The name Agrokor holding doesn’t say much in Croatia, but it is an empire with a turnover of 6.5 billion Euros last year and 55,000 employees. However, these figures have positioned the businessman in first place among the most powerful entrepreneurs in Central Europe, ranking conducted by the consulting company Deloitte.
Moreover, the country of former Yugoslavia requires no further presentation, Agrokor and Konzum are as strong brands such as Lidl, Kaufland, and Carrefour. However, on the Croatian market, the businesses are struggling to dominate trade with international giants.
Several businessmen tried their luck in this market but the crisis on one hand and the aggressive expansion of foreigners on the other put them out of the game, leading them into bankruptcy not only once.
The Croatian Agrokor group was founded more than three decades ago and originally deal with the production of flowers and planting flowers. The Agrokor foundations were laid by the Croatian entrepreneur Ivica Todoric (65) which is still running the company. Raised on the farm – his father worked in agriculture – he studied economics in Zagreb and at age 25 decided to launch their own business in production and trade of flowers despite the fact that the state leadership was a Communist government which did not encourage entrepreneurship. The communist regime in Croatia was still less strict than in other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, enabling the development of private companies.
In the years that followed Agrokor expanded in several fields of agriculture and, today, controls the largest players in the food production and retail.
The development of this business occurred especially after 1990 when the Croatian state began to privatize many former state-owned companies. Its history is controversial, but so the Croat reached the richest man in the Balkans according to Forbes, with a fortune estimated at over half a billion euros.
Moreover, he controls through his companies, which are mostly market leaders, key sectors of the food industry and retail profile.
The most important company in the group Agrokor is Konzum, a chain of 750 stores that dominates the Croatian retail. The company ended in 2015 with a turnover of 270 million Euros more than the next five finishers business, which amounts to 1.7 billion Euros.
Agrokor was not satisfied to dominate the only the mother market but spread throughout the Balkans in Slovenia by purchasing a majority stake in the Mercador network, the retail leader in the state. The company is also active in other countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina or Serbia.
Thus, after 30 years of business, the group Agrokor climbed to 11th place among the 500 largest companies in Central Europe after a huge leap from the 22nd in 2015.