When Marin Pucar took over Podravka back in February last year, he comically stated, “Once you go Podravka, you’re always Podravka!”
As Marina Sunjerga/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of November, 2018, Pucar experienced returning to the large domestic food company, at which he worked for twelve years, very emotionally. Pucar also has many goals and plans set up for the huge company to aim for.
Pucar’s big plans for Podravka were soon realised because the Koprivnica-based food company achieved net operating profits of a massive 186 million kuna during the first nine months of 2018, which is the best result and the highest operating profit in Podravka’s long history. These sparkling financial results saw employee salaries increase by 1000 kuna and the company get closer to reaching its goal of being a food business consolidator in Croatia, these praiseworthy achievements brought Pucar to his very well-deserved nomination for businessman of the year for 2018.
It is also important to point out his engagement in resolving the crisis in Agrokor from his position as the president of the association of Agrokor’s suppliers, which acted uniquely to protect the interests of domestic companies.
”Podravka is a very good company”, said Pucar when he came to the head of the company, but added that it can and should be better because Podravka is much more than just its numerous brands and products.
In just a year and a half of his mandate, Marin Pucar has achieved excellent results with his team. He announced Vegeta’s strong development, involving a wide range of products. In his vision and strategy, Vegeta will be branded completely with the culinary field, and all kinds of dishes.
”That’s the aim, if we succeed, and we believe that we will,” Pucar said in an interview for Večernji list.
”We’ll secure Vegeta for another hundred years, and add new, additional value for Podravka,” added Pucar.
Among the priorities, Pucar also emphasised the improvement of the rights and the material conditions of employees as the company’s most valuable resource. ”Without satisfied workers, there can be no successful company,” Pucar said. Namely, The salaries of the lowest paid employees in Podravka will increase by about 1000 kuna a month, which is one of the moves other entrepreneurs must follow if they truly want to retain quality workers.
The lowest wage in Podravka now amounts to 4,000 kuna per month. Through a collective contract, Podravka’s employees have been granted a jubilee reward, and the company will pay them 1000 kuna per year for voluntary pension savings, which will eventually provide them with larger pensions when they retire. One of the goals that Pucar has set in front of him is, as stated, to position Podravka as a consolidator for the food industry, as well as the generator of the development of domestic agricultural production.
Accordingly, the company is expanding its cooperation with subcontractors and domestic OPGs to ensure that by the year 2022, its global brands such as Vegeta are secure. To achieve this goal requires a two to three year investment cycle, but the capacities needed by Podravka are sufficient to trigger a serious segment of Croatian agriculture. Part of the financing of these investments was secured by the company from EU funds.
Podravka itself has an impressive investment potential of around 200 million euro, so new acquisitions could realistically be expected. The company’s presence on numerous traditional markets such as that of Poland, Hungary, and Russia, is set to increase. Pucar also played an important role in the rehabilitation of the formerly ailing Agrokor Group from the position of the president of the Association of Agrokor’s suppliers.
The challenge was to protect and preserve the rights and interests of Agrokor’s suppliers, while at the same time not compromise the position of Agrokor, and Agrokor’s giant Konzum as the largest domestic retail chain. Unlike various other companies, Podravka didn’t stop its deliveries to the then suffering Konzum, thereby confirming its responsibility for the continuation of Konzum’s operations and the preservation of jobs.
The successful running of this extremely complex process resulted in the stabilisation of Agrokor’s operations, a large part of the Croatian economy, and the preservation of Agrokor’s supplier stability.
Otherwise, Pucar has spent most of his career in the food industry. He started his professional career at Gavrilović back in 2001, and one year later, he was in Podravka’s meat industry, Danica, where he was the director of sales, marketing and development. He quickly moved to Podravka’s high position of director for the Croatian market, and from 2008 to 2012, he was a member of the management of the company.
After five years with Podravka, he went to Zvečevo, which he led before returning as Podravka’s main man.
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