"I believe WISE employees should be encouraged to progress and learn as much as people elsewhere have the chance to educate themselves"
Peter Rankovič is the social media manager at Premiki, a WISE focused on affordable and accessible tourism. Affordable tourism is a fast growing industry for people with disabilities who need greater accessibility to use tourist services and products independently and with dignity, regardless of the nature of the special needs. The end result is vacations, excursions and sightseeing that are tailored to the individual's preferences and abilities. Accessible tourism includes people with physical and sensory disabilities, people with intellectual and psychological disabilities, people traveling with children in prams, the elderly, and people who have more difficuties with accessibility for other health reasons than diabetes, allergies.
Which is your role and duties in Premiki? Which previous experience are you bringing in and which new competences are hoping to acquire thanks to INNO-WISEs?
My work is all about publishing information, news and other content on social networks, our website, as well as designing the content when needed. I'm also a mentor for emloyees and others who work or used to work at PREMIKI. So far I have prepared promotional materials, logos, did IT and anything else to do with mentoring and promotion.
How do you think to use the tools and competences gained through the project and how do you think they will improve your day-by-day skills and in general you WISEs competitiveness?
I use a lot of computer programs in my work including Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign as well as MS Office tools. I knew how to use these programs before, but I did manage to upgrade my know-how significantly with the MOOC. Understanding the larger picture of what marketing is supposed to accomplish was the biggest thing I gained from the project.
The word of WISEs in Europe is rapidly changing, what kind of innovation do you think it mostly needed to improve their business and be more competitive on the market?
Innovation is needed among WISEs as, especially in Slovenia, they are sometimes seen as businesses that can not stand up on their own. We are facing challenges in communication and work organisation, there also isn't much room to grow when competing on the open market.
The public administrations are using WISEs and in general social enterprises to deliver their services, how can the WISEs be more visible and able to be valuable provider?
I don't really have clients of my own as I do my business through the company. I'm glad when opportunities to work outside our usual customer base come up, which is why I believe that advertising and the opportunity to do freelance work is important for WISEs and their employees.
Which can be three aspects that can help your WISE to grow profitability?
I can only think of two things. I believe WISE employees should be encouraged to progress and learn as much as people elsewhere have the chance to educate themselves. I believe the project was helpful with that. WISE employees also need teambuilding and other exercises that are common in other workplaces.
Which is your personal and your WISE approach to transformational innovation?
I love my working space and I believe that the most important thing in getting new ideas is to make sure that your employees are comfortable at their posts, which is hard to do when you run a WISE. Even the temperature of a room wil affect WISE employees differently.
What dream do you have for the future of your social enterprise?
I really wish my company would be more successful and recognisable. I feel that people still don't see us as equivalent to leading tourist agencies.
How do see Premiki in the next three years?
Over the next 3 years, our goal is to work on our brand recognition as well as improving work conditions, as the building is getting a bit small for us. We hope that we'll be able to improve our performance and become one of the leading tourist agencies in Slovenia.
Why do you find the project interesting and decided to participate to the experimental phase (pilot action)?
Our advantage is that we have more experience dealing with clients with special needs and that we know everyone in the network of arrangement providers for customer placement. By offering accessible tourism, we are allowing providers with more customers- people with disabilities. This is profitable niche, but we haven't yet mastered all the problems that come with this expansion-which is why we wanted to digitise our businees and participate in INNO-WISEs.