Born in Zadar, Raised in Germany – Businessman Bringing Company to Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 25th of June, 2019, although he’s a German in his head, he’s a Croat in his heart, as Ivan Barjašić says for and about himself, and he’s grown particularly fond of the Croatian market, for which he has great plans as he brings his business over to Croatia.

Barjašić has been in the consultancy business for years now, and during his time working with two major German consultancy companies, he also met with the world of Croatian business, including Croatian companies like AD Plastik and Viro from Virovitica.

“It was precisely the decision of a German company in which I worked to withdraw from the Croatian market and cease cooperation with local clients was a turning point, which led to the establishment of Frontem Consulting last year, which has offices in Munich and Manchester, and soon I hope in Zagreb,” explained Barjašić.

At one year old, this German businessman who was born in the Dalmatian city of Zadar moved with his family to Dusseldorf, Germany, and his private and business career has always been linked to two very similar and powerful European countries, who share the same work ethic and ideals – Germany and the United Kingdom.

In his youth, Barjašić dreamed about having a career as a professional athlete, and he even made several moves up the ladder in that world, but he soon realised that he wasn’t made from the same material top football player are, and he devoted his time instead to studying economics and business in several universities across Germany and the UK, where he recently did his doctorate.

His consultancy team, Barjašić points out, is different from the big players already on the market owing to the fact that he’s totally involved in the entire project he’s working on, from defining goals to eventual implementation.

“Large consulting companies have a brand, and corporations lease them for prestige or to create an illusion that the corporation is working at the highest possible standards – you have an example of that and one huge company in Croatia which hired exactly that type of corporation to ”run its business” and well… what happened, happened,” stated Barjašić, likely referencing the Agrokor crisis, the mess of which still isn’t fully cleaned up.

”It’s often the case that big players don’t have enough time. They usually do an analysis and study what they should do as a company and then they usually just stop there. People, especially in smaller companies, often lack the time or the professional knowledge to implement such studies. There’s space for smaller and specialised companies like ours who have the knowledge, experience, and will to take over such projects and do them properly, all the way to the end. In our business, there’s often a clause that in case of failure of the implemented project, fifty percent of contracted fees will be cut,” added Barjašić.

He and his team have had the most experience in the automotive and food industry so far, but they do work on other projects as well. Their specialisation is the digitisation of business processes and the introduction of industry 4.0, something which Croatia so desperately needs across all sectors, from industry to state institutions.

“It’s difficult to observe Croatia and Germany in a general manner. Of course, the whole system in Germany works better, but you do have very good and successful companies in Croatia and those that are not so good in Germany. Generally, when digitisation is in question, I can say that the way processes are done in Croatia are a generation below the way they’re done in Europe, and here I see a great opportunity, both for the work of companies like ours, and for the development of Croatia’s industry as a whole,” stated this innovative Croatian-German consultant.


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