Some like low figures, low profile

What do a supermarket, a pharmacy, a bank, a playground in the neighborhood, a beauty shop, an office building, a hospital or a subway train have in common? In all these places, one can find a security company representative

A discrete or a visible presence, an elder about to retire or a young person who has just graduated, a man with a simply inscribed uniform or one who looks like a ninja, a man with a mission – to guard the customers, but also the … statistics of public employees and jobless people.


In the Registry of Trade, one can count almost 900 securities companies with a turnover above EUR 100,000 in 2013, and at the top of the list, the data is sometimes above that from the data of the big hotel chains. Actually, this is the first secret – it is not a sophisticated job and you can find a lot of people who have no alternative and accept the minimum wage or little more.


“Regarding the wage conditions of the employees, they depend primarily on the conditions of the legislation in force related to the national gross minimum wage, the specific objectives they have when they are on duty, as well as on the negotiated contract terms. A security officer can receive a gross salary of between RON 900 and 1,300 per month”, said Octavian Marza, Chief Operating Officer G4S in Romania, in an interview for a local business publication.


The Danish company, which is the second largest private employer in the world (over 620,000 employees) is also one of the largest employers in Romania, with over 6,000 people employed through its division of cash security management and security solutions.


The G4S representative said that a common problem faced by the players on the market is the high staff turnover caused by low wages, but also by the fact that firms are starting to look for automated security systems.


Nevertheless, the low level of the salaries could be considered an “incentive’’ for sustaining some services, and we can see this regarding hotels and accommodation at the seaside, in general. These actually “live’’ just 3 – maximum 4 months a year and, with a good management, and a good weather, they are doing quite fine.




Hard to count the taxes, but also … the customers

“The earnings per season of a seaside hotel range from EUR 500 per room in the Southern resorts to EUR 1,000 or even 3,000 per room in Mamaia, in the North. It takes about 15 years to recover an investment in a hotel in the South, but in Mamaia, an investment can be recovered even in just 5 years if the hotel is well located”, said Mohammad Murad, the president of the Federation of Romanian Tourism Employers, during a press conference in September. He added that a hotel resort with 200 rooms in the South can make a net profit of EUR 100,000, and a similar unit in Mamaia could “easily” have a profit of EUR 400,000 - 500,000 per season.


But, it seems “they will need to hire a man to get informed about the taxes they have to pay” because, as Murad said, “I am convinced that many of us [the hotel 208-210 analiza business services.indd 209 1 owners] are not aware of many of the fees that will come and have to be paid’’.


According to the National Association of Travel Agencies, the seaside represents 79% of all domestic destinations sold by agents. The average value per tourist package was RON 599 on the beach, up 2% compared to the summer of 2013, while the average value for the rest of the destinations was RON 621, up 3% compared to last year.


In 2014, our resorts benefitted from the fact that the tourists’ budgets were too small for them to travel abroad and from the bad time at the Bulgarian neighbors. But the hotels could also rely on the scarcity of jobs amongst the local people, and so could easily find the needed temporary workforce.


The reality is that Romania continues to be a country of low wages. Over 50,000 Romanians are currently employed on a temporary basis, i.e. they are “rented” by recruiters to large companies for periods ranging from several months to three years. Net salaries for temporary employees vary on average between RON 1,100 and RON 2,400 per month, according to data centralized by a local business publication, based on the information submitted by four of the biggest players on the temporary recruitment and hiring market.


Actually, at times, we have been a country that enjoyed the low figures. This summer, it was interesting to note a debate regarding how many tourists arrived at the seaside in the second weekend of August, when media reported a record of 250,000 (a credible figure to those for whom it was almost impossible to find a free one square meter on the beach). But no official data could confirm such a record. Moreover, the tourism association and the representative of the big hotels were ready to swear there is no way to fit in at the seaside accommodations more than … 150,000 tourists, of which only 100,000 in legally classified rooms. The same sources were willing to bet that in any resort, anytime during the season, you can find hotels announcing “we have rooms!’’


2015 – a kind of 2014 with no elections

This was an open debate which could be compared to the one we had two years ago, regarding how many voters there are. Speaking of elections, this year, we had two events which fueled the printing services – the elections for the EU Parliament and the elections for the local presidency. In the fall, there were reports about the workload level of printers, so it was necessary to postpone the printing of the textbooks for pupils.


In 2015, in the field of business services, a reorganization of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is expected, which will mean widening the market for guard services. Hotels are expected a year as good as this one, promising they will not raise the prices, at least at the seaside. And some news which is not so good for printing, but hopefully it is for the economy – there will be no more general elections. O.K., except the elections in Sibiu, where the former mayor is now the president.