One Business Leader Is Ready for Younger Challengers

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Emil Tedeschi says he would be happy to see more young entrepreneurs.

Not every young person in Croatia is ready to “take on” the successful Croatian businessmen. Commenting on a recent statement by Sandro Mur, the founder of Bellabeat, that the goal of his startup company is to become greater than Agrokor and Atlantic, Emil Tedeschi, the majority owner of Atlantic Group, said it is pretty normal for a 30-year-old person to think this way. “It is only normal for new generations to think like that, but here it is still strange when someone dares to say something similar. I hope that we will have hundreds of people like him. Some will be successful and we will be proud of them”, said Tedeschi at the panel discussion held in Poreč during the WinDays16 event. But, the situation in Croatia, he continued, does not encourage development of young and ambitious companies as the prevailing opinion is that everything is bad and nothing can be done, reports on April 28, 2016.

Tedeschi also noted that the trend of young entrepreneurs leaving Croatia in order to do their businesses in a simpler and more efficient way was not a good sign. “The problem in Croatia is that we do not recognize new technologies, new business models and niches. We are hostages of state subsidies and maintaining something that has collapsed a long time ago.”

In Croatia, he pointed out, there is a negative attitude towards entrepreneurs. The Tax Authority is mobbing them and whoever succeeds is being considered a criminal or a thief. That kind of situation is not very encouraging for the development of business and society, said Tedeschi, and businesspeople with the most potential therefore decide to move abroad.

One of the topics discussed at the event in Poreč was the announced privatization and selling of the state shares in some of the companies. Although the media have been speculating about his company’s interest regarding the state’s stake in Podravka, Tedeschi emphasized that they have not talked to anyone about the privatization of Podravka and that this was only a spin.

Meanwhile, Entrepreneurship Minister Darko Horvat said that Croatian companies related to infrastructure which are partly owned by the state will not be privatized. In his words, the plan is to offer properties which sits unused and minority stakes in some companies where the state does not have any influence on the business policy. The money should then be used to establish a fund that will be available to entrepreneurs and units of local and regional self-government in order to help them with investment financing.

Tedeschi said that he would never privatize natural resources, like forests and some other state monopolies, but he would monetize anything that is not bringing in the new value. He believes that the overall situation surrounding the “alleged selling of the state companies” is being overblown unnecessarily.


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