PETOŠEVIĆ People: Q&A with Mihajlo Zatezalo
After being the head of our largest office in Belgrade, Serbia for 12 years, Mihajlo Zatezalo transitioned to the role of Regional Manager for Western Balkans in 2017 and now oversees our offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. We asked Mihajlo how come he started a career in the IP field, what the last book he read was, and much more.
1. What did you just finish doing before starting to answer this questionnaire, and what will you do afterwards?
I just finished one management conference call and after this I will have another call with a PETOŠEVIĆ office head from the region for which I am the regional manager.
2. How come you started a career in the IP field?
Quite accidentally. Immediately after graduating I was presented with an opportunity to start working for one of the largest IP firms in Yugoslavia at the time. I did not hesitate. That is how it all started and I’ve been in IP for over 20 years now.
3. What makes IP protection challenging in your jurisdiction (and how do you overcome that challenge)?
During my career in IP protection there have been great changes in the country I live in. The legislature changed several times, and even the country we live and work in today is not the same country that I started in. Today’s IP legislation and IP law enforcement practice have advanced a lot in comparison to only a few years ago, and our firm played a significant part in this through several international projects and other regular activities.
4. What do you most enjoy doing at work?
Making our clients happy with the results of our work; and, trust me, it is not as easy as it sounds and involves many day-to-day activities.
5. What would you be working in, if you weren’t working in IP?
I’ve never really stopped to think about it. I don’t know…
6. What was the strangest job you’ve ever had?
I’ve never had a strange or unusual job. I’ve been in the field of IP protection for the past 23 years, and that was my first and will hopefully be my permanent job.
7. What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
I spend any free time I have with my family.
8. What book did you read last?
“Judas” by Amos Oz.
9. What is your favorite song at the moment?
I cannot choose between Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still” and Camila Cabello – “Havana”.
10. If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sea bream fillet.
11. What was your favorite subject in school and why?
History… est magistra vitae.
12. Tell us three things most people don’t know about you.
As a very young man I wanted to be an archaeologist, then I almost became a solo violinist, and today I go to the gym on a regular basis.
13. Tell us your top three life highlights.
My birth, then graduating from law school, which defined me in the sense of a definite choice of my profession, and finally the birth of my twin children, which gave a new sense to the rest of my life.
14. What would you do if you won the lottery?
I don’t believe in games of chance or lottery. However, if I won the lottery I would donate most of it to charity.
15. What is your biggest pet peeve?
When somebody smudges my glasses or steps on my shoe and dirties it.
16. What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?
The need to strike a balance between the most important things in life.
17. What do you wish you could have told yourself at age 13?
To be even more confident than I was.
18. What cities/countries have you lived in?
I was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and I’m still living here.
19. If you could live in another country of the 30+ countries where PETOŠEVIĆ operates, which would you pick and why?
Honestly, if we ever opened an office in Greece, I’d gladly put myself forward for a supervisory or managerial position there… ha ha ha, but really, I could live in any of the countries in the region if necessary.
20. If someone came to your city for 24 hours, where would you take them?
Hopefully the National Museum in Belgrade, which should soon finally be open to the public after more than 15 years of renovation.
Read more PETOŠEVIĆ People interviews.