High-flying Slovenian companies

What is the secret of the success of those major Slovenian companies which have continued growing and developing for the past several decades? Krka, Gorenje, Kolektor, Adria Mobil, Elan - in spite of the difficult economic situation they have managed to maintain their market position both at home and abroad. They are proof that perseverance, business acumen and innovativeness are the right choices to achieve your goals. They have become companies Slovenians can be proud of.

Behind many successful and innovative products on the international markets there is a Slovenian company. Their products reach the highest levels of quality, set new trends and shift frontiers. Successful Slovenian companies are future-oriented and aspire to be outstanding in their respective fields. Perhaps even to be the best.

Krka: a top generic drug company

The Krka Pharmaceutical Company  of Novo mesto has been successfully implementing its strategy and pursuing its goals for over 60 years. "It is a combination of clear strategic orientations which, however, could not have been implemented without the commitment of our dedicated, innovative and professional staff", say the people at Krka, stressing that the key to their success is top quality, safe and effective products, and a vertically integrated business model allowing the greatest flexibility. They develop, produce, market and sell their own innovative products. Their flexibility is crucial, involving the speed with which they bring products to market and the reaction to market developments after the product's launch. Speed and a flexible approach, Krka's core values, are their competitive advantage.

Their products are sold in over 70 countries, from Vladivostok to Lisbon. They sell 94% of their production abroad. In the first half of 2014 their best performance was in Eastern Europe, with total sales of EUR 220.8 million, accounting for 36.8% of sales. This is an increase of 5 percent (EUR 9.6 million) in sales over the same period of the previous year. In the same period the highest relative increase in sales (11 percent) was generated in South East Europe with EUR 75.3 million (12.6 percent of total Krka Group sales).

Krka invested EUR 157 million in research and development last year and earmarked EUR 164 million for this purpose this year. In the past decade, Krka has increased its sales three-fold, its profits six-fold, R&D expenditure more than three-fold, investments and the number of staff for more than two-fold and has become one of the top generic pharmaceutical companies globally. Trends indicate that the generic pharmaceutical sector will further expand, so Krka has good prospects for growth and expansion.

Adria Mobil: trend-setting brand in the European caravanning industry

Quality, innovativeness and knowledge are the main pillars of success that Adria Mobil  has achieved in its 50 years in the field of design and production of leisure vehicles – motorhomes, camping caravans and mobile homes. From the very beginning the Adria brand name has been marked with an international identity – from 1965, when the first caravan was developed and sold to Sweden. Adria Mobil is present on nearly all European markets, and today also in Russia, Australia, Japan and China. The Adria Mobil Group consists of 9 subsidiaries operating in different areas, from distribution of products, production of furniture for caravans and motorhomes and sales of tourist services. 

''Achieving more than a 6% market share in the European caravanning industry gives us a positive feeling about our brand name, which evolved mainly through constant investments in product development, innovations and high quality products from a state-of-the-art production line. Strong partnerships with our distribution network enabled us to capitalize our investments, while the competitiveness of our products has also been confirmed by the European market, where Adria is continuously ranked among best performing brands on the market,'' say Adria Mobil managers.

The main markets for Adria Mobil are in Germany, France, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and other European countries, where the culture of caravanning is strongly rooted and where Adria Mobil achieves 98% of its sales. ''We are constantly seeking new business opportunities and today the Adria brand is a global brand represented through one of the strongest distribution networks in the caravanning industry'', say Adria Mobil.

With numerous innovations brought to their customers, Adria Mobil has established itself as a trend-setting brand in the European caravanning industry. ''In the coming years Adria Mobil will continue to develop as one of the most dynamic brands in the industry, with high quality products and services provided to their customers on the global scale,'' say the company's management with confidence.

Gorenje Group: a leading European home appliance manufacturer

Gorenje Group , manufacturer of technically excellent, finely designed and energy-efficient home appliances, has a history spanning more than 60 years.  With its brands Gorenje, Asko, Atag, Pelgrim, Upo, Mora, Etna and Körting, Gorenje is present on the markets of ninety countries around the globe.  From the start Gorenje has expanded its sales network beyond the national borders, and is now one of the strongest export-oriented companies in Slovenia, as well as being one of the major European home appliance manufacturers. The key strategy of the Gorenje Group is to focus on products and services for the home, differentiation through design-driven innovations, expansion to selected global markets and large cities, and creation of strategic partnerships. Gorenje's vision, reiterated in its Strategic plan 2014 - 2018, is to become the world's best in design-driven innovations of home products.

Kolektor: tradition in highly specialized industrial production

Last year, Kolektor  celebrated its first fifty years. It has evolved into a global company established in Slovenia with a wide network of companies and subsidiaries in Europe, the United States and Asia. Present in the world's strategic markets, it brings together almost 30 companies with three thousand employees. The Kolektor Group's activity is focused on three areas: automotive, building technology and industrial technology. The company sells 78% of its production on foreign markets. Ii is expanding both on the domestic market, in particular in the building engineering sector,  and abroad, on NAFTA and Asian markets, compensating in this way for the negative impact of car industry stagnation in Europe. Lately the company has started expanding to China and Mexico.

What is most important for Kolektor's growth and development? "Innovations, investing in top technologies, quality managing systems and sensible business decisions, and highly competent staff are the drivers of progress. As a transnational company Kolektor is constantly focusing on development and research-based marketing and on solving the technical problems of our customers. We believe that there may be no success without innovation, which we strongly encourage. We also believe in mass innovativeness - our staff crowdsourcing. However, the key to success is breakthrough innovations, new ideas, cooperation with our customers" says Radoval Bolko, President of Kolektor's Management Board, adding that "we are a strategic development partner for our customers, providing them with fresh business opportunities. By involving clients and strategic suppliers in the early stages of our development process we are able to mark the development of automobile industry, building techniques, home appliances and energy globally. In doing this we maintain a healthy financial position with very low indebtedness."

Kolektor's future plans are clearly defined. "Growth and progress based on new, advanced and complex products and solutions. In the coming years we will grow organically and through acquisitions. We plan to increase our turnover to EUR 750 million by 2017. Our goal for 2020 is even more ambitious: EUR 1 billion of turnover, with adequate profits and without excessive debt. This will make us a major company on the European level", Bolko stressed.

Elan: top products for sports enthusiasts

The 60 years old – and more – company Elan  is a leading producer and supplier of sports and leisure equipment. The Elan Group is a synonym for skis, snowboards, yachts and motorboats, plus a variety of equipment for sports facilities. All Elan's production facilities are located in Central Europe. Their skis and sail boats are produced in Slovenia, snowboards in Austria and motorboats in Croatia. Elan products are marketed by six wholly-owned companies in the United States, Canada, Germany and Austria, Switzerland and Japan, along with independent distributors around the world. An inventive approach and advanced technology are the signature of Elan high-tech and design-driven products. The Elan Group's mission is to offer the best to their customers and meet the highest expectations of sports enthusiasts.

Text by Danila Golob