The Slovenia Times

Engrotus - Slovenia's Golden Gazelle



Engrotus saw all its performance indicators in 2004 soar by 36% year on year. Notably, the company increased its sales to SIT 89.5 billion (EUR 373.6 m), whereas its parent company, the Tus Group, posted revenues of SIT 115 billion (EUR 480 m) according to Gazela R.E., the company which sponsors the awards. The retailer currently enjoys 18.2% of the Slovenian market and they intend to increase this to 25% by 2007. Other plans for the future include expansion into Serbia & Montenegro as well as Macedonia, whereas the company's ultimate objective is to become the most successful retailer in southeastern Europe. Engrotus, which also won the award in 2001, has increased its sales by 460% during the last five years and created 1,841 new jobs in the process. This year's Silver Gazelle went to Euro Plus, the creator of software used in the printing of labels, barcodes and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, while the Bronze Gazelle was awarded to Sep, a manufacturer of plastics for the automotive industry. Between them, last year's 500 fastest growing enterprises have posted sales of SIT 691 m (EUR 2.88 billion) and created 10,889 jobs over the past five years. During this period, gazelles from central Slovenia experienced the largest growth in terms of sales and exports, while those from the Savinjsko-Zasavsko region posted the highest profits. Last year's Golden Gazelle award went to Keko Varicon, a manufacturer of ceramic electrical components. Who are the gazelles American researcher David Birch discovered that small companies with up to twenty employees accounted for roughly two thirds of a nation's economic growth. He later classified companies into three categories: mice, gazelles and elephants and defined gazelles as being dynamic, rapid-growth companies, whose goal isn't to survive but to succeed. Gazelles, therefore, reflect the ability of an economy to grow and create new jobs. In the five years from 1998 to 2002, the 500 fastest growing companies in Slovenia created 7,940 jobs. On average, each gazelle sold goods or services worth SIT 1.5 billion (EUR 6.25 m) and generated a profit of SIT 60 m (EUR 250,000). In 1998, the average gazelle had 24 employees - five years later this number had increased to 40. Slovenia's Golden Gazelle Project The business weekly, Gospodarski vestnik (GV), launched the Gazelle Project in 2001 to show that fast growth and good entrepreneurial models are essential factors in Slovenia's economy and every year since, the three top 'hot growth' companies have been chosen from among regional winners. By 2003, the Golden Gazelle award had emerged as one of the most prestigious business prizes in Slovenia. In 2005, the publishers of GV spun-off two new magazines, Gazelle and Gazela, which they intend to develop independently from their flagship publication.


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