Biography

Courage is the formula of his success

For every effort there is a risk that comes from the possibility of failing the attempt.

But there is no worse condition than giving up of fear of failure and abandonning of any effort.

The story of Ekrem Lluka is unusual. Because of people’s expectations. Because of the drama surrounding his personality, which makes him a myth of modern times.

But there aren’t many unusual things in the life of one of the most successful businessman in Kosovo and the region. Uncommon are only his courage and attempt to exploit the opportunities and to create opportunities for others.

Courage is the formula that has made Ekrem Lluka the president and the owner of the powerful corporate “Dukagjini” which includes sectors such: media, telecommunication, financial institutions, press, journalism, tourism, education, construction and trade.

Ekrem Lluka was born in Peja in 1959.

“Our family was not poor, but neither rich during those times. Neither I differed from my peers until the age of adulthood.”

As a 20 years old was employed in public printing house “Planika”, then the only printing house in the city of Peja.

“Working on printing house made me appreciate money and think of other commitments. We had two hectares of land and I asked my father to let me work the land. He said that he cannot give me the land in trust. I said him to let me try.”

By that moment, Ekrem Lluka would not have time for usual recreation with peers and family. For decades he would work for hours, trying every given opportunity and attempting to succeed.

“I had good earnings of working the land for that age that I was, but I did not stop working in the printing house. I woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning went out and worked the land, at 7 a.m. went to the printing house. After finishing there I went back to the land and continued working until midnight. At 24 years old I was able to build the house with my income. On the first floor of it I built locals and begin to think how to use them. I dreamt of a small printing house because I had the skill of crafting.”

The dream would come true three years later. With savings of hard working in the land and in printing house he would buy the machinery for the printing house “Dukagjini”, bringing back this name in Peja.

  • He has used the few options given to him and has created a lot of opportunities for others. It is time for him to enjoy success. Others use those opportunities created by him.

  • The story of Ekrem Lluka is unusual. Because of people’s expectations. Because of the drama surrounding his personality, which makes him a myth of modern times.

  • But there aren’t many unusual things in the life of one of the most successful businessmen in Kosovo and the region. Uncommon are only his courage and attempt to exploit the opportunities and to create opportunities for others.

“The public factory where I worked was early called Dukagjini. But they changed it because in serbian this region was called differently and not to mention this name, they named it Planika. I considered that it is possible to open a printing house and I risked to name it Dukagjini.”

So “Dukagjini” would return symbolically in Peja, to become later synonym of business power in Kosovo and in the region. A power that exists till nowadays.

The function of the printing house would be very successful as a business, but facing a lot of risks and difficulties.

“The work succeeded, but there were also a lot of problems coming then from the regime. They arrested us, me and my brother Agim (the brother of Ekrem), because we made all the election material for parallel elections organized by the peace movement then, but also the seals and other materials for schools in Albanian language.”

The beginning of bankruptcy of public factories in the political system that had begun to fail as a political concept, had opened the possibility for successful trade. These circumstances were noticed by Ekrem Lluka. During the 90s, along with the printing house he would deal trading and raising his business empire.

Like most Kosovars, Ekrem Lluka and his family would be deported in 1999. He does not speak about the support he had given the armed resistance in Kosovo.

“I will never talk about this. I have done nothing more than I was obliged.” – it is his short answer.

After the liberation of Kosovo he would return to his company and his city, both looted by Serbian forces that had lost the war.

He would start working on the printing house and trading. For 15 years he has managed to build a corporation with over than 400 employees.

“I do not now them by numbers but by names. I foster close ties with staff in each branch of the coorporation and this makes most of them retire working in Dukagjin.”

It would not be easy. Besides business challenges, lack of rule of law in the country that had just emerged from the war would lead to other difficulties.

“There were various problems. Beginning with unlawful interfering up to the attack that nearly sent me to the other world. But I do not want to hold people hostage to these stories. These are challenges that all of society have experienced them and I make no exception.”

Today “Dukagjini” corporate is one of the most successful stories of business in Kosovo and Balkan region.

Today Ekrem Lluka has more time for family and grandchildren.

Because he has used the few options given to him and has created a lot of opportunities for others. It is time for him to enjoy success. Others use those opportunities created by him.