Zagreb Company Obtains Handsome Contract from Brussels

Lauren Simmonds

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As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 10th of December, 2018, Eccos, a Zagreb company, has recently received a very valuable contract in Brussels worth about four million euros with the European Commission.

More specifically, according to Krešimir Paić and Silvio Pregelj, the directors and co-owners of Eccos, what we’re talking about here is a four-year agreement on the improvement and maintenance of electronic and electromechanical control systems for both human and vehicle access to all eighty of the European Commission’s facilities in Brussels. This includes the headquarters of the European Union where all major events take place and the key decisions that decide ”our destiny” regularly occur.

“We’re proud of the fact that we recently managed to win in the strongest European tender and that we managed to conclude a four-year contract with the European Commission.

This job is the crown of our efforts to bring Croatian savvy, knowledge and experience to the European Union, under the Croatian name and the Croatian flag, and not just as cooperators of large foreign companies. When it comes to foreign markets, we intend to do more work on integrated value-added electrical engineering in the form of our software and project solutions, since we have enough knowledge, quality, experience and will,” Paić said.

From the Zagreb company itself, they acknowledge that their decision to bid to the EU tender happened quite randomly, as their business activities are mostly related to Croatia and the wider region. Namely, this job is indirectly being credited to the negative trend of Croatian labour force departure to Western Europe. Recently, they admitted, a colleague who sought a future in a similar company in Belgium recently left the company.

As we remained in a good relationship, we continued to socialise occasionally and in those gatherings we realised that they didn’t really do anything better than us and that we ourselves could actually come out with their strength and knowledge in any tender in Europe.

Since Croatia is member of the EU, we decided to take advantage of this and we started to follow the tenders in the EU and one came up which was interesting to us, and in which we ultimately won,” Krešimir Paić recalls.

He added that this is a project where all their knowledge and creativity will come to fruition, because ultimately, the exact value of the contract will depend on what the contracting authority can offer and actually go ahead and implement. Although it’s a multi-million euro job, the Zagreb company says it’s more valuable to them because of the references they will acquire through it, rather than simply because of the high value of the actual contract.

Eccos is engaged in the development and the implementation of sophisticated solutions in the field of electrical engineering, information technology and security.

This year, they celebrated their 20th anniversary, and currently have 115 employees, half of whom are graduate engineers, and their annual revenue is at the level of one hundred million kuna. Paić and Pregelj recall that their first jobs were installing alarms in family houses, and their first major job was at the Rijeka Oil Refinery, in which they were engaged in designing complex systems in the field of electrical engineering and technical protection.

Energy is still a significant sector for them and they have, along with an American partner, just developed a project for monitoring various pipelines (gas pipelines, etc) through which they’re hoping to boost global interest.

Today, as they explain, there is hardly any company in Croatia with which this Zagreb company hasn’t cooperated to some extent or another. Silvio Pregelj points out that they are particularly sought-after when a company wants to integrate more than one system into a complete solution.

“In the development of this system, we’re striving to unify information from all peripheral devices and sensors, which are all the more smart. This information is collected through various algorithms and by using artificial intelligence, and in this way the behaviour of the system is adapted to the specific needs of its users. We’re developing our own software and hardware solutions that are part of our projects (Epsimax, Orgman and ICMS). Today, our development team has about twenty engineers,” says Preglej.

They have worked on such solutions in both IKEA department stores in the region, in Zagreb and in Belgrade, and there are almost no airports in this area in which they aren’t present. They provide a range of electrical and information services, and they are probably the most recognisable publicly for their smart parking systems.

The product of this Zagreb company is also the systems that are being built in the capital and in a number of other cities across both Croatia and the region, and the latest product is the so called smart kiosk, which can already be seen in the centre of Zagreb.

“The new car parking metres in Zagreb are smart kiosks that, besides dealing with parking charges, also provide information to tourists on the sales of other city services, items etc. We have the strongest partners in the world, and we’re complementing our solutions with the Eccos Smart City Entablation Platform, which brings together all the participants involved in the process and offers full and complete reporting,” says Preglej.

Like most other companies, Eccos say they have noticed a lack of workforce, with particular issues regarding successfully attracting young engineers, but for now at least, the situation for this Zagreb company is not alarming.

“We retain people in the team by fostering quality and open relationships, investing in education, the ability to progress in line with the results achieved and by stimulating quality work and effort.

We offer our people the opportunity to participate in sophisticated projects in Croatia, in the countries of the region, and in the European Union, and to expand their knowledge in software development, the hardware, implementation of complex engineering solutions, project management, and all other aspects of our activities,” says Krešimir Paić.

For now, the company has a head office in Zagreb and Sarajevo, with offices in Split and Dubrovnik, and the opening of an office in Brussels is underway. Their intent is to become more and more present in western Europe and that the existing ratio of domestic market revenues and exports of 80 to 20 will change in the coming period. In that light, there is no exclusion of the opening of new offices in Europe for this successful Zagreb company.

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Click here for the original article by Darko Bicak for Poslovni Dnevnik

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