Radomir Novakovic Cakan is a successful businessman from Montenegro, who has earned himself nicknames like “the best boss in the Balkans” and “Brother” by being incredibly generous to his employees.
Cakan, who owns “Cakan Sports”, the largest sporting goods store chain in Montenegro, and recently went into politics, has been making news headlines in Balkan countries for years, but not for his professional success. He is best known for the generosity he shows his loyal and hard-working employees, and the close relationship he has with them. The businessman firmly believes that his company can only thrive if he keeps his employees happy, and to that end, he has offered the best of them some pretty unbelievable presents.
Radomir first surprised his workers back in 2012, when he offered four of them brand new cars – 2 VW Golf 6 and 2 VW Polo – complete with paid insurance. They were some of the oldest and most hard-working employees of Cakan Sports, and since the company had recently moved its operations on the outskirts of Bar, Cakan thought his best people shouldn’t have to struggle to get to work. “This way, they no longer have an excuse for coming in late,” the owner joked in an interview.
As you can imagine, the recipients of the generous gifts were shocked. “When we saw them, we were speechless,” Danijela Roćenović recalls. “While the boss was saying ‘this is a gift for you’, all I could think of was ‘this is not real, this can’t be happening to us’.
Photo: Cakan Sports
But this was just one of the generous ways Radomir Novakovic Cakan has rewarded his employees over the years. In 2014, after hearing that one of his workers had been saving up his paychecks so he could buy a ticket to the World Cup soccer final, in Brazil, he took him there himself, at his own expense.
A couple of year ago, he sent a group of 14 employees on exotic vacations to the Bahamas and the Seychelles, simply because “they deserved it”. Another time, he sent more of his employees on a luxury cruise on the Mediterranean.
Photo: Cakan Sports
Asked why he doesn’t use a cheaper means of motivating his employees, like a small raise or a cash bonus, Cakan had this to say:
“Money comes and goes, but memories are forever. I have a friend who runs a travel agency and I asked him what’s on offer and the prices, because I wanted to offer my employees a vacation. When they returned they were happier, and worked even harder. They showed me photographs, and we laughed together at their adventures.”
After getting lots of attention from news outlets both in Montenegro and neighboring Serbia, for his display of generosity towards his employees, Radomir said he was shocked by all the coverage.
“When a person is normal, this is big news,” the businessman said. “It surprised me a little, but I was happy about the positive feedback, as that is very rare nowadays, especially when one is in politics.”
Last year, Radomir Novakovic Cakan went into politics, becoming a councilor of the Municipality of Bar. Although he has been actively working with authorities to make life better for the people of this city, his generosity once again overshadowed is professional activity. It was recently revealed that Cakan hasn’t cashed any of the 11 paychecks he was due – which amount to $15,300 – choosing instead to donate it to various charities. He also declined to receive a work phone and to have his travel expenses paid from taxpayers’ money.
Asked why many of his employees call him “Brother”, Radomir told a reporter that it was because “brothers always help each other”.
As is always the case with such positive stories, some people just can’t help spew a little vitriol. They accuse Cakan of being nothing more than a clever businessman who uses this so-called generosity to avoid paying taxes.