11 Years of Mistral: Breaking New Ground and Staying True to Our Values

When something becomes such a big part of your every day, you forget that there was a time when it didn’t exist. Take for example Instagram or even 4G. Over ten years ago, they were barely a thing. Now, we’re already on the move to 5G and Instagram has evolved into an integral part of millions of users’ lives worldwide. Meanwhile, in the same period, the software development market in Bosnia and Herzegovina started blossoming, with Mistral coming on top as one of the industry leaders with consistent growth.  

This October, as we celebrated our 11th anniversary, we looked back on all we’ve accomplished as a team. Here is a little summary.

People First, Always, and Forever 

Mistral had a fascinating journey since 2010, consistently breaking our own records each year since. Now, eleven years later, we have more than 240 employees and provide product development services to some of the biggest brands all across the globe

Mersed Čamdžić, our founder and CEO, strongly believes that for a company to succeed, it has to put its people first in every situation. No matter how many employees Mistral has, a transparent approach and ever-present support from management are always of top importance. 

We can’t expect to have a healthy company without healthy teams, and we can’t expect people to have trust in a company if the management doesn’t have trust in the people. If you want to grow, this needs to be at the core of all you do,“ said Mersed. 

Making Strides and Growing Together 

Despite the challenges of 2020, this year has been one of major growth, and by the end of this year, our team is expected to expand even more. 

The company has not only grown in terms of people but offices as well, where from Sarajevo we first expanded to Mostar, then Banja Luka earlier this year. 

“Banja Luka is a beautiful city, with huge potential for growth and for the expansion of our company. We were lucky that we were able to connect with phenomenal people who were willing to help us create a development center in Banja Luka. In the coming months, we expect a lot of work to be done, but with the team we have, it’ll happen in no time,“ remarked Čamdžić. 

The Mostar office is already a success story of its own, even if the pandemic put the brakes on further expansion of the team.  

“We have an incredible team in Mostar, which motivates us to grow together and build a better connection with the city and the people that live in it,“ added Čamdžić 

The next stop in B&H is Tuzla, where Mistral already has its first team members and is in talks with future ones. After Tuzla, the company is looking into other cities and towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

“Mistral aims to be present in all of the towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Europe if we see there’s mutual benefit in us being there,“ Čamdžić points out. In fact, in October of this year, Mistral welcomed its first colleagues from both Romania and Croatia, opening the doors to further expansion into Europe.  

Honoring a Dear Colleague 

Emir Zec, mentor, and friend, but above all humanitarian with a heart of gold, was a much-respected colleague who sadly passed away due to health complications. To uphold his legacy, Mistral created the Emir Zec Scholarship, which is now in its second year and which is handed out to students who share Emir’s passion for helping others.  

“With the help of Emir’s family, this year we secured scholarships for 7 exceptional and talented young people. Emir passed his charitable spirit onto us, and we have honored it through this scholarship and through our internal “People First” award. Both the scholarship fund and the award were presented last year, when we celebrated 10 years in business,“ said Čamdžić. 

The “People First” award continues Emir’s vision of helping those in need. It is presented annually to a Mistralovac/Mistralovka who selflessly contributes to their community. The winner is presented with a cash prize that they can then donate to a charity of their choice. This year, the award was presented to Ilija Šamarlić, who donated the money to the Education Builds Bosnia and Herzegovina (Obrazovanje gradi Bosnu i Hercegovinu) organization

Ilija Šamarlić receiving the People First award
Growth as a Priority…and Opportunity 

Scholarships aren’t the only way in which Mistral motivates and supports young people.  

This year, 109 people successfully completed various educational programs held in the Mistral offices. Many of them have already been offered contracts.  

“Every education program is great in its own way and can work for groups of all sizes. Depending on the company, these programs can vary in format, technology, intensity, etc. We’ve tried to organize our internal programs in the best way possible so that we could prepare the participants for future challenges in the market and their professional careers. However, it’s important to note that no program is enough on its own if there’s not an honest desire to succeed,“ explains Čamdžić. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to amazing schools that can open the doors to the IT industry for many people, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that anyone can change their career at any time. The programs that Mistral and other IT companies offer allow anyone of any age to create a solid foundation for further growth, change and professional career development

Not only that, but Mistral offers its employees the chance to gain new knowledge and skills, as well as to discover the latest technologies in the industry. 

Onward to New Heights 

In the last year, Mistral has opened new markets, strengthened its collaboration with European and American clients, and created numerous partnerships in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2021, Mistral worked on 28 projects, 13 of which were new, which has led to near 100% growth in comparison with January of this year. Alongside a large number of new clients and engagements, Mistral is proud of the work it is doing with long-time clients, who are searching for new solutions. 

“There are many parameters that were key to our business growth this year. I am exceptionally proud of our collective and the support the company has from its members. I’m proud of the fact that we’re all looking in the same direction and that we all wish to work towards achieving our goals together. I’m also proud of the fact that, alongside the growth and the challenges that come along with it, we’re still enjoying the journey and we look forward to each new day and each new challenge,“ said Čamdžić. 

Even though the IT industry has experienced exceptional growth in the last few years, Mistral doesn’t consider other companies as competitors, but rather allies in creating a quality work environment. The company is looking towards the future, staying faithful to the values it has nurtured since its founding – People First, Culture of Trust and Passion for Growth.  

“Before anything else, we want and hope for the pandemic to end and for us all to be alive and healthy. There are clear goals in our business plan that we want to achieve, and we will give everything to uphold and live our values every day”, concluded Čamdžić.