Finding a UK based company that has invested into Croatia is relatively rare, coming across one that has invested and been successful in a non-tourism based venture is almost impossible. Whereas German, French and Austrian companies have entered the Croatian market, especially since the country became a full member of the EU in July 2013, UK businesses have been slow on the uptake. From electronics to banking and in particular the tourism industry, in total around 15,000 foreign companies have chosen Croatia as the right place to expand their market.
In Dubrovnik, where tourism dominates almost all forms of business, hotels and travel agencies have been snapped up by foreign buyers. There is however one UK company that has almost completely flown under the radar in Dubrovnik. A company not directly involved in tourism, nor particularly interested in the real estate business and it is a company that is growing and employing more staff, a UK success story in Dubrovnik.
“Consilio 3D UK decided to expand their operations in England and as Croatia was a new member of the European Union we recognised the largely untapped talent pool and countless possibilities here, this was the beginning of Consilio 3D Croatia,” explained Craig Derrick the managing director of Consilio 3D Croatia.
Consilio 3D opened a Dubrovnik sister company in April 2015, the first year anniversary is on the horizon, and are progressing in making leaps and bounds. Consilio 3D Croatia is a CAD bureau service that provides 2D, and as the name would suggest, 3D services to a wide range of clients. Having strong links to the automotive, healthcare and defence sectors the Croatian company acts as a support office for the UK whilst also generating local business. From relatively humble beginnings Consilio 3D Croatia now employs twelve staff, both CAD programmers and managers, and is looking to expand to Zagreb with the opening of a second office in Croatia.
“Finding staff was a little challenge, you have to bear in mind that the universities in Croatia that deal with the computer skills we need are in the capital Zagreb. However we are extremely pleased with the staff we found, with their level of knowledge, professional approach and dedication to the work,” said Derrick. Adding that, although the company is in a niche market, business opportunities have already been targeted in Zagreb. Plans to expand into animation technology and augmented reality are just some of the future steps.
The UK and Croatia office work in close co-operation, regular training courses are organised and there is a constant flow of staff to and from the two countries. In a city, and it could be argued country, that is dominated by tourism the success of a UK tech company in Croatia is a ray of sunlight.