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.
Company website: www.agrokor.hr