Friday, 15 March 2019

Zagreb Company Mediaform Attracting Foreign Attention

One successful Zagreb company has been exploring outside of the Croatian market and has found a plethora of opportunities and interest on foreign markets.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 14th of March, 2019, thanks to its long tradition, identity, high quality, attractive design and practical accessories, the Zagreb-based company Mediaform has been positioning in Croatia for over twenty whole years as a market leader in the field of the production of top of the range diaries made from some of the highest quality materials.

The company was founded back in 1997 by Nedeljko Šukurma, who is currently working with numerous other companies and designers. They have been selling their company's products for years through retail stores such as Narodne novine, Školske knjige (School books), and others. However, Šukurma didn't want to just stop and stay on the Croatian market alone, but he, with a dose of success and an excellent idea, decided to dip his toes into foreign markets.

"Over the past few years, we've been trying to break into the European market in the segment of office and school materials with notebooks called Keyboard in two groups. The first group are premium notebooks - such as Moleskine, Lanybook and the like, while the other group are school notebooks. The Keyboard notebooks were successfully sold in the bookstores of the former Algoritam company, but even after its closure, customers were still asking after Mediaform's notebooks,'' explained Šukurma.

This was just another incentive for Šukurma and his Zagreb company to try out their products overseas where his company came across very positive reactions and a lot of praise.

"To be able to position yourself successfully on the global market in a segment that has long been covered by world-renowned brands, you need to do something innovative, something interesting and specific. With our new collection of Keyboard notebooks, we have been able to attract a great level of interest from foreign distributors and bookstores. On the front page, the notebooks are simple and minimalistic, but the design is impressive. The letters on the embossed, styled keyboard on the notebook's covers form an inspirational message - Handwriting beats a keyboard, which promotes handwriting as one of the timeless ways through which people can express their personalities,'' stated the founder of this successful Zagreb-based company which is clearly going from strength to strength.

Therefore, in addition to the business side of things, this Zagreb company's notebooks also feature an aesthetic function that will attract anyone who is used to using laptops and the like. For two consecutive years, Zagreb's Mediaform has been expanding its product group at the world-renowned and specialised Paperworld fair in Frankfurt, Germany. At the end of last year, they first exhibited their products at the Insights-X fair in Nuremberg for the German market and at the Big Buyer fair in Bologna for the Italian market.

"At the last Paperworld fair in Frankfurt, the organisers officially drew attention to our Keyboard notebooks. At this fair, there's also a separate space that acts as an exhibition gallery called Trends. When it comes to [exhibiting there] the fair organiser selects the most innovative and creative articles that should have particular emphasis drawn to them, with the focus being placed on excellence. Our Keyboard notebook found itself among this group of the world's top manufacturers,'' said Mediaform's owner.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for more on Croatian products, services and inventions. If it's just Zagreb you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.

 

Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Monday, 25 February 2019

Croatian Gaming Series Starpoint Gemini Launches Brand New Hit

In the group of three are the partners of the popular Croatian gaming series - Intel, AMD, Razer, Corsair and Steel Series, as was stated by Igor Gajić.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of February, 2019, Starpoint Gemini, one of the most successful Croatian gaming series with more than 600,000 titles sold to date, has begun to sell its third installment at the world's largest online gaming store Steam.

In their home studio, LGM Games stated that they had received an enviable pre-registration number for the new game within just the first twelve hours of its release.

Igor Gajić from LGM Games said that Starpoint Gemini 3 is their most ambitious project so far.

"With the new title we want to move the boundaries, both in quality and market success, and our expectations are great," said Gajić. He added that the RPG space game, which allowed the player to enjoy the world of Captain Jonathan Bold, worked with a team of fifteen experts, and was additionally assisted by a further five external experts.

Although the title states the number three, this is actually the fourth game in this series. Gajić stated that after Starpoint Gemini 1, which he admitted had a "shaky start", Starpoint Gemini 2 was released five years ago. It is the best-selling title in the series so far. Gajić confirmed to Poslovni Dnevnik that he has sold more than 400,000 copies. Two years ago, the Croatian studio LGM Games, which once featured its full name, Little Green Men Games, issued a spin-off franchise called Starpoint Gemini Warlords. This title was also very well sold, impressively selling more than 200,000 copies.

"The Dvojka and Warlords hits are among the genre fans, so, upon these successes we have created a very stable base from which we can build a solid foundation for a new game," said Gajić.

The previous title in the series, Warlords, had an excellent rating on Metacritica, of 73 percent, and just two years ago when it was released on Steam, it won the gold medal as Early Access Grads Best of 2017.

According to Business Croatia, Intercorona, through which LGM Games operates, grew from four to eighteen employees from 2013 to 2017, with revenues rising from 840,500 to 4.86 million kuna.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for more info on this Croatian gaming series and much, much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Darko Bicak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Friday, 22 February 2019

Zagreb Company Q Software Opens Office in Manhattan, New York

Excellent news for one Zagreb company as its success leads to the opening up of yet another office abroad, this time across the Atlantic in no less than the Big Apple - New York, USA.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of February, 2019, the key person and the manager of the Zagreb company's brand new American office is Mick de Meijer, a former executive director of several marketing agencies and a person with very strong experience in two key areas - project management and business development.

Zagreb's Q IT software company, which is one of the fastest growing IT companies in Europe according to Deloitte, has been operating at a new location since the beginning of this year. Their sixth global office was opened in New York, the digital hub of the eastern coast of the United States. The office is located in the very centre of New York, more precisely in Manhattan, and in addition to this location, this Croatian company still continues to operate from Zurich, Oslo, Belfast, Los Angeles, and of course from Zagreb, where the company's headquarters are located.

In his twelve years of hard work in the field, Mick de Meijer has successfully consulted more than 100 companies and worked directly with a variety of enormous and highly respected brands such as Victoria's Secret, Trojan, and Heinz.

So far, this Zagreb company has successfully helped a number of American companies with their technology development, of which, companies such as the United States Postal Services, Facebook, Walmart and Coca-Cola should definitely be mentioned. They have worked in different manners for these gigantic American companies, ranging from genialising their employment process to dealing with the system that employees use in their daily work.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian companies, products and services, as well as information on doing business and the overall investment climate in Croatia. If it's just the capital you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Unique Product from Bjelovar Attracts International Interest

Bjelovar breaks the mold and creates a unique fitness product that has caught the eye of not only the nearby Hungarians, but the world.

Continental Croatia is, aside from its tourism potential, usually in the news for all the wrong reasons. Although it has gradually started to spread, the Croatian demographic crisis has bitten harder in that area of the country than it has elsewhere, and with residents leaving in their droves, it often comes as a pleasant surprise to read about innovatation and opportunities arising from there, despite the fact that there are several.

As Goran Jungvirth/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of February, 2019, the winner in the category of best project idea at the first Bjelovar Startup 2018 competition confirmed to Poslovni Dnevnik that the prototype of their product is ready, and that it has attracted the interest of people from all over the world.

"We've already had over twenty queries, and our partners from Hungary have just visited us. The whole world is interested in our product,'' said Vedran Presečki from Ferrodus d.o.o., the creator of a non-motorised running belt with a ferrofluid brake.

His company has been in existence since back in 2013 and produces fitness equipment which is then exported to many countries across the world, not only to other European countries such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, and France, but further afield and across the Atlantic, all the way to the United States.

Otherwise, this Bjelovar-made product is the very first non-motorised running beld with a ferrofluid brake in the entire world. Despite that fact which is already impressive enough, Ferrodus' innovative Vedran Presečki plans to conquer the whole world with this new invention.

"The fitness industry is continuing to grow steadily. Our "Predator Hunt" running belt is the first in the world which uses ferrofluid technology, and it's unique owing to that. Running on it is natural, it's as if you were running on an embankment. Existing running belts (such as common treadmills) don't boast that natural resistance and don't allow for the alteration of running intensity like our belt does,'' stated a rightfully proud Presečki for Poslovni Dnevnik upon describing the uniqueness of this Bjelovar-made product.

After applying this technology to the running belt, Presečki is planning to extend it yet further, to other fitness related products such as bicycles and the like.

To brieflt recall, Presečki won last year's Bjelovar-based competition, which gained him a very welcome 100,000 kuna cash. This year, that same competition will open once again for startups that are working to produce innovations in the area of ​​Bjelovar.

Presečki told Poslovni Dnevnik that his award helped him greatly in terms of product development, especially in speeding up the development of prototypes, which is of crucial importance for the overcoming of potential competitors who came up with the same idea.

"We accelerated and definitely managed to get a one-year head start owing to this award, because we're a small company," he noted.

But Presečki emphasised the fact that his prize meant more than just money because it meant recognition and brought about great enthusiasm for his team.

"That was a great incentive for us," he said.

The Bjelovar company exports 90 percent of its products and currently has just three employees, but it will need a lot more man power when launching its totally unique running belt production.

"We have a recruitment plan for when the product goes to the market. We'll have to substantially reorganise the business,'' Presečki stated, for whom, despite gaining some truly invaluable business experience, the real work is yet to come.

Make sure to stay up to date with Croatian companies, products and services, doing business in Croatia and much more by following our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages.

 

Click here for the original article by Goran Jungvirth for Poslovni Dnevnik

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Croatian Production Company Takes Over Brickyard, Saves Fifty Employees

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 24th of January, 2019, at this stage, the Croatian production company Dilj d.o.o. is set to invest significant resources in the overhaul of the plant, and the plan is to put additional resources in the next phase to raise and expand the capacity of their brick factory.

This Vinkovci-based Croatian production company is a manufacturer of brick, tile, grout and special roof elements, which exports 70 percent of its production to both European and non-European markets. Dilj d.o.o. rescued a small brick factory from Našice, which was in the process of going into liquidation. In the very process of bankruptcy, the move saw it successfully renew its production.

In addition to saving production, they saved fifty grateful employees from certain job losses, which would have meant that nearly fifty families would have been left without income. The director of Dilja d.o.o. Dražen Ivezić recalls that the Slavko IGM Našice brick factory went into bankruptcy at the end of 2014 due to problems that were the result of the crisis, which was felt the most by the construction sector, and as material producers, they were hit hard.

As Glas Slavonije writes, at the time of bankruptcy, about fifty workers were employed at the plant, manufacturing a production line of about fifty million units of normal sized and more than ten million block bricks.

The Croatian production company asked the bankruptcy trustee to take over the factory, hire the current workers and continue on with production, and got approval from the creditor council for that step.

''On May the 18th, 2015, we signed a lease contract and continued production. After less than a month and a half, as soon as July the 1st, production continued and everything went smoothly.

Production continued over the next three years, and at the end of last year, Dilj d.o.o. proposed to the bankruptcy trustee and the creditor council to complete the bankruptcy proceedings with the creditor settlement and to take over Slavonia's IGM. After the creditors accepted the bankruptcy plan, in late 2018 Slavonia IGM formally went bankrupt, meaning the preservation of production with a long tradition, as well as the preservation of jobs in the processing industry in Slavonia, which is of particular significance,'' stated Dražen Ivezić, the director of the largest tile factory in the Republic of Croatia with a 95-year-long line tradition of production, unbroken even during various wars.

He added that after the winter renovation phase, the plan for Slavonia's IGM is to be at full capacity by the end of this year, and they are planning to sell everything they produce.

Stay up to date with everything you need to know about doing business in Croatia, the economy, the job situation and the investment climate by following our dedicated business page.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Robotics in Croatia: Osijek Startup Has First Croatian Industrial Robot

Robotics in Croatia is a growing trend, with the constant advancement of technology and innovation, Croatia is putting both feet forward when it comes to developing not only robots, but knowledge.

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 13th of December, 2018, one Osijek-based startup has successfully developed an autonomous robotic platform for cargo transfer and has since presented it to some major global players, names including Orbico, Atlantic and Tokić are now testing it.

The Osijek startup, Gideon Brothers, has thus developed the first Croatian industrial robot. What it involves is an autonomous robotic platform for cargo transport, within the scope of the ''warehouse of the future'' that is increasingly being used by the likes of Amazon and Alibaba, as well as numerous other major logistics and merchants.

It doesn't have a name, at least not for now, but the Croatian autonomous ''robo-warehouse'' has an enviable performance. It can work properly without interruption for 24 hours per day, every day of the year. Its battery allows it to withstand a shift of six hours per piece, and then when the discharged battery is replaced with full one, and the job can continue. It's also fast.

The new step forward in robotics in Croatia, which is also miracle of high technology in itelf, was developed by a team of five doctors of science and 26 experts in the field of hardware and software in Croatia. The robo-warehouse is also a very attractive business product. In less than two years since its inception, this Osijek startup has developed technology which is ten times cheaper and more powerful in collecting its environmental data than the type which is currently the most widely used - the LIDAR driving system.

One example of this are the systems used by Tesla motors in their cars and trucks. Gideon has upgraded LIDAR with its own solution that combines stereo cameras and artificial intelligence (deep learning).

When asked whether the robot has already been seen by some of the biggest global players, such as Amazon and Alibaba, Milan Račić, the co-founder and director of development of Gideon Brothers didn't want to reveal any specific names, while emphasising that they have indeed presented their product "to some of the world's biggest players".

What has been very openly confirmed is that the Osijek startup will target both small and medium-sized companies on a global scale with its product.

"Such robots enable small and medium-sized companies to boost their efficiency and come up to the scale of the same level of competitiveness in transport and logistics which only some of the biggest international companies currently have. Of course, the biggest players are aware of this and they're actively following this technology," Račić says.

Three companies, operating in more than thirty countries and having a massive annual income of over three billion euro, are the first buyers, more specifically, they're the first commercial reference of Gideon's robo-warehouse, which is a major boost not only to this startup in particular but to robotics in Croatia as a whole.

The use of various robotics in Croatia is on the up, and Milan Račić says their product will provide a competitive advantage for Croatian companies and will continue to transform them. Mladen Pejković, senior executive of the Atlantic Group, says that digital transformation is considered an important element for future competitiveness. "That's why we're very excited about the pilot project with Gideon Brothers in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics in our logistics operations," noted Pejković.

"The pace of change will only accelerate in the future, and our partnership with Gideon Brothers will give us tools in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics that will help shape that future," stated Branko Roglić.

Ivan Gadže of the large company Tokić said that in parallel with engaging the best people to help them realise plans to spread to other EU markets, they want to provide their employees with the very best tools to help them achieve this.

"Strategic cooperation with Gideon Brothers is seen as an opportunity to introduce smart automation into our business and we reiterate the success we've achieved in Croatia on the international scene," said Gadže.

Matija Kopić, co-founder and CEO of Gideon Brothers, revealed that along with Milan Račić, his new startup, Gideon Brothers has three other co-founders who have helped significantly in the development of the first Croatian industrial robot. One of those individuals is Josip Cesić, he is one of the authors of the most successful algorithms in the world for simultaneous localisation and mapping, which is based on stereo cameras.

Then comes Edin Kočo, who led in the design and production of robo-warehouse, and had previously designed and manufactured robots for inspection in nuclear power plants. Last but by no means least, the fifth co-founder of Gideon Brothers is Kruno Stražanac, who is a big data expert, extremely knowledgeable in data analysis and technical support.

Kopić stated that he is lucky to live in such an incredible age, because Gideon Brothers has managed to accomplish something that many of the previous theoreticians of robotics could have only dreamed of.

He points out that this success is a result of very strong support from both Croatian and foreign investors. "The support of our investors and clients confirms our conviction that autonomous robots equipped with visual perception will deeply and positively change our society," added Kopić.

In just two years, the Croatian startup Gideon Brothers underwent two rounds of investment. It received 16.3 million kuna or 2.2 million euro in investment from 21 investors.

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

 

Click here for the original article by Bernard Ivezic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Monday, 10 December 2018

Croatian Dome Producers Export to Finland, Czech Republic, Japan

As Novac.hr/Jasmina Trstenjak writes on the 9th of December, 2018, two Croatian dome producers have managed to conquer the often overlooked world of domes. Yes, domes. From very humble beginnings, they now export their products to countries including Finland, the Czech Republic, and even Japan.

ever noticed that most large events nowadays use some type of dome shaped structures, and not tents? If you've not paid attention to that, you're probably wondering what domes we're talking about. You know those structures that look a bit like oddly shaped balloons? You may have noticed them at Advent in Zagreb or at some concert. Well, they're the domes in question.

Specifically, those currently being used at Advent in Zagreb, eight of them to be more precise, are original domestic products, made by Croatian dome producers. It may come as a surprise, but Croatia boasts one of a dozen serious dome producers in the whole of Europe, and this type of typically entirely overlooked genius exists in a form which allows for easy adaptation to all roles and different event-like circumstances. These domes, as adaptable as they are, can play the role of a concert roof, a bar, an advent stand, and they can also be used for exhibitions at fairs or for glamping among other similar things.

Behind the innovative and interesting product stands the Croatian dome producers, more specifically their company - Domes (Kupole) better than a tent, and the story of the company's name is a short and rather charming one. Marko Matošić and Jakša Borić, the two Croatian dome producers, say that the company should have just been called Domes (Kupole), but they received a rejection to that name, a rather common occurrence on the long and ridiculous road of opening any type of company in Croatia. As they told Novac.hr, they sat across the street from the Commercial Court itself upon rejection and had to quickly think of a new name.

"We wondered what we were, actually, and we concluded that we were better than the tent, and so, that's the name. We figured it sounded a bit stupid and ungainly, but I'm convinced that out of the ten people who noticed it, at least four of them went on Google to search for what it is,'' joked Borić, who ended up as one of two Croatian dome producers from the advertising industry, while Matošić came from the club scene.

That's probably not too far from the truth because being unusual and unique isn't a bad tactic, and both of those words could easily be used to describe their domes. As they describe themselves on their web site, "the geodesic dome is the most stable structure ever imagined, at the same time, the most moderate and the strongest." And definitely better than a tent!

Domes like these are a luxury niche on an otherwise big marketplace, and it isn't that much of a cheap business. There is definitely a future for it despite any obstacles, however, as over the last couple of years, these domes have managed to become the "industry standard".

It's interesting to know just how the two succeeded in recognising the value of that niche at the right time, how they entered into it, how much capital they needed, and are they able to make a real living from it all.

"We worked on a festival at Bundek (popular park in Zagreb), where a dance group from Israel had a gig, they used a similar construction as part of the scenography, but it was made from wood. That's when we saw it for the first time.

The gig they had before coming to Zagreb was somewhere far away and they needed to bring that construction to Croatia, which cost a lot. Their technical director then suggested that he would give us a draft for us to make it [a dome] for them in Zagreb because it would be cheaper than to obtain one from far away. We did this and agreed to it. It was a construction made of wooden sticks that had to be cut and then tied together. But on the day of the show, it started to rain, so we had to cover it up and wrap that structure with the foil. It looked awful, but it worked. They danced and didn't get soaked by the rain, we stood at the side, watched them dancing and that structure, and concluded that it would be nice when done as a type of a tent,'' Borić recounts.

They began to explore and discover that some people are already engaged such business in a pretty serious manner. Then the game started, Matošić added, in which he was initially helped by the knowledge of a now retired professor from the Zagreb Faculty of Civil Engineering, Zvonimir Žagar, who is a great fan of geodesic domes. He helped them with advice on the first dome, as well as the first prototype. At that time, they did not have nine employees or their own designer like they have today, and they were helped by the professor, and the first dome, named 3v14, left the confines of ideas on paper and became a reality back in 2008.

"The initial investment was about 40,000 kuna, that was all we had and spent it all on the prototype, but that's completely irrelevant in this type of business. That was money we literally took and then threw out of the window. We used it all up on making mistakes, to figure out how it all works. We didn't get any loans, but we made the first dome, we rented out it for a while, and we did it all with great abdication. We didn't pay out any wages, we just always invested in new products. The more there were, the more we made, and then we started to hire the first people. We've grown organically, bit by bit,'' explains Borić.

Matošić added that all of that work was put to good use at the Gričevanje festival during the advent period back in 2011, when Advent in Zagreb was far from developed, which was organised in Zagreb's Upper Town (Gornji Grad) to promote their product. They wanted the main star to be the dome, of course.

"We invested a huge amount, set three domes up, got exhausted and frozen, but people saw the domes. They'd heard of them. Then we got our first clients,'' says Matošić.

"In fact, every gig in which our products appear is worth more than 100 ads, because our customers don't bother with it unless they've seen and felt what it's all about. Nobody is going to spend one hundred thousand kuna because they've seen a picture of a dome,'' adds Borić.

Up until this very day, these two Croatian dome producers have continued to develop new domes of varying dimensions which can be used for a variety of purposes.

One of them on offer is the 2v5 bar, a semi-open dome of 18 square metres with a bar, total length of 17.5 metres, and a dome that can easily be turned into a stage, a bar, a store... The Croatian company have specific domes on offer for various festivals, both the corporate and promotional type, and in its portfolio today, there are more than 20 in different sizes of five, seven, nine, twelve and fourteen metres.

Their selling prices vary depending on the model: some are 50,000 kuna, some 60,000, some are 250,000, some are 280,000. Rent, however, is invoiced per term, and one term consists of four days: from five thousand to thirty thousand kuna, depending also on the dome model in question.

The monthly costs for the Croatian dome producers are extremely high, usually above 100,000 kuna, but they are okay, although sometimes they themselves admit things can be a bit tight. They live well, and their top priority is to reinvest everything they make back into the company to continue on its already very successful path.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for more on Croatian companies, products and services, as well as info on the business and investment climate in Croatia.

 

Click here for the original article by Jasmina Trstenjak for Novac.hr/Jutarnji

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Second Best in European Union: Croatia Produced 35% More Wine This Year

Croatia is the second best in the European Union when it comes to wine production for 2018. The country produced as much as 35 percent more wine, with only Slovenia producing more in the whole of the EU.

As Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 14th of November, 2018, European Commission (EC) experts have pointed out the fact that this year, faith in the wine sector has been restored after the climate crises that caused enormous concern in the past. Wine production will be be 22 percent more than it was back in 2017, and 5 percent more than the average over a five year period.

Croatia will have production of 777,000 hectoliters of wine this year, which is 35 percent more than last year, but also 23 percent less than the five-year average. The European Commission's estimate is the latest report that strongly suggests that this year, wine production in the EU as a whole will be exceptionally good in comparison to 2017, when it dropped in most countries.

The Commission forecasts that the European Union will have production of 175.6 million hectoliters, which is a significant 22.1 percent more than in 2017, and 5.1 percent more than the five-year average. Croatia is, in regard to those estimates, among the countries to have the most growth in this sector in comparison to 2017. Growth in production from Croatia has been surpassed only by neighbouring Slovenia, with an impressive 57 percent growth.

The analysis explains, as mentioned, that this year has returned faith in the wine sector after the recent production drop which was owing mainly to climatic changes, and production was at record low levels. Although this year there were still some significant climatic changes, especially in Northern Europe with some heavy droughts over summer which even saw the United Kingdom turn from green to brown, all of this had a positive impact on the production of grapes and the extremely good quality of the wine, the experts from the European Union explain.

They note that climate change, as well as disease as a ''complementary'' element in grape production due to frequent rains, frosts, droughts and the like, will have a great impact on the future as well. For this reason, the winemakers will have to apply new technologies and knowledge in grape and wine production, as was highlighted in the analysis.

The fact that Croatia will have an excellent level of wine production this year will be confirmed by some of the country's respected and leading winemakers.

"Compared with last year's grape harvest, the amount of grapes is larger, with a bit more yield. As for wine quality, we expect this year to be the highest,'' said Martina Krauthaker Grgić, from the Krauthaker winery. Sebastian Tomić from the Tomić winery says that in 2018, there was no attack of disease on the grapes.

"I dare say that this is a good year with regard to quality and quantity, that is, the quantity is better by 30 percent," noted Tomić.

"This year was really ideal, better than last year. There was no disease, the weather conditions were remarkable. The grape quality is excellent and we expect outstanding wines, balanced, mineral and full bodied,'' says winemaker Josip Franković.

"This year's vintage was excellent both in terms of quality and quantity, and the first wine from PZ Putniković can be expected on the market in March," says Ana Barać of PZ Putniković.

Want to keep up with more information on Croatian wine? Make sure to follow our lifestyle and Total Croatia Wine pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz on Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Podravka Delivers Record Results Despite Agrokor's Problems

When Marin Pucar took over Podravka back in February last year, he comically stated, "Once you go Podravka, you're always Podravka!"

As Marina Sunjerga/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of November, 2018, Pucar experienced returning to the large domestic food company, at which he worked for twelve years, very emotionally. Pucar also has many goals and plans set up for the huge company to aim for.

Pucar's big plans for Podravka were soon realised because the Koprivnica-based food company achieved net operating profits of a massive 186 million kuna during the first nine months of 2018, which is the best result and the highest operating profit in Podravka's long history. These sparkling financial results saw employee salaries increase by 1000 kuna and the company get closer to reaching its goal of being a food business consolidator in Croatia, these praiseworthy achievements brought Pucar to his very well-deserved nomination for businessman of the year for 2018.

It is also important to point out his engagement in resolving the crisis in Agrokor from his position as the president of the association of Agrokor's suppliers, which acted uniquely to protect the interests of domestic companies.

''Podravka is a very good company'', said Pucar when he came to the head of the company, but added that it can and should be better because Podravka is much more than just its numerous brands and products.

In just a year and a half of his mandate, Marin Pucar has achieved excellent results with his team. He announced Vegeta's strong development, involving a wide range of products. In his vision and strategy, Vegeta will be branded completely with the culinary field, and all kinds of dishes.

''That's the aim, if we succeed, and we believe that we will,'' Pucar said in an interview for Večernji list.

''We'll secure Vegeta for another hundred years, and add new, additional value for Podravka,'' added Pucar.

Among the priorities, Pucar also emphasised the improvement of the rights and the material conditions of employees as the company's most valuable resource. ''Without satisfied workers, there can be no successful company,'' Pucar said. Namely, The salaries of the lowest paid employees in Podravka will increase by about 1000 kuna a month, which is one of the moves other entrepreneurs must follow if they truly want to retain quality workers.

The lowest wage in Podravka now amounts to 4,000 kuna per month. Through a collective contract, Podravka's employees have been granted a jubilee reward, and the company will pay them 1000 kuna per year for voluntary pension savings, which will eventually provide them with larger pensions when they retire. One of the goals that Pucar has set in front of him is, as stated, to position Podravka as a consolidator for the food industry, as well as the generator of the development of domestic agricultural production.

Accordingly, the company is expanding its cooperation with subcontractors and domestic OPGs to ensure that by the year 2022, its global brands such as Vegeta are secure. To achieve this goal requires a two to three year investment cycle, but the capacities needed by Podravka are sufficient to trigger a serious segment of Croatian agriculture. Part of the financing of these investments was secured by the company from EU funds.

Podravka itself has an impressive investment potential of around 200 million euro, so new acquisitions could realistically be expected. The company's presence on numerous traditional markets such as that of Poland, Hungary, and Russia, is set to increase. Pucar also played an important role in the rehabilitation of the formerly ailing Agrokor Group from the position of the president of the Association of Agrokor's suppliers.

The challenge was to protect and preserve the rights and interests of Agrokor's suppliers, while at the same time not compromise the position of Agrokor, and Agrokor's giant Konzum as the largest domestic retail chain. Unlike various other companies, Podravka didn't stop its deliveries to the then suffering Konzum, thereby confirming its responsibility for the continuation of Konzum's operations and the preservation of jobs.

The successful running of this extremely complex process resulted in the stabilisation of Agrokor's operations, a large part of the Croatian economy, and the preservation of Agrokor's supplier stability.

Otherwise, Pucar has spent most of his career in the food industry. He started his professional career at Gavrilović back in 2001, and one year later, he was in Podravka's meat industry, Danica, where he was the director of sales, marketing and development. He quickly moved to Podravka's high position of director for the Croatian market, and from 2008 to 2012, he was a member of the management of the company.

After five years with Podravka, he went to Zvečevo, which he led before returning as Podravka's main man.

Want to keep up with more news like this from Croatia? Make sure to follow our business page.

 

Click here for the original article by Marina Sunjerga/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Croatian Company Receives Investment from Business Angels

One Croatian company receives the nod of approval and an enviable cash injection from some of Croatia's most prominent business angels who believe in their potential for enormous success.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 10th of November, 2018, since the very launch of the game, more than 1,600 copies have been sold, and their income, as they state from this Croatian company, is enough to cover salaries, programs and servers. Given that the game is still at an early stage, they say they didn't actually expect all that much from it initially.

Eleven members of the Croatian Business Angels Network - CRANE, provided the Jastrebarsko gaming studio Hyperion with the largest investment by number of members so far. They decided to invest in the launch of a young, three-member team who independently released a survival computer game called Journey of Life just a few months ago. During that period, the game has earned more than 250,000 kuna in revenue.

The founder of the startup is 22-year-old Adriano Žeželić, Thomas Lesniowski from Germany, and Siddhante Nangla from India, and the project was presented at the CRANE Startup, which held at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management on Wednesday. Investors have estimated the value of this Croatian company to be 500,000 euro, and the business angels who have invested will receive somewhat less than 20 percent of the newly established company, which has its seat in London.

CRANE President Davorin Štetner was first invested in the startup, followed by Hrvoje Prpić, then Aljoša Domijan, Zoran Miliš, Dennis Rukavina, Zvonimir Orešar, Denis Matijević, and Nikola Serdar.

Žeželic contacted President Davorin Štetner on the suggestion of a friend who claimed he left a positive impression on him, and after that, the young author of the game from Jastrebarsko, who is an electrical technician by profession, had the chance to present the project to others.

"I like to see when somebody is able to launch such a demanding thing without getting any help, so I think that now, with the help of the money and the advice from experienced business angels, Adriano will succeed in his ambitious plans," said Štetner.

Hrvoje Prpić, the lead investor, spoke with Roman Ribarić from Croteam on Journey of Life's potential and CRANE's decision to investigate the market before actually investing anything. From the previously released game, Croteam raised as much as 16 million euro, Prpić concluded that Hyperion's Journey of Life study could also bring great success. Prpić said that the long-term investment aim of the business angels is to encourage Hyperion to continue to release games in order to become even more significant.

"As a passionate gamer who has always been in love with computers, I started planning the 2016 project, and I started with its actual realisation in October 2017. That year, I decided to realise my dream and founded the Hyperion Studio and released the game at the beginning of May," Žeželić warmly recalled.

"We got some great support from players around the world that helped us keep the project going. We communicate daily with people who join our group and share new things with them. The support of experienced business people is of great importance and I'm looking forward to working with CRANE because I believe that with some business advice, money, and assistance in other segments, Hyperion Studio can become an international name in the gaming industry,'' stated the Croatian company's young founder.

The game is currently available only for personal computers, but mobile versions are being discussed and planned, and they will hopefully be on the market during the second half of next year.

Want to keep up with more news on Croatian companies, investment and more? Make sure to follow our business and our Made in Croatia pages.

 

Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

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