Components for Almost Every Household Appliance Produced in Zagreb

Lauren Simmonds

EGO became the majority owner of the Elektro-kontakt company back in 1992, and today the Zagreb-based company has 830 employees and boasts an impressive 390 million kuna income.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 2nd of October, 2018, the Zagreb-based company Elektro-kontakt has been operating for more than 26 years within the German EGO Group, which is one of the global leaders in the production of home appliance electronics.

This year, the group underwent a restructuring process, owing to which, Elektro-kontakt was rebranded as EGO Elektro-komponente (components), and it was announced that throughout this year and next year, part of the additional production lines of the group from Germany and Slovenia will be moved to the Croatian capital of Zagreb.

What the current position of this Croatian company within the EGO Group is, and what the current expectations are for the coming period was discussed by Domagoj Matasić, EGO Elektro-komponente’s Director.

You’ve been part of the EGO Group for more than 25 years. Has the change of name now brought about any major change?

EGO became the majority owner of the Elektro-kontakt company back in 1992, after almost 50 years of long-term business cooperation. The company has, until recently, been operating under the old brand because Elektro-kontakt held a strong position on the electrical-installation material market. Over time, we altered the product portfolio in terms of production, and we turned away from the production of electrical installation material, which is not the strategic product of EGO. We’ve been fully integrated into the EGO Group, and, following the consolidation of the shareholders, where EGO became the sole shareholder of the company, a decision was made to change the name. The goal is to make the EGO Group a more prominent one, which is a big advantage on foreign markets.

What is the current position of the Croatian company in the Group?

I’d say its position is excellent. The Zagreb-based company is the only manufacturer of energy-saving switches and regulators for the entire Group, and it will soon become the major supplier of metal parts for all companies within the Group. There are some great opportunities ahead of us, which the recent relocation of production from other factories to the Group in Zagreb supports. In the first quarter of 2018, part of the thermostat production was transferred from the EGO factory in Slovenia to Zagreb, and soon, the production of metal parts is going to be moved to us from the corporate headquarters in Oberderdingen. Such decisions more than clearly reflect the excellent position of the Group.

What are your plans in the coming period?

In the forthcoming period, we’re focused on business growth which will bring us new production capacities and the further optimisation of the process at the factory. We firmly believe that only excellence can be positioned on the global market, and we’ll continue on in that direction.

How has EKZ evolved over the last 25 years?

Over the past 25 years, EKZ has continuously altered and progressed. Production has been redirected from traditional EKZ products to the EGO Group product portfolio. Thus, in addition to the already mentioned switches and power regulators, EGO Elektro-komponente produce thermostats and regulators, which are a key part of ceramic heaters.

At the same time, efficiency, quality, expertise and overall business excellence increased continuously. Some of the world’s most important experts in kitchen appliance component manufacturing work at the factory in Zagreb. This is possible thanks to the continuous investment in employee knowledge over the past 25 years. It’s a great advantage to be part of a strong group, a market leader.

This has enabled many of our products, which are also produced in Zagreb, to become the world’s leading [products]. The extensive network of EKZ’s experts is a valuable source of knowledge and experience which supports the constant development of Zagreb’s location. This strong market position is the guarantor of our factory’s successful future.

To what extent are you oriented to the local market in terms of sales and material procurement, and how directed are you towards exports?

We’re almost 100% focused on foreign markets, both for the sale of our products and for the procurement of raw materials. We’d be delighted to be able have a significant domestic (Croatian) household product manufacturer or supplier of raw materials with whom we work, but unfortunately this still isn’t the case.

Which are your main export markets?

Our products are sold to all five continents. Most of the world’s largest white technology manufacturers are our customers and our products are part of the best products on the world market.

As the company grows, new employees are needed. Is it possible to find the necessary professional workforce on the Croatian [labour] market?

As a direct result of the resettlement of production capacities in Zagreb, we hired more than 130 new people last year alone – from assembly line manufacturing workers, to specialists for work with modern and CNC machines, to mechanical engineers.

With the further increases in production, which are expected in early 2019, we’ll certainly require additional people. We currently don’t have any employment problems because the experts are attracted to the high-tech production environment and the overall working conditions. As a result of all this, we’re proud to say that in today’s circumstances, when young people are leaving Croatia, even leaving their jobs in search of opportunities abroad, EGO Elektro-komponente d.o.o. has a very low staff fluctuation rate. We believe that we’ll continue to attract the best talent and create quality jobs in the future.

Can you provide a brief overview of the business results of the Zagreb-based company and EGO?

EGO Elektro-komponente d.o.o. recorded sales of 389 million kuna in 2017, with more than 99 percent of that being exports. In two production locations in Zagreb and Čazma, 830 employees produce more than 38 million finished products and more than one billion semi-finished products annually. The EGO Group comprises eighteen sales and manufacturing companies in sixteen countries. In 2017, the Group achieved sales of about 609 million euro and employs nearly 6,000 people. The company headquartered in Oberderdingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, is considered to be one of the world’s leading suppliers of home appliance manufacturers.


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


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