When Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, the renowned American private equity corporation, acquired the eastern European cable TV provider SBB/Telemach Group, very few people knew who Dragan Solak is.

Of course, when the local (Serbian) press failed to get their hands on the price tag of the deal, the name Dragan Solak became famous overnight.

The question on everyone’s mind was - Who is Dragan Solak? How did an ordinary man from central Serbia managed to build a multimillion dollar empire by himself? And why KKR & Co., including Dragan Solak, didn’t want to disclose the figure that Dragan received for his TV empire?

The even better question was: what is going to be Dragan’s next step?

The Master Strategist

Surprisingly, KKR & Co. made the decision to employ Dragan to continue his work as the chairman of the SBB/Telemach cable TV provider. At that point, this group serviced millions of homes in Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Bosnia.

The latest stats confirm that SBB/Telemach, now globally recognized as The United Group, is now generating more than 337.3 million annually, over 6 different countries in the south-eastern European region.

Not only that, but The United Group is also an internet provider, and the only pay-tv service in the region that remains unchallenged with their quality of service and constant innovations that they provide to the customers.

It seems that the company is bigger than ever, and Dragan Solak is still investing rigorously in his cable network, expanding his reach beyond the traditional experience of television.

But how did this pioneer of the industry managed to sell his company, keep his role in it, and still keeps growing his business nevertheless? The answer might be in his rather unique approach.

Instead of acquiring media houses with no intention of developing them further, which would literally leave him undisputed in the region as the only cable provider, Dragan Solak chose to invest in his neighboring countries and expand the reach of his (tele) vision. As a master strategist, Dragan even dropped the name SBB/Telemach and rebranded his group of regional cable and digital media magnates in order to secure the connections that he built.

He invested continuously in companies in the less developed regions of the south-eastern Europe and managed to provide a connection to the world to thousands of families. His investments in business relationships (in a somewhat troublesome period for the countries of ex-Yugoslavia), and his constant insistence to keep his name out of the spotlight, brought his company to the status of an empire.

Today, digital media in these regions is unimaginable without the United Group. In his latest interview, Dragan confirmed that he feels like his time is yet to come. This entrepreneur and now magnate is one of the rare capitalists in this part of the world who realized that by focusing on the end user, and providing quality service, while staying humble and focused on mutual benefit – is the right formula of a successful business.

Author's Bio: 

James D. Burbank has worked for years in traditional as well as online marketing. He has worked in Central Asia, Europe and Australasia in recent years.