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First Place is Not Relinquished

It is a great honour to be among the best, and Plus d.o.o. will maintain this position by continuing to invest in employees and acquisitions of other quality companies

As Montenegro’s peak tourist season fast approaches, and is set to be particularly significant for this company due to the launch of a new smokeless tobacco product device, Prokopije Perić, CEO of Podgorica-based Plus d.o.o., proudly discusses the company’s excellent business results and ambitious plans for our magazine.

Another tourist season has begun, and is this year expected to surpass previous ones. How is Plus d.o.o. preparing for it?

― The last days of June show that we can expect another good and quality season. For starters, we never cut corners with preparations and procurement; we always prepare as if we’re being awaited by the best season ever, because we can always balance the stock after the end of July. It is risky to enter the season without sufficiently high levels of stock, given that many manufacturers take their collective summer breaks or renovate factory facilities during the season. This summer season is particularly significant for us, because in mid-June – together with our long-term partner, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) – we launched smokeless tobacco device PLOOM, and WINSTON STICKS products, on the Montenegrin market.

Montenegro was selected as Ploom’s 18th market worldwide. Expectations are high because this is a growing category within new tobacco products, but I’m confident we will meet the challenge strongly, because we have a very competent team that can handle it. The support of our JTI colleagues is also very important and strong, as their experience of other markets guides us on how to develop Ploom, which we can say is the highest quality device of its kind on the market, with Japanese experts having managed to fix all the shortcomings of similar existing devices. And, most importantly, Winston Sticks contain real tobacco, providing consumers with an experience that’s closest to regular cigarettes.

Your company has been awarded the Top Business Montenegro 2024 accolade in the category of medium-sized enterprises, based on last year’s financial reports. You are once again among the best?

― The Montenegrin market is small, but very competitive. It is a great honour to be among the best, because a large number of high-quality and successful companies operate in Montenegro.

It is a great honour to be among the best, because a large number of high-quality and successful companies operate in Montenegro

It is much easier to win than to retain first place later, but we will certainly strive, as a company, to hold this position for a long time. And in order to succeed we must continue to invest primarily in our employees, and then in the potential acquisition of other quality companies.

Cigarettes represent a key category of your business, but you’re also working to strengthen other categories?

― We provided the Montenegrin budget with over €43 million in excise duties on tobacco products in 2023, making us the largest excise taxpayer in this category. If the first half of the year is any indication, we will likely be the largest contributor again this year, as we’ve paid over €23 million in excise duties over the first six months of 2024. We work on other categories perhaps even more than on cigarettes, because the competition is greater. Cooperation with all partners is very important for us, and we never differentiate between them on the basis of size and scope of cooperation.

We are equally dedicated to all of them, because each one contributes to our success in its own way. Without our partners – like L’Oreal, Essity, Hausbrand, Banjalučka pivara and all others – we wouldn’t be what we are. Each industry in which these companies operate has its own specificities that help us better understand the market and apply good practices to other industries.

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