On 22nd of May 2019, CEO Conference – Shaping the Future with the theme of "Slowbalization - How to redesign the organization of the future", brought together over 170 leaders of the largest Romanian companies in Bucharest at Stejarii Country Club, in a Doingbusiness.ro event.
Within it, authentic leaders, representatives of powerful brands, executives from companies working in the main fields of the Romanian economy - from finance, banking, insurance, automotive, energy, IT, pharma and to the construction sector or dental medicine, have exposed their visions and sought solutions for an economy that, globally, over the next 50 years, will experience much more change than the world has seen over the past 5,000 years.
"With this rhythm of unprecedented change, all the leaders present at the CEO Conference agreed," said Dumitru Ion, CEO of Doingbusiness.ro & Kompass Romania. "Starting from the term invented by the futurologist Adjiedj Bakas, the author of "The New Renaissance", we organized for the first time in Romania a conference dedicated to the slowbalization phenomenon - the economic context in which globalization stagnates, new nationalism appears, and regionalism and patriotism are invoked more and more. In addition, we discussed, validated and started from the idea that because of the digital transformation, Artificial Intelligence and robotics it becomes increasingly cheaper to produce locally ", said Dumitru Ion.
"I think everyone is aware that we live in a volatile world, and this is a global phenomenon. The message to excuses is to stay flexible. They are invited to manage the expectations of shareholders and business very tightly in terms of costs and to protect human capital. Without good people, all businesses suffer '' said Dominic Bruyneseels, CEO of FIRST BANK.
Speaking exclusively for Doingbusiness.ro, in the message delivered to CEO Conference participants, futurologist Adjiedj Bakas explained how opening borders as a result of globalization has turned eastern and southern European countries into states providing so-called "youngsters." "Italy, Portugal, Romania exports its promising youth in Germany and Scandinavia. The aging of the population is already a problem in these states, where it becomes an even more serious matter. It is important for countries like Romania to try to reverse the emigration process. Immigration from other nations is not a solution, "says Bakas, who states, in the context of the slowbalization phenomenon, that " you can not build a future based on the children of other nations."
"The insurance industry without a global connection can not exist," said Virgil Soncutean, CEO of Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari. "Four to five years ago, our interactions with shareholders in the planning exercises we make each year involved two business scenarios. In the past 2 years, discussions require 5-6 business scenarios, and 3-4 months later and they require adjustments. Uncertainty and unpredictability are part of the new normality and we must act as a business in this new normality, "added Virgil Soncutean. "The key word for business is now resilient - the ability to cope with external shocks and stay upright," concludes Allianz-Tiriac CEO.
"Right now we are in the process of starting a new country strategy for Romania for the period 2020-2024 and almost everyone identifies as three important elements of the development of Romania," said Mihnea Craciun, Deputy Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. "The first is the infrastructure without which Romania will remain in the middle income strap where it is now, the second is the labor force - the migration and the difficulties of finding the skilled labor force in the directions that we seem to go - and the third issue is digitization, " added Mihnea Craciun.
Alexandru Reff, Country Managing Partner of Deloitte Romania and Moldova shared with the audience the results of the latest study, Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2019 on labor market trends and transformations that we live under the rule of several forces of change. One of these forces is the technology that has brought to life everyday new resources of the type of artificial intelligence that it translates into daily realities.
"We see at the same time significant demographic transformations - life expectancy is longer, careers are rethought, the young population has different expectations and approaches and is numerically less present on the labor market than we really need. We also see how clients and employees have gained much more power and companies and their leadership have to adapt to a fundamental shift in the paradigm of how they interact with these two stakeholder categories. Work itself and the workforce are redefining ", explained Alexandr Reff.
"In Romania, I do not feel this phenomenon of slowbalization, at least not in the pharmaceutical industry," said Iulian Trandafir, CEO of Farmexpert. "However, in recent years, we are witnessing a competition between the big companies that have entered Romania and the Romanian companies that are still developing and developing very well - I congratulate them for this. Large companies have considerable financial strength and behind them come the experience, knowledge and procedures they have - extremely effective. Their effectiveness in these global slow-down times may be affected by the slowness of decisions. If you look on the other side, at local companies, it is obvious that they show quick intelligence, extremely quick decisions and have a lot of flexibility ", differentiated Iulian Trandafir.
"In the automotive industry we are living one of the most dynamic changes. If we look at the customers' point of view - the demand goes in a very different direction, depending on needs, towards a future driven from combustion engines to so-called "electrification" - hybrid and electric models. In the corporate area, we see an impressive move towards what mobility means. Although our industry is quite traditional, it gets to be driven significantly by what IT means. This trend brings many changes and one of the most important is the speed we are witnessing in terms of these changes, "said Wolfgang Schulz - CEO BMW Group Romania.
"From the point of view of the phenomenon of slowbalization in the energy market, I see two main engines: the first is the political one, the second the technical one. Globally, from a political point of view, we see in recent years that all states are becoming more and more interested in energy independence. The second engine is more technical, and I refer to renewable energy, which is becoming increasingly economic, efficient. Now, renewable energy is ready to be developed without subsidies, "said Ondrej Safar, CEO CEZ Group Romania, present at the event.
"We are now trying to define the future of energy and identify many disruptive factors in our ecosystem. All actions lately are aimed at developing smart solutions for residential, business or municipal customers. It is very important to start educating the market about what energy efficiency and intelligent energy use means. "Slowbalization" is from our point of view a transformational innovation, which means the idea of re-engineering our processes, the way of working, the human capital and the partnership area ", said Andreea Ionita, Deputy General Manager and Strategy, Markets and Digitalization Director - E.ON Romania.
"From Microsoft's perspective, we do not feel the slowbalization," argued Violeta Luca, General Manager, Microsoft Romania. "Microsoft has gone through a vast process of digital transformation, changing the paradigm of how we do business. We have over 1.15 billion users and we do not feel the slowbalization on the growth zone. What we feel, however, is that many users in the business area have changed client priorities and expectations and need a very good company agility to be able to capture growth or reinvent " said Violeta Luca.
"We consider a complete success placing the first time, the subject of slowbalization on the public agenda of the leaders of the largest companies in Romania, at the CEO Conference – Shaping the Future. All those who have attended the event received insights from the most powerful business leaders, whether they were in the presidium, or contributed from the audience to the quality of the event, which motivates us to continue this series of events including a unique selection of authentic leaders, able and willing to figure out when and how the national economy is transforming. We have done this in the context of globalization, but also in the context of slowbalization, "concluded Dumitru Ion, CEO of Doingbusiness.ro & Kompass Romania.
The partners of the event are: FIRST BANK, EBRD, Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari, CEZ Group Romania, Farmexpert, Microsoft Romania, Deloitte Romania, DRUID, Crystal System, WDP, Strauss Romania, Sixsense, ASBIS, Prestigio, Psychometric Systems, DENT ESTET, Kompass Romania.
The promotion of the event is supported by prestigious partners such as: AGERPRES, RMKT – Asociatia Economistilor Maghiari din Romania, Financial Market, Transilvania Business, Spatiul Construit, Agora, SoftLead, CfNET, Manager Express, Business24, Cariere, Jurnalul de Afaceri, Ziare.com.