About 5 years ago, soon after we moved to Varazdin, I got a phone call from Nenad Bakic, the serial entrepreneur who at the time was trying to resurrect the fortunes of the Varteks clothing company in the city. We met for a coffee, and after paying some very generous compliments about TCN, he asked how he could help with advice to grow my business. It was a very stimulating chat, and I appreciated all he suggested. He is a much smarter man than me.
“And I want to show you a snapshot of Croatia that you have not seen, and one you will like and that will inspire you,” he concluded. “I will arrange for you to come to the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in Lauba in Zagreb. “There you will see the future of Croatia, a room full of positivity, of entrepreneurs working for a better Croatia.”
And so it was that I entered a room filled with 300 of the most successful people in Croatia, coming together for a gala dinner to celebrate the best of their own. That year, some chap called Mate Rimac won the award for Entrepreneur of the Year. The year after, Infobip. And soon after they became the first two Croatian unicorns.
EY kindly invited me again this year for an outstanding event, as well as two other foreign entrepreneurs (both way more successful than me) – Polish EU funds specialist Natalia Zielinska from Ogulin, and some Dutch wannabe tomato grower from Split, Jan de Jong.
As he does on occasions like these, young Rimac came over to greet in his words ‘my favourite fat Brit’ before telling me that not only has he ordered our book, Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners but that he sleeps next to it but has not had time to read it. Which prompted Ms. Zielenska to come up with the above quip, which tickled Mate enough to share it.
But the night belonged to Vjekoslac Matejic, the pioneering CEO of DOK-ING. Rather than reinvent the wheel, here are more details in the press release below. Many thanks to Bero Horvat and all the EY team for such as exceptional event once again. Hope for Hrvatska 2.0. Below, the moment Vjekoslav Matejic was pronounced the winner.
Zagreb, March 17th, 2023. – Innovator, founder and owner of the DOK-ING company, Vjekoslav Majetić, won the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 award last night in Zagreb.
EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates unstoppable and daring visionaries whose success inspires others, creates new jobs, drives progress and redefines the way we live and work. DOK-ING, headed by the owner Majetić, has been saving human lives in dangerous environments around the world for more than 31 years with its innovations and new technologies. The company is present in 40 countries around the world and is a pioneer in the production of robotic and autonomous systems and equipment for special purposes. Vjekoslav Majetić, with a strong vision and indescribable will, designed and innovated the world’s most famous demining machine, which today dominates with 80% of the global market share.
Vjekoslav Majetić, innovator, owner and founder of the DOK-ING company, when receiving the prestigious awards said:
“It’s hard to get to the top, and believe me, it’s even harder to stay. I thank everyone who understands that we are part of the world scene, and that we are not just part of Croatia. Thank you to those who share with us the opinion that we must live in a more beautiful, safer and better world.”
In the company production hall, the so-called labyrinth of innovations and ideas, which is located in Zagreb’s Žitnjak, has produced numerous remotely controlled machines, some of which are electric, and behind which is a team of top engineers. In more than 30 years of business, the company has been recognized for changing the industrial landscape with an innovative approach and has won more than a hundred international awards in the fields of business, innovation and technology. The company’s agility has also been proven in numerous collaborations with business partners whose needs and wishes the company has responded to with tailor-made products. In the last few years, DOK-ING has launched an internal technological start-up that is working on the development of a new waste disposal facility in a very environmentally friendly way. At the same time, it is also economically profitable, considering the products it generates, which can be further used.
Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.