Andrej Sopilnjak: “Slovenia Is Hospitable and Friendly”
The Head of Trianova trgovina d.o.o. moved to Slovenia about 2 years ago. Since then, he has never got hooked on the local cuisine, but has managed to estimate the size of the country and learnt the advantages of his company in the Slovenian market.
– Andrej, hello! More than a year ago, we interviewed you right after your moving to Slovenia. Have you been tired of the country ever since?
– No, I haven’t.
– Can you express your attitude to Slovenia with five words?
– Small, clean, cosy, hospitable, and friendly.
– What do you like here most of all?
– The size. Although this is both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is convenient to calculate an average delivery price across the country, but its size also causes a small number of buyers.
– Tell us about the local cuisine. It is quite unique for us. What do you like? Maybe, you can cook any dishes yourself.
– I do not like the local cuisine since it is actually absent here and it is very difficult to try something cooked according to a purely Slovene recipe. A standard menu mostly includes pizza, spaghetti (Italy), ćevapčići (a grilled dish of minced meat, Balkan cuisine), schnitzel (Austria), and burek (baked filled pastries, Turkey).
Business as a Way of Life
– Has your business become successful according to your standards?
– It has not yet, but we continue developing.
– In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of this kind of business, like Trianova trgovina d.o.o., in Slovenia? And who are your target clients—Slovenes or foreigners?
– We react faster than Slovene companies do, and try to deliver orders as quickly as possible. Slovenes are the target clients. Our activities are not related to tourism. Therefore, it is useless to focus purely on those who have just moved here. They are rather few.
– What advice would you give to Russians or Ukrainians who decide to move to Slovenia and want to start their own business here? What would you pay attention at in the first place in the light of the experience that you possess now?
– I would recommend not to study the Slovenian language before they move here. It would be more useful to study English or German. In Ukraine and Russia, it is difficult to find a good Slovenian teacher. However, mastering other languages to communicate with neighbouring countries is simply a must.
– What was the most difficult for you in the development of your business?
– Inability to understand the local price formation. It was difficult to draw up price lists that would be convenient for local shops. It is also surprising that the Slovenes do not read e-mails. They receive them and delete at once.
– Do you read business literature or go through some special training to improve your business?
– Yes, of course I do. Now there is a lot of literature on the Internet as well as trainings on YouTube.
– What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have time for your hobbies without compromising your business? Do you attend cultural or sports events?
– Bicycle, basketball, running. I would like to go to the gym in the morning, but it does not work out. In Slovenia, working day starts from 8 a.m. There is no sense in coming to the gym at 6:30 a.m. to then be in time for work at 8:00 a.m.
– Have you started doing sports more often after moving to Slovenia?
– No, I haven’t. In Ukraine, I visited the gym 5–6 days a week in the morning. Here, I still have no time for this. The difference is just that the variety here is more diverse than it was in my previous life in Ukraine.
– Thank you!
Let us remind that earlier Andrej told us that it had taken him just 2 days to register his company when moving to Slovenia. He spent another 2 days to receive the tax number and EMŠO (enotna matična številka občana—an individual identification number), and a week was needed to receive a certificate of good conduct.
Trianova trgovina d.o.o. sells beds, sofas and mattresses, including vacuum-packed mattresses (the Neoflex series).
The opinion of the editorial board may not coincide with the opinion of the respondent.