Digital Challengers

20.09.2019., Rovinj -Predavanje DIGITAL CHALLENGERS. Mislav Togonal, Josko Mrndze, Zeljko Kukurin, Andrej Grubisic, Milan Mirjanic     Photo: Marko Dimic/PIXSELLPhoto: Marko Dimic/PIXSELL

No One Should Fear Robots Because They Will Make Us Earn More and Live Better

Two-thirds of children currently attending primary school will work in jobs that don`t exist today. In 20 or 30 years, the world’s most valuable companies will have a business model that depends on digital processes, and it will mostly be Asian companies that do not yet exist. There is no need to fear robots, because robotization will enables us to earn the same or more with more free time and have a better quality of life. Participants of the panel ‘Digital Challengers’ pointed this out: Joško Mrndže (Google), Željko Kukurin (Valamar Riviera), Milan Mirjanič (McKinsey) and Andrej Grubišić (Grubišić and partners).

A study on the digitization conducted by the McKinsey consulting firm showed that growth in 10 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including Croatia, was based on export growth, foreign investments and EU funds for the past years. Now, the drivers of traditional economies are losing power and digitalization is a great opportunity for all, including Croatia.

‘The digital economy allows us to increase productivity without having a stock of capital we used to have. Digitization is a train we need to enter right now, ”added Milan Mirjanič.

The travel industry is among the pioneers of the practical application of digitalization. Željko Kukurin, CEO of Valamar, revealed that in 2003 they started an internal startup that deals with digitization and to date, they have experienced phenomenal development. During those years, Kukurin added, there were about a hundred IT companies with their booths at Berlin’s largest tourism fair. Valamar signed contracts with about twenty of them, including Booking.com, then a small business in the Netherlands.

“Since then, the travel industry has completely changed. The main travel vendor is Booking.com, which generates over € 80 billion in traffic per year. Traditional tour operators are bankrupt. Our digitalization story means that today we make sales of € 100 million or 45 percent of Valamar’s total sales from our headquarters in Poreč and communicate with millions of guests from all over the world. I believe that the digitalization opportunities in the hotel and travel industries are enormous”, Kukurin added.

‘With digitization, there is a tremendous opportunity but also danger if we don`t move. By 2030, 20 million new jobs will be created in the EU, and more than 95 percent will need basic digital skills, which 45 percent of citizens in Croatia do not have. Education is crucial, both on an individual level and on a company level, ”said Josko Mrndže.

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