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The Gazelles: fast growing, innovative and globally oriented

Every October the best Slovenian high growth companies receive the Gazelle awards. This year’s winners include an innovative producer of measurement instruments, a software company with a global presence and a tool maker.

To enter the exclusive club of the 500 fastest growing companies in Slovenia you have to increase revenues by at least 141 percent in five years. The companies on the list come from various industries ranging from retail and logistics to metal processing or exotic high tech. They share three basic characteristics: they are innovative, they make most of their revenues (some of the companies almost 100 percent) outside of Slovenia – and they grow really fast.

This year's Golden Gazele Award winner for the best fast growing company is RLS from Komenda, a small town close to Ljubljana. RLS stands for rotary and linear sensors – the company develops and produces advanced motion sensors for industrial use. RLS doubled its number of employees and tripled its revenues in the last five years. The main driver of the company’s growth is its know-how and its rapidly increasing number of international patents.

The company is hardly a start-up, having begun operations back in 1989. In 2000 RLS partnered with UK's Renishaw, a leading global metrology company. Renishaw controls a 50-percent stake of RLS. It is a win-win partnership: Renishaw has enriched its offer while RLS profited from its larger partners' global sales network. RLS's revenues exceeded 10 million euros last year: in 2015 they are projected ahead of 13 million.

The Silver Gazelle Award went to Šenčur near Kranj in Gorenjska (Upper Carniola region). Nice Label – Euro Plus is a global leader in barcode labelling. The company is also the world's leading developer of Windows drivers for industrial label and direct marking printers. The Šenčur based company has doubled its revenues to 5.6 million euros in five years. Yet these figures relate only to its Slovenian headquarters and reflect only a portion of the company's real growth. Nice Label Euro Plus has evolved into a small global group with companies in Germany, USA, Singapore and China.  

This year's Bronze Gazelle Award winner is Oro Met from Pivka in western Slovenia. Oro Met started its operations in December 2006 and specializes in CNC machined tool plates and tool frames. It is a part of Oro Group of tool manufacturing companies, all owned by its founder Janez Suša. Oro Mett grew by an astonishing 392 percent in only five years. The company expect to end up this year with 11.8 million euros of revenues. Its main markets are in Europe: Germany, Austria, UK, Sweden and Hungary.

The Gazelle award was launched 15 years ago by a business weekly: (incidentally, the first ever Gazelle ceremony was held on 11. September 2001). Since 2006 the action has been organized by Dnevnik daily newspaper. 

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