Our Team

Team of experienced Central European entrepreneurs, managers and franchise experts.

Growentas team has considerable experience in developing profitable franchise businesses and managing strong franchise brands. Furthermore, the team has a long-standing and profound knowledge and understanding of the Central European business market, with its franchising business environment in specific.

Board of directors, the core team, is comprised of three members, who have more than 50 years’ combined experience in strategic and operational management, franchise management and consulting, with a wealth of experience in their own disciplines and specific knowledge: the Director (Chief Executive Officer) Dr. Edith B. Steiner, COO (Chief Operating Officer) Michael A. Kollmann, and Managing Partner Dušan Žerak.

Dr. Edith B. Steiner

CEO, Growentas GmbH

Dr. Edith B. Steiner is Growentas GmbH Chief Executive Officer. Prior to Growentas she was for over a decade fully involved in over 70 full-scale franchising business consulting projects for small to large sized companies in the Adriatic region and Austria, for FranAdria, leading franchising consultancy company in the Adriatic area.

Steiner also worked for strong global franchise brands, in Austria, as franchise development and change manager, in the role of FranAdria outsourced consultant. Her focus was on reinventing and improving the franchise systems, building solid franchisor-franchisee relationships, improving business unit results, and helping in internationalization of the companies through franchising.

Her extensive experience in development and management of franchise business models initiated her studies into PhD research on a global level about Risk and Incentives in Franchising Contracting. Her work showed how franchise companies change their determinants of incentives as industries and markets evolve, and for that reason long-term strategies in franchising demand constant in-depth examining and development due to its multifaceted aspects. Through her academic work she has embraced the importance to continually focus on helping create profitable, sustainable, and valuable franchise brands.

Michael Kollmann

COO, Growentas GmbH

Michael A. Kollmann joined Growentas GmbH in early 2019, as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Growentas Kollmann worked in complex business situations, where he was involved in several restructuring of companies, through intelligent and thoughtful leadership, holding chief executive and senior executive management roles.

Kollmann has developed significant expertise in planning, developing, and managing the delivery of exceptional products and customer experiences, through working for several global consumer products companies. He is skilled in P&L management, with an emphasis on controlling costs and maximizing bottom-line. His specialty is improving the financial performance of companies, utilizing cutting-edge tools to analyze model line profitability and make adjustments needed to boost future revenues and margins

At Growentas he is primarily responsible for establishing and implementing systems to execute the organization’s strategic plan. He is results and goal oriented, developing systems to track progress toward those goals.

He received his business degree at International Cooperation Management University of Klagenfurt, Austria.

Dušan Žerak

Managing Partner, Growentas GmbH

Dušan Žerak is Managing Partner at Growentas GmbH. Prior to joining Growentas he has been fully engaged as a Founder and Managing Director of FranAdria, leading franchising consultancy company in the Adriatic area. 

Mr. Žerak has over 18 years of business and advisory experience in strategic planning, franchising, and international business expansion. His specialties include Franchise Development, Franchise Consulting, Franchise Sales, Franchise Business Strategy, Franchise Coaching, and Licensing. He has completed over 100 full-scale franchising development projects across all major industry sectors, in the Adriatic area.

Žerak oversees Growentas’ franchising investment strategies, constantly scouting the market for opportunities, identifying best fits for the region, performing feasibility studies, determining the viability of an idea, negotiating head of terms, preparing business plans and then committing resources, time, and budget, acquiring the master franchise rights – taking the project all the way to establishing a franchise system that brings compelling results. 

Žerak studied for his B.S. degree at the faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Ljubljana and received his Business Degree at IEDC Bled School of Management.