NAUTIKA

Interview: NIKOLA PRIŠIĆ, ELKO MARINE – Tradition is the anchor and innovation is the sail


What happens when a long tradition meets fresh energy? Find out in the interview with Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine. Nikola, as one of the heirs of this renowned family firm, brings an innovative perspective to Elko Marine, while maintaining the values for which the company is well-known. We talked about the history of their brand, Nikola’s plans for the future, and how Elko Marine remains at the forefront of the Serbian nautical industry.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: Elko Marine has been around for 30 years. What are the key factors that have contributed to your long-term success in the nautical industry?

The success we have achieved is the result of various factors, but I would like to emphasize a few key ones. For thirty years, we have exclusively devoted ourselves to nautical industry, which enables us to be fully committed to this area. We have started our business journey as a servicing center, gradually expanding our activities to the production of vessels, construction of winter quarters and marinas, and eventually became dealers for many renowned world brands. These different branches of the nautical industry have contributed to the acquisition of invaluable experience in all aspects of the nautical business.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: Your mission is to provide a full nautical experience. How do you help customers through the entire process, from purchase of the vessel to service and maintenance?

Our slogan is “Your vessel is our concern” – therefore, we are committed to providing customers with support and advice when choosing a vessel, as well as excellent servicing and maintenance after purchasing it. Our team of experts is on hand to ensure that every step of the way is filled with comfort and satisfaction for our customers.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: Since you are part of the new generation of leaders in the company, what is your vision for business modernization?

My vision is that stability and progress come from within the company, maturing and learning the job is the key to progress, and accordingly I believe that innovations in business segments should come mostly from colleagues who are in charge of their sectors.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: Elko Marine designs and manufactures vessels under its own brand, in addition to distributing other brands. What are the most popular models you currently sell?

Our production is synonymous with quality, and the Big Foot model stands out in particular – it has been produced in more than 2,000 units so far. Considering the growing demands of the market and the diversity of our clients’ needs, the interest in larger vessels is also increasing. This year, our Nivian XR1 model attracted a lot of attention, positioning itself between the Big Foot and the renowned brands we import, such as Bayliner, Atlantic Marine, Highfield and Fourwinns. In other words, it is recognized as the best option in the segment of smaller speedboats, offering an optimal price-quality ratio.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: What advice would you give to someone thinking about buying their first boat?

The first thing I would recommend is that clients consider the purpose of the vessel – whether it will be used only for transportation from point A to point B, for water activities, family outings and lunches, or for fishing and enjoying nature. Our offer includes various types of vessels, and we try to find the optimal solution together, in accordance with the needs of our clients.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: What kind of servicing and maintenance services do you offer to boat owners?

Our biggest advantage is that we are a full-service nautical center and you can get absolutely everything you need for your boat in one place. In short, we carry out all types of maintenance, including regular servicing, winter conservation, anti-algae product application, washing, transport, lifting and launching of vessels. Also, if we notice the need for any additional works, we will be happy to do them upon agreement with the client.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: Elko Marine specializes in the sale and servicing of outboard engines. What engine brands do you work with?

We are an authorized distributor for Honda and Parsun outboard motors in Serbia. In addition, we provide guarantees and provide the largest network of dealers and repairers in order to enable servicing throughout Serbia. In addition to Honda and Parsun, we are authorized for many other brands, including Mercury, Mercruiser, Yamaha and Torqeedo.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: Electric motors are gaining popularity, and you have joined this trend. Do you see a complete transition from gasoline to electric motors in the future?

We have noticed an increased demand for electric motors due to the advancement of technology, which is why we have added Torqeedo to our range. However, we believe that there are still barriers that prevent our customers from opting for them, such as the high production cost and lack of subsidies.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: Elko Marine owns Marina Špic in Novi Sad. What are the biggest advantages of this marina for boat owners?

Listening to the long-term needs of our clients, we created this place to provide them with maximum comfort during the season. Opened in 2015 on Ribarsko ostrvo on the Danube in Novi Sad, Marina Špic offers a wide range of services and facilities. In addition to various services in the marina itself, there is also the Štrand city beach nearby, as well as many catering establishments, which makes the stay even more pleasant. In addition to boat moorings, our members have access to a variety of services, including boat preparation and maintenance, access to the clubhouse at the marina entrance, internet, water and electricity, heated water showers, self-service fuel station, a refrigerator with ice at every departure, as well as help on the water. Our staff is available from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., while at night there are security guards with 24-hour video surveillance.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: Do you plan to expand to new locations or introduce additional services in the near future?

We are constantly working on improving and expanding our business, and considering the growing number of sailors in Serbia every year, we strive to expand our capacities. Our goal is to expand so that we can meet the needs of the growing number of members of the nautical community.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: You also create the video series “Nautika info” on the YouTube channel. What topics are you covering this season?

In view of our great jubilee of 30 years in business, we have prepared new topics that will bring sailing closer to a wider audience. Our goal is to motivate people to become interested in boating and to discover the charms of life on the water. The topics will also be intended for enthusiasts of rivers, navigation and research on the water, but we will not forget the more professional topics that will attract more experienced sailors.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: What motivates you the most in the work and promotion of the nautical lifestyle?

Ever since I was small, I developed a love for boating, since I practically grew up in the company, we kind of have grown up together. Whenever I hear the word “sailing”, I immediately think of freedom, closeness to nature and enjoyment. Every day spent on the water can be unique – today we can enjoy peaceful fishing, and tomorrow we can indulge in water sports. In addition, working in the nautical industry gives me the opportunity to constantly improve my skills, learn about different technologies and meet people from different spheres of business.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: What is your view of the future of the nautical industry in Serbia?

The nautical industry in Serbia is already on the right track and should certainly continue to improve. Although Serbia does not have access to the sea, the nautical industry can be developed through rivers, lakes and artificial waterways. Key factors for further development include investment in marinas, piers and coastal infrastructure, as well as good promotion of boating tourism. Additionally, investment in nautical education and training can foster the development of a skilled workforce. With the support of the government, investors and experts, Serbia can become a significant actor in the nautical industry, opening the way for economic growth and tourism development.

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

NP: What would you say to readers who are thinking of sailing?

The best answer I could give to this question is asking another question: “Why haven’t you set sail yet?”

Nikola Prišić, Sales Director at Elko Marine

Milana Vidaka 16a, Futog,
21410, Serbia
+381 21 893 474;
+381 64 112 7 119;
+381 677 355 600
office@elkomarine.rs
www.elkomarine.rs
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