Thanks to the efforts of stakeholders from business, academia and NGO community, Serbia grows its potential as a blockchain destination and manages to position itself on the regional and European map.
Several weeks ago it became official. The first Hyperledger blockchain university course in Europe will be offered by the Faculty of Technical Sciences of the University of Novi Sad, Serbia.
Organizations such as Serbian Blockchain Initiative gather industry leaders and companies in blockchain: from IT solutions providers and IT companies that disrupt retail, food and financial sectors to well-established players in traditional industries that embrace blockchain to reinvent themselves.
During 2018 INAT Summit, our organization collaborated successfully with SBI and its company members. We organized a blockchain masterclass with Ivan Bjelajac, President of SBI and Founder of MVP Workshop.
Our audience could also learn how cognitive, blockchain and cloud change the world of gaming and e-sports. That was INAT blockchain workshop with Milos Solujic, from Game Credits, SBI member company and Bill Le Voir Berry, IBM.
Bearing in mind the changes in tech ecosystem we interviewed Nemanja Lazić, Director of Business Development at MVP Workshop and one of the most active SBI members, who shared with us the updates in the blockchain community.
Nemanja Lazić is Director of Business Development at MVP Workshop and Advisory board member at Serbian Blockchain Initiative. He is dedicated to delivering impeccable business results while building strong teams and helping them achieve their highest potential.
With a great knowledge and experience in marketing and sales on one hand, and business development on the other, Nemanja has acquired a unique set of skills which include consultancy and R&D related to Blockchain technologies. That being said, Nemanja is focused on change management and building blockchain products that actually work.
Currently, along with his team, he is dedicated to helping businesses grow by developing new and taking full advantage of existing market opportunities, through the use of new emerging technologies. Nemanja has also been involved in these activities as a member of Serbian Blockchain Initiative advisory board, together with national and international professionals who are contributing to the same cause.
INAT Summit: Hello Nemanja, thanks for taking the time for this interview. Tell us about your current role in SBI and MVP Workshop, what does it entail and in which capacity are you working on projects that transform the blockchain ecosystem and building of apps and other solutions?
Nemanja Lazić: As Business Development director I have most of the interest in making MVP Workshop part of the Global movement where decentralized business models and asset tokenization has become more and more viable option of doing business. Essentially, current state in blockchain is that we do not have better solution or technology capable of tackling this new organizational changes and our team as the whole is literally on the forefront of technological capabilities of this ecosystem in creation.
INAT Summit: When we say, ‘‘MVP Workshop’’ a diligent team of people that works on innovative products comes to our mind.
In Serbia, your company developed the reputation of understanding elusive product-market fit and working with some of the best people in the ecosystem, either as team members or domestic and even international clients.
How did you achieve such a move-fast-break-things-fast culture where at the same time people support each other and love spending time together, not just being deeply engrossed in their work?
Nemanja Lazić: This is an interesting insight coming from your side and I can confirm that’s the way it is.
Understanding of things in product and/or business development is usually something which comes with time spent over the years of doing something similar. In the end, it is the experience which ads some advantage to it. We like to call ourselves the product guys – because we have over 10 years of product experience between us.
MVP is made of 70% engineers, and 30% of business experts, all friends, and long-term colleagues. We have experience in successful exits totaling over 20 million, and we are eager to share our knowledge with the World. This attitude is recognized because it is straightforward and we are communicating it that way. That adds as well lots of efficiency in partnering on various projects.
INAT Summit: What are some of the top trends in blockchain which will become mainstream? How will the blockchain solutions adapt to different interfaces: mobile devices, laptops, VR headsets or other gadgets in not so far away future?
Nemanja Lazić: Use cases will be directly connected to the ability of scaling. The current state of things is that scalability is a big issue. where will future lead us is very difficult to say, but what I can comment is where we as a company are going and how we make our future for this team and ecosystem in general.
We see ourselves as a solution provider not only to some future products or platforms, where we will invest most of the effort is in making middleware and tooling needed for all ecosystem to grow.
Already, today, our engineers contributed to making much software needed for connecting traditional and upcoming disruptive technology, in this cases blockchain based things. We will continue working on and gaining product experience in a specific spectrum as well as everyday building, defining, and growing products using disruptive technology is something we do for a living.
INAT Summit: What are the main projects for MVP Workshop in 2019? How does your recruitment strategy look like, given the fact that there is a huge demand for talented programmers and other IT roles?
Nemanja Lazić: 2019 looks promising. There are two types of companies we are dealing with.
One is coming from the startup community bringing super interesting ideas where we are adding our methodology and ultimately work on building product, through stages of initial workshops, validation of business models and ideas.
The other one has established world-renowned companies from the Fortune 500 list where we are contributing in making their business models fit for the future, I think that we could help in making some traditional models futureproof.
INAT Summit: How do you envision that blockchain community will look like in the close future? What experience will SBI provide for the professionals and enthusiasts? To whom do you recommend to become an SBI member?
Nemanja Lazić: Maybe, the community which will be built around will be one that appreciates fairer distribution of values around participants in some business ecosystem.
But, anyhow all initiatives would need to have some group or pool of people ready to push things forward. it really hard to say but I see that new organizational approaches will emerge which will be more engaging and where certain types of needed behaviors will be incentivized through newly introduced values.
SBI is a factor interested in bringing these models closer to the general public in Serbia, and to help any participant interested in contributing to cause and ultimately prepare us all to embrace new business models.
INAT Summit: What will be the advice you will give to the young people that are choosing their faculties and who will enter the job market in 2020-2025?
Nemanja Lazić: The only advice I would give is to follow their passion. The world needs people which are dedicated, committed and engaged in absolutely any given thing needed for people to function. whatever you do, do something which you believe works for you, rest will follow…
INAT Summit: Last, but not least, we can end this interview on a bit informal note: Would you say for yourself that you spend a bit too much time traveling and living out of the suitcase?
Nemanja Lazić: Yes and no, if it is needed. This interconnected world offers us many options we can choose to collaborate and make things happen. If human presence is necessary, that is always OK and brings all senses in which sometimes could be determining factor in choosing the right fit. Basically, if it’s needed and wherever it’s needed – anyone of us will be present.
INAT Summit: Still, when it comes to SBI and MVP Workshop in which market segments, regions and initiatives do you see the biggest potential for growth?
Nemanja Lazić: This technology is becoming geographically agnostic. Anyhow, places like Switzerland, Malta, Singapore, Tel Aviv and many others are gearing up and making itself capable of enabling things more and more… But every region will follow, it is a matter of tie.
INAT Summit: Thank you for the inspiring conversation! We look forward to collaborating with your team in the future.
Nemanja Lazić: Thank you, INAT crew. Keep up with amazing work.