Helping Croatian small enterprises expand their business

The EBRD TurnAround Management (TAM) Programme is assisting a local company to include wine tourism and agro-tourism in its business.

Ilocki Podrumi, a business established in 1998 on the hills overlooking the Danube river in Ilock, in the Croatian region of Syrmia, is today the biggest local employer, playing an important role in the economic, tourist and gastronomic sector.

The company owns 350 hectares of vineyards and produces grapes, wine and seeds, but beside its mainly agricultural activity, it has recently invested in the gastronomic sector with the idea to expand into wine tourism and agrotourism, booming sectors in the rest of Europe.

Introducing international best practice

For this purpose, in 2009 the company built two hotels and restaurants, and in order to review and improve its management and redefine its business plan for all its activities, they turned to the EBRD TurnAround Management (TAM) Programme which provides support for the introduction of international best practice in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Improving wine quality and production profitability

With the help of international advisers the company improved wine quality and production profitability and opened to international markets, finding importers from Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Japan. Marketing and sales strategy was reviewed and “oenological initiation trips” were successfully launched, bringing new customers to the hotels, restaurants and wine shops. Dynamism, effectiveness and a precise vision for the future unlocked the company’s potential to become a market leader.

Since 1993 Luxembourg has provided a total of €2.1 million in funding for 38 TAM projects in 11 EBRD countries of operations, and is to date the largest donor for TAM projects in Croatia.