Thursday, 22 August 2019

Croatian Company from Zadar Exports 85 Percent of Products to EU, USA...

Three Croatian engineers have launched a company called HSTec, which currently employs ninety workers and has an impressive turnover of 70 million kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 21st of August, 2019, on the "ruins" of Zadar's former SAS, a formerly globally renowned speciality machine tool factory, a brand new Croatian company under the name of HSTec was created, which has taken over some of their former glory and is now recognised worldwide for its sophisticated engines and robotics.

Namely, 22 years ago in one former SAS facility in Zadar, three Croatian engineers - Željko Goja, Mladen Šarlija and Frane Marasović, started the HSTec (High Speed ​​Technique) company, and perfected the production of high-speed motors for machine tools that handle parts in the automotive industry.

As was explained by Mladen Šarlija, the director and CEO of the aforementioned company, today, HSTec is at the top in terms of the world's production of high-speed motor spindles for the tool industry and robotics for various applications and industries, and is known for being a very stable and export-oriented company. This Croatian company exports as much as 85 percent of its products and services and is present on demanding markets across the European Union, as well as across the Arlantic ocean in the USA.

The major buyers of HSTec's automotive products come from the glass, foundry and food industries.

"Over the last few years, we've been implementing a number of projects, ranging from the construction of our production and business premises, to new product development projects with a total value of approximately 14 million kuna. Those projects, which are co-funded by EU funds, there has been employment growth and the raising of the company's income through sales, and through the expansion of production facilities and the improvement of working conditions, all the way to strengthening development capacities and, consequently, increasing the company's reputation,'' explained Šarlija.

The Croatian Agency for Small Business, Innovation and Investment (HAMAG-BICRO) has certainly proven to be one of the major sources of EU fund withdrawal, for which several projects have been applied by HSTec for open calls and programs, thus raising investments of 18.5 million kuna in total.

Through the Internationalisation of SME Businesses, Capacity Building and Investment in Equipment, Commercialization of Entrepreneurship Innovation and PoC7 programs, HAMAG-BICRO have awarded this Croatian company almost 6 million kuna in grants.

These investments have enabled them to grow their business, and as a result of increasing orders and establishing new partnerships, HSTec has increased employment, and by 2022, they plan to employ fourteen new employees in addition to the existing ninety. The company had revenues of 70 million kuna and a profit of 9.2 million kuna last year.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Croatian Virtual Data Centre Both Favourable and Individualised

Each Croatian Zarovo virtual data centre is highly individualised with the goal of building upon the specific needs of every business, according to their wishes and requirements.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 4th of July, 2019, under the auspices of experts from the Rijeka-based company DB informatika, the project Zarovo - a virtual data centre for small and medium enterprises and companies, co-funded by European Union funds, was formally presented to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) in Zagreb. Talks on the introduction and the importance of electronic accounts, which have been legal obligations for certain types of companies since July the 1st, 2019, also took place.

DB Informatika presented a project in cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the ''Krug'' Association of Business Women. They took their project and presented it in Pula, Osijek, Slavonski Brod, Dubrovnik, Split, Rijeka, and the final event took place in the Croatian capital city of Zagreb.

Virtual data centres, as was stated by the company, are a Croatian response to cumbersome global systems such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Cloud, and the company's leaders claim that speed, individualised access, superior local support and security, as well as significantly cheaper prices, make this Croatian solution stand out from the rest.

"They're centres for small and medium-sized businesses that need centralised redundant business server infrastructure," explained Darko Glujić. As previously stated, each and every Zarovo Virtual Data Centre is highly individualised with the goal of building upon the specific needs of every business, according to their respective needs and wishes.

This Croatian company from Rijeka also marked the beginning of the work of SUPER - an electronic accounts management system for business clients, which introduced the category of free invoicing for small businesses and companies.

DB Informatika's experts have showcased, as they themselves say, a clear ambition to "attack" the eternally burdensome segment of about 600 million annually issued receipts in the Republic of Croatia in B2B business operations, but also to spread their wings further out onto the EU market.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Croatian Products Take Home Prestigious Superior Taste Award

Lino Lada Gold and Žito's fermented buckwheat bread with walnuts gained the maximum rating and three STA stars for the second time as Croatian products were rightfully awarded.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of June, 2019, the wildly popular Croatian brand Podravka's treasure trove of product quality is richer still for a further eleven decorations from Superior Taste Award, the most prized award in the food segment in the entire world. This year's Superior Taste Award ceremony was delivered at a ceremony held in Brussels, Belgium.

As previously mentioned, for the second time, with the highest ratings and three STA stars, Lino Lada Gold and Žito's fermented buckwheat bread with walnut were awarded, and the Superior Taste Award mark was awarded to Vegeta Maestro smoked paprika, Vegeta Natur deltapack, Fant's spaghetti bolognese, Eva delicates' sardines with rosemary and sea salt, and more.

The Superior Taste Award is awarded by the International Taste & Quality Institute - iTQi, which headquartered in Brussels, and companies from more than 120 countries around the world compete intensely for this award. The Superior Taste Award is awarded by a jury of over 200 members from more than twenty countries worldwide. Their talents are recognised in Chef & Sommelier competitions and in renowned institutions such as Le guide Michelin or Gault & Millau.

The grading process is extremely rigorous and involves sensory evaluation using the method of the blind tasting of the product, and focusing on the intensity of the taste of the product itself without comparing it with other products.

The Croatian company Podravka has been participating with the rating of its products by this respected organisation continuously since back in 2008. The first Croatian product that won the Superior Taste Award in 2008 was Podravka' beef goulash, followed by a whole range of individual products from all categories of Podravka's very wide range.

In the period from 2008 to 2019, Croatian products made by the much loved Podravka were awarded with up to 121 prizes from Superior Taste Award.

Follow our dedicated lifestyle and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian products and companies.

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.

Make sure to follow our decidated business page for 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.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Croatian Entrepreneur Marin Bek Continues to Impress

As Novac/Gordana Grgas writes on the 20th of June, 2019, Marin Bek is just 33 years old, is a Croatian entrepreneur and has founded three technology startups so far, and two have not only survived, but flourished. In Croatia, they have twenty employees, and by the end of the year, as announced, that number will hopefully be doubled. At the recent JobFair which was held in Zagreb, many candidates were attracted and interviews are getting under way now.

Bek is a member of a promising new generation of Croatian entrepreneurs who are experiencing problems around them and are therefore creating smart IT solutions to deal with them instead of merely complaining. Bek first ''dived into the water'' after graduating from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in Zagreb, and after borrowing 3000 kuna from his cousins to be able to participate in the American startup accelerator Foundation Institute in Zagreb back in 2012.

He first began his startup in the Silicon Valley, with a startup for autonomous underwater vehicles that he called Marine Tech Factory (MTF), he raised capital from numerous business angels, and sought to sell a solution to the oil industry. That, however, unfortunately failed.

When talking about the reasons for that early failure, with a smile on his face, Bek states that he believes he probably came out with it too early on the market.

"Today, I'd say that I worked on underwater drones, which was my graduate thesis at FER. Now that's sitting and collecting dust in a warehouse at the faculty. When the MTF idea collapsed, I was left without any money so I found a job as an IT developer,'' stated Bek when discussing his very first experiences in the United States.

But this failure, and then climbing up to the position of technology director in an innovative startup called Nextuser from San Francisco, where he participated in finding an investor in the total amount of 2.5 million dollars, brought him, as he himself noted, knowledge and a much better feeling for his return to the challenging entrepreneurial waters.

To speak more specifically, in the seed round of capital that just closed for his startup, the main investor is a Canadian, who he initially met back then. Meet Ascalia, a Croatian company that has raised about 200,000 euros, and is immediately moving forward to the much larger so-called ''A round'', which deals with venture capital funds in the amount of about one million euros.

"Ascalia must grow fast," claims Bek resolutely. The idea behind it was conceived for IoT (Internet of Things) systems in the industry and in cities.

With his partner with Dejan Strbad, he also leads Kraken, a local IT company that is approaching about one million euros of income in the field of distributed data collection and processing systems with the help of machine learning. They therefore deal with large data, and their projects include those for Carrefour, Nestle, Ferrero and even Forbes.

Ascalia is currently focused on industry, and this Croatian entrepreneur was given a lift recently with a victory at the Start.Up! Germany Roadshow competition, and owing to that victory, in autumn he will take a tour of the Bavarian factories.

They have created software and a device called ADS, a kind of "plug socket" that supports numerous protocols for industrial machines that have been in existence since 1979, and then connects them to the Internet. Thus, a smart company is created without the need for any big investments, and its a viable Croatian solution that they'll also try to sell to the Germans.

''Protocol is the way the machines speak to each other, through which information is transmitted. Through our device and software, we can measure and monitor the work of the machines online, even with the old ones that are still heavily used in the industry. In the case of sawmills, one of which is one of our clients, it means that the device can read the data coming from the saw, and with the application of artificial intelligence, it can predict when some of them will break. Through emails or via the application (app), this message will be sent to a manager who can then respond in time,'' explained this highly talented Croatian entrepreneur.

The main mission of Ascalia is precisely that, optimising energy consumption and improving production processes. The main clients in Croatia are industrial equipment dealers who also maintain factory facilities, and one of them, Zigg-Pro, actually gave them the idea to develop ADS.

''This is how you raise the level of modernisation, and there's no breakdown of the plant's system of operation and no expensive new machines have to be procured,'' explained Bek. The company's interest in making its plant ''smarter'' is great, various technical directors have visited, and their plants are currently in Delnice, with another near Zagreb.

They're only now ''waking up'', and they're currently not active in looking for clients, first they have to grow financially and personally, explains Bek. Although in his business biography he notes that his expertise in IoT systems and the integration of machine learning algorithms into everyday processes "is now his main activity'' as a manager.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Croatian Company Places Franchise in Sint Maarten, Caribbean

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of June, 2019, the Croatian company Carwiz International has launched a franchise business of its brand on no less than the distant Caribbean market, more specifically on the island of Sint. Maarten.

Currently, negotiations are underway regarding the positioning of the Croatian Carwiz rent-a-car on the surrounding Caribbean islands, too, thus successfully completing the additional global positioning of this Croatian brand after its success in Croatia, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Cyprus, Morocco, Turkey, Serbia and Albania. It's also Carwiz International's first real business step towards distant, overseas markets.

According to Krešimir Dobrilović, the director and owner of Carwiz, the placement of this Croatian company on the distant Caribbean market has achieved great success:

"It's well known that the Caribbean, more specifically Sint. Maarten, is an exceptionally strong tourist destination. It's a destination with tourism achievements which have received respected in the international context. Our partners with whom we've completed the franchise placement process, are absolutely sure that the business results we're expect in the coming years will be achieved. Additionally, by strengthening the brand and promoting it through the available channels, we expect the Carwiz family will find its way to some other Caribbean destinations soon,''

Over the past few years, the Caribbean has recorded over thirty million visitors annually. Bearing in mind that guests visiting the Caribbean are usually those with more money to spend, from the US, Canada and European markets, and the spending in these destinations is growing at an average of three percent a year, making Carwiz's success on this market even more significant.

To date, the Croatian company Carwiz International has successfully achieved franchise network placement on the markets of Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Cyprus, Morocco, Turkey, Serbia and Albania.

The management of Carwiz is currently conducting franchise cooperation negotiations with as many as twenty rent-a-car companies from around the world, including with the markets of Vietnam, Brazil, Russia, Malaysia, Malta, Portugal, and Spain.

Today, Carwiz employs almost 100 people and operates through online sales channels and through thirteen branch offices in all major cities and tourist destinations across the Republic of Croatia.

Through B2B channels, they operate with virtually all major international tourism-emitting markets. Significant results were achieved after only two years of doing business, while a turnover of fifty million kuna was realised in the past year alone.

This Croatian company's total traffic grew by more than 100 percent when compared to 2017, as did the number of employees.

Follow our dedicated business page for much more on Croatian companies, products and services.

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.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Factory in Jakovlje Showcases That Success Can be Found in Croatia

The news and media in Croatia are usually dominated by three things. The more serious look at corruption within politics, usually happening at a very high level, the economic situation and people arguing whether or not things are ''really'' that bad, and then the self-proclaimed ''influencers'' posting pretty pictures of the sea (and themselves, of course) and banging the tired old drum of having ''discovered Croatia''. Other than that, you're not likely to read much more.

The issue with the economic situation in Croatia however, is that it's somewhat paradoxical. To say that there is simply not enough work isn't quite true, but to say that there aren't enough people to engage in the work isn't quite true either.

Croatia is a country with too many potential work positions and not enough staff, which also somehow manages to be a country with no jobs on offer. The arguments are old ones, and they typically involve raising the living wage in order to stimulate the economy and prevent the ever leaking demographic tap of Croats seeking work abroad. While this is of course necessary, first the state must relieve employers of their multiple heavy tax burders, the very burdens which stop a higher amount of net money landing in the hands of their employees each month.

This story of this paradox is a long one, and best saved for another time, but there is proof out there among all of the negative and depressing headlines that you definitely can succeed in Croatia. From the likes of Rimac Automobili to Varteks, many Croatian companies do very well. Get to know one of them, which over the last twenty years, has made so many cables that they could wrap them around the earth's equator forty times.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 14th of June, 2019, in between looking at heavily edited images of ''influencers'' posing in front of old churches and reading about another politician having been caught ''with his hands in the till'', you'll likely have read about Croatia having lost its industry, with particular emphasis on the metal processing industry. How Croatia produces nothing, how it doesn't even pay off to produce things in Croatia anymore, and so on. Just like with everything in Croatia, that's not entirely true, as RTL reports.

It's true that there are no longer many companies operating within this field in Croatia out there anymore, it's also true that there are even fewer who work in three shifts, seven days per week, but they do exist, and they've been exporting cable very successfully for the last twenty years.

RTL was naturally suspicious of such bold claims from within Croatia's borders, so they sent their journalist Goran Latković to the Eurocabel company located in Jakovlje, where cables are rolled 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

This factory from Jakovlje, Zagreb County, has made so many cables that they could wrap them around the Earth's equator as many as forty times.

"They work in four shifts, the drive is almost never stopped, there are only four days per year where they don't work. There's a lot of work. In the last twenty years, they've made so many cables that they could wrap them around the Earth's equator forty times, that's six million kilometres of cable,'' the aforementioned RTL reporter stated upon having seen the factory with his own eyes.

"We believe that a starting vision as well as a strategy is needed to reach this level. This drive cost about 25 million euros, and that was ten years ago. Our major customers are from abroad, in Germany and Austria. We have a total of 135 employees. We have problems with the workforce, and that's been critical for the last few years. Since last year, thirty people have left, and we haven't been able to employ as many,'' the factory stated in conversation with RTL.

Despite the issues they face, the success of this factory in Croatia is almost unheard of, and proves that with the right vision and the ability to just keep going, you can succeed. Even in Croatia.

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Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Karlovac Weapons Manufacturer Wins Prestigious Fina Award

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of June, 2019, Fina declared New Yorker as the most successful retailer, while Zagreb's Global food (Globalna hrana) company in is the most successful entrepreneur in tourism and hospitality, and in the field of professional, scientific and technical activities, the winner is

The Karlovac-based arms producer HS Produkt was awarded the Fina's Golden Balance Award for the most successful company in terms of financial rating in 2018, and with this award for the overall winner, the Karlovac company was also awarded the Golden Balance for the most successful entrepreneur in the manufacturing industry.

The Golden Balance is the award given by the Financial Agency (Fina) to the most successful entrepreneurs/companies in each business, it is attributed in the scope of the overall ranking of eleven financial indicators in five categories, according to the indicators of profitability, liquidity, indebtedness, activity and cost-effectiveness.

Out of the 131,117 companies who submitted their financial reports based on Fina's methodology, a mere 3,930 were selected, who then entered a shortlist for the award, which was comprised of 208 micro entrepreneurs, 2,527 small entrepreneurs, 978 medium, and 217 large-sized entrepreneurs.

In addition to HS Produkt, Gold Balance Awards were also awarded to Bovis from Viškovac as the most successful entrepreneur in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, followed by Radlovac from Orahovica in mining and quarrying, HEP Proizvodnja (Production) in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, and Spectra-media from Zagreb for water supply; sewage disposal, waste management and environmental remediation activities.

The most successful retailer, as previously stated, is New Yorker, while the Global food (Globalna hrana) company from Zagreb is the most successful entrepreneur in tourism and hospitality, and in the field of professional, scientific and technical activities, the winner is

Among the construction industry, the Split Road Company was awarded, Zadar Airport was proclaimed the most successful in the field of transport and storage, and Hewlett Packard was awarded by FINA in the field of information and communication activities.

Minister of Economy, Darko Horvat, pointed out that all winners won awards in conditions where there is no improvisation, only the facts and figures referring to the last year in which the Croatian economy grew by 2.6 percent.

Horvat estimated that the first quarter of this year opened a "new perspective" and that the second quarter would be "similar." In the first quarter of 2019, Croatia's GDP grew by 3.9 percent in comparison to the same period last year. He hopes for the economy to grow by 5 percent next.

He pointed out that the competent ministry and Fina worked together on several projects, mentioning the creation of a legislative framework that will allow for e-bills to be exchanged from the beginning of next year through already existing infrastructure.

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