Tiskara Pečarić – Radočaj: An inspiring story of business success of two extraordinary families from Karlovac
A project closing Event
On Thursday, 9th of November, Tiskara Pečarić Radočaj, a company specialized in all sorts of prepress, publishing and printing, hosted an event that marked successful closing of a project named "Greening and Automatization of Tiskara Pečarić Radočaj“. Through their project, supported by Norway Grants’ Business Development and Innovation Croatia Programme, TPR purchased an offset printing machine that marks the new beginning of a company, as company’s CEO Ivana Prahovic says, raising its business to a new level.
I found myself confused, arriving at the event venue on Thursday evening, November 9, seeing what seemed to me as half of the City of Karlovac, gathered at one place.
We have so many clients - Ivana explained, and we wanted to invite them all, and share with all of them this happy moment, which we still can’t believe is for real. Many of them have journeyed with us from the very beginning and they understand the struggles that we’ve been through.
Founded business during Croatia’s Homeland War
Indeed, Tiskara Pečarić Radočaj started its business more than 30 years ago, during very sensitive time for Croatia. The Homeland War was raging. Society was dispirited and economy devastated; the future did not seem bright. Companies were closing, and people left without their jobs and incomes on a daily basis.
But Mr. Drago Radočaj and Mr. Ivan Pečarić decided to respond to this seemingly gloomy scenario by taking a different route. As they were both competent, with decades of experience in the press industry, they decided to set up a small printing office, and with the risk of losing everything under the burst of war, started their business very modestly.
Expansion of Business
But with hard work and dedication not only did their business survive – it actually expanded very quickly, so after only three years of working they had to move to bigger premises. They purchased a building from another company that just closed its business under the burden of war, and adapted it for their needs, and by doing so, they added a new, fresh spirit to it.
With its blue façade, and picturesque – yellow, red, green and white window walls, it reminded me of Vienna’s Hundertwasser House. Indeed – that was an inspiration, Ivana confirmed, who also arranged the interior of the building in a very unique way – with photos of first - Gutemberg’ sprinting machine, letters from Glagolitic alphabet, in which first books in Croatia were printed, and many other details that relate the story about origins of printing and TPR’s 30 years of journeying through rags and riches of its business.
TPR is specific in many other ways as well. Unlike many other companies, they actively apply inclusive employment policy, so today, approximately 30% of their employees are people with disabilities. From their happy faces and glowing eyes on the closing ceremony, one could tell how much they enjoy working for TPR. We are all family here, says one of Tiskara’s employees, as Ivana approaches us.
The passionate approach to business of Pečarić-Radočaj Family
Ivana is Mr. Ivan Pečarić’ daughter. She is now running the business, together with Vlado Radočaj, who is Mr. Drago Radočaj’s son. Even though the founders, Mr. Ivan Pečarić and Mr.Drago Radočaj, now in their late seventies have not completely retired, they have given a way to their children to run the business, knowing that TPR is in good hands, and are evidently happy of what they have achieved and how their children are running the company.
And indeed - Ivana’s and Vlado’s passion about their business and importance they put into making their clients happy is something that cannot go without noticing. They pay utmost attention to every detail of the products they deliver - catalogues, brochures, magazines, professional books, monographs, calendars, posters, and others, and they always deliver on time. This is something that their clients seem to appreciate the most, and this is the reason why their clients’ base - mostly from the City of Karlovac and Karlovac County is growing constantly.
Investment into new offset printing machine needed for further expansion
But Ivana and Vlado realized that if they wanted to accept new clients, and expand to new markets – to regions of Primorsko Goranska, Lika, Zagreb, or even Istria, the neighboring Slovenia etc., they needed to invest into new equipment, since the printing machine they had was slow, as it was in many aspects manually operated. It generated lot of errors, and lot of paper and other waste, as many operations needed repetition.
With inefficient working process, TRP could not consider accepting many new clients.
But the investment into new offset printing machine itself was close to Euro 700,000 – something that TPR, despite its many clients, prudent management and wise business decisions was not able to afford.
Support from Norway Grants
Luckily, there was Norway Grants’ Business Development and Innovation Croatia Programme, and the new Call, to award grants to good promotors for their promising projects had just been announced.
TPR applied – and was successful. The amount of Euro 495.000 was awarded to TPR for the purchase of new, modern offset printing machine. With its superior features, the new machine will automate the production process, thus decrease the working hours, reduce the energy consumption, as well as production waste and downtime, leading to significantly increased capacity with greener production. This investment will boost company’s competitiveness, and because of expansion to new markets, Company’s revenues are expected to soar.
I am not sure if any other printing company in Croatia has a similar printing machine at this moment, Mr. Drago Radočaj says, as he proudly walks me though the production hall on the celebration evening, to demonstrate the machine which has only recently arrived to TPR, marking successful completion of the project.
The machine indeed looks fantastic, and we are now even more positive that the Norway Grants’ money was well invested. After seeing the machine and meeting these extraordinary, hardworking and dedicated people, we can only wish them a lot of new printouts, for many new, happy and recurring clients - for years to come.