Thanks to its Noa mobile phones, a little over three years was enough for Croatian company Hangar 18 to enter the Deloitte Top 50 of the fastest growing technology companies in Europe, with the revenue growth of 527 percent, reports Jutarnji List on February 17, 2017.
With the last week’s opening of a representative office in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will be in charge of eastern markets outside the European Union, the company has made another step in a large investment cycle. During the next period, Hangar 18 plans to invest about 100 million kuna in product development and market expansion. Just in the development and distribution centre in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will cover the markets of the Balkan region, Turkey and the Middle East, it will invest more than 15 million kuna.
Mario Kralj, the owner and CEO of Hangar 18, points out that all that is a result of their know-how, in partnership with Shenzhen Sumvier company from China, which deals with procurement and logistics. Investors, both Croatian and international, are almost literally standing in line to support the Croatian technology company and its Noa brand, claims Kralj.
Hangar 18 will be the first Croatian company in this segment which will take part in the world’s largest fair of smartphone producers in Barcelona, which starts on 27 February. “In Barcelona, we will present our new Noa Element range, which includes seven different models”, says Kralj, adding that the organizers has recognized the market potential of Noa.
Hangar 18 was founded in Koprivnica in 2005, as a family owned company with its own internet cafe and a small desktop computer service department. As the years progressed, the market grew so they opened more service and retail centres. In 2014, they decided to develop their own smartphone models under the Noa brand. By the number of units sold in Croatia, they are now behind only Samsung and Apple. The company has 100 employees, and soon it will open a large office in Zagreb.
Their success in the local mobile phone market is even more impressive considering that their products are not available under a contract with the two largest telecom operators. “That will change. We are currently negotiating with T-Mobile about them offering our phones in Croatia and beyond”, says Kralj, adding that last year they sold about 180,000 mobile phones in Croatia and Montenegro. “This year, we expect to sell about 500,000 phones, and next year we could sell a million smartphones”, adds Kralj.
“We occasionally hear criticism that our products have nothing to do with Croatia, that it is all about China. On the contrary, the idea and development concept are absolutely our own, and as for the production, of course it is being done in China, just like 98 percent of all mobile phones today”, says Kralj, rejecting claims that their phones have a generic design.