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VEEM Limited was one of three family businesses inducted into the FBA WA Hall of Fame in 2016. Established in 1968 by Voyka and Elizabeth EliseMiocevich, VEEM began as a small engineering services company specialising in the repair and dynamic balancing of drive shafts, engines and other rotating equipment.
Today VEEM a is a marine technology company specialising primarily in propulsion and stabilisation systems and also provides products and services to the marine, defence and mining industries. The company has grown to become a premium manufacturer of sophisticated equipment for a variety of industries and was awarded the Australian Marine Exporter of the Year in 2012 and 2013.
These achievements haven’t been without difficulties however. In 1976, just 8 years after the business started out, Voyka the founding father passed away suddenly. His wife Elizabeth, 38 at the time with three teenage sons decided to keep the business going, employing a management team for the twenty two staff which she oversaw. Thanks to her resilience and determination to maintain the business in the family at this time, her three sons Gary, Mark and Brad Miocevich took over the business in 1982 and by the late 1980’s VEEM had won its first major defence contract for the manufacture of submarine valves for the new Australian Submarine Program.
Now Chairman, Brad Miocevich, said the Hall of Fame induction “was a lovely recognition for my mother in her 80s who has driven the business and been the head of the family unit for a long time. It’s also a wonderful acknowledgement and something the next generation can look to and be proud of and that may give them the required drive and passion to be involved in the company”.
VEEM proudly identifies as a family business, with a strong European work ethic, a focus on engineering perfection and a “can do” problem solving approach. These qualities are now firmly embedded as core company values and are reflected in the pride taken to deliver a first class product to customers.
The aspirations of VEEM
Managing Director Mark Miocevich reflects that VEEM aspires to “become a successful public company that has a future beyond the Miocevich family”. He says one of the greatest benefits of being a family business stems from the trusting nature of relationships, a collection of family members are able “to cover more aspects of the business with a diligent and trustworthy person” and “all of the working family members are able to use other people they can trust to share the emotional and decision making burden that comes with being a successful business”.
What are the greatest challenges of being a family business?
Mark says one of the greatest challenges of being a family business is “establishing what the family wishes to do with the business in the future (beyond the current generation) with the business they create”. He recommends family businesses take the time to establish what they are going to do with the business at the end of the day, whether it be to sell, wind up, pass on, a management buy out or float. He says “having a clear vision of this will automatically influence thousands of daily decisions that will lead you to the desired point at the appropriate time”.
If you would like to learn more about VEEM, they will be opening their doors at the upcoming Family Business Insider event in WA on Thursday 11 May, click here for more information and to register.