Factory in Jakovlje Showcases That Success Can be Found in Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

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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