Who is Genc Meraku?
Genc Meraku (born 7th of August 1974) is one of the leading authorities within the field of Marketing and Communication in Kosovo. He is a successful businessman, investor and business advisor, proud father and a philanthropist. Genc established the biggest Marketing communication agency, Zero Pozitive Publicis, which currently employs 51 professionals and has created the biggest ad campaigns in the history of post-war Kosovo. He is also the establisher of the management group “TOK Holding“ that provides management services for various corporations in country and internationally. He was the youngest candidate in country’s recent history to run for the Mayor of Capitol, Prishtina. Genc was a Professor and Lecturer in the field of Marketing Communication and Business Development at the American University of Kosovo.
Early Life and Career
Genc was born in Peja, Kosovo. He is youngest of two children of Seniha Zeka, a former Court Administrator, and Sehit Meraku a reputable Mayor of City of Peja. Due to his parents career he moved to Pristina in 1974, where he completed his primary school. As a child, he showed abundant creativity throughout his primary and secondary education. In addition to regular schooling, he finished the Music School (piano) and English Language School. During the 90’s, as a result of the political uncertainties in Kosovo, he had to continue his education by moving from “Xhevdet Doda” college in Pristina to “II Gimazija” in Zagreb, Croatia, where he graduated. After the high school, Genc returned to Pristina and enrolled at the Faculty of Law, University of Pristina. During this period, Genc participated in the Student Protests in Pristina, on 01.10.1997, where he was injured as a result of a brutal intervention. Considering a harsh political reality in Kosovo at a time, he decided to move to United Kingdom and continue his studies at the University of Westminister, in the field of Business Studies and Services. During his studies, Genc managed to get involved with different companies in the field of Marketing and Public relations. After finishing his studies, and gaining a vast professional and personal experience in UK, he returned to Kosovo in 2000 and opened the first Marketing Communication Agency. In 2002, with the support of British Council in Prishtina, he became the Chevening Scholar and received a full scholarship for postgraduate studies at the “Hunddersfield Business University” in UK, where he graduated in 2003. In 2004 he opened the first International Marketing Communication Franchise in Kosovo, by contracting with Publicis Worldwide, thus creating the Zero Pozitive Publicis – Company which is now successfully operating for over 14 years. In 2004 Genc was also engaged as a Professor at the American University in Kosova where he lectured the course “New Venture Development” until 2005. Genc is the co-founder of the American Chamber of Commerce, where he was actively engaged in presenting Kosovo’s development capacities and investment opportunities during many conferences in New York and Washington. He was the youngest candidate in the history of post-war Kosovo to run for the Mayor of Prishtina in 2007. His campaign activities brought an innovative perspective on the clogged cities spatial planning and made a great emphasis on youth participation in politics, which in this case was purely voluntary. Currently Genc Meraku is running his successful companies in Marketing Communication and Management, actively engaged in supporting the community with various projects. Through his individual efforts as well as company’s engagement, he has organized numerous charitable events and fund raisers. It’s worth mentioning that he partakes personally in most of these events, like the one in the village of Lluka (Deçan Municipality), where he joined the initiative of family Gecaj in distributing aid to needy local population on annual basis. Genc led the project “Football for Friendship” where the Kosovo’s team participated for the first time together with 210 countries within the 5th season taking place in 2018. The Kosovo’s team participated in various activities organized by FIFA and was present at the opening of the World Football Championship in “Russia 2018”. Genc is passionate about health and fitness and enjoys hiking. He has been an encouragement to his family and his colleagues in pursuing a healthier life.
As a Chairman and Owner of the Zero Pozitive Publicis, he brought together the strategic, creative and technological expertise in order to achieve communication excellence on a national and international scale. By offering strength and depth in diverse disciplines such as communication strategy, integrated marketing campaigns, brand building, advertising, media, public relations and direct marketing, he developed Zero Pozitive Publicis into the biggest agency in the country that holds the only International Publicis Franchise in Kosovo. Zero Pozitive Publicis created the biggest ad campaigns in country with around 600 TV commercials, 8.000 promotional activities and 350 different events. In addition, Genc created the TOK Holding, functioning as a tailor-made Management Group, providing management services to direct investment groups in Kosovo and abroad. Its unique position in the market derives from the complete Corporate Governance structure, organized to deliver the highest international standard services and products. TOK’s business endeavors range from agriculture to renewable energy, including hospitality management and real estate.
Politics and public work
Together with Westminster Foundation for Democracy, for the National Elections 2001 in Kosovo, Genc was the coordinator of the electoral campaign for the Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK). The campaign was acknowledged as very innovative and refreshing in its approach towards the electorate and for its demonstrated creativity vis-a-vis transitional post-war political and social environment. In 2003 he was appointed as the advisor to the Prime Minister of Kosovo, contributing to country’s development efforts in rebuilding its devastated economy. He also provided input and support in drafting the presentation of the Government of Kosova to the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He was the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Candidate for the elections of Mayor of Prishtina in 2007. Some of his ideas and perspectives are still being considered and implemented at present. His candidacy marked a new era in public policy approach and paved the way for many young and internationally educated candidates to pursue a career in politics. Genc was the creator and leader of the famous campaign “Me Ramushin” (eng: “With Ramush”) that brought together intellectuals, academics, celebrities and youth to support Ramush Haradinaj’s defense at the Hague Tribunal, resulting with Ramush Haradinaj being declared innocent. Meraku was the Vice President of the Board of Electronic Media in Kosovo. One of his many contributions in this role is the development and standardization of Media Buying landscape in Kosovo.
Publications and presentations
In 2008, Genc Meraku wrote a book titled “Kosova the potential”, an investigation into successful Strategic Planning context, utilizing ‘Country of Origin’ effect and ‘e-Government Strategies’, in order to enhance ‘National Advantages’ in international marketplace. He presented “Kosova Open for Business” in 2006 – project outlining economic development plans for Kosovo in Washington D.C. and New York, USA. As a part of “World Creative Forum 2004”, Genc presented the project proposal on strategic and tactical activities for creative industry development in UK and South East Europe.
Honors and Awards
In 2003, the Institute of Direct Marketing awarded Genc with the IDM Certificate (Distinction). Also, in 2003 he was awarded from the same institute with the IDM Postgraduate Award (First Prize).Genc Meraku is also a recipient of the decoration from the Multinational Brigade East US KFOR 7. Genc was acknowledged with the appreciation from the Head Office of David Blunt for organizing the “UK Open Day in Prishtina”, including the performance of James Blunt.