Skopje-primarily based enterprise developer and undertaking supervisor Olga Rajcic under no circumstances supposed to come to be a aspect of the tech business. For most of her job, Rajcic targeted on establishing her loved ones organization, as effectively as functioning on many social entrepreneurship initiatives.
Nonetheless, all of this transformed in 2018, when she satisfied her fellow co-founders of Challenger – a cellular app that motivates its customers to wander, run or bike additional, and get rewarded for it by obtaining discount codes for merchandise and companies in neighborhood organizations.
Right now, Challenger has many thousand consumers in North Macedonia who have traveled extra than one million kilometers and somewhere around 6,000t/m3 of carbon dioxide have been saved using the app.
In an interview with The Recursive, Rajcic talks about her entrepreneurial journey, motives and inspiration for accomplishing what she does now, the upcoming of Local weather Tech, and more.
The Recursive: How did you come up to your present-day position as a founder of Challenger?
Olga Rajcic: I had never ever experienced a obvious intention to have a occupation in the tech industry, alternatively I normally wished to develop or increase a business. Following finishing my master scientific tests, I started out operating in my household business, but I was constantly seeking for a new job obstacle and personalized expansion. The starvation for expertise, new impactful projects and new experiences is what led me to show up at Startup Weekend Skopje 2018.
At this celebration I achieved Stefan and Teodora (Challenger’s co-founders). This weekend has adjusted my vocation totally and took me to my entrepreneurial journey. My preceding expert and volunteer experience shaped normally my situation in my staff (accountable for company dev, promoting and neighborhood administration).
If I seem back at Olga in 2018 and the man or woman I have come to be these days, I would say I am grateful today mainly because I have entered into a entirely new field and realized so numerous new expertise and small business actual-lifestyle classes. Much more are about to appear, and I can’t hold out to see exactly where all of this will guide me.
When it arrives to Local climate Tech, how would you fee the likely that the Western Balkans have when it will come to employing these types of methods, applications and so on?
Each and every calendar year we are witnessing new ground breaking applications and tech solutions all around the area that are tackling local weather change and protection of the natural environment. We are faced with numerous market place gaps, thanks to negative implementation of regulations, which leaves space for resourceful minds and business people to solve these troubles by making use of know-how.
I am self-confident that the Western Balkans have fantastic young business people, primarily in the discipline of weather tech, having said that we require guidance to choose our solutions to a lot more created markets and broaden our effects. We unquestionably need area for recognition and sharing our classes, success moments and failures in purchase to discover from every single other, and associate for larger effect. Only by sharing our tales can we further more encourage other people to be component of weather tech, and persuade them that imaginative and large things can also be constructed in this location.
I am proud of my group, due to the fact we hardly ever gave up, primarily in all those times when folks and our likely shoppers could not see the reward of our merchandise and had been skeptical mainly because they were scared to apply something new. Just after COVID-19 and quite a few pivoting, I can last but not least say that we located our industry-match. We say that it will work and if another person buys our item in this article on the Balkans, picture what we can do with it internationally.
What do you see as the primary difficulties in the discipline of Local weather Tech correct now?
Regrettably, local climate tech products are nonetheless not perceived as a necessity in the B2B marketplace, but relatively as “nice to have” applications. This is one thing we are making an attempt with my crew to get over in the subsequent months, by including much more functions and making our products a lot more pleasing to our goal buyers.
In addition, we are definitely living in the most demanding situations in the new heritage, which can make other complications to be precedence of the agenda of every country and firm on the other hand, climate modify and means to deal with it is something that we want to consider treatment of no issue what. In the next couple of a long time there could possibly be a slowdown in the ClimateTech field, however I do assume that this field is some thing that will flourish in the several years to occur.
We must not forget that we have a Sustainable Growth Objectives agenda by 2030 the place enterprises as perfectly as know-how have to enjoy a very important position in obtaining them. This is why my workforce has a vision to make Challenger a tool that will aid organizations be element of the SDGs agenda. Absolutely there need to be extra traders and companions in this discipline in purchase to mature this sort of startups and scale them up.
What have been the advantages and cons of being a female in the startup ecosystem in the Western Balkans from your working experience so significantly?
I do not think that there are positive aspects nor disadvantages of staying a woman in the startup ecosystem in the Western Balkans. Startups in the Western Balkans undoubtedly require much easier entry to larger current market opportunities and investments for speedier expansion.
If I can review the startup expansion from 2019 up till currently, I am grateful that we have more chances now, having said that we have to have nearby investors to help us in purchase to raise larger money in other ecosystems.
What does a working day in your everyday living glimpse like? Inform us a thing we really do not know about the subject you are doing the job in.
- Waking up at 6AM and getting ready for get the job done in my relatives company.
- 7-8h Arriving at perform and checking all emails, tasks and organizing my working day
- 8-10h Coordination of all open duties with my crew and responding to email messages
- 10-14h Meetings with associates and purchasers
- 14-15 Product sales strategy
- 16-17h Stick to-up with my team for what is predicted in the adhering to days
- 18h – Shelling out time with relatives and friends
Two occasions a week I volunteer my time and knowledge in many NGOs in buy to make influence in places in which I am not skillfully involved on a day-to-day foundation. I use Sunday for mental wellbeing and enjoyable (putting my aim on the forthcoming working 7 days).
What did you want to be rising up and how has this eyesight improved above the many years?
Throughout my superior faculty many years, I have volunteered and taken portion in several impactful jobs. By this expertise I have recognized that it is my connect with to make an impact in the society I stay in, but it was a question of how I will go on to do that.
These were the moments when my mother and father taught me that by currently being a liable leader and making a small business that normally takes care of its local community, a person can have the greatest probable to develop effects in each and every society.
Consequently, I constantly had an aspiration to connect effect earning with owning a business enterprise, and it looks that this paved my way of wherever I am currently. It’s possible I will try various enterprise types through my job, but for just one I am certain – that my businesses will build an influence in their community communities, or even broader.
What is your definition of accomplishment?
I have constantly tried out to outline achievement, and recognized that is a subjective subject and you cannot set it in 1 sentence. My journey showed me that good results is a journey, and not a ultimate location. Thus, I would fairly like to place a number of features that I make the puzzle of achievements, people currently being:
- Regard and appreciation for your get the job done from the persons you are surrounded with – surround yourself with persons that will point out your name in a place total of options
- Make an effects (this can be in a variety of kinds) in your community
- Deal and defeat all your fears in buy to come to be the ideal model of oneself
- Build a small business (item/companies) that will adjust other people’s lifetime and inspire other folks
- Be curious. Hardly ever stop mastering and choose all prospects alongside the way
- By no means give up, and find out from each individual miscalculation
- Know how to rest but not stop (wellness and mental nicely-being is a priority)
- Be grateful for just about every move alongside your journey
How has technology shaped your occupation so far?
Know-how is shaping our life not only our occupations in the most unexpected approaches. It is obvious that we require to preserve speed with technological variations and understand new skills in buy to continue to be pertinent and aggressive in the workforce marketplace.
As outlined formerly, I never ever imagined to be included in the tech field, but it looks that Challenger has changed my profession, hence my life route. A person point is for certain that we can all use technological know-how for great in purchase to create impact, and I am joyful that I am element of this kind of an entrepreneurial journey.
No matter what we accomplish with our startup, the tech sector is now in my expert DNA and I are not able to hold out what the future will deliver.
What are your skilled objectives for this year?
I am grateful that many of my professional targets are currently achieved this 12 months, but there are several remaining those staying:
- Effective partnerships in the six nations as Challenger is increasing in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Albania, and Armenia.
- Efficiently complete this 12 months with new shoppers, content consumers and new options.
- Getting ready Challenger for our subsequent large financial commitment and new markets in 2023.
- Sharing my expertise via mentorship and consulting with other young business owners.
- Get surrounded by men and women who will encourage me and force me even further to new experienced endeavors.