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The 133rd edition of OpenCoffee Split meetup proved to be a tremendous success, drawing in local entrepreneurs eager to learn from Dražen Oreščanin’s 20-year journey in IT entrepreneurship.

In a casual tone, Dražen shared insightful anecdotes with the attendees. He humorously mentioned that despite being on the path for two decades, he hasn’t quite reached a final destination yet. Alongside his professional commitments and hobbies, he revealed that he authored a forthcoming book centered around an unusual topic – celebrating mistakes!

“In the book, I’ve gathered examples from the Croatian practice, proving that sometimes even a ‘kick in the butt’ can be a step forward,” Dražen emphasized, suggesting that sometimes such nudges are necessary to bring about positive change.

Interestingly, Dražen admitted that he didn’t possess an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age, unlike many successful business people who often claim otherwise. In his early days, he was more interested in pursuits such as biking, sports, music, and dating. It was his intellect that helped him excel with minimal effort during his schooling.

Dražen’s career started at Zagrebačka banka (Zagreb Bank), where he contributed to developing applications for credit risk assessment and risk management, along with reporting systems. He fondly reminisced about a director who unknowingly provided him with the “kick” he needed during that time.

His collaboration with Lidija Karaga, who was his assistant at the time, sparked a strong connection. While they had plans to venture into business together, they waited a few more years to gather valuable experience. Eventually, they both moved to Agrokor, where Dražen served as Deputy Director of IT, responsible for operational management of their information system.

Dražen attributed his personal and professional growth to meeting his wife, whose influence prompted significant changes in his life. Her background was quite different from his own, and she always excelled in everything she did. Dražen, who described himself as an engineer in a plaid shirt, started having ambitions and aspirations due to her encouragement.

This led to the creation of his own business alongside his wife and colleague, Lidija, establishing Poslovna inteligencija (Business Intelligence). With humble beginnings, starting with just two offices and laptops, Poslovna inteligencija has grown into a leading and largest firm in Southeast Europe for implementing analytical solutions, employing nearly 200 people across Croatia and its branches in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UK, Austria, and Slovenia.

Dražen emphasized the importance of complementary partnerships when starting a business. Both his wife and Lidija were among the best decisions in his life, as they worked together seamlessly, making Poslovna inteligencija a huge success. Dražen holds the position of Director of Strategy and Development, as well as President of the Management Board. He actively engages in complex projects as an enterprise architect for clients such as Hrvatski telekom, A1 Hrvatska, United Grupa, Crnogorski telekom, Telenor, Telekom Slovenije, Tisak, and many others.

Beyond his work, Dražen is actively involved in various initiatives, such as the Association of Entrepreneurs and the BIRD Incubator for artificial intelligence and analytics. Among his ongoing projects is the development of Data Privacy Manager software for managing personal data.

Passionate about cycling and triathlons, Dražen finds these activities essential for his mental stability and well-being. “Through cycling, I’ve learned that winning is not everything. Sometimes, participation itself is crucial, even in the business world,” he shared.

Additionally, Dražen highlighted how they’ve found it beneficial to hire individuals with experience in sports, music, dance, and similar fields, emphasizing the significance of effective teamwork in their company.

Smartspace coworking proved to be the ideal venue for this enlightening and engaging event, offering an intimate atmosphere that allowed the local entrepreneurs to learn, connect, and expand their knowledge in a welcoming and relaxed environment.