Lexicon of a Businesswoman: Jelena Ristic, Mastercard


Lexicon of a Businesswoman presents Jelena Ristic, marketing director for Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina at Mastercard.

Who is your business role model?

I try to learn from each person I work with a little something about what to and what not to do.

What annoys you with business associates?

Neither in business, nor in my private life do I care for knee-jerk negative attitude and lack of proactivity.

What do you notice first about a person to whom you are talking?

Their attitude.

An advice you remember…

Believe in yourself, in your instincts, and follow them.

What do you listen to in your car?

Not only do I listen to music while driving, I sing along with it too.

Flat shoes or high heels?

Comfortable high heels.

Do you always shop for business attire first?

I’m not a shopaholic, for me, the most important thing is to feel comfortable in the clothes I wear both privately and for business. I always take the time to find a good suit coat, a bag and a striking piece of jewellery, as those form the basis of my style.

When was the last time you “stole” a weekend and left the city?

I try to do it almost every weekend, at least when the weather is nice – that’s how I’ve discovered the hidden jewels of our country. We last made such a mini-escape in January.

What are the qualities of your business team?

Business ethics, ethics and an incredible desire for innovation. And team spirit – that’s priceless.

What makes you angry while doing business?


Do you have a hidden refuge from your duties?

One cannot escape from one’s duties, and the place where I’m completely at peace is my home.

Do you do any repair work around the house?

If it’s something minor, I can handle it. I prefer to leave the more important things to professionals.

Who would you take for a walk?

My husband.

Is it business first with you?

We all have moments in life when due to deadlines or unforeseen situations, the job takes on primacy. However, it’s important that those moments stay just that – moments. I never let my job overshadow my family and friends, so when I have an intensive business period in front of me, I bring private socializing into my business calendar in order to avoid ignoring the important people in my life.

A gift you will never forget?

A compass – with the message “So You’ll Always Find Your Way.” It hasn’t failed me yet.

What do you never miss on TV?

Travel TV shows.

How is a fashionable businesswoman dressed?

Always in appropriate to business opportunity and my own personality.

How does one make the most out of one’s money?

Be financially responsible and adept – use debit cards for daily expenses, credit for large purchases, and the Internet as a way to, for example, buy a new piece of clothing on pop-ups sold by online stores. And be honest with yourself – do you really need another bag?

What’s smart money?

Money invested in education, of any kind. You’ll get it back, and then some.

What contributed the most to your success?

Dedication to the job I love.

Did you find your job, or did it find you?

It was such an array of circumstances that I believe we were destined to meet.

How do you see yourself in five years?

 As a visionary with the aim of further moving technological boundaries.

If you didn’t work for money, what would you do?

Probably the same thing I do now, for that is what fulfils me.

Source: BIZLife magazin