“We brainstormed, talked for hours, brainstormed some more and then decided to go for it"  

Maxi colleague smiling

Vladan Babić

Head of Loyalty And Fast Delivery

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Meet Vladan Babić,  Head of Loyalty And Fast Delivery at Delhaize Serbia. Under his guidance, the company successfully rolled out a loyalty program and fast delivery business within the space of a year. Today, there are fast-delivery stores in all big cities in Serbia, and over 1.6 million loyalty customers – and counting – have downloaded and registered on the loyalty app. “What we’ve pulled off as a team and as a company is fantastic.”  

Vladan’s journey at Delhaize Serbia began in 2012. Fresh out of university, the finance graduate registered for the company’s retail management program. “Delhaize had only just launched in Serbia that year. I didn’t know much about the company, but what I’d read, I liked. I figured working for a leading international retailer like Delhaize would offer opportunities to learn about the different aspects of the business and further shape my career.”  

He certainly got all of that… and much more. “After the traineeship, I spent eight years in various sales roles for Shop & Go and Maxi, two of Delhaize Serbia’s family of brands. As regional manager, I was responsible for 25 different stores, leading over 500 people. I loved my job, but after eight years, I was ready for a new challenge. I wanted to expand my view and get a fresh perspective on the company.”  

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A linking pin to success 

At first, Vladan had some reservations as to whether his skills were right for the job. “I was under the impression that sales and digital were very different domains, requiring distinct competencies. Turns out I was wrong: my sales experience is extremely valuable in this role. It’s about knowing what customers want and how we can deliver it to them. Being an efficient and effective linking pin between different departments and our customers is more important than knowing all the technical details (which I don’t!). I love that the company has had the confidence to trust me with this step.” 

When he started in the role in April ‘21, Delhaize Serbia didn’t have a loyalty program yet, nor did it offer fast delivery. “Three months later, we started testing our loyalty program in 11 stores in one city. After six months of testing, the program was rolled out to the rest of the country. Today, we have over 1.6 million loyalty app users – and it’s increasing daily. I love that, through this program, our customers’ lives are made easier every day. Adding value for our clients is a key driver in my work.”  
During their journey to continuously optimize the customer’s experience, meanwhile, Vladan and his team were also discussing the launch of fast delivery within the company. “We brainstormed, talked for hours, brainstormed some more and then decided to go for it. That mentality of ‘try it, experiment and see if it works’ is typical of the digital team. We’re given the space and freedom to move fast, which I absolutely love. Making mistakes is part of the package, and completely fine – as long as we learn from it.” 

And the award goes to… 

Within 1.5 years, Vladan and his team had achieved the huge milestones of creating both a loyalty program and a fast delivery business – an achievement that didn’t go unnoticed. During last year’s New Year’s Party he was given the prestigious “Courage Award,” presented to an employee who has shown remarkable courage. He is proud of the acknowledgement, and rightfully so. “Recognition like this is wonderful. Obviously, it wasn’t just me: it was a team effort. Without our wonderful team – a group of proactive and extremely talented people – I could have never pulled it off!”  

On the note of milestones, Vladan recently celebrated one on the home front, too. His second child, a girl, was born a month ago. He has just returned to the office after three weeks at home. “Although it involved very little sleeping, it was the most amazing time. It was so special to have this time together as a family. There wasn’t any room to think about work at all!” 

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Name: Vladan Babić (1987) 

Started working at Delhaize Serbia: August 2012 

Studied: BA Finance (Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, 2012)  

Living with: My wife Jelena, our son Filip and daughter Emili 

Hobbies: Cycling, swimming, reading and spending quality time with friends 

Wake me up in the middle of the night for: A relaxing wellness treatment 

Favorite holiday destination: Crete, Greece 

Life-changing event: The birth of my children 

Biggest source of inspiration: My children 

Best advice I’ve ever received: “Breathe and enjoy the moment” 

This is my week


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