Koncar Elektroindustrija D D

Cycling five miles from Zagreb's city center brings me to Koncar Elektroindustrija's headquarters. It's a somewhat rundown area filled with large apartment blocks built in the 1950's. Koncar, with revenues of $273 million and over 4,000 employees, manufactures industrial machinery. We're talking about machinery used by other companies such as transformers, rotating machines and locomotives.

I attempt to lock my bike outside the building's entrance but a security guard comes out and shoos me way. I end up locking my trusty steed in a spot reserved for bikes near the entrance to the factory grounds at the rear of the building. The security guard manning the reception desk is the same one who made me move the bike. He doesn't speak English. The lobby/reception area reeks from years and years of cigarettes and the brown paneled walls are ugly and dated. It looks like nothing has been touched on the exterior or interior (including furnishings) of the building since it was built, which was probably in the early 1950's. Listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, Koncar's no-frills style must be music to the ears of shareholders who don't have to worry about company funds being spent on palatial offices.

The guard makes a call and then hands me the phone with a woman who speaks English on the other end. I explain what I do and how I mailed a letter of introduction along with some news clippings a month ago to CEO Darinko Bago. I ask the woman if she could call Mr. Bago's secretary to find out where my letter ended up. Jeez, it turns out Bago, along with his secretary aren't here today. I explain how my questions are easy, takes about 10 minutes and that just about anybody can answer them. The woman says there's just isn't anybody around today.

Company website: www.koncar.hr