Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Andrej Plenković to Finally Visit Rimac Automobili in Sveta Nedjelja

As Novac/Filip Pavic writes on the 24th of June, 2019, Mate Rimac, the founder of the Croatian supercar company Rimac Automobili and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met in the afternoon a couple of days ago in Banski Dvori. During their 45-minute-long talk, which was also attended by Economy Minister Darko Horvat, Rimac agreed with the prime minister for him to finally pay a visit to his facility in Sveta Nedjelja near Zagreb.

Since Prime Minister Plenković has not yet visited Rimac's supercar factory, he has three-hour tour awaiting him on Friday, and there will also be a presentation on how to attract investment and improve the economic climate for investment in the Croatian car industry. Along with Prime Minister Plenković, Minister of Labour Marko Pavić, Minister of Economy Darko Horvat and Finance Minister Zdravko Marić confirmed their planned arrival to Sveta Nedjelja, and the arrival of Education Minister Blaženka Divjak is also possible.

This delegation of the Croatian Government will meet and list, first of all, to the experiences of investing in Croatia from Rimac's prestigious shareholders, made up of representatives of international automotive companies including Porsche, Hyundai and Kia, who have invested 100 million euros in Rimac Automobili over the past few years. Listening to their stories will hopefully be a wake up call for the group of politicians.

In addition, Rimac will share the likely damning results of an intensive two-year study, which analyses why Croatia lags so miserably behind other nearby European countries when it comes to the car industry, and why so many rounds of investment in that field over the past few years have totally, and intentionally, bypassed the Republic of Croatia.

The recent meeting between the two is the result of a multi-month agreement between Plenković and Rimac, which Jutarnji list recently covered, stating that Rimac was finding it all but impossible get an actual date for a meeting with the prime minister. A fact much of the public were unhappy with the HDZ leader for, especially given the positive publicity and investment Rimac has brought to Croatia.

''They know about my ideas. I've already mentioned them on a couple of occasions. I want to present them to the very heads of the government, but we've not been able to sort a date out yet. I gave them some dates over the next two months when I'm available and I'm waiting for their response as to when Plenković can come and see the presentation,'' said Rimac back then.

Despite the fact that Plenković hasn't visited Rimac Autmobili yet made little difference to Rimac's personal and professional drive, the innovative Croatian entrepreneur didn't hang around waiting for his arrival.

Back in May, he published nineteen measures to develop the car industry in Croatia at the Croatia E-mobility Forum. He let the Croatian Government know that we could have up to 50,000 new jobs in that industry alone, as well as the equivalent of nearly half a billion dollars more in the budget, enough for "one and a half Pelješac bridges, 23 university homes, or 53 schools'' had Croatia set its sights on that type of investment at the correct time, just as other countries in the vicinity, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary already have.

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Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Croatian Brand Rajska Rajčica Expanding But Struggling with Labour Shortage

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of June, 2019, In Kerestinec, near Sveta Nedjelja, in the modern greenhouses belonging to the Croatian company Rajska rajčica, the best type of tomato variety is produced and sold under the company's director Zvonimir Belić and 74 hardworking employees.

The Rajska brand operates within the Zarja Group, it is the largest tomato producer in the Republic of Croatia, and not long ago it changed its name after more than ten years in a new business move and in the scope of rebranding. Annually, Rajska produces three million packs of tomatoes which are currently sold in Croatia, it also exports 25 percent of its tomatoes to neighbouring Slovenia, and preparations for exports to Serbia and plans for Bosnia and Herzegovina are now also in progress.

In 2018, revenues amounted to about 17 million kuna and net profit amounted to 1.3 million kuna, while they expect growth of sixty percent for 2019. When it comes to these outstanding results, it isn't just the product and the quality of work involved which are responsible, this Croatian company's rebranding, in which around 700,000 kuna was invested, is also the key to their success. This includes costs such as creating new packaging and accompanying promotional activities. Rajska's rebranding was stimulated by the expansion of their capacity, which included an increase in their greenhouse area of ​​2.5 hectares.

"As we're the largest producer of special types of tomatoes in Croatia, and we cultivate a specific production method where we don't use pesticides and herbicides, we wanted to create a brand that will clearly showcase our specialties.

In this endeavor, we turned to the Fabular branding agency which thought up the name Rajska (eng: heavenly) and helped us to send out the message that we're cultivating tomatoes full of flavour with a natural process without sprays with our very packaging, and we're sure that this whole story will attract new customers and delight our already existing ones. The indicators we've had so far are promising and rebranding has been a great move for us,'' Zvonimir Belić stated.

Croatian Rajska tomatoes are otherwise the only licensed producer of special sorts of tomato varieties in Croatia's immediate region. Rajska's most charming specialty is that they are assisted by 10,000 bumble bees when the tomatoes are growing, and the tomato variety they grow is among the best in the world.

"We decided to produce these tomatoes because they're the best and the most tasty. The delight of visitors when they enter our greenhouse gives us the most satisfaction. They tell us that you literally get the impression that you've stepped in to heaven for all of the senses. The scent of our tomatoes takes them back to their childhood and we're proud of the fact that our products are a symbol of a healthy, home-grown diet that we all should try to get back to,'' he added.

However, the challenge facing this business is the same one facing most of types of industry in Croatia - the lack of a qualified workforce.

"At present, we have 74 workers, and we need to increase that number by another twenty percent, but finding people is a big challenge for us. Until 2016, there was no problem, but in recent months, it's extremely difficult to find new workers because there are no locals. As we've increased our capacity by one hundred percent, we have less skilled workers so we'll have no choice but to turn to the foreign labour market. We're aware that our competitiveness on the market depends primarily on the quality of the people we employ and that's why we always try to provide the best possible conditions for our employees,'' Belić stated.

The process of training and educating new workers lasts about three months, so that at the very beginning, according to the director of this Croatian company, there's a real need to properly invest in employees.

"We want to give every employee a chance for development and progress, and this approach has been rewarding to us and we've got people who have been with us for years, we're particularly proud of them and we're delighted that they're a part of our story and success. There are open quotas for foreign workers in the agricultural sector, but importing workers involes considerable costs for accommodation, education, and more, as well as the time needed to adapt.

Of course, the simplest solution is to employ local people, we've always made them our priority, but as there aren't any, we were forced to look at other options. We're currently working on the import of our first [foreign] workers, and there are no problems with getting them their permits because we're using the services of a foreign employment agency,'' Belić explained.

''We've also come across the long-known problem of importing low quality tomatoes and lowering prices that endanger Croatian producers with bad product declarations. Some products clearly state the country where the products are packaged, but not where the food was produced or grown, so customers can't identify what is and isn't a Croatian product, and some don't even have a quality mark,'' Belić said.

In the near future, as they have stated from this Croatian company, they are planning to expand to other markets and recruit an additional workforce, and their most important and long-term goal is to provide their faithful and new customers with continuous quality and freshness of their products, with an awareness placed on the benefits of healthy eating and the importance of ecological sustainability.

"These are the principles and standards that we won't give up on. Rajska tomatoes aren't just tomatoes, they're also part of a global effort to return to nature and to local, healthy nutrition," concluded Zvonimir Belić.

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Sunday, 23 June 2019

Croatian Software Development Company Impresses Western Europe and USA

More Croatian innovation continues to impress not only those in nearby Western Europe but those across the Atlantic in the United States.

As Marta Duic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of June, 2019, the Croatian company Agency04 agency is a Zagreb-based software development company that generates more than sixty percent of its revenue on the markets of Western Europe and the USA.

This successful Croatian company was founded five years ago, and today their team consists of seveny experts from Mobile, Web and Java development, user experience-UX, automatic quality control and so-called Agile counselling.

"All of [the company's] founders are people from the world of development, and we believe that this is one of the reasons why the quality of the solutions we deliver is primarily recognised. Our greatest achievements are our colleagues, all of seventy of them. Last year, that year was once again marked by the growth in the number of people in our team and an increase in the number of our clients. We ended [2018] with a 137 percent larger team than we had in 2017, and this year we expect to go down a similar path,'' stated Domagoj Madunić, the director of Agency04

This Croatian company is going from strength to strength, and it is currently focused on the markets of Switzerland, the USA, Austria, and Germany where they work for companies such as Strabag and ELCA, XebiaLabs, and in Croatia, they work for large companies including Iskon and A1. New markets that interest them are other European ones, and they include the British and Scandinavian markets, as well as those of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

"We gave our vision the name five star service, namely, we want to offer customers something that they'll be impressed with process of, as well as with the communication and the quality of the products they're buying from us. Something that sets us apart from all of their previous experiences. Our industry is changing quickly, and that level of service is like a moving target. The growth of our size and portfolio is likely, but only if we stay true to the highest level of service,'' explained Madunić.

Growth is clearly visible when looking at this company's impressive figures, revenues have risen from 6.95 million kuna back in 2017 to a massive 13.5 million kuna last year, with more than double the growth of employees, from 29 in 2017 to 71 who are currently working for this Croatian agency.

"We recently started working on our new website, and we decided on a somewhat brave concept and asked all of our customers for a video statement or a written statement. When we made a contact list, we counted that seventy percent would be willing to give a written statement, and maybe fifty percent would be willing to stand in front of a camera and record a video statement.

Not everyone likes such exposure, and it's not easy to get in front of the camera. We have taken into account that our customers are big companies and that we will have challenges and a long process of approving such statements. We were shocked when we got literally all positive responses, and 100 percent of the people asked about cooperation with us in some way or another. Such a relationship with customers can't be purchased with good sales and marketing, but only with good deliveries,'' said the company's director.

''This year, for the second summer in a row, we'll host a free summer school that will provide students with a theoretical and practical insight into Java application development using the Spring Boot library suite during five weeks. The course will take place online during the week, with personal meetings with lecturers taking place at weekends, and at the end of the school, participants will be able to show off what they learned during their time at our summer school in a two-day hackathon.

We've been looking for young and ambitious people because there's a large gap between academic and practical knowledge in Java programming, and among other things, we want to give young people the opportunity to learn something that will be practical to use.

Along those same lines, it's a great opportunity for us to reach some high-quality employees, last year, thirty attendees participated in this summer school, and from them, we've given permanent employment to four people,'' noted Domagoj Madunić.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian companies, Croatian products and services, doing business in Croatia and much more.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Impressive Croatian Company Altpro Now Working with Mitsubishi

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of June, 2019, one of the first ''tenants'' of the Zagreb Technological Park is a very successful Croatian startup called Altpro, which, in its 25 years of operation, has grown into a more than impressive organisation of 147 employees and exporters who sell their products in fifty countries across all continents except for Antarctica. In addition, this company has just become the first Croatian IoT solution maker for megalopolises.

The Croatian company Altpro has now released its monorail tracking device, which is not only the first such device in Croatia, but the first on the international level. This Croatian company based in Zagreb is now entering into the world of extremely valuable international partnerships. One of these partnerships is with no less than Mitsubishi, the largest Japanese company to be listed on the stock market. The European Commission (EC) has also included Croatia's Altpro on the list of 22 key technology companies that dictate railroad development on global level.

Altpro is currently developing a device that will enable railway companies to quickly and cheaply switch to the new EU security standard called ''ETCS'', which is expected to become a global standard and expand much further than Europe, because it is slowly being taken over by Japan, China, Indonesia, India and the United States.

It is now being claimed that the Croatian company Altpro is at the beginning of experiencing exponential growth and that it has transformed into a new Croatian industrial giant. Poslovni Dnevnik sat down and talked to the tireless founder and director of this impressive Croatian company, Zvonimir Viduk.

What's your plan?

After 25 years of growth in the terms of the size of a medium-sized company within the Croatian framework, I want Altpro to become a medium-sized company within the global framework over the next 25 years.

There's talk about you preparing for growth, for 1,000 employees over the next two to three years?

I think we've grown slowly. Large growth can only be permitted with large product orders, and on large markets. For the past fifteen years, we've been working on the market(s) and potential business in China and India. In the last five years, we've been exhibiting intensively over in Shanghai and Beijing. In the meantime, we've found quality partners not only in China but also in Japan, the USA, Indonesia, India, and even in large European countries.

If everything goes according to plan, according to the existing market needs in the next two or three years, we'd potentially have the capacity to look at further employment. And here we're talking about the growth of just one of our products.

Does this mean that everything depends on just that one product?

In our offer, we've got more products with which we're completing many years of development, homologation, and for which we know the global market with all its significant diversity and specificity. Being customisable and universal is of utmost importance today.

What can you say about this product for megalopolises?

This regards our infrastructure product for detecting monorail trains.

It's a globally unique product that detects the speed, direction and position of monorail trains and exchanges this data with other infrastructure subsystems. We developed it from our existing detection system. Monorails are a piece of technology in megalopolises, meaning cities with over ten million inhabitants, and which are busy and congested with traffic. In 2010, there were 25, and 2017, 47, with a tendency of further growth. Now, we can see that towns and cities with less than ten million inhabitants are also moving towards this system. Only China has 100 such strategic projects, and this technology is spreading around the world.

Who are your partners?

Several major companies from different countries from France to China, the United States, Japan, and all the way to Indonesia mean those who have noticed our specifically innovative solution.

In collaboration with them for the past three years, we've made joint installations and development tests and adaptation to their traffic control systems. For example, in India, after fourteen years, all of the testing is done, we've got all the permits, and now we're entering a joint venture with a local player.

It's the only way of entering with technological equipment in such large countries. We will have some production in India and there we'll work on the modernisation of their railways. We applied the same model in China and the partial localisation of production is already being prepared. Furthermore, Altpro has been the largest Croatian exporter in Indonesia for some time now. We've modernised more than 80 stations in four years. And there, we conduct our work through joint ventures with our largest technology company - Končar.

Last year, based on the results, that part of the business was raised to an even higher level. We signed a strategic partnership with the Indonesian partner, together with the Czech Škoda and the American Progress Rail, a member of the Caterpillar group, at Innotrans, the largest international fair in Berlin. Our plan is to develop even more business in Asia on classic two-track railways.

How long have you been building these business relations?

The high technology for infrastructure, such as railways, has been being developed for years. You have to prove not only things in a technological sense, but also in a business sense, you have to make huge investments before you even get a chance at getting your first job. We first tested our monorail sensory technology back in 2010 with a French partner, then with an Indonesian partner, then a Japanese one, then Chinese and American ones.

Do you have support from the Croatian Ministry of Economy?

The Economy Minister, Darko Horvat, is also an engineer and a businessman himself, and he's made it clear that he wants to help and emphasised the fact that such an industry is in the focus of interest. But more importantly, that ministry is actively working on incentive measures, such as removing obstacles, and communicating openly. An example of this are TIVs, an advisory team of the minister composed of manufacturing exporters themselves.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian startups, Croatian companies, Croatian products and services, as well as all of the measures the Croatian Government and the competent ministries have put in place to aid entrepreneirship and innovation in Croatia.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Croatian Company Without Own Office Creates Software for NASA, eBay...

As Novac/Filip Pavic writes on the 16th of June, 2019, Gembox and Testdome, two Croatian sister IT companies, aren't unique just because their software is used by the likes of NASA, Microsoft, Verizon, UEFA and eBay, but also because they're the only Croatian startups who don't even have their own office, and according to them, that's actually intentional.

Both Croatian companies were founded by Željko Švedić, he's the owner and founder of Gembox, and he's the co-owner of Testdome with the director Mario Živić. These two Croatian companies are the pioneers of the new international IT trend, which encompasses so-called remote work, and their employees, who are mostly developers, work from home from around the world, they're scattered all over, from Australia and the USA to India and even Lithuania.

"We've realised that we can employ people from all over the world in this way, and that we're not always having to move into new and bigger offices. Programmers aren't bothered by that, they like tasks that are precise and they can sit comfortably for eight hours at their computers at home without needing people around them to motivate them. However, that's not for everyone, some find that working from home, in fact, means a ''free day'', Švedić said when describing the pros and cons of remote work such as this.

Gembox and Testdome employ a total of seventeen people, and although the stories of the two companies are inextricably linked, they deal with quite different things. It all began back in 2006, says Švedić, a native of Slavonski Brod.

After he resigned from Microsoft Croatia and then went to work for one year over in the US, Švedić returned to Croatia as a 26-year-old with a FER degree in his pocket and a few thousand dollars in savings. He was young and he had two options in front of him. His plans were either to launch something of his own, or get a job employed in some Croatian IT company. However, he decided, like a real developer, to retire to his basement and come up with some solutions that could make him some money. That was the beginning of Gembox's story.

"Back then, I programmed parts of the software, the component for importing and exporting data to Word, Excel, and similar formats. For example, if you go to the UEFA page to view the results of a match and download them in PDF format, it's very likely that our software was used,'' said Švedić, comparing it with the car industry - as there are small companies that produce car parts, such as airbags, and then all manufacturers incorporate it into their cars, just like Gembox produces parts of software that other companies then embed into their applications.

However, as goes the story for almost all Croatian companies, the beginning was extremely difficult, because he had no idea how to sell and properly place his product. He was forced to learn about digital advertising and website optimisation. After the first few years, Gembox managed to get up on its own financially, and then a new problem emerged - the problem of recruiting.

''When I became profitable, the second stage was to hire people, but I didn't know how to do it. The programmers who came to the interviews were quite weak in programming, regardless of their resume and what they were saying about themselves.

I realised then that we needed a better competence testing system. It was the start of the new company, TestDome, with which we created an online test system for job candidates,''

His acquaintance from back in his high school days, Mario Živić from Požega, played a crucial role throughout the whole story.

He got better acquainted with state-run IT competitions and tenders, Both of them, with several years of difference between them, were both national champions, and later they both won Bronze at international and European programming competitions.

Zivić also enrolled at FER, and remained close to the world of such competitions, he designed tasks for high school computer science competitions. Years later, more precisely in 2011, the pair happened to meet randomly, and Švedić then presented his idea to Zivić, which was the aforementioned online system for selecting potential job candidates. Zivić, who for nine years worked for Ericsson Nikola Tesla as a manager, recognised the potential and realised that he could contribute to the whole thing with his own extensive experience.

''Every manager can list several differences between good and bad employees, but they won't know how to test that out. The point is that candidates are best tested by applying knowledge rather than reproducing it,'' said Zivić, who owns 20 percent of this Croatian company, and who also holds the position of company manager.

What sets TestDome apart is the fact that job candidates, and these candidates may be applying for positions in sales, as managers, experts, programmers... are tested on real-world, real life examples of their potential job position, instead of undergoing universal and generic intelligence tests.

With this piece of Croatian innovation, a candidate for a project manager's position, for example, will receive examples of three projects and must be able to calculate the monetary valuation estimate to assess the risk of each project. A developer will get a code line with errors, and in ten minutes, he must find those errors and correct them.

''There's a trend when it comes to professions in engineering, the better the resume, the worse the employee. The ability to write a resume is a marketing capability, so if you're looking for someone to sell something for you, then you're judging a resume, but if you're looking for someone to design a nuclear power plant's software, you'll want someone who is introverted and for whom it's no problem to sit in solitude and write code,'' said Živić.

Additionally, thanks to the Croatian TestDome, the employer doesn't have to go through the initial selection or meet the candidates in their office because everything they need is right there online. 

TestDome and Gembox are yet more amazing examples of Croatian innovation, one of which works to limit time wasted by both potential employer and potential employee, giving way to a quicker and more efficient route of finding the right person for the right job.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian companies, Croatian products and services, Croatian startups, businesses, and investing in Croatia.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Croatian Entrepreneurs Appreciate Government Efforts, Seek Reforms

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić stressed that the Croatian tax system must be stable, predictable and maximally consistent, and that rax relief should, as such, remain continuous.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 10th of June, 2019, innovation and creativity in business both open up opportunities to boost productivity and the overall growth of Croatian companies, as was stated on Monday at the Croatian Entrepreneur's day of the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP).

Gordana Deranja, the president of the Croatian Employers' Association, pointed out the fact that the Croatian Government's contribution to GDP growth in the first quarter of this year was 3.9 percent, but this still isn't enough and that things must not simply stop there, because structural reforms are very much needed, andy are always being delayed.

"Please, be responsible. Leave the cheap populism behind and do your jobs. The war ended a long time ago, with the last one ending thirty years ago. The past belongs in the past and the future brings with it new chances - innovation and creativity. We need to develop them because they're the key in today's merciless market competition,'' added Deranja.

The shifts that the government has made in the direction of tax breaks for citizens and employers have paid off and resulted in some positive changes, but we can't just stop there because that isn't enough, Croatia and its economy are still in debt when we compare it with other countries, in almost all parameters,'' Deranja said, and recommended to this government, as well as to all future Croatian governments, to stop simply playing politics and be more responsible.

Deranja added that hundreds of Croatian high school students who, with their entrepreneurial ideas and their various innovative projects had been in included in the ''Entrepreneurs of the Future'' contest, and that this alone has confirmed that Croatia has talent for the future.

"Our goal is to maintain fiscal stability and consistency, and our biggest loss would be that the tax we've managed to abolish ending up returning again. Predictability is important to entrepreneurs, so the tax and administrative relief should be continuous. Croatia can remember much higher growth rates thant this last one, at 3.9 percent. Although growth rates are lower today than they've been in the recent past, they're on a much healthier basis and provide a sound basis for further growth,'' Marić said.

The gathering was accompanied by the arrival of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who pointed out that in achieving a developed economy, innovation and creativity are the foundations of global competitiveness, and she believes that this gathering will highlight the fact that besides potential, Croatia also has enough capacity, will, and strength to build a modern, efficient innovation system.

Representatives of large Croatian companies spoke on their respective experiences in applying innovation and creativity. Mate Rimac from Rimac Automobili pointed out the fact that he was not sure that the idea itself, without any commercial realisation, had any real, special value.

"When we got the idea for our Concept One, 10 years passed, a lot of work and money was spent, and 150 people were needed to make that project come true," said Rimac, whose company employs 600 people and has since attracted more than 100 million euros in direct foreign investment.

At the end of the event, the Croatian Employers' Association awarded five Croatian schools within the scope of their project "Entrepreneurs of the Future".

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Sunday, 9 June 2019

Croatia's Infobip Continues to Impress at EY Entrepreneur of the Year

Croatian companies are becoming all the more successful in spite of the red tape the state often places in their way. Uhljebs (click here) survive like bacteria under a toilet seat within Croatia's many draconian laws which are no friend to the entrepreneur or the investor, much less the Croatian company. The beast, also known as the Croatian bureaucratic machine, is a difficult one to conquer, but while many try and fail, some succeed. The tale of the Croatian company Infobip is one such inspiring success story.

As Novac writes on the 9th of June, 2019, Silvio Kutić is the founder of the wildly successful Croatian technology giant Infobip.

What has Silvio, and thus Infobip, accomplished?

Vodnjan's Infobip was recently declared the best A2P (application-to-person) service in the world. This is the third year that this company has been ranked number one by mobile operators' ratings, but for the first time, Enterprise research was launched, where leading global companies from different industrial sectors rated A2P service providers, and this company from Croatia ranked first.

Why is this so important?

Infobip is so impressive because of its continuity and the confidence it has managed to instill in disillusioned people that have written off their country and the chance of the progression of their professional lives within it, which is a move that has been made by many, this company has proved that top projects and the creation of top-ranking, globally relevant companies can be done here in Croatia. Infobip is not the only one to have set such a shining example, but alongside Rimac Automobili, which has recently announced an expansion of their plant near Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb.

How does Infobip work?

After a series of attempts, Kutić decided to develop technology solutions for business customers, and back in 2006, along with his brother Robert and partner Izabela Jelenić, he founded Infobip, a world-class ICT company with sixty offices across six continents, and successfully competing with all of the competition from within the same field, of which there's no shortage. The company's services were used by a massive 4.7 billion people just last year alone, and their global customers include Uber, Facebook and WhatsApp. The number of employees has long since surpassed the 1,000 mark, are scattered around the world, and Infobip's revenue is measured in millions of dollars.

What will Infobip do in the future?

Infobip is continuing to reinvest what they earn. The money goes back into research and development, the improvement of cloud infrastructure, the strengthening of their centres and the overall quality of the services they provide. Infobip's main intention is to remain on top and develop more technology. The Vodnjan-based campus, which has long since called the "Croatian Google", is a clear sign that they have every intention to do it all from right here in Croatia.

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Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Capitol Park: British Investors Building Shopping Centre in Križevci

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes on the 4th of June, 2019, the continental Croatian town of Križevci is set to get a shopping destination covering more than 4,000 square metres this autumn under the title of Capitol Park Križevci, and new retail jobs for the local population will be opened, both in retail itself and in the initial construction of the premises.

The news about this investment was initially announced by Podravski List recently, citing unofficial information that the investor, the British investment group Poseidon, will invest about 15 million kuna into the shopping centre.

This British company, which deals with investment, development and real estate management in the business, housing and tourism sector, has expressed no desire to comment on the as yet unofficial figures in regard to the investment itself. It neither confirms nor denies the aforementioned figure. But they were happy to point out that Križevci will get a brand new shopping park that will "eventually employ more than fifty people, thus stimulating the local economy".

With the Križevci project, they say, they are continuing to expand their retail portfolio by strengthening the brand of Capitol Park in South East Europe. Most of the investments outside of their domestic market are directed precisely towards countries that make up the former Yugoslavia; including Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here in Croatia, both Makarska and Split have gained Capitol Park's much earlier on, and the British company has now announced that they will open five more such centres next year.

The completion of the up and coming Križevci premises will be carried out in two different phases, the first being opened in August (with Spar instead of Konzum), and the second a bit later on, in October. The location in Križevci, which is more precisely located on Smičiklasova ulica, was allegedly purchased from Raiffeisen Bank by Poseidon, according to a report from Podravski list. The British company apparently aims to change the shopping centre concept considerably.

Instead of Konzum as the principal tenant along with a few of the other ''usual suspects'' such as Muller, names like Spar and Bipa will occupy the space, and they're counting on New Yorker too, among other well known retail names.

Britain's Poseidon Investment Group's investment portfolio of around 1.2 billion euros is highlighted on its web page. In the area of ​​shopping malls under the brand Capitol Park in Southeast Europe, its portfolio exceeds 60,000 square metres, and in planning and construction there are more than 400 residential buildings

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Monday, 3 June 2019

Young Female Roboticists Offer the World an Impressive Image of Croatia

As Novac/Nikola Patkovic writes on the 3rd of June, 2019, although they've only just stepped out into the often confusing teenage world, they already have virtually defined their life goals. In their case, it's easy to talk about a group of very young girls who are offering the world an outstanding picture of Croatia.

These youngsters from Osijek, sisters Jona and Nika Važić, Helena Floreani and Klara Uranjek, are students from Osijek who are working alongside their counterparts from Đakovo, Iva Mijakić, Ana Švegli and Marina Ćurković. At first glance, the group look no different to your typical group of young girls, who don't appear to differ remotely from their peers. However, if you dig just a little below the surface, surprising and impressive details of the lives of these girls who, when leading by their own example, could be models and a stimulus not only to their peers but also to numerous adults across the country who would prefer to do little else but complain.

Apart from the fact that they are all excellent students with an average of 5.0, all of these young girls have a whole host of additional interests and activities. Volleyball, dance, acting, athletics, gymnastics... these are just some of them. However, the reason they're so interesting lies in what connects them all, namely, programming and robotics.

Jona, Helena, Nika, Klara, Iva, Ana and Marina are the cream of the crop of Croatian programmers and roboticists in the competition of students from the sixth to the eighth grade in elementary school, which has recently been confirmed at the Croatian Super League finalists of the Croatian Makers League organised by Nenad Bakić, who has been the founder and the biggest populariser and developer of STEM area development in Croatian primary schools for a few years now.

After they were declared the best in Croatia last year, Osijek locals Helena, Nika and Klara came to Zagreb last weekend for a competition consisting of 40 teams and around 150 contestants under the guidance of Tomislav Pandurić, where they took home the title of vice-champion, while their friends from  Đakovo, Iva, Ana and Marina, brought the bronze home.

This time, gold went to boys from Križevci, but the girls still went home more than proud of their acheivements.

''Although we didn't manage to defend the title, of course we were satisfied, especially since the competition had also advanced, so it wasn't easy to get such a good result. In addition, the task we had was very difficult, so our success meant more. To be the second in the competition of 40 teams from all over Croatia is a big thing and we're very happy with our performance,'' the youngsters from Osijek are all in agreement and happy with the results.

Their friends from Đakovo also said that they had been expecting a high ranking.

''Because we've been at the top of Croatia for years, as we've now confirmed. However, we had some minor problems and half an hour before the end of the program we realised that we'd be unsuccessful, but in the end, we still managed to get through and we did a good job,'' said the students from Đakovo.

This time, the topic at hand was ecology. All of the teams had the task of programming robots so that they could perform tasks such as waste sorting, as well as hold mutual communication between two robots.

They say it was difficult and a tense experience. They only spent about three hours programming, during which they were left entirely alone and with their knowledge, and mentors could no longer offer any help.

Their task was to program mBoot to pass through a tunnel that changes its lighting level, so the timely detection of that change with the help of a sensor has to be taken into account, not to mention the robot's ability to continue going down its path without hitting the tunnel walls. After that, the robot had to detect the colour of a certain card, each of which meant a different type of waste, and after detecting it, he had to find a cube of the same colour and move it to the place foreseen for that kind of waste. Then, he should send a message to another robot, who should return to the start of the road on the same route. From the results, it's obvious that the girls did their job very well.

When their teacher was asked why this segment is full of girls, and where all the boys are, the teacher laughed and smiled at the successfull girls from Slavonia and said that the girls drive them off when they start talking.

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Click here for the original article by Nikola Patkovic for Novac/Jutarnji

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

VIDEO: Discover Rimac Automobili, Guided by Mate Rimac Himself

While there are many bleak stories about business failures and endless reams of red tape put in place by mindless state officials, there are multiple success stories when it comes to doing business in Croatia. While many are naturally put off by the amount of barriers and time things take to get moving here, there are those who persevere and go on to succeed, Croatia's beloved entrepreneur Mate Rimac is the shining star among them.

Rimac, born in Livno, in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1988, the family eventually moved to Frankfurt, Germany, and then to Samobor, Croatia. Rimac founded a construction company and his very first invention was the iGlove. As time went on, his business mind grew in its curiosity and he eventually founded Rimac Automobili, which brought him success we're sure he could never have previously dreamed of.

Recently, we reported on British YouTuber Shmee150 having taken a tour of Rimac Automobili which was guided by no less than the CEO and founder himself. The processes that go into the creation of Rimac's incredible supercars were revealed, and the YouTuber was left visibly astounted by Rimac's wealth of knowledge about every single part of the process.

But that isn't all. As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 29th of May, 2019, it seems that Croatia's most famous entrepreneur has got a taste for it, and is about to take you further behind the scenes than most journalists have ever ventured. 

"We'll show as much as possible as part of our open (business) culture. For now, our facilities, and soon, much more. Episode 1 of 4 of our factory tour,'' stated Mate Rimac on Facebook.

His company is growing extremely rapidly, and the Rimac team is almost doubled every single year. It currently employs more than 550 people, including experts from around the world.

In the first episode of this four-part branded series, Mate Rimac takes you as the viewer through the tools department and explains the complex process of modern production that is hard to believe happens right here in Croatia, the country which has complaining as its national sport (after football, of course).

He explains how he has transformed his dream into reality, transforming the potential of an electric drive into the most powerful electric hyper-car in the entire world.

Watch the video here:

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