"Montenegro Needs a Domestic Brand of Cigarettes"

By , 06 Jan 2019, 17:48 PM Business
New Tobacco Combine Podgorica (NDK) New Tobacco Combine Podgorica (NDK) Vikend novine

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The creation of a domestic cigarette brand would be significant for the further development of the tobacco industry in Montenegro, said the Executive Director of the New Tobacco Combine Podgorica (NDK), Savka Darmanović. She spoke about the plans of the company for 2019, among which is the increased production and purchase of tobacco from individual producers, as well as the launch of new capacities and the opening of 90 jobs.

"Since the end of September, we have produced six cigarette brands. We continue with the introduction of new brands, and we are working on the further expansion of the assortment. All three production lines, one for producing king size cigarettes, another super slim and third for the production of a cigarette filter, are operating in the installed capacity. Production is carried out concerning the standards of the profession, established norms and fulfilling the regulatory obligations that the new management has set as a priority task. Precise records and cost monitoring, planning, performance measurement and production efficiency with the implementation of new software solutions are integrated into the modern system of work organization and quality management," says Darmanović.

As far as employment is concerned, she added that 56 domestic workers work in NDK, of which 80 percent are in the production department.

"Equipment at the factory is modern, new and therefore demanding to handle. Due to this, BMJ industries occasionally engages their workforce in the process of installing production lines, commissioning, testing and production, as well as training of domestic workers for operating the systems. The success of employees in production is continuous on production lines, but also in the organization of production in all phases," she said.

Darmanović said that the number of employees in this year will increase, because it is planned to build another facility for the primary production.

"Thus, by building the second phase and putting into operation the primary production hall, this number will be around 90. In this plant, tobacco will be purchased, processed and prepared for the secondary production. Currently, the purchased tobacco is sent for processing outside Montenegro. Activation of the planned plant will also create conditions for the processing of tobacco producers from the region, which will enable an increase in production and lower costs, and thus increase revenues to the company. The production process will be rounded up in financial and technological terms," she announced.

According to her, depending on the business plans and the situation on the tobacco market, it is possible to introduce and shift work for additional production, which would also employ the new workforce.

"Due to the free business zone of NDK, the benefits to investors are also numerous, especially for those oriented to exports. It is extremely important that, on the example of such investments, with significant effects of transfer of technologies and knowledge and with direct additional employment, we include domestic companies, small and medium enterprises as subcontractors. By realizing their services and products, they additionally increase their capacities and placements by improving the overall business and contributing to the development of the economy as a whole," said Darmanović.

According to the data of the competent service, out of 45 local producers, NDK bought 39,000 kilograms of tobacco worth 75,000 euros.

"The basic plans of NDK have so far been focused on the European and the Middle East markets, of course, not limiting exclusively to the mentioned destinations. Considering the quality cigarettes of 20 brands and recognizing them as such, the distribution and market positioning have been facilitated from the very beginning. In addition to exports and employment, it would be good to create a home-grown brand of cigarettes, which is very important for the further development of the tobacco industry in Montenegro. We are also planning to intensify the efforts of services and management at the beginning of this year aimed at increasing the production and purchase of tobacco from individual producers. Management intends to continuously create and improve working conditions, educate employees and provide opportunities for further advancement and improvement, "said Darmanović.

Text by Vikend novine, on January 5th 2018, read more at CdM

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