From the day of its foundation, the Company has been committed to innovations and introduction of new ways onto the market. Innovations are not necessarily of technological nature. They signify implementation of a new, or significantly improved product, service or process, marketing method or new organizational method in business, work organization or the company’s relationship with its environment. In a nutshell, all the things that have never been implemented in business. However, innovations are not minor changes or improvements, routine adjustments, seasonal changes (in the line of clothes, for example), adaptation to one client which does not include significant changes in relation to the products for other clients, design changes that do not amend functionalities or technical characteristics, reselling of new goods or services purchased from other business entities.
In December 2017, the Committee for Innovation and Digital Transformation was founded to improve the operation of the Company through the implementation of digital transformation and innovations. The members of the Committee hold managerial positions in the Company and the members of subcommittees are the employees from their departments, i.e. work units. The Committee organizes meetings 4 times a year (every three months) in order to:
- present innovative ideas,
- consider the possibility for their realization,
- consider the status of the adopted ideas (whether they are realized or not) and
- consider the ideas proposed by the employees via intranet portal.
The pandemic had an impact on the meetings organized by the Committee for Innovations. Members of subcommittees gathered in smaller groups or online, but the work never stopped. The Committee organized 48 meetings in which 138 employees discussed 373 ideas for the advancement of business practices. Out of the total number of discussed ideas, 170 were chosen for realization. Some ideas required more information for the beginning of realization, whereas some were abandoned. Out of 53 ideas in the process of realization, 36 were realized. For more information about realized innovations, see the section in which members presented their results.
To improve the efficiency of subcommittees, the Company appointed coordinators to initiate the organization of regular meetings and introduced a table for monitoring of results of the realized ideas.
Within an internal campaign intended for employees “Inspired by Innovations”, employees received interesting and useful information about innovations every Thursday. The campaign was divided into three segments: innovations through examples, stories about successfully realized ideas in Delta and interesting information about innovations on a global scale. After the first and the last segment of the campaign, employees were surveyed with the aim of collecting information whether the campaign was interesting and which topic they would like to cover.
In addition to suggestions provided through the Innovations Committee, proposals for projects in connection with innovations were also given by Young Leaders of the 8th generation. Information technology department organized the first online Hackathon on the topic of application of PowerApp.
Due to the Company’s practice in the area of innovations, at the invitation of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the Company supported the project ScaleUp4Europe by participating in the consulting board for the segment of project that refers to startup solutions in agriculture. The project will be realized in 2021.
Delta Business Incubator is a three-month program launched in 2018 with the aim of supporting startups in Serbia in development and improvement of products and services, preparing them for the market and pitching. The ideas are developed through workshops, lectures, mentorship and business contacts.
In the first two years, the program was intended for the development of startup ideas in the area of logistics, distribution, agriculture and real estate, namely the lines of business of Delta Holding members, because in such way the Company was able to provide not only financial support, which is important to set up a new business, but also mentors, knowledge, and the opportunity to test ideas and create business contacts.
In 2020, with the help of partners, external mentors and associates who were willing to participate in the program, the contest was open for business ideas from all areas of business. The program got a new slogan “Creating FUTURE Business” which clearly indicates that the aim of the program is to develop a business that can step into the market after three months of mentorship.
At the 2020 contest, 57 ideas were submitted, out of which 20 met basic contest criteria for entry into the Incubator. The ideas were presented to the members of the commission in charge of evaluating development capacities of teams and their ideas. The members selected six teams which entered the incubation phase, one of which abandoned the incubator at the very beginning.
In the course of the three-month program, the Company designed individual work plans for different teams in accordance with their needs, selected mentors to monitor their work and provided the necessary support for idea testing, and contacts for market research. The teams attended various lectures important for startup development, some of which are the following: Reverse Exit Engineering, market and users, Growth Strategy, monetization and financial planning, experience of a growing startup, VC decision making, and the art of giving a short presentation. Lectures were held by the representatives of DH partner companies, external associates, and startup representatives.
The program was mostly realized online, except for product testing, which was carried out live. Despite the changed circumstances, mentors and participants graded the program realization with the highest grades. Partners and external associates gave a substantial contribution to the realization of the program: Comtrade, PWC Srbija, ICT Hub, Fresh Agriculture Technologies, Dejan Tešić, Miša Lukić, Ognjen Radić and Mark Filips, who worked with teams together with colleagues from Delta.
After the completion of the incubation period, teams pitched their business ideas to a thirteen-member jury consisting of leaders in the world of audit, IT, marketing, banking and scientific research institute, and two members from Delta Holding’s top management. The winning team of the contest for investment was “Farma Inova from Belgrade, with its product “Silage Stabilizer” – an innovative packaging and additives for silage which protect silage against decay, improve its quality and preserve nutrients.
For more information about Delta Business Incubator, visit www.deltabiznisinkubator.rs