Swissness in Croatia



I joined Basler osiguranje Zagreb in February 2008. At that time we existed in three separated companies – Basler osiguranje (specialised for nonlife products, mostly for insurances specially designed for medical sector), Basler životno osiguranje (specialised for life insurances) and Osiguranje Zagreb (mixed insurances).

 

Written by Ana Brčina, HR Business Partner, Basler Osiguranje Zagreb

 

Basler insurances was rather new on the market – they were founded in 2000. In the year 2007, Baloise bought Osiguranje Zagreb, 4th largest insurance company when comparing the percentage of the Croatian market share.

Basler osiguranje Zagreb headquarters

Internally, we felt like David is buying Goliath – since Osiguranje Zagreb was about 5 times larger than both Basler insurances, with extremely wide product portfolio and over 165.000 clients. Osiguranje Zagreb was the first private insurance on the Croatian market, founded in 1991. We merged in the beginning of 2010 and we’re working on personnel and processes optimisation. So far, we successfully created new departments, new procedures and new products. At the moment, we are reorganising our Sales department but also finishing data migration (since we operated on different IT platforms). There is still a lot of work before us, but we can see the end of the tunnel :)

At the moment, we have 538 employees working all over Croatia. Due to our latest reorganisation, we operate in 10 business unites. Our HQ is in Croatian capital – Zagreb. We are not centralised in one location as we have departments split in two Zagreb locations.

Our main location is in so called Workers Street (Radnička cesta). In the past, the whole neighbourhood was full of factories and industrial companies in general. Today, it is completely rebuilt – this is now a Croatian City. We are surrounded by other insurance companies, several banks and other financial institutions. Sometimes I have a feeling I’ve lost contact with reality – everyone around me wears nice suits and works in offices. There are no more plain workers around (so called blue collar workers) that used to dominate this street.

Basler work space is organized as open office. Sometimes it is a bit too noisy, too crowded, but at the end it kind of connected us – it allowed us to get to know each other quite well. I know a substantial amount of private information about most of the people on my floor – and I do not think they intended to share all of it ;)

Swissness in Croatia

Baloise and Basler donation to Orphanage home

Basler osiguranje Zagreb is the only Swiss company on the market, and we are very proud of it. Swissnes has a really positive image in Croatia – it stands for reliability, fairness, strength. On the other hand, Osiguranje Zagreb was the first private and domestic insurance in the market, our clients still remember that, and this is why we kept that part of the name. We are a perfect combination of local tradition and desirable foreign owner.  In 2012 we were recognised as insurance company with the best private health insurance product on the market.

But, I think our greatest advantage is our people. They’ve been through so many changes, optimisations, but they still believe in the company and are willing to do their best. Our management always keeps their door open (some even refused to sit in offices, but rather sit in open office, among their subordinates) and keeps close and open relationships with their employees. Sometimes it results in vivid discussions, but that only means they are open for different points of view.

 

Croatia in a Nutshell

Central square Zagreb

People

Warm and genuine, hedonistic (coffee breaks are very important)

Geography

Surrounded by great countries and destinations, easy and close to visit over a weekend, especially Zagreb. Hidden by hills and mountains from any extreme weather conditions, but only a 2-hour drive from seaside, or just half an hour from a trendy ski destination.

Culture

Loads of concerts, art galleries, street festivals, theatre. But for a glimpse of reality in Zagreb, visit our market Dolac in the morning, have a coffee in Tkalča after lunch and visit some clubs in the evening.

Zagreb Dolac market