Franz Kafka, “The Trial”
Following years of cooperation, I feel it my duty to present my impressions. I want to point out how proper esteemed Mr. Đorđević was to me over an extended period of time.
Our cooperation began with the cooperation of Yuco Hemija Bački Jarak, whose owner was Mr. Tom Đorđević, and Srbokvarc Rgotina, a company whose director I was in the early 90s.
As a producer of raw materials for abrasives, Srbokvarc became a business partner of Yuco Hemija. The cooperation was to mutual satisfaction. Mr. Đorđević showed understanding for our request for assistance in the production of quartz sand, and we were provided a truck, making the production more stable. Cooperation continued so that our proposal to produce the abrasive material using our quartz sand was accepted. The basic raw materials up until then had been exclusively imported. This was a precedent for that time and a major boost to the domestic economy.
After my departure from Srbokvarc in 1997 the cooperation continued.
With the development of Mr. Tom Đorđević’s Meridian Bank, there was a need to set up branches in the region of Timočka Krajina. Our cooperation was renewed and we opened branches of Meridian Bank in Zaječar, Bor, Knjaževac, Sokobanja, long before other banks did. The opening of Meridian Bank branches provided real support in development and operations to local business as well as state owned companies in this region of Serbia.
To mention only a few of those for whom the credit support of Meridian Bank enabled normal operations: JP Toplana Zajecar, Elektromontaža Zaječar, Kablovi Zaječar, B.Žica Bor, Poljoprivredno dobro Zaječar, Trgocentar Zaječar, Jugokaolin Zaječar and many others, as well as thousands of individuals.
At the insistence of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Tom Đorđević provided financial support for Hemijska Industrija Prahovo for the very important production of artificial fertilizer and tripolyphosphate. Unfortunately, some of this money was never repaid to Meridian Bank.
I would like to particularly stress one very important fact for the employees, achieved in the negotiations of the sale of Meridian Bank to French Credit Agricole, thanks to Mr. Tom Đorđević. There were no layoffs, so that fair treatment of employees, in agreement with the new owner, was retained. Even the status of business activities that the new owner did not have, e.g. security, was retained by the new employers.
Finally, it is important to say that Mr. Tom Đorđević, founder, Chairman of the Board and owner, was always willing to hear all suggestions and objections on the Bank’s work directly from the Bank’s employees, in order to improve the quality of our services. He was also prepared to accommodate and help resolve private issues of his employees, to the extent he could, which is rare in today’s business world.
Slavoljub Pajkić, B.Sc. Mining
’79.-’97. Srbokvarc Rgotina Director
’97.-’01. Municipality of Zaječar Executive Council Chairman
’02.-’07. Meridian Bank Branch Manager
’07.-’09. Credit Agricole Bank Deputy Branch Manager
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