The Managers' Association of Slovenia (Združenja Manager) has chosen Janez Škrabec as its 2017 Manager of the Year. Škrabec is the founder and director of the Riko Group, one of Slovenia’s leading engineering companies, which applies innovative, sustainable approaches to international projects in a broad range of areas, including the automotive, tractor, and aircraft industries, as well as the energy, environmental protection, logistics, and construction sectors. The 21-year old group has been very successful in terms of all the usual business metrics, seeing 117 million euros net sales revenue and seven million euros net profit in 2016, with 24.4 percent return on equity. Moreover, with just 108 staff these figures represent among the highest returns per employee in Slovenia.
Škrabec received his award at the Association’s annual congress, a two-day event that this year was attended by around 300 Slovenian managers. As the presentation made clear, however, Škrabec did not win the award for his company’s financial reports alone, as it was his approach to the environment and society that was marked for particular praise. Whenever possible, Riko is involved in socially- and environmentally-responsible projects. On a human-scale, this is perhaps best appreciated by the group’s Riko Hiše unit, which integrates wood in structures that are both aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient, with the units built ranging from prefabricated homes to public buildings and housing estates. In financial terms, Riko Hiše has shown that innovation and craft continue to pay dividends, as the unit saw net revenues of eight million euros in 2016, with half a million euros net profit, and all with only 65 staff.
The title of Manager of the Year is yet another award for Janez Škrabec, who has received numerous honours over the last two decades for his achievements in business and philanthropy, in both Slovenia and abroad. Moreover, at only 54, many more can be expected in the years to come.