Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Five Croatian Companies Make it Onto FT's Prestigious List

March the 7th, 2023 - Five Croatian companies have made it onto the Financial Times' prestigious list of the fastest growing companies based in Europe.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, as many as five Croatian companies have been included in the prestigious Financial Times list of the fastest growing European companies. This ranking follows the growth of company revenues in the last three years, ending in 2021, and according to the growth criteria, five Croatian companies have entered the prestigious rankings of the 1000 best.

At the very top of the list, in a very impressive fourteenth position, is Aircash, which makes it the best positioned domestic company, but also one of the fastest growing in Europe. Devōt (87th place), Syntio (551st place), Heloo (712th place) and SysKit (771st place) also follow.

At number one on the FT list was Tripledot Studio, a mobile video game development studio from Great Britain whose three-year average revenue growth rate was 794%. The most fast-growing European companies on the list come from Italy (260), Germany (217) and Great Britain (155).

The impressive growth in income achieved by these companies, writes FT, can be best explained by the situation they found themselves in back in 2021. It was a time of restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic and interruptions in supply chains. Because of the above, many sectors, especially tourism, catering/hospitality and trade, faced a significant drop in sales and an increase in costs. And while they were fighting for survival, the IT and technology sector was blooming. Namely, people were forced to work, and then do their shopping from home, which accelerated the digitisation process and the growth of online sales.

"The FT's great recognition for our company is also a confirmation of the success of our continuous work and efforts in the development of innovative financial products and services. We managed to radically and permanently change the way the traditional industry functions, and this is a confirmation that we 'e going in the right direction", said Hrvoje Cosic, the founder and director of Aircash, the company that developed the very first Croatian digital wallet, which is used by more than half a million people today.

Their growth, he says, was significantly influenced by the expansion of operations to several new EU markets last year. Investments in the development of new technologies and products will be crucial for their continued growth and maintaining their leading position in this industry, he pointed out.

"Further expansion plans will further strengthen our global position, and considering the fact that we work to improve the user experience every day and offer simpler and more efficient solutions for our users, this recognition further motivates us to continue working on the development of new services and products and the establishment of new partner relationships in with the goal of further business expansion,'' the founder and director of Aircash stated as his plans for this year.

With impressive growth of 155% and revenues of 2.6 million euros, Devōt, which is focused on product development within the so-called health tech system is the second best positioned domestic company on the list.

Third, in 551st position, comes Syntio, whose average three-year growth was 57.4%, while its revenues in 2021 amounted to 3.4 million euros. It is a company that was founded in 2017 and deals with cloud-based data engineering. Today, they have 110 employees, and their clients come from all over the world, from Scandinavia to the USA to South Africa.

"Year after year, we've been recording positive business results, and this prestigious award confirms that we're carrying out quality work for the second year already," pointed out Davorin Cetto, the co-founder and director of Syntio.

With growth of 47.3 percent, the company Heloo, which achieved 12 million euros in revenue in 2021, also took 712th place on FT's list.

The last of the Croatian companies that managed to enter the list thanks to its business results is SysKit. This particular startup, which develops a platform for managing Microsoft's environments, is positioned in 771st place with a growth of 44.8 percent and three million euros in revenue in 2021.

"Although for the last few years we've been extremely focused on scaling the company, due to the great competition, we didn't expect to be included on the list. This is an additional confirmation that our continuous investment in people, knowledge and product enables us to stand among the most successful European organisations,'' said Toni Frankola, the CEO of SysKit.

For more on Croatian companies, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Croatian DOK-ING Impresses All at Enforce Tac Fair in Germany

March the 7th, 2023 - The Croatian DOK-ING continues to impress across the board, and the latest event they've performed excellently at is the German Enforce Tac fair.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian DOK-ING company reported last week that it has premiered its multi-functional machine, called the MV-3 Hystrix, intended for special, intervention, anti-explosion and anti-terrorist units of the police and military at the German Enforce Tac fair, which it believes will attract great interest.

According to the Croatian DOK-ING company customer manager Dina Isasegi, they came to that fair, which was held in Nuremberg from February the 28th to March the 1st, to present their newest robotic system to the ever-demanding global market.

"The MV-3 system is unique in the global sense and was created to bridge the identified gap in capabilities observed when performing counter-terrorist tasks of special forces. It is used in the tasks of combating terrorism and resolving high-risk crisis situations such as terrorist attacks, hostage crises, and the like," he said.

The Croatian DOK-ING company's impressive innovative system is primarily intended for solving crisis situations in closed spaces - such as in shopping centres, airports, concert and sports halls, he added.

According to Alenko Ribic, the former assistant for operational tasks of the Croatian Interior Ministry's special units, and who is now an external associate of DOK-ING, the MV-3 gives the tactical team the ability to use the system with or without the involvement of a physical team, which enables flexibility and a modular approach without the need to risk exposing special tactical teams to immediate danger.

If the machine goes out into a particularly risky area without a tactical team, it boasts the possibility to carry out research and reconnaissance with an advanced video system of 9 cameras and 2 LCD monitors. In addition to that, it can remove dangerous obstacles thanks to its additional tools, and it also has detectors for certain gases (for example, butane, propane, etc.).

The machine can carry another 700 kilograms of additional specialist equipment, such as formation protective ballistic shields, weapons and ammunition, ladders and more, according to the Croatian DOK-ING company's announcement.

Otherwise, DOK-ING produces robotic and autonomous systems and equipment for special purposes and has more than 80 percent market share in more than 40 countries around the world.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 6 March 2023

Zlatko Dalić Announces 25 Croatia Players for EURO 2024 Qualifiers

March 6, 2023 - The EURO 2024 qualifiers begin for Croatia on March 25 against Wales at Poljud in Split.

Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić has chosen 25 players for the EURO 2024 European qualifiers, where Croatia hopes to play in their seventh European championship.

Croatia is placed in group D with Wales, Armenia, Turkey, and Latvia, and the two best teams will directly qualify for the final tournament, which will be held in Germany in 2024.

The Vatreni open the qualifiers on March 25 at home against Wales in Split, and three days later they visit Bursa to face Turkey. After the Nations League final tournament in June, Croatia will continue qualifications with double programs in September (Latvia, Armenia), October (Turkey, Wales), and November (Latvia, Armenia).

Dalić invited 25 players and added four reserves (Grbić, Jakić, Beljo, Špikić).

"We have no reason to change much from the team that won the bronze medal at the World Cup a few months ago, so there are 22 players from Qatar on the list. We called up Luka Ivanušec, who is playing in very good shape with Dinamo, and we have been wanting to see Petar Musa in the national team environment," said coach Dalić.

"Throughout January, it was evident that physically and mentally the World Cup left its mark on the national team members, but I am happy that most of them are getting in shape and I believe that everyone will be in good shape by the time of the gathering. It is extremely important for us to start well in the qualifications, especially because we start against probably the biggest rivals and we can immediately take important steps towards Germany. In this respect, it is good that we are playing the first game at home and I believe that Poljud will be filled to the last place to greet the bronze medalists," Dalić points out.

"We accept the role of favorites in this group - we have the most powerful team and a huge desire to play the Euros in Germany because we know what kind of support we would have from our fans there, that championship is a dream for all of us. However, we have enough experience to know how the qualifications can be and that full concentration and maximum approach is needed in every game, and that's how we will prepare the team, with respect for every opponent," concludes the coach.

Croatia will gather on March 20 in Split, where they will stay until March 27, when they will travel to Bursa.

List of invited players for the matches against Wales and Turkey:

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Ivica Ivušić, Nediljko Labrović

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Borna Barišić, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanišić, Martin Erlić, Josip Šutalo

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić, Lovro Majer, Luka Ivanušec, Luka Sučić

Attackers: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Bruno Petković, Mislav Oršić, Marko Livaja, Petar Musa

Reserves: Ivo Grbić, Kristijan Jakić, Dion Drena Beljo, Dario Špikić

Source: HNS

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 6 March 2023

Exploring The Croatian Language - The Gorski-Kotar Dialect

March the 6th, 2023 - The Gorski-Kotar dialect is a dialect of Kajkavian, and is spoken in the narrower area of the boundaries of Gorski Kotar, all the way to the upper reaches of the Kupa river.

We've explored many of the dialects, subdialects and indeed languages in their own right as some linguists consider them to be which are spoken across modern Croatia. From the Dubrovnik subdialect (Ragusan) in the extreme south of Dalmatia to Northwestern Kajkavian in areas like Zagorje, the ways in which people speak in this country deviate from what we know as standard Croatian language enormously. That goes without even mentioning much about old DalmatianZaratin, once widely spoken in and around Zadar, Istriot, or Istro-Venetian.

Where is the Gorski-Kotar dialect spoken?

While its name might lead one to the apparently blindingly obvious conclusion, as touched on above, the Gorski-Kotar dialect is actually spoken in the very distinct area of the upper part of where the Kupa River flows and then further east, reaching all the way to the outskirts of what is classed as the region of Gorski Kotar. It's a form of Kajkavian, and so the way the words are formed, accentuations and most of its general features are clearly Kajkavian. That said, it also boasts features of both the Chakavian and modern Slovenian languages.

Kajkavian is very widely spoken and is one of the main dialects that makes up modern standard Croatian. It contains many dialects of its own, from Eastern Kajkavian to Northwestern and Southwestern Kajkavian. The Gorski-Kotar dialect is just another in a list.

A little history involving former Croatian territory...

Jumping across the Croatian-Slovenian border for a minute or two, we can how linguistics in this area and an often turbulent history has intertwined over time, as speech with many features of the Gorski-Kotar dialect has stretched to the border areas on the (modern-day) Slovenian side of the Kupa river (more specifically areas of Bela Krajina and Pokuplje), which was where Croatian feudal lords had many of their fancy estates once upon a time.

In brief, the Gorski-Kotar dialect is a type of transitional speech that originated in an originally Chakavian area and then along the Kajkavian-Chakavian border a little south of the Kupa river which flows through both Croatia and neighbouring Slovenia

It's worth noting that Bela Krajina, which is now Slovenian territory, was then part of Croatia, and much later it also became part of the wider Zagreb diocese. The entire wider area was quite dramatically changed by populations of migrants to the north, fleeing the arrival of the marauding Ottomans across the region, and later the return of that native population from the area of lower Kranjska (Dolenjska), now Slovenia.


For more on the Croatian language, including histories on the various dialects and subdialects, as well as learning how to swear in Croatian, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 6 March 2023

Jadran Hotel Group Plans Reconstruction of Crikvenica Hotel International

March the 6th, 2023 - The Jadran hotel group is set to reconstruct the famous Crikvenica Hotel International after having applied for the large project under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the large hotel group Jadran has successfully applied for a project under the NPOO worth an enormous 22 million euros, of which they could use grants in the amount of 6.6 million euros.

Jadran, as a leading company in the entire Croatian tourism sector for the use of grants, submitted their project for the reconstruction of the much loved Crikvenica Hotel International. The project is called "Step into the hotel of the future/Zakoracite u hotel buducnosti" because the aforementioned funds are aimed primarily at encouraging the green and digital transition of companies working within the wider tourism sector.

The green and digital transition has been a huge talking point for a considerable amount of time across all fields in Croatia, and the coronavirus pandemic has only worked to push things along in both regards. The tourism sector, Croatia's largest economic branch, accounting for around 20 percent of the country's GDP, is far from an exception to the transition. Numerous projects with the green and digital transition firmly in mind have been launched across the wider sector, and hotels aren't immune from the changes Croatia hopes to implement.

Thanks to these very handsome funds, the well known hotel group Jadran will be able to modernise the Crikvenica Hotel International and introduce the latest technologies on offer. The start of the hotel reconstruction is planned for November this year, and it is expected that the works will be finished completely by June 2025, just in time for the very height of that year's summer tourist season.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

Monday, 6 March 2023

MUP Petrinjska Announces Change of Location for Foreigners' Issues

March the 6th, 2023 - An important change has been announced for people needing certain services at MUP Petrinjska, and it involves foreign citizens needing administrative tasks completed. Certain things will be now done at a different location as of today.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, as of today (Monday, the 6th of March, 2023), MUP Petrinjska is changing the way it does things. The police administration will carry out most of the work it does for foreign citizens within the Zagreb Police Department (PU Zagrebacka) at a new location: Remetinecki gaj 13 in Novi Zagreb, while biometric ID cards for foreign nationals with lawful residence in Croatia can only be requested and collected at the old MUP Petrinjska address near the very heart of the city centre: Petrinjska 30.

People can submit their requests for the creation and pickup of biometric ID cards for foreign citizens only at Petrinjska 30, on the first floor (hall) on weekdays from 07:00 to 15:00.

From Monday, March the 6th, 2023, other administrative tasks related to the regulation of the status of foreigners (such as the service for citizenship and status issues of foreigners) will be carried out at the aforementioned new location in Novi Zagreb, Remetinecki gaj 13, on weekdays from 08:00 to 14:00, Zagreb police announced.

So, in short:

Foreign nationals who only need to request or come and pick up their Croatian ID cards can continue to do so at the old MUP Petrinjska address (Petrinjska 30) between 07:00 and 15:00 every week day on the first floor.

Foreign nationals who have questions relating to their status in Croatia, are applying for Croatian citizenship, require information or have more complex issues to deal with must go to the aforementioned new address in Novi Zagreb (Remetinicki gaj 13) between 08:00 and 14:00 every week day.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

Monday, 6 March 2023

Knauf Insulation: 120 Million Euro Zagorje Investment Announced

March the 6th, 2023 - A 120 million euro Zagorje investment has been announced by Knauf Insulation, bringing this part of Croatia to the level of both neighbouring Slovenia and Slovakia in one particular regard.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, Novi Marof received a new large investment of 120 million euros announced by Knauf Insulation in a close race with locations in Slovenia and Slovakia, which were shortlisted by the aforementioned German group. The group operates globally and is a leader in the production of building materials.

Before making the final decision, the main partner of the Knauf Group, Alexander Knauf, contacted the relevant state institutions, and a week ago, after a meeting with the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Davor Filipovic, it was announced that the project will be realised in Novi Marof, where Knauf Insulation has been operating since the 1980s.

According to the answers we received from Knauf, the project is currently still in its preparation phase, and if everything goes according to expectations, the start of construction is expected at the end of this year and the beginning of next year. The start of production is planned for 2025 and most of this Zagorje investment will be in equipment and machinery, along with the expansion of Croatia's own R&D potential. The planned portfolio of products from the new line based in Novi Marof will be largely similar to the company's existing one.

However, according to Knauf, the production of some additional segments, such as products for green solutions, is also planned as part of this massive Zagorje investment. The expanded plant in Novi Marof will be one of the largest locations within the Knauf Group, which has more than 300 production bases worldwide, according to Dominique Bossan, Chief Executive Officer of Knauf Insulation for Europe, the Middle East and Asia and a member of the Board of Directors of the Knauf Group. Currently, Knauf Insulation has 236 employees in Novi Marof, and at least 70 more jobs are expected to be created with this new Zagorje investment.

The company operates in more than 40 countries, has 28 production facilities and 6,000 employees. Their annual turnover exceeds two billion euros but there is no data on the financial results for Croatia in the last year yet. According to the data for 2021, their revenues exceeded 64 million euros, and business has been seeing an upward trend.

The company is extremely export-oriented, with the share of exports in its total revenues standing at 81%. The main export markets are Italy, Germany and France, but they also export to other parts of the world much further away, such as South America. With this new Zagorje investment, the export potential will grow further, and their construction solutions will be marketed, according to Bossan, primarily in Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania, and technical, industrial and green solutions systems will be delivered to all of Europe.

Priority is being given to local partners in the procurement of raw materials, of which there are more than 150. And when it comes to the selection of Novi Marof for the realisation of this investment in Knauf, they make it clear that the attractive location in the heart of Europe and a highly qualified workforce were decisive.

For more, check out our news section.

Sunday, 5 March 2023

World's Biggest Welcome, Croatia's Best Tourism Promo

March 5, 2023 - What is the most impressive tourism promotion project you have seen in Croatia? Something to beat the World's Biggest Welcome?

One man. One Project. One Word.


As a hospitable tourism country, what if Croatia could also offer the World's Biggest Welcome? Daniel Lacko, an adventure tourism expert, decided to do just that for Croatia.

It took him 65 days, more than 2,500 kilometres, but he achieved this goal back in 2011. For me, the most impressive tourism promotion project in my 20 years in Croatia.

The video premieres tonight at 19:53. 

Which Croatian tourism promotion project has impressed you the most? Answers in the comments below.

You can still visit the official Facebook page of the World's Biggest Welcome, where you can see many of the original photos of Lacko's amazing journey - https://web.facebook.com/welcomehr


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.

What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.


Sunday, 5 March 2023

SuperSport HNL 24th Round: Dinamo and Osijek Draw, Lokomotiva Beats Hajduk at Poljud

March 5, 2023 - The SuperSport HNL 24th round was played from March 3 to 5, 2023. This round saw the derby between Istra and Rijeka, while Lokomotiva scored four goals against Hajduk at Poljud, and Dinamo and Osijek finished 1-1 at Maksimir. 

Istra 1961 - Rijeka (0-2)

Istra and Rijeka opened the 24th round on Friday, March 3, in Pula in front of 3,019 fans. 

Jankovic made it 0-1 for Rijeka in the 22nd minute. Mlinar was shown a red card in the 70th minute forcing Istra to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. In the 90th minute, Erceg was shown his second yellow and was also sent off. His reaction to the referee may welcome the largest fine in HNL history. Jankovic scored five minutes later for the final 0-2 for Rijeka. Istra held 61% possession and had four attempts on target compared to Rijeka's 8. 


Istra is in 6th place with 31 points and a game in hand, while Rijeka is in 7th with 31 points. Istra plays Gorica next, and Rijeka plays Varazdin. 

Varazdin - Sibenik (2-0)

Varazdin and Sibenik met on Saturday, March 4, in Varazdin in front of 1,506 fans. 

Brodic scored for 1-0 Varazdin to end the first half. Teklic made it 2-0 in the 54th minute. Varazdin had 57% possession throughout the match, with five shots on target compared to Sibenik's four attempts. 


Varazdin is in 4th place with 33 points, while Sibenik is in 9th with 20. Varazdin plays Rijeka next, and Sibenik meets Dinamo. 

Slaven Belupo - Gorica (1-1)

Belupo and Gorica met on Saturday, March 4, in Koprivnica in front of 613 fans. 

The first half went without goals before Crnac made it 1-0 for Gorica in the 53rd minute. Crnac equalized for the final 1-1 less than 10 minutes later. Steenvoorden was shown a red card in the 75th minute, forcing Gorica to play with ten men for the remainder of the match. Belupo had 59% possession and six attempts on target. 


Belupo is in 5th place with 33 points, while Gorica is in 10th with 13. Belupo meets Lokomotiva next, and Gorica meets Istra. 

Hajduk - Lokomotiva (3-4)

Hajduk and Lokomotiva met on Sunday, March 5, at Poljud in front of 13,499 fans. 

Lokomotiva took the lead with two goals from Bubanja and Stojkovic in the 12th and 28th minutes. Lokomotiva almost made it 0-3 in the 35th minute, but the goal was called offside. Mlakar made it 1-2 for Hajduk in the 40th minute, and a Livaja penalty leveled the result to 2-2 in the 66th minute. Two goals from Ibrahim capitalized on catastrophic defensive mistakes, and it was 2-4 for Lokomotiva in the 87th minute. Benrahou came back with a goal in the 89th for the final 3-4. Hajduk had 52% possession and only four attempts on target compared to Lokomotiva's six. 


Hajduk remains in 2nd place with 44 points, while Lokomotiva is in 8th with 28. Hajduk plays Osijek next, and Lokomotiva meets Belupo. 

Dinamo - Osijek (1-1)

Dinamo and Osijek closed out the 24th round on Sunday at Maksimir in front of 5,187 fans. 

Osijek took the lead thanks to Mierez in the 55th minute. However, Dinamo equalized seven minutes later off a Petkovic free kick for the final 1-1. Dinamo had 67% possession and five attempts on goal compared to Osijek's one. Dinamo also had 17 total attempts during the match. 


Dinamo is in first place with 56 points and a game in hand, while Osijek is in third with 36. Dinamo plays Sibenik next, and Osijek meets Hajduk. 

You can check out the HNL table HERE

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 5 March 2023

Bridge Over the River Cetina: Another Dalmatian Bridge Connected

March 5, 2023 - Good news for traffic in Omis - the bridge over the Cetina is finally connected.

It has been a good 12 months for bridge enthusiasts in Dalmatia.

Firstly, the opening of the much-anticipated Peljesac Bridge connecting the mainland to the Peljesac Peninsula, thereby bypassing the need to transit Bosnia and Hercegovina on the way from Split to Dubrovnik. The Chinese-made bridge has been a big initial success. 

And now, another milestone, and there can't be many better examples of a bridge with a view than the recently connected bridge over the River Cetina.

The Omis bypass road project will alleviate the considerable traffic problems along the coastal road from Split to Omis. It includes the construction of the Stobrec, Dugi Rat, Omi's fast road, as well as this 216-metre bridge connecting two tunnels.

The bypass is expected to be fully open by the end of 2025, and it will make a considerable difference to the traffic flow, particularly in Omis, which is a bottleneck in the season.  

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