Venatus Jones, Returnees Sparking Change in Croatian Attitudes to Business

Total Croatia News

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December 15, 2019 – Small steps to change the business mindset in Croatia are underway – a first business breakfast from returnee business consultants, Venatus Jones. 

Last week I met with a group of returnees from Australia, Germany and Canada who have a very lofty goal.

Gathering impressive experience from working abroad in Western free-markets under the umbrella of Venatus Jones, a consulting agency, they vowed to become an agent of change that will totally shift Croatia’s mentality toward business.   

“It’s part of the Western mind frame isn’t it, to aim high?” asked Associate Director Gerhard Saric from Munich in Germany. “That’s perhaps one of the quintessential things we bring – a positive mindset. We are all about big goals and big targets, but we focus on strategy and planning.”

Gerhard is an EU funding expert and helps companies access EU grants. He has worked in the US and across Southeastern Europe, Croatia included, implementing large country development programs.

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Watching a presentation at their first Business Breakfasts,  a series of morning sessions to inform micro, small and medium enterprises about key areas of doing business – like strategy, structure, systems and style of management –  it seemed this group could go far.

Their model, a 40-week program, works the same way a tennis coach, piano teacher or mathematic tutor would for your children. Not to turn them into world champions, but to improve their skills, perform better.

The key appears to be price.


“In order to generate huge social impact we need to have very wide reach, and to get reach we need to be accessible,” said founder Eugene Brcic Jones, an Australian with media, marketing and sales stints with global giants like AP, Heineken, KPMG and Vodafone. “We are affordable and we over-deliver in value to our clients.”

“We like to joke that we are cheaper than a cleaner,” he added. “Our clients need help in many areas, they cannot afford a marketing or sales specialist, then an operations and leadership expert, someone to conduct research, lobby or procure external funding.  We have to be everything for our clients and we have to be affordable to everyone.”

To be fair, for a company barely over a year old, Venatus Jones’ client list and result in sparking growth are astonishing,  including Poliklinika Bagatin, Museum of Illusions, Ultra, Skintegra, Rudjer Boskovic, RoomOrders, Curry Bowl, Velpapir …   

The approach seems original, using a sports analogy.

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“It is interesting that we invest so much in our children to improve in sports, hobbies or education, yet we do not do the same for businesses, which are the backbone of every society, encompassing entire families and communities,” said Aleksandra Papac, a banking and finance expert from Sydney, Australia.

“I remember going to university and then later in life realising that most of my knowledge came from the challenges my dad faced in running his small business,” she said. “I remember how just talking and sharing information as a young economics student was very helpful to him.”

Sometimes just airing out problems, bringing them out in the open can help to formulate solutions and chart strategies for growth. Otherwise business owners just compartmentalise these problems and it causes undue stress and anxiety.”

Mark Mocnay, from Quebec in Canada, has worked extensively across the US, Canada and the Caribbean advising about performance and leadership. He has also worked in Europe, particularly in aviation and tourism.

“Business owners in Croatia have not really had genuine experience of Western free-markets, apart from maybe when on holidays, through cousins or Youtube,” Mark said. “Some are doing really well, but their strategy often focuses on a few strong corporate or government connections. They need to focus more on reducing their risk by expanding their customer base, or introducing democratic management principles, lean and agile operations and processes.”

“In all honesty, there are strong socialist habits that need to be broken,” Mark said bluntly.

You can learn more about the Venatus Jones consulting service on the official website

For the latest news from the Croatian diaspora, follow the dedicated TCN section


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