Agrokor d.d.

Agrokor, with 1.7 billion euros in revenues and over 12,000 employees, is Croatia's largest food manufacturer and retailer. Founder and CEO Ivica Todoric started Agrokor back in 1976.

Zagreb, population 1.5 million, doesn't have very many tall buildings so Agrokor's cylinder-shaped, reflective glass tower near the main train station stands out. A giant-size letter "A" in red sits atop the structure. I lock my bike near the building entrance and make my way around construction workers demolishing concrete steps. The building looks better from afar because as one gets closer you can see it hasn't aged well. I'd guesstimate the building to have been built in the early 1990's.

A gruff security guard mans the reception desk and doesn't speak English. I point to CEO Ivica Todoric's name on my questionnaire and the guard makes a call. There's no place to sit down and looking around the empty lobby I note the life-size bronze of a ram and two plants (real). On the guard's desk are the tops of 16 roses (real) floating in a bowl of water.

I'm handed the phone and explain to the woman on the other end what I do and how I mailed a letter of introduction along with some news clippings a month ago to CEO Todoric and was trying to find out who ended up with the letter. This woman says she's in charge of communications/public relations and it would have ended up with her. She's adamant about the letter never arriving and goes on to say that I just can't show up and expect somebody to meet with me. My 20 years experience of dealing with these situations doesn't seem to be of any help and I'm told to resend the letter. I explain being in town only for two days but that fails to make a difference. I tell her I'll leave a copy of the letter of introduction along with news clipping with the security guard. After hanging up the phone I realize she never gave me her name. Thankfully, a woman walking by the reception desk speaks English and I ask her to ask the security guard the name of the woman on the phone. It's Anja Linic.

I don't return and will bet you a million dollars that if I checked back in a few weeks I'll be told the letter had been received but, it was misrouted, misplaced, tossed out or was still sitting on the CEO's desk.

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