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Allow us to present you, Nela.

Originally Serbian, born in New York, high school years between Dubai and Belgrade, followed by an internship in Hong Kong, and the completion of her studies at the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, the #1 University of International Hospitality studies worldwide. Today Nela is the business developer for Planify, and she joined us for a quick chat.

Hong Kong was my first experience related to Hospitality and Business Development

Working at the front office of the Peninsula Hotel was challenging, but definitely worth it. Life in Hong Kong and the training at this prestigious hotel gave me a glimpse of how high standard service should be delivered to customers. I was taught several behavioural skills, with the main focus on people, that have highly aided me in my work as a business developer.

At that time, I would spend up to 12 hours a day interacting with numerous guests, varying from new-customers to VIPs. I feel insanely lucky to have completed my internship at the Peninsula flagship. Having learned from the very best in the industry. I can see today how all these practices have become instilled in me. Moreover, how they’re mirrored in everything I do at Coteries.

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 In Business Development you’ll be as good as your preparation

I highly advise every company, whether a start-up or large chain, to train their Business Developer with immense attention to detail. This should be before they’re allowed to run free in the jungle of sales and potential customers. Personally, I find it really useful to roleplay with my team until I feel we’re all on the same page. We need to comprehend exactly the customer’s needs and achieve perfection. You only have one opportunity to impress your customer. This chance shouldn’t be lost due to the simple lack of preparation.

Something we did in the office (that proved to be highly beneficial), was to assign ‘work buddies’ before starting up a new project. What this means, is that the newbies will have somebody more experienced to guide them through the process. It makes it easier and funnier.

At Coteries, my first days were all about introducing me to the spirit and to the goals of the company. As a team, we worked on the Value Proposition Canvas and the Business Model Canvas. This helped me to speed up and have a deep understanding of the product, as well as the market.