Rimac Automobili’s expansion is in full swing. After the opening of a development office in Split, a similar one has opened in Slavonia, or in Osijek’s Esseker center to be exact. To see the story behind the new office and the things being developed inside it, I’ve decided to simply – visit.
My host was Rajkumar Rajappan, head of Osijek office who came to the east of Croatia after more than 20 years of professional career in the automotive industry. I’ve also spoken with Matija Gracin, head of component research and development. Rajkumar and Matija are a part of a smaller team in Osijek that currently also consists of two students from Osijek’s FERiT college.
While Split focuses on software, Osijek aims for electronics and electroenergetics
Rajkumar tells me that Osijek’s office is working at full speed, and the atmosphere is scintillating. The team started working on high-voltage product development activities, and in a short while the team members started helping the main team in Sveta Nedjelja on all sorts of projects. Rajkumar explained how the office grew to the size it is today:
The challenges we faced during the early stages were, identifying the relevant talent, training them to get the confidence and align them to meet the company vision. We approached this challenge with a local to local solution, first we transferred two of our engineers from Zagreb to Osijek along with a manager (He had experience in setting remote offices in Asia and Europe) and built a team around them.
I’ve also asked Matija how is the Osijek office similar to the recently opened Split office of Rimac Automobili:
Both offices field engineers, but their fields of expertise are different. Development office Osijek hires engineers that work in fields of electical engineering and electric power engineering, and the Split office focuses on software development and IT. Both cities give us excellent candidates, we have a lot of applications and are cooperating with FERiT and FESB colleges.
Cooperation that leads to new college programmes
Matija adds that great cooperation with Osijek’s FERiT college resulted in the creation of a Master’s course named Automobile computing and communications. Rimac Automobili were a part of the curriculum development from the start and regularly hold lectures for the students.
Rajkumar says that, at first, Rimac and FERiT cooperated exactly through lectures and seminars, and then supported FERiT in the process of identification of courses for the mentioned Master’s course. The Osijek office is today home for two FERiT students who work on real products every day and at the same time learn about the most advanced technologies in the development of electric vehicles.
To all who look forward to Rimac’s Osijek office growing larger and hiring more people, we have good news. Rajkumar:
With the current success in establishing a remote office and Hi-voltage
engineering specialization in Osijek, we want to grow further in other sub- systems in Power Electronics domain. Rimac Osijek center will become the Center of Excellence for Power Electronics.
Osijek is creating extraordinary engineers
When it comes to the city of Osijek itself, there’s no doubt that Rimac Automobili opened an office here because they see great potential. That potential is evident not only in the number of students of local colleges, but also in the continuous growth of IT in the city of Osijek. Matija tells me that Osijek is creating extraordinary engineers, and the skills that they learn in college are applicable in the automotive industry. Matija:
With opening of the development office in Osijek we point towards the great, but insufficiently used potential of the city and the region. We’d like to invite and attract and other tech companies, and to emphasize to young experts that Osijek is an excellent city to live, learn and work. We try to support the local college in the making of new programs and prepare students for the things that the industry requires of them.
The office itself is situated on the first floor of Osijek’s Esseker centre with an excellent view of the famous Osijek promenade and pedestrian bridge, in the city center. A few vacant workplaces hint that the Osijek office is soon going to hire more people, and I somehow believe that the announcements of Osijek’s IT park will benefit Rimac Automobili, too.