In an interview with Zarko Popovic, General Manager KROKO Tactical, MONCh were informed about the company, its customers and its presence at Enforce Tac 2019.
MONCh: Tell us when and how KROKO Tactical got started.
Z. Popovic: KROKO started more than 50 years ago, in 1961, as a high-end leather manufacturer in Zagreb, Croatia. With the start of the Homeland War in Croatia, we supported our troops and started to produce equipment that was needed - backpacks, belts, uniforms, etc.
MONCh: You've been providing militaries protective and load bearing gear. Describe how that came about.
Z. Popovic: Our beginnings were formative - gathering experiences from front lines, adjusting our products to reflect those, and working closely with end users. From there, we invested a lot into our R&D resources as we realized that quality and innovation are the way to go forward and differentiate ourselves in this extremely competitive market. Protective and Load Bearing systems are our strengths, we’ve researched, developed, designed, and manufactured over 300 different products in the last 5 years.
MONCh: What militaries use your products?
Z. Popovic: First of all, we’re proudly supporting and supplying our own - Croatian Armed Forces have been our partner since day one. We’ve expanded into the wider European region, not only in armed forces but in law enforcement as well. Today we’re supplying complete MOD and MOI of Montenegro, Kosovo Security Force, Portuguese Armed Forces, Swiss Federal Police, German Federal Police. In terms of other markets, we’re active in SE Asia with Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore and expanding retail and law enforcement option in USA and Canada.
MONCh: Do you employ retired military personnel?
Z. Popovic: We’re an equal opportunity employer, so we take our social responsibility very seriously. KROKO has a number of retired military personnel employees that are working in various roles form manufacturing to management. Apart from ex-military, we work closely with persons with disabilities either directly through employment or through sub-contractor roles with NGO’s. Giving back and being involved in the community is of the utmost importance.
MONCh: How will backpacks be different in 2025?
Z. Popovic: We’re seeing a lot of development in how and where military and law enforcement professionals operate. In that sense, equipment that they carry and utilize has to change as well. We believe that new, lighter, and stronger materials will play an even bigger role. Also, we’ll have to provide systems that are modular so that end users can adjust equipment to the mission specific needs.
MONCh: What makes your products different?
Z. Popovic: We’re in an extremely competitive field and our position is that we have to differentiate ourselves through quality, durability, innovation, and development. Our motto reflects that - “That’s our R.I.D.E.” - as it stands for research, innovate, develop, and enhance. We live up to those demands with the usage of a top of the line textiles, cooperating with numerous textile manufacturers on the development of new fabrics, and various international accredited laboratories to assure that we comply with those high demands.
KROKO Tactical at a Glance
KROKO Tactical is a globally successful manufacturer and supplier of military and police equipment, company that delivers the right solution at the right time and place, producing and delivering products based on customer specific needs and wishes.
MONCh: Describe your testing process.
Z. Popovic: We’re a firm believer in a thorough testing of our products so that they meet our quality standards. The testing process is divided into three parts - first of all, we have a thorough inspection of materials that are used in that particular product, we compare specs with the end user requirement, and we make sure that everything is in order. Next step is to get the product out in the field and on this part, we have a cooperation with professionals that are both in active service and retired so that we can make adjustments if it’s needed. The final step is to get those products in the independent laboratory to verify results.
MONCh: What do you expect to gain from Enforce Tac 2019?
Z. Popovic: We see Enforce Tac 2019 as a great way to showcase our products to professional users and decision makers. Apart from that, we also have a significant number of potential and existing business partners that are attending this event. So, we firmly believe this is an excellent opportunity to have meetings, presentations, and expand our network.
MONCh: Thank you.