Ivo Usmiani

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Class of 2024, Croatia
President of the Board of Directors of JGL Group

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Ivo Usmiani is protecting people’s health by focusing on their senses.

Pharmaceutical company JGL Group is a prime example of how taking a chance can yield healthy rewards. When Ivo Usmiani founded JGL in Rijeka, Croatia, in 1991, he started producing generic drugs that large pharma companies weren’t interested in — small-batch essential drugs that weren’t considered cost-effective.  

Under Ivo’s leadership, the company grew into an international business with a presence in 60 markets around the world. It went from initially offering one product, activated charcoal tablets, to more than 300 products covering various therapeutic areas from digestion and allergy treatments to products for eyes, nose and skin. The company focuses on the senses with a mission to help people sense the world around them in a better, richer and more confident way.  

Today, 86% of JGL’s revenue is from its exports. The company’s growth is largely due to its investments in R&D, production facilities and advanced technology, along with its commitment to environmental, social and governance principles. Beyond its commercial success, JGL prides itself on improving every person’s quality of life, including its workforce of 1,200 people in 11 countries.  

As JGL continues to grow, the focus is more on becoming a global pharmaceutical company that develops and produces products for ophthalmology, ear, nose and throat health, as well as a leading provider of seawater-based health products. Further enhancing JGL’s impact is the JGL Pharmacy Museum in Rijeka, which explores the industry’s history.

Innovation should be embraced by encouraging employees to seek out new ideas, experiment with technologies and think outside the box.