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Ilija Studen

STUDEN & Co Holding

Ilija Studen is an Austrian and Bosnian entrepreneur, industrialist, and investor. He is the co-founder and president of the STUDEN & Co Holding, a holding company focusing primarily on agribusiness. STUDEN successfully developped an international portfolio of companies covering the processing, trading, and distribution of agricultural commodities such as Sugar, Edible Oils, Oilseeds, Grains, and Coffee.

Ilija Studen co-founded the STUDEN & Co GmbH in 1992 in Vienna when he was just 25 years old. The company started with exports of staple foods such as wheat flower, edible oils and sugar from Austria, Hungary, and Germany. Mineral Oil distribution was also among the first ventures. Ilija Studen saw a big potential for improvement in the Edible Oil sector, resulting in a partnership with VEREINIGTE FETTWARENINDUSTRIE (VFI), the leading Edible Oils producer in Austria, with whom he later privatized and modernized the BIMAL factory in Bosnia and Herzegovina to become one of the leading edible oil producers in South-Eastern Europe. Another successful partnership was set up with the Austrian sugar producer AGRANA, leading to a joint venture agreement in the West Balkan region. Today, this strategic partnership has secured a sugar market leadership position in the West Balkan region.

Increased internationalization of the business has led to an eastward expansion of the STUDEN Group, and the establishment of an office in Dubai which acts as a regional headquarter and a commodity trading hub. The key distribution markets in the Middle East include Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

Ilija Studen has received a range of recognitions for his achievements, including Best Manager in Central and South Eastern Europe, as well as the Mediterranean Leadership Award from the Johns Hopkins University, which is awarded to influential businessmen for their contribution to a stable and prosperous Mediterranean region. As a tribute of special efforts invested in development of the Austrian and Bosnia and Herzegovinan economies Ilija Studen was awarded with Great Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria by President of the Republic of Austria. In 2019 Ilija STUDEN was awarded with honorary doctorate by Independent University of Banja Luka.

Today, Ilija Studen lives and works between Dubai, Vienna and Brcko, from where he leads the global expansion of the STUDEN group.