious awards in the world. Joined in a team they become unstoppable, always guided by a common goalto continue a long tradition of water polo, the most awarded national sport. Do you believe that they are the best choice in the promotion of UNIQA, which has almost impeccable reputation in insurance that you have been building over the previous 12 years?

Gordana Bukumirić: Absolutely. Our new promoters, both in and out of the pool, in the best wayrepresent and promote all those values ​​upon which we have built and based the virtually impeccable reputation that we can boast today.

Although it sometimes seems to us that the victories and top sports results come easily to these guys, the truth is that there are years of serious strugglebehind them. It is necessary to invest an incredible amount of energy, love and hard work to win, and then, to defend the title of the best in the world. The water polo throne upon which our boys sit is the ultimate goal of all other national teams. The pressure is great, but they stubbornly resist it, ledby the idea that „Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor, or a dolphin”.

Therefore, perseverance, persistence and adherence to principles, even at timeswhen the pressure is at its greatest, and the tide themost powerful, is a clear sign forus that we have made the best selection of our new UNIQA promoters.

4.Will this cooperation additionally inspire our water polo players to defend the gold medal and the championship title at the forthcoming European Championship in Barcelona?

Gordana Bukumirić: I believe that for our new promoters the support of a serious company with which they share the same values is a tailwind towards new achievements and medals. UNIQA is a serious group which, with a two-century long tradition, has been operating on at least 18 markets in Europe. To take part in creating better conditions for the national sport, and to tie our brand to the best in the world of sport is our strategic decisionglobally. The practice has shown that when a company like ours stands behind athletes, this leads to even better results and more compelling victories.

5.UNIQA insurance is famous for its substantialsupport to the national water polo team as their official insurance provider, and their perennial friend and partner. Traditionally, it will be with our national team players this year, too. Tell us more about that.

Gordana Bukumirić:UNIQA has been the official insurance provider, a friend and a partner of the national water polo team of Serbia for years now. After the European Championship in Belgrade, the World Championship in Budapest and the Olympic Games in Rio, we are to continue our cooperation on the road to the European Championship in Barcelona, too. To new achievements and victories.

This cooperation isthe acknowledgementof our strategic commitment to actively participate in the creation of better conditions for our most successful national sport and athletes. I am very pleased that after many years of successful cooperation, we are proud to summarize the results - numerousachievements, medals, as well as the great reputation of Serbian water polo and water polo players on the world stage. The generation that is now leaving for the European Championship in Barcelona is the most successful generation of Serbian athletes ever. The guys, who in the past few years won everything there was to win, will try to win the championship in Barcelona for the fourth time in a row.

Therefore, the results we have achieved are undisputed. This is why we remain united in the same goal - to jointly create new generations of winners,generations that will continue a long tradition of top results.

6.An important part of the UNIQA insurance business strategy is also corporate social responsibility. Which projects have you already completed, which of them you are particularly proud of and which areas will be your focus in the following period?

Gordana Bukumirić: Since its establishment till this day, UNIQA has dedicated a lot of attention to socially conscious business.We always approach this task, which is highly important to us, with lots of love and commitment.Our company covers a lot of topics and is active in various social segments.

Although it is quitedifficult to know all the problems and open issues existing in our society, we give our bestto listen carefully to the needs of the community in which we do business. Thus, we are able to understand how we, as a company, can help in solving socially significant issues.

In addition to supporting the Water Polo Federation of Serbia, UNIQA supported national sport and athletes through thecooperation with the Olympic Committee of Serbia, Belgrade and Children's Marathon, NatašaKovačević Foundation and the Special Olympics.

Certainly, the focus of our socially conscious business is on children, our youngest champs. We are aware that investing in their happy growing up, in creating conditions in which they can achieve their full potential, is in fact an investment in a better future for all of us.

Last year we provided funds for the procurementof necessary equipment for six institutions for abandoned children, and children with disabilities throughout Serbia. At the end of the same year, we provided additional support toour youngestwithout parental care, as well as for those with severe disabilities. Through program ‘Battle for Knowledge’, in cooperation with B92 Fund, we participated in the purchase of mBots,which enabled elementary school students to learnprogramming, robotics and informaticsmore easily and efficiently.

As a traditional partner of Shakespeare Festival, a sponsor of Street Musicians Festival and a partner of numerous author art exhibitions, we work on preserving the theater, music and art scene in Serbia.

For years we have been sponsors of Mokra Gora School of Management, as well as Kopaonik Business Forum, the most prestigious economic event in the country.

The scope of our socially conscious business is quitewide. Led by desire to invariablyinspire by setting our own example, we shall remain an active participant in preserving the most important national values ​​and traditions.

7.Given the fact that you are one of the best players in the world, are you going to strive to be the best in the UNIQA team, too?

Andrija Prlainović: It is an honor, as well as responsibility, to play for UNIQA insurance team. Our road to success is paved with hard work, perseveranceand the constant pushing of the boundaries - by repeating the same question time and time again: “What can we do better?”. We are looking forward to the opportunity to weave the values that drive us and that make us champions into UNIQA brand.

Support and safety, which we all find in this cooperation, are precious momentum for us in the quest to defend the gold medal lying ahead of us. Simply put, we are stronger, because we have support on this quest, and we are aware of what we are defending.

8.As one of the most experienced water polo players, can you tell us what is it that sets the Serbian water polo team apart from other teams?

Milan Aleksić: For me, the team is like a family where the rules of commitment to team mates, success and a common goal apply. Ledby themission to always doour best and surpass our record, we are the greatest support and motivation to each other, aware that the best things come only after we do our best.

Support from a company sharing these values ​​is the wind at the back tonew mutual victories.

9.As a player with a trophy series which has been ongoing since 2014, with atotal of 11 medals, can you reveal tous the secret of success of the Serbian water polo players?

Sava Ranđelović: For us, the most important thing is to keep our promise to do our best each time, so that we would return with the brightest medal from every competition. The secret to our success lies in the atmosphere we have been cherishing for years - but for it, I doubt we would have won all those medals in a row. And finally, our basic principle is to always be brave, which does not mean that we are not afraid. On the contrary! That means we never allow fear to stop us, and that is the key value which connects us withUNIQA.

10.Very early on, you got the nickname ‘Serbian Bomber’ due to crucial throws and shots. Can you tell us where you find additional strength in crucial moments?

Dušan Mandić: I am proud to play in a team in which the players know each other, and which never surrenders. When preparations seemed too hard, we did not give up. We knew that only defeat would beharder to bear. While we played, even when all the odds were against us, when the common sense told us to give up, the faith in our mutualsuccess gave us the strength to carry on further. We won each game with our hearts. We reversed the result when to do soseemed impossible. We made the right moves at the right time, and won. I am convinced that the cooperation with UNIQA is that very right move, which will lead us to secure victory once again.