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Mario Matković, the CEO of MET Croatia, revealed everything about their business and their exceptional business culture

Mario Matković, the CEO of MET Croatia, revealed everything about their business and their exceptional business culture

July 4, 2024
For the second year in a row, among the top 10 companies in Croatia, they know how to retain employees. What is their secret?

Source: Jutarnji list

The company MET Croatia Energy Trade is celebrating its 10th year of operation and has experienced significant growth in every aspect during this time. MET Croatia Energy Trade is part of MET Group based in Switzerland, providing a global view of the energy market, knowledge, standardised education, and daily support to all its subsidiaries. The Croatian branch, with its team, has achieved remarkable results.

In the past year, 2023, they ended with a revenue of 1.24 billion euros, ranking themselves among the top 10 companies in Croatia by revenue for the second consecutive year. They have a long-term capacity lease at the LNG terminal in Krk, secured by MET Group until 2032.

From five to 17

In the beginning, MET Croatia Energy Trade had only five employees, two of whom recently celebrated a decade of work at the company. Today, our team consists of 17 top domestic experts with comprehensive knowledge and a deep understanding of the challenges that customers face in the Croatian gas market. We are particularly proud that in our tenth year of existence, we have achieved record results, with revenues that have placed us among the top 10 companies in Croatia for the second consecutive year. We are one of the first significant lessees at the LNG terminal on Krk, and with contracted storage capacities in the Underground Gas Storage (PSP) Okoli, we continuously contribute to the national energy supply security - says Mario Matković, the company’s CEO.

MET Croatia Energy Trade highlights that their company has achieved independent success and stability, and being part of a larger group only enhances this positive image with customers. The synergistic power of MET Group in operational business is most evident through financing, and support of the trading floor in Switzerland, thanks to which the Croatian branch quickly and efficiently executes transactions. The remaining branches are located in 13 other European countries, while the Asian branch of the Group is established in Singapore. Globally, there is an increasing emphasis on renewable energy sources in the areas of sales, infrastructure, and electricity production.

Young talent

The success of MET Croatia Energy Trade is also greatly attributed to its business culture. It is designed with employees at the forefront, and one of the valuable initiatives at the group level is the internal “Talent Development Program”, focused on continuous education and professional development.

As a former participant in that program at the beginning of my career in MET Group, I can firsthand say that this education system enables strong and focused internal growth for our team, placing young talent in crucial positions at the start of their careers. We are proud that many team members have been with us since the very beginning of their careers or from very early stages, and they have developed their expertise not only through numerous external and internal training but also through mentorship from more experienced colleagues throughout the entire MET Group, stated Matković.

It is interesting that Matković completed the MET Group’s Talent Development Program in the same year and became the CEO of MET Croatia Energy Trade. However, the fact that his example is not an exception within the group is confirmed by a similar situation in the Czech Republic. The growth of MET Group since its establishment is based on a success story in human resources, where promoting top talents is part of daily operations.

5 things we can learn from MET Croatia Energy Trade

  • Business culture prioritizes employees because they know that a good team is the heart of the company.
  • Employee health is a priority and is encouraged through various internal benefits.
  • MET Croatia Energy Trade consistently contributes to the national energy supply security.
  • Partners build long-term trust with their customers by providing expert advice with tangible results.
  • They are part of the “Talent Development Program” of Swiss MET Group, educating young talents and providing them with opportunities for advancement.

Financial conditions are also an important factor in employee satisfaction, and MET Croatia Energy Trade places a strong emphasis on their health. They offer initiatives such as free health check-ups, education on the importance of quality nutrition and exercise, and funding for sports activities. Team spirit is an important factor in their business culture, and that's why they organize a minimum of three team-building events annually to encourage collaboration and strengthen relationships among employees. Due to the specific dynamics of the sector, the team at MET Croatia Energy Trade needs to be able to react quickly and harmoniously.

The gas market in Croatia has forcibly changed after several “slower” years and has become more complex. The COVID-19 pandemic and particularly the conflict in Ukraine contributed to this. I am proud of our more experienced colleagues who have weathered this challenging period, as well as our younger colleagues who learned to work in a crisis environment back then and have not yet seen a “stable” market environment in their careers. I believe that such a year is worth as much as three “normal” years in terms of acquired knowledge and experience - stated the director.

Customer welfare comes first

To successfully overcome the mentioned crisis periods and fulfil all obligations, they focused on risk protection and securing financing. During a period when gas prices were at their peak, exceeding 300 EUR/MWh, MET Croatia Energy Trade had customers who were paying them 20 EUR/MWh.

- We achieved this success by adhering to internal rules, which may have resulted in lower profits, but also reduced the risk for the benefit of all parties involved. We maintained the trust of our customers in the long term and together, we weathered the period of extremes. We continue such a partnership today, and regardless of the current stability, we advise all customers who have the opportunity to consider at least partially locking in the price, or fixing it. Due to market dynamics, there is always a possibility of price disruptions, such as significant increases, and this way, you reduce that risk as much as possible - stated Mario Matković.

Without wasting time

The gas market is dynamic, and the biggest challenge in the global market is being prepared for all the challenges that may arise from the development of the geopolitical situation and associated unexpected events. The MET Group, based in Switzerland, has an excellent view of such global events due to its extensive network. Matković explains that at the local level, the biggest challenge remains seizing the moment to position Croatia as a regional gas hub by increasing LNG terminal capacity and developing the transport network.

Regarding end consumers, the challenge will come with the abandonment of energy cost subsidies, including for gas, considering the normalization of prices in the market.

- Unfortunately, it is still necessary to explain to customers how the changes in the energy market have occurred, especially in terms of volatility, and that they should consider contracting gas in a different way than three years ago. When the market is falling, some take the opportunity to fix the price, while others wait for the price to hit bottom and start to rise before reacting, and the third category is those who, after the fall and rise, wait for another drop. Regrettably, this category often misses a good moment for fixing because they don't have a specific level at which they will make a decision to fix the price. Our role is to regularly inform and advise customers, but the ultimate decision lies with them - concludes the director of this successful company.