Part of the digital investment industry for over 25 years, Zoran Vasiljev embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of a genuine thought-leader. Having secured several executive posts at several firms within the tech and telecoms sectors, and even founding his own (Affinitiv Consulting) in 2005, Vasiljev says that he recognised Centili as a “logical next step” in his career. “I’ve always felt that it's a company that has a great story and great potential. One way or another, I wanted to be involved with it; I actually first attempted to acquire the company at my previous firm. When that didn’t work out I decided, if I really believe in the organisation, then I'll have to go and join it.” Never content to simply ‘play it safe’ throughout his career, Vasiljev states that he’s become used to taking chances and exploring the frontiers of the industry. Adept at finding new opportunities and developing value in emerging global markets, he finds the pursuit of overcoming challenges to be both enriching and rewarding.
Taking on the role of CEO in March 2020, Vasiljev’s disposition stood him in good stead to meet perhaps the most significant logistical challenge of the present century: the COVID-19 pandemic. Refusing to cling to preconceived ways of operating, he says that his first few months of leadership have been exacting but that establishing a clear vision has seen the company navigate the most difficult aspects of disruption. “We have everything we need to take control of the situation and understand what is causing problems for the industry. There will not be a time when business will suddenly revert back to how things were in December 2019; that will never happen. However, Centili has developed a strategy to expand the company, motivate employees and demonstrate why our industry is fortunate enough not to be affected as some others might be.”
When asked how he intends to maintain a roadmap for further success at Centili, Vasiljev’s boundless ambition becomes apparent: “We’re just getting started; there’s still 400 operators that we aren’t connected to yet.” Indeed, it could be argued that growth is Centili’s raison d'etre; if it stopped being hungry for further expansion, the company would probably cease to exist. As it continues on its quest to achieve an entirely frictionless payments experience, Vasiljev makes it clear that Centili doesn’t dwell on its latest achievements for too long (such as being featured in the ROCCO 2020 Innovation Report), rather it simply composes itself, assesses where the next challenge or competition may emerge from and then sets to work on improving its services for customers. “The continuous involvement and renewal of our platform, our ability to be flexible and adapt to the market's needs means that, instead of taking two years to develop a specific model or feature, we can get it done within weeks.”