Vik Salic and Jan van Groningen both graduated from AISB in 2008. They have now joined forces to pursue a new project: Fish House. Find out more in this interview!
|25 Apr 2017|
|WM Spring 2017 edition|
WM: Vik, Jan, tell us a bit about your journeys post- AISB.
JvG: After High School, I pursued a 3-year BA in New Business from Nyenrode New Business School in Amsterdam. I later gained another BA, this time in Business Management from the University of Westminster in London. At University I was part of the Rowing Team and I also worked di erent part time jobs in the hospitality industry.
VS: I gained a BSc in Management from Warwick Business School in the UK, following a 3-year program. I then started a brokerage marketing company in Serbia after training in Romania and I worked on that project for almost 2 years. After that, I worked as a consultant and business developer for different marketing and brokerage companies, travelling between many countries for 3 and a half years including, notably, countries all over Europe, Mexico, Russia, and India.
WM: What brought you back to Romania?
JvG & VS: We never truly left Romania. You can’t leave something that is such a big part of you. We grew up here, had most of our important experiences here, and our family and friends are here. If we’d have to put a nger on it though, the quality of life, the people, and the opportunity to help the country develop as it helped us become who we are, are prominent factors for us. The school life we had here is something that nobody we met in our travels and universities could compare to.
WM: What sparked the change from business to restaurant?
JvG & VS: The restaurant is still a business, the only di erence is that you can see the instant grati cation of the clients when they are enjoying their food and the atmosphere. It is a practical business so every change shows the real value of our efforts.
On top of this, for Vik at least, it was always a dream to open a restaurant. Another important factor is that we are able to partner up with Chef Zoran Savic. He’s been in the restaurant business for more than 15 years. We learn a lot from him every day, and the passion and vision he has is extremely motivating.
WM: Tell us about the Fish House concept.
JvG & VS: Fish House is the brain-child of our friend and partner, Zoran Savic. We want to be the best sh and seafood restaurant in town and serve the highest quality dishes that change with the seasons as well as with inspiration. The aim is a relaxed atmosphere which doesn’t compromise on quality of food or service. In the immediate plan we developed the new summer menu which is a fresh blend of seasonal dishes and specialties. We also worked very hard to build the terrace which is now open, just in time for the great weather coming up! For the future, we have many ideas but these are still in the planning phase.
WM: You’ve been friends since high school – what’s it like working with your best friend?
JvG & VS: We were always good at being honest with each other, this of course leading to many arguments and ghts. Communication
is the way to resolve issues; keeping things hidden leads to passive aggressiveness. Better say what you think and resolve the issue, make peace and move on. In business we nd this approach imperative for success. So far it has been working but we are well aware of the dangers of doing business with friends. The key for us seems to be that we know each other so well that we can sense immediately when something is wrong and we won’t let it go unresolved.
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