Monday, 6 September 2021

Zagreb Company Take Natural Juice Exceeds Expected Results

September the 6th, 2021 - The Zagreb company Take Natural Juice started out as a concept store after a family decided to adopt a more healthy way of life a decade ago. It has since caught the interest of many and exceeded its previously expected results.

As Ivan Tominac/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, health, they say, is the greatest wealth one can have, and nutrition is an important part of our daily lives that allows us to have better health and an easier time in general, both physically and mentally.

The Zagreb company Take Natural Juice is also producing a healthier alternative to fruit juices, and a conversation with the owner Sanja Dajak Matanovic revealed the fact that everything started out with a family that deciced to switch to a more healthy lifestyle more than ten years ago.

It started with the opening of a concept store with a professional kitchen in which these juices were produced, and after receiving good feedback from their customers, the whole concept took on new proportions and became a business that the whole family is very proud of.

Health and improving the quality of life were, therefore, the main motives for starting the business behind the Zagreb company Take Natural Juice.

“We offer cold-pressed juices without the addition of sugar, artificial sweeteners, water, colour enhancers, preservatives and a kind of chemistry in general. We currently offer six types of standardised cold-pressed juices (fresh and short-term pasteurised), two types of lemonades, three types of wellness shooters and four types of smoothies,'' explained Dajak Matanovic.

Given that this business story exceeded their expected results, investments were a logical sequence of activities, and although they had inquiries about the sale of shares in the company, nothing like that is in their focus at the moment. An investment of 10,000 euros was spent on equipping a professional kitchen, as well as on obtaining basic professional furniture and machinery. According to Dajak Matanovic, the plan is to withdraw funds from EU funds in the next step.

“Our juices are all cold pressed from first class vegetables and fruits and retain up to 25 percent of their fiber. Our fresh juices have a shelf life of five days, which is achieved by perfect microbiology and extreme caution and hygienic perfectionism in the production process. The pasteurised juices are processed by the method of fast pasteurisation (HTST) which allows a shelf life of up to two months, depending on the glass or plastic packaging, but the juices still belong to the fresh product category,'' said the owner of the Zagreb company Take Natural Juice.

All of the conditions that need to be met in order for their juices to be called healthy are, as he pointed out, the challenges they face in production. Each step in production takes months of reading, researching and searching for options for machines and production means. While difficult, they're successfully coping with this.

Most of their raw materials come from domestic producers and distributors, but depending on the season and what is available, they sometimes do go beyond the borders of Croatia to get their hands on good raw materials.

“There's no small supplier or family farm that could supply us with a sufficient amount of necessary raw materials all year round, but we have a successful and long cooperation with some of them. Organic chokeberry, for example, comes from Croatia all year round, it's more or less the same for apples too, but the origin of the oranges we use depends on the season, and for example, pineapple, ginger and similar foods, which aren't grown in our climate, are regularly imported.

We use first class vegetables and fruits in our production, and any visible damage to any of it is physically removed. Only completely healthy foods enter the juices,'' added Dajak Matanovic.

Their entire production is currently located in Zagreb, in the western part of the city, and their production facilities extend in size to 120 square metres. They have no stocks or long-term storage, they're very flexible and they have adapted their team to that, which varies from 5 to 10 people per shift, depending on the size of their orders.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Zagreb Company Arosa Grande Unaffected by Pandemic, Earthquakes

September the 2nd, 2021 - The Zagreb company Arosa Grande, which specialises in the design and manufacturing of prefabricated (prefab) buildings, hasn't faced any serious issues as a result of the pandemic, the epidemiological measures or even the earthquakes which struck back in 2020, a rise in iron prices has been and continues to be a thorn in their side.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, Zoran Krstovski, Arosa Grande's director, explained that about 40-50 percent of the total construction costs of their facilities fall on galvanised pipes, which have become the most expensive of all the materials they require.

"Last year, the price of galvanised pipes, which are six cm in diameter and which we mostly use, was 5.7 kuna per kilogram, and today it costs more than 17 kuna. This has made our business very difficult because it's now hard to estimate what the total investment costs will actually turn out to be.

We used to make offers that were valid for one month, and now those offers have been reduced to a mere seven days. In addition, in order to avoid unwanted situations and costs with clients, we accept jobs and sign contracts only for those projects that we can implement with the material we currently have in stock,'' said Krstovski. He hopes that the price of iron will stabilise eventually and come back down to a more realistic level, because the current situation is causing very serious problems in business operations and planning for many companies, whether they sell iron or buy it.

The value of a project carried out by the Zagreb company Arosa Grande pusually depends on the customer's own individual requirements, and so far, their largest individual job has come with the enormous price tag of 970,000 euros, while one project amounting to 1.3 million kuna is currently under construction.

As Ivan Djodj, the owner and founder of the company explained, when he founded the Zagreb company Arosa Grande way back in 2008, his first idea was to create products that would help farmers protect their hay bales from rotting under different weather conditions.

He therefore wanted to devise something that would be airy enough to preserve the quality of the hay, and yet firm enough and long-lasting to be able to withstand years of sun, wind, rain, and snow. With that, Arosa Grande's very best-selling and most sought-after product was created - a tunnel canopy for hay.

"A simple calculation says that farmers who store their hay bales in such facilities annually save about 150 euros per head on livestock feed because the food retains many nutrients that would otherwise disappear. There's also an ecological aspect to it. The usual way of covering a roll of hay with nylon is very harmful to the environment. The foil with which the bales were covered is decomposed by the wind and rain. Torn pieces of plastic foil fly everywhere, and a good amount of those pieces of plastic would end up plowed up in the fields.

As is well known, nylon takes more than one hundred years to break down and decompose, so the plastic plowed into the soil slowly releases toxic chemicals, which also reach rivers, lakes and the sea. The soil is then no longer suitable for organic farming and due to the cessation of oxygen flow, which makes it become infertile. During the decomposition process itself, microscopic poisonous particles are formed which then eventually penetrate into the food chain,'' explains Djodj.

Very quickly, the Zagreb company Arosa Grande expanded its range of products to canopies for storing and drying wood, and then came other products - multi-purpose warehouses for storing agricultural machinery, raw materials, work machines, devices, vehicles and more, and then barns for livestock and other animals.

As Krstovski pointed out, to date, they have designed and installed more than 1,000 facilities across Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Arosa Grande has its own design and commercial, while everything else is done through subcontractors. This is reflected in the fact that they have two to three employees and about 30 subcontractors, with their annual revenue being slightly less than 10 million kuna in total.

For more, make sure to follow our dedicated business section.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Zagreb Company Becoming Leading Regional Service Centre for Metal Cutting

August the 20th, 2021 - One Zagreb company has been busy transforming its business model and incorporating new technology, putting them on the path to becoming a regional leader in their segment.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the Zagreb metallurgical-technological company Laser Inženjering (Engineering), which primarily deals with laser metal cutting, is currently in the process of transforming its business model and integrating 4.0 technology, which should enable them to become the leading regional innovative service centre for metal cutting and machining by 2025.

As Andjelko Kascel, the owner and director of this Zagreb company explained, as the company is branded, their goal is to form the first service centre with all the cutting technologies that are known and used across the rest of the world.

“As the demand for other metal cutting technologies grew, we also trained in stages for pipe cutting, water jet cutting, plasma cutting and autogenous cutting. In addition to specialising in providing metal cutting services, we've introduced complementary technologies and processing services such as metal bending, welding, the fabrication of metal structures and assemblies and metal protection, to provide our customers with a more complete service and a more competitive price,'' explained Kascel, whose company is celebrating seven years of doing business.

He added that despite strong competition, both from Croatian and foreign companies, and an unfavourable economic environment and difficulties in finding suitable employee profiles, they've maintained a leading market share in the provision of metal cutting services here in the Republic of Croatia. According to him, this is now the impetus for this Zagreb company to realise their leading position in other processing technologies and to position themselves more strongly in the European Union.

"We're orienting our business to the EU's western market, which sets higher business standards and separates us from the competition. Although the coronavirus pandemic has alleviated this issue a bit, the lack of skilled labour is still a big problem for enterprises, and it remains so for us, as we currently have 43 workers. This challenge is a reflection of the continued disregard for strategic priorities at the state, economy and education levels. Failure to deal with all this has accelerated the emigration of able-bodied people to better and safer employment positions abroad. The solution lies in structural reforms that will enable stable economic growth that will affect the demand for quality labour and economic migrants will begin to return to Croatia,'' said Kascel, adding that this problem is forcing them to take new steps.

"When investing in new technology without an adequate skilled workforce, productivity isn't expected and the results are only a little better than the previous ones. That said, if we have large investments and an initial higher cost, then we have the effect of compensatory feedback. That's why we have a strategic plan to establish an education centre and train our own staff,'' this Zagreb company director explained.

Kascel owned a business in Austria for many years, and then he decided to try his hand in Croatia as well. He recalls that in starting a business here, challenges arose that aren't standard in the west.

“This refers to bureaucratic hurdles and the perception of the majority of the public that an entrepreneur starts a business because he has the protection of local policy, bankers, inspections… But my key challenges involved providing adequate start-up capital for space, machinery and equipment, selecting and recruiting experienced staff from the metal industry, allocating raw material suppliers and gaining our first customers. There's also the constant management of risks and changes,'' explained Andjelko Kascel.

He is particularly bothered by the perception in the west that we're a country of "bricks, concrete and tourism", which affects the attitude that foreign partners and financiers have towards entrepreneurs and investments in the Republic of Croatia.

"It's very difficult to fight for the position of a serious supplier or partner, so we're left to ourselves. We know that the banks are foreign-owned, and any financing in production is difficult. Although we have the support of EU funds, so people's perceptions of us have improved a bit, but it's still difficult to secure favourable capital for production,'' concluded Kascel.

For more, follow our business section.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Zagreb Company Pri Suncu Delights Lovers of Traditional Ice Cream

July the 23rd, 2021 - The Zagreb company Pri Suncu is definitely a hit among all those engaged in a constant and often losing battle with a sweet tooth. This father and daughter team are all about Italian ice cream, sorbet and more.

As Ivan Tominac/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Nina and Mario Saric are a father and daughter team whose family business, the Zagreb company Pri Suncu, has firmly won over all the palates of Croatian confectionery lovers, and the focus of their business story is the production of original Italian ice cream. It all started while Nina was still in her teens.

She learned about the traditional way of preparing and producing the globally adored Italian type of ice cream, and her urge was so strong that after finishing her food technology studies, she decided to start a business with her father, and that's how the Zagreb company Pri Suncu came to be.

“About three years ago, when we started intensively preparing to start a business, a common realisation grew in us that told us that what we want to do is be authentic and ultimately produce and offer people a product about which they'll say: That’s it! Establishing a new philosophy and raising people's awareness of ''real'' original Italian ice cream, even if they call it ''craft ice cream'' is our business mission,'' said Nina's father and one of the co-founders of the Zagreb company Pri Suncu, Mario Saric

Passion and motivation were the key ingredients, and in order to bridge the whole path between which leads to success, they invested around one million kuna. In addition to their own funds, the CES self-employment support and a micro investment loan from HAMAG BICRO helped them greatly in getting their business up on its feet.

That amount helped them enter the market with even more confidence, and with a well-researched market today, they're ready to say what their main advantage is.

"The production and sale of ice cream is growing from year to year, but the vast majority of ice cream produced is industrial, which can't be produced with the technology and ingredients that produce good craft ice cream. We opted for the manual production of ice cream, during which we make the ice cream base ourselves, and then add other ingredients to it, depending on the flavours of the ice cream. As such, our ice cream has a much stronger flavour intensity and a creamier texture which also gives a lighter feeling after consumption. All of our milk flavours (except tiramisu) are gluten-free and egg-free, while all of our fruit sorbets are intended for a vegan diet, because they're produced on the basis of water,'' added Nina.

The inscriptions ''craft'', ''artisan'' or ''gelato artigianale'' on industrially produced ice cream mean nothing but are merely an enticing PR message to insufficiently educated customers. According to the pair, real ice cream is a miniature niche and as such represents an opportunity, but also a risk that has a focus placed on looking for professional staff.

''Here on the Croatian labour market, at least when it comes to ice cream, confectioners trained to prepare ice cream in the classic industrial way predominate, which is an important problem when it comes to employment in production. In addition, the sale of ice cream in Croatia has a strong seasonal impact, so for a small company like ours it doesn't matter whether we produce it in the winter or summer.

Finally, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought additional uncertainty and oscillations to the market, making it difficult to plan for production volumes. For these reasons, we've decided to employ people in production according to our current needs, mostly for a certain period of time, until the market conditions allow us a different approach to this key premise for the development of any business,'' explained owners of the Zagreb company Pri Suncu.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Clutch Lists Zagreb Company Ingemark Among 100 Fastest Growing

June the 16th, 2021 - When it comes to innovative Croatian companies being noticed on a global scale, the list is only continuing to grow and provide a spring in the step of certain sectors in the country. Clutch has recently listed the Zagreb company Ingemark among the 100 fastest growing.

As Novac writes, with more and more of the population being vaccinated against the novel coronavirus and the gradual relaxation of anti-epidemic measures, the economy also appears to be waking up, finally. According to the latest Eurostat data, Croatia's GDP in the first quarter of 2021 grew by 5.8 percent when compared to the previous quarter.

Last year, the year dominated by an unprecedented global public health crisis, was extremely challenging and impossible to predict for the entire economy, but only positive news came from the blossoming Croatian IT sector. The Zagreb company Ingemark, which deals with the development of custom software, has been listed by Clutch among the top 100 fastest growing.

Clutch, one of the world’s leading global B2B rating and review companies, highlights one hundred of the world’s fastest growing companies each year, as well as the top 100 companies with sustainable growth based on financial data. The Zagreb company Ingemark, which ended last year with impressive revenues of 14.3 million kuna, which is 6.4 million kuna more than back in pre-pandemic 2019, has rightfully been included. Viktor Matic, the director of Ingemark, was also more than satisfied with another success.

''We're flattered to have been placed on the list of the 100 fastest growing companies in the world. That means our engineers are doing a great job and I’m proud of that. The moves we've made over the past couple of years have focused on the development of Ingemark, organisational changes and a much more careful evaluation of projects before we take them over. We've completely changed our organisation and we're constantly evolving, so this inclusion in the top 100 companies is, in a way, a confirmation that we are on the right track, which I'm extremely proud of,'' stated Matic.

The companies on this list are mainly headquartered in the US, Australia and India. A smaller number, about 10 percent of the list, are companies with more than 1,000 employees, and most of them, more than 50 percent, are companies with less than 50 employees, including the Zagreb company Ingemark, which currently has 40 employees, but plans to increase that number.

''The indicative target is to reach 70 employees by the end of 2022. I think it's hard to plan for a longer period than that. With this intense growth in the number of employees, it is important to set up processes that will ensure that all employees know at all times what is expected of them and what they can expect from their colleagues. In that sense, defining the process is certainly one of our priorities, and as part of that, we recently certified the company according to ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 standards,'' said Matic.

For 2021, Clutch’s ranking of the 100 fastest-growing companies is based on their absolute revenue growth rate from 2019 to 2020, while the top 100 companies with sustainable growth are based on their absolute revenue growth rate from 2017 to 2020. With excellent business and an increase in employees, the Zagreb company Ingemark expects revenue growth of up to 25 million kuna by the end of this year.

Judging by the statement of Tajana Barancic, the longtime president of CISEx, who said back in February that the IT sector will grow by at least 10 percent this year, and its exports by 20 percent, more positive news from the Croatian IT sector is to be expected by the end of the year.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Zagreb Delt Papir Company's Products Present on Foreign Markets

May the 11th, 2021 - The Zagreb Delt Papir company did well over the last year as the coronavirus pandemic swept through Croatia, Europe and the rest of the world and we needed more... toilet paper.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes, the pandemic which struck during spring last year was a prime time for production for the Zagreb Delt Papir company, and it was necessary for them to work in three shifts at their Jankomir plant, because due to the general shortage of toilet paper throughout Europe, many turned to them to meet their increasing demands.

The Zagreb Delt Papir company sometimes had to reject requests for more of their products, but despite that, the whole of 2020 can be considered successful for this enterprise, not only by the fact that with revenues of 130 million kuna they approached the levels of their record year of pre-pandemic 2019, but also because of the fact that at the end of the year they started working on the conceptual design of their brand new Ola’la products.

Launched only relatively recently, a few years after their last hit, which was lemon-scented kitchen towels, the Zagreb Delt Papir company has marketed new types of rolls of paper towels and toilet paper.

“We started this story by deciding to make a roll of paper towels that is very tall, as tall as 27 centimetres, and the cellulose we use has much stronger absorbent properties and pronounced strength. We focused on gathering the experiences of our customers and designed a product tailored to every modern household - Ola’la Butler paper towels in three packaging variants. The product is for every household, regardless of whether the person spends very little time there or a lot (today a large number of people work from home),'' stated the directors and co-owners of the Zagreb Delt Papir company, Krunoslav Kisak and Alen Krajacic.

The Zagreb Delt Papir products also meet strict environmental certificates, since their so-called ''I’m green foil'' is made from 60 percent green polyethylene derived from sugar cane.

We're paying more and more attention to the materials, so we "wrapped" the entire professional segment in ''I'm green'' foil. In the production process, we recycle all recycled surpluses and reuse them in certain products,'' they explained from Delt Papir. The new paper, Ola’la Premium, is said to be made with new technology.

"We use super soft, but very durable cellulose that leaves a soft touch on the skin. We believe that there can be no room for compromise when it comes to personal hygiene because, as we've been witnessing for more than a year now, it's extremely closely related to health,'' the company's leaders noted.

With cellulose, as an unsustainable raw material in the production of a necessary item, things are becoming more difficult and more expensive.

''The prices of raw materials have been rising sharply for all raw materials, especially when it comes to paper and packaging (cardboard and foil), and accordingly, production prices are rising sharply. The predictions are that it will continue to grow, and we're following the trends with the hope that this disturbance on the market will slowly come back under control,'' they explained. Since they're innovating as a company, at the beginning of last summer they were able to adapt to the conditions of the pandemic and introduce a new product: protective masks, which were also in short supply on the market, even in the case of those produced in China.

"Yes, last year we decided to go with a new production segment practically overnight because we struggled with the purchase of protective masks for our employees. Today, we're present in large retail chains such as Lidl and Kaufland, and more recently on the shelves of Dm, and we also supply various distributors. The market struggle with cheaper Chinese goods is of course present, but given our certifications and Croatian production, we try to be competitive and continue with this segment because the demand for masks is actually increasing. So far, we've produced and sold more than ten million masks,'' stated Kisak and Krajacic.

The Zagreb Delt Papir company currently has 85 employees, with their number growing to 100 in the event of higher demand for their products. The company exports 53 percent of its production to 26 countries, to most of the EU and Switzerland, and their new markets are Finland, Iceland, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Zagreb Company Bajkmont Working with Mitsubishi, Hitachi...

March the 25th, 2021 - The Zagreb company Bajkmont is going from strength to strength in its expansion, having worked with enormous names such as Mitsubishi, Hitachi and more.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the European aviation consortium Airbus, Germany's BMW, the Japanese Mitsubishi and the French railways (SNCF) are just some of the big names and regular customers of the Zagreb company Bajkmont, which has just completed a European co-financed project to build its new factory in Rugvica.

As Miroslav Bajkovec, Deputy Director of the Zagreb company Bajmont pointed out, this family company has strategically focused its business on several sectors and on exports in order to maintain stability and business continuity.

"Such a business organisation enables stability and business continuity, because when one industry comes to a standstill, another one grows. For example, last year there was a decline in demand in the automotive and aerospace industries, but there was growth for railways, energy and environmental protection, and especially the IT industry for which the company is doing more and more work.

The company is no longer small, but it isn't too big either, so we're flexible and we can quickly adapt to the requirements demanded by our customers and the market conditions,'' said Bajkovec.

Although the construction sector is one of the Zagreb company Bajkmont's main customers, they're also focused as suppliers across several other industries: environmental protection, energy, petrochemicals, aerospace and automotive, railways, IT industry and logistics.

Although they've long been mainly focused on the Croatian market, over the last five years or so, a serious step has been made to foreign markets where, as they pointed out, Bajkmont has positioned itself as a renowned manufacturer of quality products with customers who have significantly larger orders than the company can currently accept. Their main export market is the European Union (EU), and individually they mostly export to France, Germany, Sweden, Austria and Italy.

"Over the last couple of years, we've been exporting to the USA, for example, attractive steel structures for museums in Washington and Los Angeles, and projects in Canada, Central America such as El Salvador, steel structures for geothermal power plants, and a fusion reactor in France - ITER, then to Qatar, Canada and Japan,'' explained Miroslav Bajkovec.

This impressive Croatian company has also delivered structures to a number of environmental and waste treatment plant projects for Japan’s huge companies Hitachi and Mitsubishi, and closer to home in Europe over in the United Kingdom, they worked on a major Buckinghamshire waste incinerator project.

The company also worked on waste management in France, for their regular customers in the segment of the production of technological equipment for waste sorting plants and structures for petrochemical plants.

“We're currently completing steel structures for the plants of another new waste sorting plant in Paris, and this is our second sorting plant in Paris out of a total of 11 in France. I would also mention the new Nestle Purina plant in the United States, the geothermal power plant in El Salvador, the stone processing plant in Sweden…

Here on the Croatian market, we're completing works on the production and assembly of the structure for the Pampas stadium in Osijek, and last year we performed the construction for the new terminal in the Port of Ploce,'' noted the deputy director of the Zagreb company Bajkmont.

Today, along with the founder's father, the company is run by his sons Miroslav and Ivan. Of the two employees, the company has grown to today's 150. Back in pre-pandemic 2019, they generated 70 million kuna in revenue, of which 65 percent was generated from abroad, and such a trend was maintained in the past year.

In order to remain competitive on the ever-demanding market, the company decided to invest in a new plant that should soon, in stages, start production. As Bajkovec himself explained, this is a project with a total value of 75 million kuna, of which they managed to withdraw 14.7 million kuna in grants from the European Regional Development Fund.

It regards a plant which will cover 15,000 square metres that will enable them to strengthen their overall production capacities, ensure better production technological capabilities and even more pronounced competitiveness on the global market.

For more on Croatian companies, follow our business section.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Zagreb Dok-Ing Begins Production in China, Expects Growth

March the 17th, 2021 - The Zagreb Dok-Ing company has expanded its production to as far away as China, and as such is expecting growth of above ten percent despite the ongoing economic woes plaguing the world.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, along with here at home in Europe and in the Middle East, the increasingly pronounced market for the strategic expansion of the Zagreb Dok-Ing company´s business is the vast continent of Asia. They have recently been present in South Korea, and it seems that they will soon enter the demanding Chinese market.

If the plans to expand into the Chinese market do end up materialising for this Croatian company, as an enormous challenge due to high demand, where the 'law' of large numbers reigns and where the economy is very much protected from the arrival of foreign investors, the upcoming period for this company owned by Vjekoslav Majetic will bring business growth with estimates of at least ten percent.

A preliminary agreement regarding the launch of demining robot production there for the Chinese Government and the Chinese Army can be said to have been reached, so the determinants of potential activities in China through the establishment of a joint venture with a Chinese partner are now known.

However, in order to establish cooperation and joint venture investment, a little more time is needed. A concrete outcome in the form of a contract can be expected most likely by the summer. As things stand after six months of negotiations, the current phase still seems to presuppose the conclusion of all of the the final details.

the Zagreb Dok-Ing company owner, noting that the time is not yet ready for any deeper comments, stated that the head of business development and sales of Dok-ing, Gordan Pesic, travelled to China this week.

Unlike Dok-ing's export placement, which is a world leader in demining robot production with a very impressive share of over 50 percent, the model concerning China assumes a joint investment in a factory with a Chinese state-owned company in the production of cranes and industrial machinery.

This requires the legal definition of positions in the field of intellectual property rights. The total investment stands at approximately 100 million kuna in shares, with investments in the form of business premises of a Chinese partner and the rights of a Croatian company in the field of intellectual property and consulting services.

For more, follow our business section.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Wildly Successful Zagreb Agency Five Sold for 40 Million Dollars

March the 5th, 2021 - If you read the Croatian headlines, you´ll notice the trend of doom, gloom and everything is terrible. It isn´t quite so. There are many entrepreneurial stories up and down the country gaining both traction and deserved success, and the Zagreb agency Five is just one of them.

As Telegram/Ivan Luzar writes, the Zagreb agency Five, by this point already very well known as one of the most successful startups from Croatia, has been sold for an enormous amount and is becoming part of the international Endava software group. The amount of the transaction stands at a whopping 40 million US dollars, equivalent to about 250 million kuna, which puts the Zagreb agency Five on the list of the largest digital acquisitions on the Croatian market.

The Zagreb agency Five was founded back in 2005 by Viktor Marohnic, and five years later it was joined by current partner and co-owner Luka Abrus. They have 220 employees in Zagreb, New York, Osijek, Rijeka and Split, with a focus on programming and marketing services for American clients.

"For us, this is a new and exciting chapter," Five told Telegram. “As part of Endava, a company thirty times bigger than Five, we´re going to be able to undertake much bigger projects, for much bigger clients, than we could do on our own. This is as if we have accelerated five years of development and achieved it immediately,"

Negotiations lasted for months

Negotiations on this matter have been going on for months now, more precisely since November last year. Five’s customer, Endava, is a technology company specialising in business solutions, with 7,500 employees in 33 offices worldwide. They are headquartered in the British capital of London and are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The current market value of Endava shares stands at 5.4 billion US dollars.

In an official acquisition announcement, representatives of the group point out that the Zagreb agency Five was interesting to them because of its extensive American operations and its work with clients such as Rosetta Stone, Mariott, Starz, Napster, Penguin Random House, McAfee and other well known names.

“They´re a brilliant team and they will bring additional skills to Endava, especially when it comes to production strategies and growth optimisation,” said John Cotterell, the CEO of Endava. "Additionally, their reputation as a leading New York-based agency in Croatia is complementary to our strategy and further strengthens our presence in the Adriatic region."

Marohnic, Abrus and Marusic all plan to stay with the Zagreb agency Five until further notice

In an interview with Telegram, managers Marohnic, Abrus and Sven Marusic all say that their decision was not easy, but they believe that they did the best for the company and all of its dedicated employees. At the operational and management level, they plan to stay with Five until further notice and work on projects as if nothing has changed.

"Last year I thought I would spend my whole life in this company," says Marohnic. “I founded Five with a simple idea: to create jobs for young and busy developers like I was. At the time, we were reading about the successes of startups in the Silicon Valley in the US and we wanted to get a chance to show how we can be just as good as them. At first, I was just happy to be able to pay my bills.”

It was time for a new and daring business jump...

The Zagreb agency Five, meanwhile, was developing extremely rapidly - about 500 people have passed through the agency in just fifteen years, he says - and it was time for a new venture. In recent years, Marohnic, Abrus and Marusic had been thinking about possible steps forward for Five. They considered, they say, buying smaller companies, as well as seeking out strategic investments that would significantly accelerate business growth.

The third option was to sell the Zagreb agency Five to a much larger group, within which they could take up even more advanced and interesting jobs. After meeting people from Endava, they concluded that they have very similar business and cultural values, and decided to talk to them. “After a lot of thinking, I decided this was the best decision. I guess it’s like with kids, as they grow up, it’s time for them to spread their wings and leave home. It is emotionally difficult, but you know rationally that it´s the right thing,¨ said Marohnic.

Opportunity for growth in all segments

"We´re looking forward to having a joint market presence, new opportunities that will open up to us as a result of this cooperation and opportunities for growth across all business segments," noted Marusic. ¨With this transaction, our people will get the opportunity to work on even bigger projects, with global clients. We believe that this strategic turn in business enables us to make a quantum leap into the future of digital agency business.¨

Over recent years, acquisitions and investments in Croatian startups have taken place more and more. Back in December last year, it was announced that the well known Croatian gaming company Nanobit had been sold for 148 million euros, and large investments were being handled by companies such as Rimac Automobili and Photomath by Damir Sabol.

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Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Zagreb Company Jam Pak Among Largest Paper Cup Producers in Region

February the 17th, 2021 - The Zagreb company Jam Pak is performing excellently despite the economic woes brought about by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, this Zagreb company's director, Ante Cevra, founded Jam Pak during his the final year of studies at the Faculty of Graphic Arts, and today he can boast that they cooperate with all major companies across Croatia and are stepping out into more and more export markets.

The director of the Zagreb company Jam Pak explained that, in order to maintain their position on the market, even before the pandemic struck, they continuously invested in capacity expansion and the complete digitalisation of business and the automation of monitoring and the control of production processes.

“We believe that digitisation and automation are the foundation of efficiency and these are the keys to long-term development. We deal with printing, cardboard and are one of the largest manufacturers of paper cups in the region with a capacity of more than 100,000 cups per day. Today, we can boast of having a team of sixteen experts and the fact that most of our products are manufactured in the country at all stages of the production process. Over the past fifteen years, we've developed and manufactured products for almost all industries, from food, confectionery, chemical through to the tourism and catering industries.

We cooperate with more than 1500 clients across Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Austria and Slovakia. At the moment, our exports make up about 10-15 percent of our total revenues, so our plan is to try to reach 25-30 percent of our total revenues,'' noted Cevra.

Much like it was for everyone else, last year, he admitted, was really challenging for them, and they also felt a decline due to the lockdown and poorer tourist activity, which also affected their industry.

However, since the Zagreb company Jam Pak covers a very wide range of products, they've even grown in some segments. The pandemic, explained Cevra, brought them some significant problems such as reduced sales and promotional activities, which is why they focused on the digitalisation of business because, he remains convinced, this will enable new sales and communication channels with customers in the future.

“We saw a decline in printed materials, while the packaging segment grew, especially packaging related to online trade. In the production of paper cups, we still didn't see growth because the slowdown in tourism activity as well as the slowdown in hospitality activities contributed to reduced consumption. Although we're at the beginning of the year, we've certainly noticed an increase in demand for paper cups among our existing customers, and this is caused by the closure of restaurants.

We've also noticed a growth trend of new customers in this segment and an increase in demand for branded watches. Our advantage is in our flexibility and that we can adapt to smaller quantities and delivery speeds, which is 5-7 days for smaller orders, and 14-20 days for larger ones,'' Jam Pak's director explained.

Given their capacities, they're focused on larger companies and distributors, and the list of clients they work with includes companies such as Konzum, Ledo, Jamnica, Franck, Nestle Adriatica, Carlsberg Croatia, Orbica, Atlantic Cedevita, Droga Kolinska, Magdisa, Arabesca, Anamarije, Pevex and more. In addition, they cooperate with small customers, as well as with a number of catering and hospitality facilities.

"Back in 2016, we purchased the land and invested in the renovation, expansion and construction of a new production hall, and since 2018 we've been operating at our address on Radnicka cesta. In the last few years, we've invested more than 600,000 euros in expanding our capacity and range, the procurement of new machines, the digitalisation and automation of our business processes, and a good part of these investments have been accompanied by funds.

Like any other industry, our packaging goes through different development stages and new trends always come along. We're definitely more environmentally aware today, so the trend of plastic disposal is being noticed and an alternative in the form of disposable cardboard packaging is being introduced.

Therefore, the focus of our investments is going in that direction, and most of our new investments are related to machines for the production of cardboard packaging for food delivery, which I believe will largely replace the existing styrofoam and plastic packaging,'' concluded the Zagreb company Jam Pak's director.

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