Andreas Nikolic: Leadership with customer needs in focus

Published 3 maj 2024

Meet Andreas Nikolic, Chief Operating Officer of the NTEX Group, a leader with solid experience and a vision of growth and customer proximity that defines his leadership. Now within two years as COO of the NTEX Group, he is helping to lead the company through an ever-changing and challenging landscape, both within the transport industry and throughout the world in general.

Andreas’ passion for the transport industry is nothing new. With transport deeply rooted in his family tradition, his journey in the industry began long before the establishment of NTEX AS in Norway in 2011. As a youth, Andreas was involved in the family’s transport business at the time, with useful experience from an early age. This background has formed the basis for his commitment to transport and freight forwarding and later his success as a leader.

After finishing high school, it was surely not surprising that Andreas chose to follow in his family’s footsteps. He started his career in the transport industry and gained valuable knowledge before becoming involved in the establishment of NTEX AS. Thomas Strøm, owner of NTEX AB in Sweden, was looking for someone to consider expanding NTEX into Norway. Young Nikolic seized the opportunity and helped establish what is today NTEX AS, part of the NTEX Group.

From 2012, Nikolic led NTEX AS as general manager, and during this time he helped build the business stone by stone from simple traffic between Sweden and Norway to today being able to offer a global and comprehensive transport service, including solid 3PL services. Under his leadership, NTEX has grown and developed into a significant player in the industry, with a presence throughout Europe and beyond. His dedication to the company’s success and to customer satisfaction has been a driving force behind this impressive growth.

As a young leader in an industry characterized by experience, he was probably met with a mixture of scepticism and curiosity in the early days. He recognizes that he had to prove himself, not only to others, but also to himself. A lot of energy and many working hours have gone into work, but with a unique ability to quickly understand and solve complex problems, Nikolic has worked purposefully to establish himself as a respected industry player and leader.

Today, as COO of a company with offices in several countries, Andreas and the NTEX Group lead with a strong focus on customer understanding. There are always challenges navigating through different laws, cultures and expectations, but for him, there is one thing that is constant and applicable regardless of location: customer focus. Regardless of where in the world a customer is, they should be met with the same attention, expertise and service. Andreas insists that the customer experience should be consistent and of high quality across all NTEX departments and countries.

An important part of Andreas’ vision is therefore also the freight forwarder’s role as an all-rounder. He emphasizes the importance of NTEX freight forwarders having broad expertise that enables them to understand and meet customer needs effectively. This is especially important at a time of rapid growth and need for expertise, where it can be tempting to specialize too much. But for Andreas, it is crucial to never forget the essence of the business: the customer in focus. As he so accurately puts it: “We don’t have the customer beyond the next booking.” Focusing on what the customer needs versus what we can offer the customer is thus important for the philosophy Nikolic has for NTEX.

In a time characterized by global crises and economic uncertainty, Andreas, NTEX and the industry itself face several challenges. From sanctions to abrupt shifts in the market, he and the NTEX team need to be more flexible and adaptable than ever. And in the midst of all this, he also sees how it can provide opportunities. Being flexible and adaptable means that we must always evolve to be able to capture what customers need and expect, such as customers’ and society’s increasing needs and demands around the environment and sustainability. This means developing with the skills and tools required. NTEX needs to be sufficiently forward-leaning with technological innovations and have a focus on sustainable solutions to continue to be a reliable partner for its customers and at the same time contribute to a more sustainable future.

So, it is no wonder that with the challenges of today’s rapid technological development Andreas and the rest of the NTEX team are keen to monitor these latest developments and to see what could help to enhance the overall customer experience. We are in the process of implementing a completely new platform, with no less than five new systems to be incorporated. This transition is crucial to ensure more efficient operations. However, Andreas emphasizes that new technology and automation must be used wisely to provide real value to customers. Although new technology, such as AI, is becoming increasingly available, it is important to ensure that it helps to strengthen and work towards the personal customer care and customer understanding that we at NTEX are dedicated to. The focus must always be on increasing the quality of services and adapting to new customer expectations in the best possible way. At a time when automation and digitalization can seem distant from personal contact, Andreas is aware of this and is encouraged that NTEX should continue to be known for its proximity to customers and for its ability to listen to their needs.

When I ask him where he sees NTEX in five years, the answer is clear: growing. With an ambition to be the preferred option for transport and logistics services, Andreas and his team are determined to continue to expand and meet customer needs.

At the core of all this lies Andreas’ clear message: the customer’s needs must always come first. In a world where businesses can become preoccupied with providing ever more standardized services, he insists that customer presence and personalization are key to success. For NTEX, the customer is not just a transaction, but a long-term partner who deserves the best possible service.

With Andreas Nikolic as COO, NTEX Group is well equipped for the future – a future characterized by growth, sustainability, and an unwavering commitment to customer relationship.

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