Q: How was 2017 for Kaeser Romania? Did the market meet your expectations?
Radu Garbea: 2017 was a good year for our company. We had a rough start, because of the very few projects launched in 2016, but at the beginning of the 3rd semester new projects became available and this helped us recover the lost ground and get back on track as previously targeted. We are confident that by the end of the year our goals will be reached.
Q: While the general economic growth of Romania is higher than the initial expectations, triggered by consumption, how do you see your market growth and what were the main drivers in your market in 2017?
Radu Garbea: The general consumption growth of 2017 haven’t had a significant impact on our activity. We were only influenced by agriculture and some industrial branches. In the second part of the year our clients have increased their exports and this translated in new business for us. But, as we have seen it, 2017 was a year with few investments in new technology.
Q: Beside Bucharest, you have local presence in Cluj, Deva, Ia?i, Sibiu and Timi?oara. Do you have any plans to further expand your business in other main cities of Romania? How would you characterize the short and medium term development of Romania’s industry?
Radu Garbea: We are also present in other cities. Nowadays we can work from mobile offices because everything is interconnected and we can communicate with everyone in real time. Our main goal is to open a new office in Brasov at the beginning of next year.
Q: Regarding your customers, what are their main needs and what is their feedback towards the products and services you provide? How do you measure your overall clients’ satisfaction?
Radu Garbea: We conduct an online survey every year, to measure our clients’ satisfaction. It seems that they appreciate very much the efficiency of our equipment, the quality of our assistance and the speed of our response every time they encounter a problem. Every year we get high scores from our partners. If we receive an 8 we know that something is not working well and if we get a lower grade we know there is a real problem and we should solve it immediately.
Q: What are the main economic sectors that choose Kaeser Romania?
Radu Garbea: Our main clients come from automotive and food industry. But we also have a very good coverage in the woodworking and textile industries. Our goal is to have a better presence in the energy sector. For 2018 we hope that companies active in this sector will make investments, which will increase the efficiency of used energy and reduce the toxic gases disposed in the atmosphere.
Q: What’s your view on employment, trade and investment for Romania in 2018, and please tell us your prediction about the evolution of your business sector in 2018.
Radu Garbea: We hope that these will be the pillars for the next year’s growth. Looking at the results of the second half of this year we are expecting the upward trend to continue in 2018. The biggest challenge for us will be to find qualified people able to work under the Industry 4.0 environment, which implies more and more sophisticated equipment, processes and tasks. “IoT Institute” has recently published a top of the most innovative industrial companies - http://www.ioti.com/industrial-iot-iiot/top-20-industrial-iot-applications and Kaeser Group is put alongside the biggest and the best known worldwide companies, such as: Airbus, Amazon and Boeing. We need to have well trained employees to keep up with the Industry 4.0 and the new challenges that the next years will bring us.
Q: In 2019 Kaeser is going to celebrate 20 years in Romania. If you were to go back 20 years, what would be your statement on ‘’Romania - then and now’’?
Radu Garbea: 2019 will be a very special year for us and we will have a lot to celebrate. It will also be the Kaeser centenary. Kaeser was founded in Coburg in 1919 by Carl Kaeser Senior, the grandfather of the current President of the company, Mr. Thomas Kaeser. Looking at the Romanian branch I remember very well how we started 20 year ago. At that time Kaeser was present in Romania through a distributor, in Bucharest, with 3 employees. Since then the company has grown continuously. In a short period of time we have become one of the Group’s most important branches, surpassing other more experienced regional offices. In 2018 we should have 50 employees and consolidate our national market presence.