Lazim Destani is a businessman, philanthropist and champion of the Albanian community. He is also known for his work to advance the Western Balkans as an integral part of the European Idea.
Born in 1954, Lazim Destani grew up in the village of Bozovca, located in the Sharr Mountains, near the city of Tetovo in Macedonia.
Given the local economic circumstances in the 1970s, Lazim Destani, as a young man, emigrated from Macedonia to Germany. With his strong personality and belief that one should actively pursue one’s future, he started working while also continuing his higher education.
In 1987, Lazim Destani established his first business in Germany. Sharr Turist, a travel company, was driven by a mission to give people from his homeland easier, more cost-effective, and more enjoyable access to transportation.
The company soon expanded to provide regular, direct land and air routes between the Balkans and Western Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and other countries. As the first business of its kind, creating direct travel routes to the Balkans, Sharr Turist became a welcome bridge between the Balkans and Western Europe.
This innovative service was widely appreciated, particularly by Balkans expatriates, as it gave them efficient links between their home countries and their countries of residence, something never previously available to them.
Lazim Destani’s success in business and his understanding of the societal benefits it can deliver led him to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit within his own family. His three sons took these lessons on board and have become exemplary in their respective fields in business and the arts. Over the years, this has led to a significant and successful group of family companies operating across the globe.
Sharr Turist expanded, thrived and reached its 20th anniversary in 2007.
Having witnessed the transformational benefits of opening up the Western Balkans through his travel business, Lazim Destani wanted to dedicate himself to advancing the Western Balkans region through philanthropic endeavours, at a local level and abroad. He therefore began focussing his efforts on philanthropy, whilst still offering advisory support to his family businesses.
Sharr Turist was restructured and became part of the shared services of the Destani family business.
Lazim Destani’s worldview involves a belief that everyone has a personal responsibility to confront and combat social problems. Today he dedicates most of his time and energy to solving social issues in the Western Balkans and promoting the region abroad.
He has always expressed particular concern for the unemployed youth in the Western Balkans. Throughout his career he has provided employment opportunities, and today his support for unemployment is reflected and realized throughout his family’s companies in the region and countries of their operations.
Lazim Destani also firmly believes that education, sports, and art are crucial to a country’s development. He considers it his humanitarian and patriotic duty to support the continuous and progressive growth in these areas. To that end, he has devised numerous programs, delivered through his family’s companies, in collaboration with schools, universities, and sports associations.
Lazim Destani and his family also donate a proportion of their yearly profits to charitable causes or in support of cultural and education initiatives.
Furthermore, Lazim Destani strongly believes that families and communities are strongest when they work together for a common purpose. He therefore seeks ways to bring people and institutions together across different disciplines and backgrounds in partnerships that can improve economic and social development. As part of this mission, he actively participates in international events to promote and raise awareness of the region’s social issues, as well as its potential.
Lazim Destani has three children with his wife, Rasime. He enjoys reading poetry and history, appreciates photography, and is a technology enthusiast.