Nikola Zec

Nikola Zec

Nikola, tell us something about yourself.

I study Business Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Rijeka and I am the CEO and the founder of two startup companies, WorldFood Box and Gooders News, as well as my own agency for business consulting Nikola Zec Business. I was also rewarded with "Inspire 2030” as the most influential young entrepreneur under 30 years of age.


I started Worldfood Box while I was still at high school. Currently, the company is the biggest importer of candy and snacks on the Balkan market. Besides WorldFood Box, I’m also working on launching the first good news media house in Croatia called Gooders News, the goal of which is to change the way of media communication with the public.


What does the word "entrepreneur” mean to you?

I personally do not consider myself an entrepreneur. I believe it is a title that must be earned, and I need many years of work, experience and education for that.

For me, an entrepreneur is a person with several years of experience, running a company with minimum 15 employees and taking responsibility for risky procedures with the aim of creating a unique, differentiated service or product.


How did you come up with the idea of the WorldFood Box?

I came up with the idea after a family trip to Kuala Lumpur, where I had an opportunity to try their traditional snack, dry seaweed, which can be bought in numerous shops in Asia. My father told me that it would be good to import such a product into Croatian market.


How to begin when you have an idea? What were the main challenges you encountered when putting your idea into practice?

The biggest challenges were public performances…I was very anxious every time I had to give a statement to the media, so I seemed like a person of frivolous character. However, I was aware that I will not accomplish anything if I do not fight with my fear, so luckily, I did not turn down the media when they called me. Soon enough, I started to deal with education in the speech industry, so I managed to improve my public performances. I consider entrepreneurship a talent because not everyone manages to spend 24 hours a day working on his/ her project development. When it comes to entrepreneurship, there are no quick results or quick money making. Sometimes, several years may be necessary in order for one’s investment to be returned, so I do not suggest to start your career in the entrepreneurship field just out of despair.


A general advice for a person who has a wish to start something is: When you get an idea for a startup, write it down, sleep over, and if the next day you still have the wish to continue with it, start developing your idea. Do not create problems, solve them along the way, and no – a startup doesn’t need to be developed within three days. Take time and enjoy your business journey.


You developed WorldFood Box while you were still a high school student. How does higher education help you and what do you think, what are the advantages of studying at the Faculty of Economics and Business?

Considering I have been studying for only six months, and taking into account the fact that during the first year of undergraduate studies we learn more about economy than about entrepreneurship, I think it is early to say how much knowledge I will be able to apply to my project. Studying at the Faculty of Economics and Business gave me an opportunity to personally develop and meet new people. Also, my professors helped me a lot with the development of WorldFood Box and Gooders News.


How do you balance your student obligations with your business activities?

A day is 24 hours long. You sleep 8 hours, you spend on average 4 hours a day at the Faculty, you study 1 hour a day, you spend some time with your friends and you still have 8 hours left for developing your project! The only thing that sometimes makes me tired are constant journeys between Zagreb and Rijeka. The whole company is doing business in Zagreb, so I often have to go to Zagreb during the week to attend meetings, but also to deal with administration.


You come from Zagreb. How does it feel studying at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Rijeka?

I was born in Ljubljana, which helped me expand my ideas beyond the borders of the Republic of Croatia. I believe formal education is very important, but only if it enables you to use the knowledge in practice, and the Faculty of Economics and Business gives me this possibility.


Tell us something about your agency for business consulting Nikola Zec Business.

The agency for marketing and business consulting Nikola Zec Business offers a wide range of multimedia services to its clients. We offer marketing management services, video production and business consulting.

Additionally, Nikola Zec Business also offers expert mentoring to help the young develop high-quality startups and to minimize the reasons for not starting a business, which usually discourage the students to begin their entrepreneurship journey.


Considering the great competition in the marketing area, how to become prominent and be better?

I think the best way to succeed is to show your hard work and knowledge. Looking at the numerous bad marketing campaigns all over the social networks, I feel that the marketing area turned into "give it to the neighbour's kid, he knows how to deal with Facebook” job.

Marketing is a creative job, so it is important to know that everything is possible and that there shouldn't be any limitations in creativity.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

Retired… I’m kidding!

To be honest, I’m not sure where I see myself in five years, because a few years ago, I couldn’t even dream about developing two startups and one agency of my own. One thing is sure – as long as I am happy working on all these projects, nothing will stop my intention to continue my entrepreneurship journey. However, if in a few years I realize my current career doesn’t suit me, I will focus on something else. I have a lot of time.


Do you have any advice for students and those who would like to give it a go in entrepreneurship?

Just go and forget about perfectionism, as there is no place for it in entrepreneurship!


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