Slovenia often sits high on 'per capita' lists of bio-diversity, olympic medal hourdes, and car ownership, but the industrious small country can boast various successes on the world business stage. Ski equipment, microlight aircraft, and in this case, home appliances. Gorenje is globally one of the market leaders for high-end refrigerators, washing machines, cookers and dishwashers. The secret to their success, exporting products to some seventy countries across all continents lies at least partly in their ethic, innovation, design and simplicity. Their product lines employ several leading designers, putting the company whose name comes from the tiny Slovene village where it was originally set up in 1950, firmly on the world map.
Even in the currently difficult economic climate, it has so far weathered the storm and is adapting, also having had to reinvent itself following its primary market's breakup (Yugoslavia circa 1990's), and doing so with seeming ease. Now including a long list of brands, the headquarters is located in Velenje itself and employs 6000. Gorenje is involved in numerous fields including renewable energy (solar panels), waste management, and even tourism (see the Hotel Paka). Its innovative products (for which it has won a lot of awards) include the refrigerator with HomeChef over with a large TFT display, induction hob IQCook with sensor control and anti-allergy tumble dryer. A tribute to Velenje, and no doubt the pride of many in the Šalek valley.