Phoenix from Orahovica is Best Exporter among Croatian Small Businesses

Total Croatia News

They educate their own workers, and orders keep growing.

Phoenix from Orahovica is ​​the best exporter among small businesses in Croatia. Phoenix now employs more than 70 people, mostly from Orahovica itself, which means it provides incomes for a large number of families in this small Slavonian town, reports Glas Slavonije on September 21, 2016.

The company was founded 26 years ago and is owned by three brothers – Dalibor, Dražen and Goran Fofonjka. “Our family started producing springs as early as 1969, when three brothers from a previous generation established a workshop in Bjelovar. Out father Juraj Fofonjka (who is now retired) went to Austria in 1976 and founded the Fortuna Federn Company, which also produced springs. In 1988, he moved production to Orahovica in Croatia. The company in Austria has not been closed and it still exists as a brand which is now 40 years old and deals with marketing, sales and procurement. All exports, which represent about 90 percent of our production, go through that company. In 1992, we started producing machines for springs production, and currently this is our most important product. Our machines have been sold to almost all continents: America, Australia, Asia, Europe”, said Dalibor Fofonjka, one of the owners.

“Due to the crisis on world markets, we had a decline in overall turnover, but we quickly recovered, so already in 2010 we had the total turnover like before the crisis. Our business philosophy is that we always produce two or three different products, because there is always something that is selling”, added Dalibor.

“As for the plans for the future, we must strengthen and modernize our production. We must respond quickly because orders are growing and we know we will work at full capacity for at least another six months. Customers cannot accept longer deadlines and therefore we have to increase our capacity. This entails investments in equipment, and the creation of new jobs”, said Dalibor, adding that the company had also faced certain problems. “People who graduate from our schools are not sufficiently trained. We therefore train our employees ourselves, because there are no such people on the labour market. In the world market, our competitors do not have such problems.”

Their competitors are companies from the EU which can get loans with just 2 percent interest rate, or they receive grants from EU funds. On the other hand, Asian competitors from Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea, have especially favourable loans for export production (also with two percent interest rate). For Croatian exporters, it would be best if banks were more involved with loans provided by the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development.


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