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News: Commissioner Dacian Ciolos says Romania can expect to receive significant additional funding for agriculture, out of the EUR 386.9 billion available at a European Union level »page 4



July 11 - 17, 2011 / VOLUME 16, NUMBER 25


Cycling is just one of the many ways to get fit for summer in Bucharest. From swimming to samba, football to fencing and rumba to zumba, BR surveys the options for getting active. And businesses are also getting involved »pages 10-11

NEWS We don’t need no education: The local school system took a public beating last week, after students scored record low baccalaureate marks » page 4

FOCUS Mineral water producers are hoping for a hot summer to boost cool sales volumes with the estimated EUR 300 million market set to remain stagnant in 2011 » page 7

TALENT Career coach and HR advisor Madalina Uceanu details the beginnings of her online human resources project, now covering a previous gap on the market » page 12

Photo: Laurentiu Obae

WHEELY EASY Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011


NEWS in brief

All photos courtesy of the French Institute

IMAGES of the week

Designs by Ovidiu Pop, the winner of the Espoir Monde 2011 section

TELECOM&IT Radiocom lays off 450 State company Radiocom (the National Society of Radio-communications) will make 450 employees redundant by the end of the year. Radiocom posted a growth in sales volume in the first five months of this year compared to 2010. However, in order to make the company more efficient, expenses related to personnel, transport as well as bonuses will be reduced. One of Radiocom’s main targets is to increase the quality of broadcasting services in order to allow radio and TV broadcasting in digital T-DAB (Terrestrial Digital Audio Broadcasting) and DVB-T (Terrestrial Digital Video Broadcasting) formats.

Microsoft outlook positive after Windows 7 adoption reaches 32% Microsoft Romania will post 5 percent growth in the next fiscal year, 2011-2012, according to Ronald Binkofski, general manager of the software giant’s local office. The adoption of Windows 7 in Romania reached approximately 32 percent in between 2010 - 2011 year. Internet Explorer 9 has a market share of about 4 percent, having been downloaded some 500,000 times. Microsoft Office’s market share increased by 3 percent. The Windows market share rose by approximately 4.5 percent for new PCs. Microsoft also reported a 50 percent growth in its number of ERP clients, while its number of CRM users doubled. The CRM Online cloud service was launched in Romania five months ago and currently there are more than 600 evaluation accounts open. Meanwhile, there are over 200 users of Office 365/Business Productivity Online Suite and over 900 evaluation accounts Office 365 have

Le Pasarela, c’est chic… The Pasarela fashion festival, organized by the French Embassy in Bucharest and the French Institute, showcased works of young Romanian designers competing in the Espoir Mode and Pasarela Access sections. The festival aims to promote the creations of local talent in Bucharest and Paris and to share the values of the French fashion industry with local audiences. been activated since April.

WEEK in numbers

46.3 million euros – the sum by which Romania’s contribution to the EU’s budget was cut back, from an initial EUR 919 million, after the European Parliament voted to distribute last year’s EUR 2.72 billion surplus among member states

2,000 jobs at the Romanian Post will be axed from the existing 34,000

Online card payments total EUR 80.5 mln in H1 Online payments by card reached a total value of EUR 80.5 million in the first half of the year, an 18 percent growth compared to the same period of last year. The number of transactions totaled 1.3 million, which represented a slight growth of 8 percent, according to statistics from Romcard. Online payments are still dominated by orders for package holidays and plane tickets, bills for utilities, services and telecommunications. The average growth across the entire market this year was 6 percent but there were some domains where the growth was higher than 30 percent. The services sector posted a 63 percent rise in the number of transactions compared to the same period last year, sales of IT&C products increased by 37 percent, flower sales hiked by 28 percent and book purchases increased by 26 percent. The NGO sector (donations by card) also climbed by 27 percent.


15-20 percent – the growth in local cigarette sales in the first half of this year compared to the same period of 2010, according to JTI, as the black market has shrunk from 36 percent of sales in 2009

Fitch raises Romania’s country rating to investment grade Fitch Ratings has upgraded Romania's long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BBB-' from 'BB+' and the long-term local currency IDR to 'BBB' from 'BBB-'. The outlooks are stable. At the same time, the agency has upgraded the country ceiling to 'BBB+' from 'BBB' and the short-term foreign currency IDR to 'F3' from 'B'. BBB- is the lowest investment grade, with a stable outlook. The rating revision reflects the country’s GDP growth, an increase in exports,

Philippe Guilet de Saint Mart, the artistic director of the festival the narrowing current account deficit and reduction of the budget deficit. Romania’s economic comeback started in the first quarter of this year with a 1.6 percent GDP growth compared to the same period of 2010.

STOCK EXCHANGE Warsaw Stock Exchange listing for Property Fund Franklin Templeton, the manager and administrator of the Property Fund, has announced it is recommending the second listing of the fund take place on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), in the first quarter of 2012. The announcement follows a six-month study and talks with eight major global investment banks. One reason for the recommendation, says Franklin Templeton, is increased visibility among institutional investors, including those specialized in long-term perspective investment funds. At the same time, this second listing will facilitate the access of more investors currently not investing in Romania to the fund, which is also expected to be included in more analysis reports of international brokers. Warsaw was chosen from a shortlist which also included London and Vienna. According to Franklin Templeton, the WSE has become an important node for large companies in the region, and had a record number of international companies listing on it in 2010. The total value of IPOs on the Warsaw Stock Exchange last year totaled USD 99 billion. The volume and amount of IPOs is expected to increase in 2011 as well. With a market capitalization of USD 2.5 billion, the Property Fund will be among the largest 15 companies of the 417 currently listed on the WSE. Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011


3Q Angela Haraga


Romania to receive additional EU CAP funds, says agriculture commissioner


What projects is Nokia Siemens Networks implementing for the state? Currently, we are involved in several projects for the state. We are now completing a project for the border police. This was a turnkey project, for which we built the site, did the installations, delivered the services to the client and then covered the maintenance stage. I gather from the media and the telecom regulator there is a new strategy for broadband coverage, interest in granting LTE licenses and interest in areas where there is no kind of coverage. This got our attention. If the government wants to invest in broadband coverage, we want to be part of this project. We also want to be the first company to implement LTE technology in Romania. As yet, we don’t have concrete signals from operators. We will probably see the first implementation towards the end of 2012. For what new state projects are you bidding? We are currently involved in an auction for the Romanian Railways with the awarding of the contract pending. We are part of a consortium made up of Thales, Siemens and Nokia Siemens Networks. We should have an answer about this over the next few weeks. What is the make-up of the Nokia Siemens Networks Romania team? There are 50 employees in the Romanian office. I know the number of employees gives a certain idea about the size of the business, but when we talk about intelligent services/products and efficiency, the number of employees is important only up to a point. With the new delivery models we promote, such as cloud computing, the number of employees does not matter so much, consultancy services too can happen at a distance. The largest department at Nokia Siemens Romania is the services department, which represents 60-65 percent of the team. Services are, from my point of view, one of the main directions in which we will have to develop. A growth in the number of employees is not a target per se. We are instead focusing on partnerships with local firms. One of these partners is Computaris, a Romanian company that works as a global delivery center for us. Being a local company, it can deliver resources at optimized costs.

Photo: Laurentiu Obae

CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks Romania

omania will be among the EU member states that will receive a significant amount of additional EU funds within the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and cohesion policy, EU agriculture commissioner Dacian Ciolos said last week at the end of his visit to Romania. The announcement comes after the European Commission adopted the EU’s draft budget for 2014-2020. Agriculture continues to receive the most money – EUR 386.9 billion out of a total of EUR 1.025 billion could be available to European farmers from 2014. However, the Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2014-2020 will bring changes. “There will be criteria for the use of the funds which will be much clearer than before,” said the commissioner. There will also be a stronger focus on results. “The CE will no longer monitor only the degree of absorption and whether the funds are spent according to their purpose, but will focus on whether member states formulate clear targets and indicators as well as on the results obtained through these funds,” said Ciolos. He added that in order to support economic growth through the EU’s budget, this lever effect is a guideline that will apply especially in fields like infrastructure,

Dacian Ciolos, agriculture commissioner R&D and the environment. Out of the entire budget for agriculture, EUR 281.1 billion will be allocated through direct payments, which will continue to be at the heart of the CAP, said

the official. “The system of direct payments will be redefined. Its main purpose will be to help maintain income stability for farmers,” he added. Starting 2014 direct payments will be conditional upon additional criteria such as making use of agricultural procedures that will contribute to the preservation of natural resources. “From my knowledge of Romanian agriculture these conditions will not pose a problem to Romanian farmers as much as they could be an issue in other parts of Europe. For example crop rotation is a common sense practice in Romania,” said Ciolos. Another EUR 89 billion will be available to member states through rural development programs, and for the first time EUR 4.5 billion will be dedicated to R&D in agriculture. EUR 3.5 billion will be allocated to emergencies like alleviating the economic effects of the recent accusations that cucumbers from Spain had caused an E.coli outbreak in Germany. The Romanian authorities are planning to establish a new ministry, dedicated to European affairs, that would directly supervise matters related to the absorption of EU funds. ∫ Simona Bazavan


Local education system slammed after record low baccalaureate marks


omanian high school graduates have scored the poorest baccalaureate results in 20 years, if not in the history of the local educational system, with several high schools in the country not seeing a single candidate pass the exam. In total, a mere one in two high school graduates passed the baccalaureate this year and the average score was just 44.5 percent, prompting heated debate about the state of the Romanian school system. High numbers of students appealed against their results, with a staggering 91,000 plus cases, double the number in 2010. The poor results are believed to be closely correlated with efforts made this year to prevent cheating, which included CCTV cameras in classrooms.

specialists. Isarescu agreed, adding that the true theme of the discussion should be “how to make proper money”, when all today’s youth seem to know is “how to cheat by using a mobile phone.” He was speaking in response to the news that an estimated 661 students had been thrown out of exam halls for trying to cheat this exam season.

Recruitment specialists value skills over theory

Central Bank governor Mugur Isarescu blames society for poor economy The governor of the Central Bank, Mugur Isarescu, who is also a professor at the Academy of the Study of Economics, has said that the country’s current financial woes are not attributable solely to the local political system, but also to the transition society, for not providing the right kind of role models. “Let’s not think that baccalaureate success depends solely on the political class, because we would be making a basic error. It depends on many things, on the values that Romanian society has promoted,” commented Isarescu, criticizing the “mythomaniac” role models held up by society.

Governor Mugur Isarescu Isarescu’s statement came during a conference held by PwC at the release of Success Formulas for the Next Decade: Companies that have Overcome the Crisis, a book written by PwC specialists. Company representatives said at the event that the private sector should also get involved in the Romanian education system to help the development of local

Mihaela Stoian, communication HR specialist at Manpower, weighed in on the discussion, emphasizing the lack of help from career advisors given to young people. “High school students do not have a very clear career path set for themselves; they need guidance from specialists on this issue. In general, most students do not have clear objectives, as they have not been taught to think long term. It is hugely important for students to look beyond the baccalaureate diploma, towards the practical application of their accumulated knowledge.” Moreover, nowadays, the development of personal skills is vital, concludes Stoian. “As well as getting qualifications, students must invest in the development of their own skills, to increase their chances of getting a job. It is important for everyone to perform, as objectively as possible, a self-evaluation of their own skills and qualifications to ease their future path.” ∫ Corina Dumitrescu Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011



Government seeks to push back foreigner farmland acquisition

Photo: Laurentiu Obae

Teodor Baconschi


he authorities in Bucharest are considering asking the European Commission to prolong the period during which Romania can restrict the purchase of local agricultural land by non-resident foreign citizens beyond 2014, said Valeriu Steriu, president of the presidential commission for agriculture development policies, last week at a Forum Invest event on farming. “I am for the idea of pushing back the deadline by another three years. Ro-

manian agricultural land is still very cheap. Hungary and Lithuania have been able to negotiate an extension,” added Steriu.0 The foreign affairs minister, Teodor Baconschi, said that he had noticed from discussions with his foreign counterparts increasing demand for local land by foreign investors, mainly from China, North Africa and the Gulf countries. He added that there were countries that have the technology, but lack water and food resources, that were interested in investing in Romanian agricultural production. “I am personally a bit worried by the appetite that some foreign companies have for local agricultural land. And this is not based on basic nationalism but on the fact that the law should set some limits,” argued the minster. He also stressed that local land is still very cheap and Romania risks ending up with a large number of foreign land owners. In spite of the legislative restriction, foreign investors are able to buy agricultural land in Romania by setting up local companies and many are believed to have done so. Earlier this year, the EC recommended both Romania and Bulgaria ditch the restriction sooner than the end of 2014. ∫ Simona Bazavan

Local crisis survival stories analyzed in new book

PwC’s crisis survival guide


wC Romania has launched the business strategy book, Success Formulas for the Next Decade: Companies that have Overcome the Crisis, at an event hosted by the Central Bank of Romania. It is the first such book published in Romania including detailed analysis of the winning strategies of international and local companies from various industries. The manual was written by a team of PwC Romania consultants, led by Vasile Iuga, country managing partner PwC Romania and managing partner

PwC South-Eastern Europe, and Dr. Andrej Vizjak, partner, PwC Romania, consulting leader, South-Eastern Europe. “In the current economic context, where concentration trends in all economic sectors are very strong, access to financing is costly and difficult and globalization is putting pressure on companies to compete worldwide, this book identifies a series of strategies through which companies can not only survive, but thrive,” said Vizjak. The central argument of the book is that, based on their degree of internalization and product diversification, successful companies can be divided into four main categories: the local specialist, the regional hero, the international champion and the industry shark, each with specific growth patterns. “We have tried to define the development stage of several important Romanian business players, based on the framework introduced in the book, to identify the success formulas that can be applied so that companies emerge as winners of the next economic growth cycle, while some develop into true global actors,” said Vasile Iuga.   The book sets forth a model for growth based on the analysis of 600 successful companies selected from the largest 8,000 firms worldwide. ∫ Corina Dumitrescu Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011


Bottlers thirst for long hot summer after 2010 drop The hotter the weather in summer, the higher the sales for local mineral water bottlers – and the hike couldn’t be more refreshing. In 2010 consumption dropped for the second consecutive year and 2011 will most likely put a further dampener on hopes for growth, as it is predicted to bring only stabilization on a market estimated at around EUR 300 million. ∫ SIMONA BAZAVAN

43.8 Liters per capita – last year’s bottled water consumption

Courtesy of Rio-Bucovina

“All we need is a hot summer like the one in 2007, and we won’t have any problems,” said Nicolae Palfi, vice-president of Romaqua Group, the largest mineral water bottler in Romania, earlier this year. Scorching summer days mean good business for water bottlers. According to data from Nielsen Romania, sales volumes hiked by 25 percent last year between June and September against the FebruaryMay period and later dropped by 23 percent from October to January of the next year. “Comparing the cold and the warm season, we estimate that like last year, sales will go up by 10-20 percent, depending on the temperatures reached in the summer months,” Camelia Hoinarescu, marketing director at Rio-Bucovina, one of the top five players on the market, told BR. There were around 55 Romanian bottled mineral water brands at the beginning of the year according to Adrian Feru, R&D director with the National Company for Mineral Waters (SNAM). Not all have felt the strains of the economic recession, he argues. Well established names on the market were the least affected and some bottlers even managed to consolidate their business. The top five Romanian bottled mineral water players include Romaqua Group, Coca Cola, European Drinks and Rio-Bucovina, says Nielsen. The market is dominated by local players and the top five brands make up about 43 percent of the total. Bottled water is also a source of income for the state budget. Under Romanian law, all mineral water sources are owned and operated by the state. SNAM owns approximately 80 percent of the total volume of water delivered to local bottling companies, which pay RON 31 (about EUR 7.3) for 1,000 liters of mineral water. In addition to this, companies also have to pay EUR 4 for 1,000 liters in royalties. Last year, SNAM generated EUR 12 million for the state budget. Romania has over 8,500 mineral water springs, accounting for 45 percent of European mineral water reserves. Citing data from SNAM, Hoinarescu says bottled water has registered an upward trend in Romania since 2005. Last year, however, marked the second consecutive year of falling consumption. “There are two factors that have clearly affected the market – the economic crisis and the lack of a very hot summer,” said Hoinarescu. She

Spring in its step: Romania is home to 8,500 mineral water springs, or 45 percent of Europe’s mineral water reserves added that she expects the numbers to stabilize and begin to grow in the next period as consumers become more educated and understand the benefits of bottled water. While in 2008 Romanians drank 1,042 million hectoliters of bottled water, in 2009 consumption dropped to 1,000 million hectoliters, and a year later fell again to 920 million hectoliters. Per capita consumption followed the same trend, sinking to 47.6 liters in 2009 and then to 43.8 last year. The European average is said to be about 150 liters per year. Against the economic context, Rio-Bucovina has managed to boost its turnover in the past two years, the marketing director said. In the fiscal year 2010 it reached RON 85 million (about EUR 20.7 million), 4 percent up on the previous year. Profitability reached 14 percent after hitting break-even in 2009. So far 2011 has brought positive results for the bottler, which in the first semester saw sales hike by 40 percent against the same period of last year, and expects its turnover to climb by 29 percent to about EUR 26 million by the end of the year. The company also produces Rio soft drinks and distributes food and non-food products. “Since 2009, as with many other categories, bottled mineral water has also been

affected by the economic context. The market continued to drop in 2010 but the decrease was insignificant. We estimate that it will continue to go down this year too,” Dana Ichim, manager responsible for Dorna, Dorna Izvorul Alb and Poiana Negri within Coca-Cola Romania company, told BR. As it is a basic product, consumer behavior hasn’t changed significantly in the past couple of years, added Ichim. Without disclosing the actual sales for last year, she said the results were in line with the company’s expectations. “Dorna makes a significant contribution to the company’s results and for this reason we will continue to invest in this brand in the coming years,” she concluded.Seven years after selling Dorna to Coca-Cola HBC, businessman Jean Valvis announced a greenfield investment in a new mineral water bottling plant in 2009. In November 2010 a brand was launched, Aqua Carpatica, positioned as a premium product. Total investments amounted to EUR 12.5 million and the brand had a launch budget of EUR 1.5 million. A similar amount will be invested this year, Valvis told BR. Since the launch, sales have been going up, surpassing expectations by 10 percent and gaining a 3 percent market share so far, said

the businessman. “Given the product’s seasonality we foresee a higher market share by the end of the summer,” he added. “Our objectives are ambitious. Ever since the beginning we have built Aqua Carpatica as a premium brand and in the very near future we want to conquer international markets with this product which is Romania’s first exclusivist export product. We mainly target luxury horeca locations in world capitals,” said Valvis. In his opinion the local mineral water market has a lot of potential for further growth as consumption continues to be half the European average. Mineral water comes with a long tradition in Romania. Borsec, the best sold brand locally, celebrated its 205th anniversary this year. The brand is owned by Romaqua Group, which reported a EUR 142.5 million turnover for 2010. Last year saw new players entering the market. United Romanian Breweries Bereprod Romania (URBB) launched the Bilbor brand. Others invested in opening new production units. Perla Covasnei has announced an investment of more than EUR 5 million in a greenfield facility in Catalina, Covasna county.

8 LINKS Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011

Smartphones ring the changes on mobile market In the overall sales of mobile telephones, smartphones have established themselves as the most dynamic segment. One of the main reasons is that these handsets, through the features they posses, have changed customers’ expectations when it comes to communications. BR reviews the latest developments in the portfolios of telecom operators.

LG Optimus Black

Statistically, the overall value of handsets in 2010 amounted to RON 19.9 million (calculated at an exchange rate of 4.2 RON per EUR). The volume of sold handsets soared last year to 249,000, from just

Samsung i9100 144,000. In March, the total number of smartphones used in Romania was 31,500. Orange representatives tell BR the smartphone segment made up 15 percent of total sales in Orange Romania last year. “The growth was rapid, as this segment represented less than 4 percent in 2009,”

Courtesy of Orange


HTC Chacha

Courtesy of Cosmote

Courtesy of Cosmote

Cosmote Move

Courtesy of Orange

Courtesy of Orange

HTC Sensation

Sony Ericsson Xperia they add. The rising trend has been maintained this year, and penetration will significantly grow through to the end of 2011 as new smartphones from Apple, Blackberry and HTC are launched. “For this year, we estimate a growing trend in sales, with high interest in tele-

phones that support data services. Handset transactions will be supported by smartphones that bring last generation technologies at prices that are more and more accessible. However, the pricequality ratio and the diversity of the portfolio will make the difference on a

LINKS 9 Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011

31,500 total number of smartphones used in Romania in March of this year very dynamic market,” say Orange representatives. The march of the smartphones is also because the features offered by smartphones have altered the way users view communication. “There is a clear trend to migrate towards models that allow access to social networks and offer a multitude of instant communication means, extended storage possibilities, access to navigation via GPS and orientation with the help of integrated maps,” Orange representatives say. Alexandru Munteanu, sales operation manager of Cosmote Romania, picks out features such as touch screen, QWERTY keyboard, camera with a resolution higher than 3 mega pixels, internal memory and memory slot card, MP3 Player and Wi-Fi connection as being among users’ favorite features. “Based on the values posted in the first six months of the year, we expect smartphone changes to register significant growth compared to 2010, which is due both to launches of telephones with very attractive capabilities at affordable prices

but also due to clients’ appetite for such handsets,” says Munteanu. Customers are more and more interested in the operating system used by these gadgets but also applications that can be installed on the telephone, facilitating their multimedia experience, he says. “In Western Europe, the criteria for choosing a handset have to do strictly with quality versus price. Over there, everyone will look first of all at what a handset has to offer and at what cost,” HTC officials tell BR. “The Romanian customer, however, has been subject to influences from the former Soviet states in which social status today is very important and should be showcased in any accessory you have. Latin people also have a penchant for beauty which brings additional appreciation for the design and the quality of the materials,” say HTC representatives. Mobile operators have launched handsets bearing their own brand which complete the portfolio of phones from producers. The latest model under the Cosmote brand is Cosmote move, which can be used by social media fans and businesspeople. The price starts from RON 1, if the buyer also takes out a Cosmote Enjoy two-year subscription. Meanwhile, Vodafone recently launched its own branded smartphone, Vodafone Smart, which works with the operating system Android 2.2. Postpay clients can acquire this phone for free with a two-year contract. The phone can also be bought for EUR 9 (VAT included) as part of the Vodafone Complet 500

package with mobile internet at 500 Mbps for EUR 14.56 per month. However, each of these operators has a plentiful offer of handsets from producers, which sell better or worse depending on the price, features and functionalities. Of the practical models that offer basic functions, among the most sought after brands by Orange Romania customers are LG, Nokia and Samsung. On the smart phone segment, clients go for Apple, Blackberry, Nokia and Samsung, say Orange representatives. The operator is preparing to launch the LG Optimus 3D, Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and Orange Stockholm in the future. Most recent launches include HTC ChaCha, the first handset that accesses a Facebook account via a dedicated button, available exclusively from Orange at prices starting from EUR 49 (VAT included) until August 31, with a Pantera 20 two-year contract. Another handset that can for now be found only in the Orange portfolio is the

“The Romanian customer has been subject to influences from the former Soviet states, where social status today is very important and should be showcased in any accessory you have”

LG Optimus Black, which has the brightest display on the market, available from EUR 79 with a Pantera 20 subscription. Other recent launches at Orange include the Samsung Galaxy S II, the top of the line at Samsung, which retails at EUR 149 (again with a Pantera 20 subscription); the Sony Ericsson arc, the top of the line in the Xperia range, available for EUR 179 (with a Pantera 20 subscription); and the Nokia E6, yours for EUR 89. In June, Cosmote Romania’s range welcomed the Samsung S5670 Galaxy Fit, available at RON 699 (including VAT, without connection) or from RON 1 (with the Cosmote Adventure tariff plan). A month earlier, another phone, the Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II was launched in Cosmote stores at a price of RON 2,399 (without connection). Models such as the Nokia 1616, Nokia C1-01, Nokia C2-01, Nokia 1800, Samsung E1150 and Samsung E1170 are among the most popular entry-level phones at Cosmote. “An unexpected success was the dualSIM model Huawei 6600 D as well as the models under the Cosmote brand such as Cosmote Joy and Cosmote Sense,” says Munteanu. In the smartphone category, the best sold are the iPhone 4, Sony Ericsson X8, Nokia 5228, Nokia C5-03, Samsung i5500 Galaxy 5, Samsung Galaxy Mini, Samsung Galaxy FIT, Motorola Flipout, Samsung i9000 Galaxy S and Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II.

10 BALANCE Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011

Summertime… and keeping fit is easy As the temperature rises and beach holidays loom, thoughts turn to getting into shape for summer. And there is no shortage of ways to work out in the capital to suit every taste and pocket – from the gym and dance lessons, to fencing, canoeing and wall climbing, by way of more accessible open-air sports such as biking and rollerblading. Meanwhile, children have their own ways to use up their surplus of energy. BR packed its training kit and set out to review some of the top activities. the country, and I think that we will manage to develop this concept on the medium term,” says Serbulea, adding that all the equipment purchased for this project is later donated to Bucharest schools.


Take your pick: kickboxing, zumba or having a splash?

Cyclists take to the streets and parks

Courtesy of Via Sport

“Our most popular activities are those in the Ice&Fire area, which includes pool activities. We run classes for both children and adults and swimming lessons,” says Andrei Simion, manager at Orhideea Health & Spa. As the holidays near, however, many clients are focused on getting their bodies beach-ready. “In summertime, the fitness department organizes intensive spin classes, under the guidance of a professional trainer. We also offer personal trainer sessions, containing elements of contact martial arts, fitness, jogging, rugby and stretching,” adds Simion, noting that both fitness and swimming classes are available in English as well as in Spanish. Children are not overlooked, as they can take part in swimming classes, as well as stretching, physiotherapy and medical recovery. “Currently, the swimming department has 206 subscriptions,” continues Simion. He adds that since June, the spa and fitness center has been offering a 50 percent discount on all of its services. Pilates is also a popular choice among those who want to stay in shape and burn excess calories. Cori Gramescu, instructor at Lady Fit gym, says that the womenonly center’s most popular activity is UltimatePilates, which has 10-12 participants per hour. Unfortunately, during the summer the gym operates to a more limited schedule as its instructors and trainers take their holiday. All trainers can speak other languages, such as French or English, when necessary, Gramescu continues. Elsewhere, more intensive training sessions are also available for stressed executives. “Very popular and, at the same time, very efficient activities are the group training sessions (the aerobics classes), especially the high-intensity ones, like Kickbox, Combat Force and toning classes. These include Pump, X-fit express and Booty Express, which were specially conceived by our program directors, Peter Ambjorn and Per Markussen,” says Gabriel Vasilescu, chief operating officer at World Class International. These classes are attended by an average of 30-75 participants per session, which is also the case for indoor cycling, regarded as one of the most efficient means of weight loss. Also, all of the company’s instructors can speak English. Both the private and corporate sector are catered for. Nor are children overlooked: the World Class Junior program is led by Tonkins Anderson. Vasilescu says, “This program was specially created in order to teach the basic elements and impart

Outdoor activities are the most popular and accessible during summer deeper knowledge of fitness through a wide variety of fun exercises. It contains activities that focus on agility, coordination, resistance, balance, speed and force, at the same time boosting self-confidence and helping to achieve a healthy lifestyle.” Children’s activities include dance, ballet, gymnastics, karate and swimming. Usually, there are 20 children per class. Summer is, however, a time for outdoor activities and local gyms seem to know how to make the best of this. “In summertime we try very hard to come up with classes and activities that can be held outdoors and not necessary at the clubs: cycling marathons, running classes and sports workshops,” continues Vasilescu. The fitness club recently held an event in the garden of a major Bucharest hotel, where almost 300 participants joined the Outdoor Fitness Challenge, through exercises like cycling, power partner, zumba and kickboxing. Among the more eccentric events planned for the future, the World Class representative spoke of activities that will be organized on the roof of Vitan Mall and in the parking lot at Plaza Mall. “At Jollie Ville mall, for example, we took 80 bikes on the street and the feedback was excellent,” he adds. And it’s not necessary to stump up membership fees to be able to enjoy the gym experience outside. Parks such as Izvor and Cismigiu now host outdoor gym equipment where citizens can get in shape without paying for the privilege.

Pedestrians make the streets their playground While gyms are moving into open-air activities, some projects, like Via Sport, are entirely outdoors. Organized by Eventness in partnership with the Bucharest City Hall, its motto is “Stop the

traffic! Start playing!” and it has succeeded in pedestrianizing one of the busiest areas in Bucharest, Kiseleff Boulevard, and turning it into a huge playground for children and adults alike. Tennis and badminton courts, football pitches and bicycle lanes have been marked out for those spending summer weekends in the city. Dan Serbulea, managing partner of Eventness and organizer of Via Sport, estimates that last year an average of 7,000-8,000 people attended each weekend sports events, making a total of 50,000. This year the first weekend of the project attracted 8,000, a high figure considering the major musical events over July 1-3 (B’estfest and Rock the City festivals in Bucharest, plus the Jamiroquai concert in Mamaia). A total of 100,000 people are now expected to take to the street and do sports, since this year’s event will span nine weekends, compared to the four organized last year, adds Serbulea. Traffic will be halted every Friday at 22.30 on Kiseleff Boulevard until Sunday at 14.30. The main activities are basketball, table tennis, foot tennis, badminton, volleyball and football. Competitions will also be run. Why organize such a project? “I’m convinced that it is necessary. Proof lies in the figures; the attendance has surprised us, last year too. We are trying to demonstrate that there are alternatives, that people want to work out if they have somewhere to do it. Moreover, we are affected by the crisis and more and more people are giving up their holidays (statistics show that one in three Bucharesters are doing this), so we are giving them an alternative. We also intend to extend. We are in advanced discussions with several town halls around

Cycling is a growing phenomenon in Bucharest, in spite of the precarious state of the city’s cycle lanes, which are either on pedestrians’ sidewalks or absent entirely. This has brought about initiatives such as Bikewalk, whose main aims are to normalize cycling and make it safer, as well as to demonstrate that if at least ten percent of drivers chose to ride a bicycle every now and then, traffic would be a lot more fluid and people would be healthier and even less stressed. VelloBello is another like-minded project. Started by the Bate Saua Sa Priceapa Iapa association, it also has an initiative for women cyclists, entitled Skirtbike. Bike rental services are located in most of the major parks, notably Izvor, Herastrau, Titan (or Alexandru Ioan Cuza) and Tineretului, courtesy of Cicloteque. The campus of the University of Bucharest’s Law Faculty also provides such a service. And those on tight budgets can also get on the saddle. I’Velo is a free bike sharing program which takes place not just in Bucharest, where there are currently 600 bikes, but in Brasov (100), Cluj (135), Iasi (135) and Constanta (135) as well.

Shall we dance? Latino and African-Latin dances, such as salsa, merengue, son and bachata, are carving out a growing fan base among fleet-footed Romanians. Alina Ebi Cretulescu, president of the Afrolatino dance academy, recommends these dances “to anyone aged between 3 and 80,” she jokingly suggests. At Afrolatino, private courses in English, as well as in Romanian, can be taken. Salsa courses for children are also available, with some graduates going on to become winners of national contests. Fees are between RON 80 and RON 130, and those interested can sign up or find out more on Afrolatino’s website. Elsewhere, Joie de Vivre dance studios run courses for adults and children alike, including: Wiener waltz, salsa,  cha-cha,  samba, tango, slow waltz jive, rumba, merengue, bachata, quick step and slow fox. The most popular dances at the school are sports dance and aerobic zumba, with an average of 100 attendees per month, says Noemi Kemenyfi, managing partner of the dance studios. “During summertime, however, private dance lessons for new-

BALANCE 11 Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011

lyweds, local dances and displays by professional dancers are by far our most popular services,” she adds. Up to 20 couples take lessons simultaneously at the peak of the wedding season, she adds. Children have options like sports dances, in the 4-6 years and 7-13 years categories. Around 60-70 children attend classes per month. For this autumn, new dances such as zumba belly dancing are being lined up for adults and zumbatomic for children. A monthly subscription costs RON 150 for adults and RON 100 for children, while eight session of zumba aerobics will set you back RON 100.


Extreme exercise



World Class Health Academy

Joie de Vivre Dance Studio

Cicloteque Tariffs: RON 2 per hour, RON 10 per day and RON 20 per two days.

The network offers individual and group training sessions. Available activities: highly intensive aerobics classes such as Kickbox and Combat Force; toning classes like Pump, X-fit express, Booty Express, and indoor cycling. A program designed especially for children is available. Tariffs: EUR 250-EUR 1,500.

Locations: Facultatea de Drept Mihail Kogalniceanu Boulevard 3646, Sector 5 Parcul Herastrau, Charles de Gaulle Entrance; Third alley from Aviatorilor Boulevard

Locations: Health Academy Downtown Hotel Centre Ville, Calea Victoriei 63-81, sector 1 Phone: 021 3131 104

Courtesy of Joie de Vivre

Vertical Spirit, with locations at Universitate and Baicului, runs wall climbing services for those interested in a more alternative form of working out. The gym has a height of 15 meters and a climbing surface of approximately 400 sqm plus a complex bouldering structure (4.25 meters high and with a proper landing zone with pads). Routes are available for both beginners and more advanced users. The gym also runs mountain climbing excursions, as well as skiing during winter. Mountain climbing camps are organized in Romania, Austria and Bulgaria, says Daniel Burcea of Vertical Spirit, to locations like Cheile Sohodolului (near Targu Jiu) and Baile Herculane. . Fancy fencing? Adults’ and children’s lessons are available at Cursuri Scrima, located on Calea Mosilor. Psychologist and trainer Hanna Ficker and manager and trainer Andreas Ficker are there instructors. Individual initiation courses cost EUR 180 for four sessions, while monthly subscriptions for advanced students (or graduates of the initiation courses) reach EUR 80 for eight sessions. Meanwhile, those who fancy city canoeing can give it a try on the lake in Titan Park, where canoe rental costs RON 8 per hour. The location has five canoes and also provides life vests. Swimming skills are required.


Health Academy at the Grand Hotel Marriott, Calea 13 Septembrie 90, Sector 5, Phone: 021 4030 900

It offers courses such as Wiener waltz, salsa, cha cha, samba, tango, slow waltz jive, rumba, merengue, bachata, quick step or slow fox. Children aged 4- 13 can learn sports dances. Tariffs: A monthly subscription is RON 150 for adults, RON 100 for children. Eight sessions of zumba aerobics cost RON 100. Address: Delea Veche Street 16-18, ground floor, sector 2 Phone: dance courses: 0726 378 713, zumba: 0740 405 650

Health Academy at InCity Calea Dudesti 188 Phone: 031 4328 600 Fitness&Spa Jolie Ville Jolie Ville Galleria (Pipera), Erou Iancu Nicolae Street 103 bis phone: 021 2690 160 Fitness Center at Plaza Mall Plaza Mall Bulevardul Timisoara 26, Sector 6 phone: 021 3183 681

Lady Fit

Courtesy of Lady Fit

All trainers employed by the center, which is a women-only facility, can speak other languages such as English or French Tariffs: A subscription of 12 entries any time from 8.00-21.00 costs EUR 55. Morning subscriptions have a 40 percent discount and the lunch interval of 12.00-16.00 offers unlimited monthly entries for RON 100. Address: Str. Baratiei 35, ground floor, sector 3 (next to Cocor store) Phone: 021 3111 095, 0726 438 348 Photo: Laurentiu Obae

Get on your bike: the Central Bank is one of many institutions providing cycles for its staff members

Orhideea Health & Spa Personal training available. Tariffs : Full access for one year costs EUR 800. One year’s access to fitness, pool and sauna costs EUR 700 Address: Calea Plevnei 145 B Phone: 021 5696 360

Parcul Tineretului, Sincai Entrance

I’Velo Bike Sharing Available also in Brasov, Cluj, Iasi and Constanta. Bikes can be rented free of charge, for two hours, from I’Velo centers between 10.00 and 21.00. Cycles can be rented for longer for RON 3 per hour or RON 15 per day. Bucharest locations: Herastrau Park, Charles de Gaulle Entrance, Baraka area & Expoflora area Tineretului Park, Sincai entrance Izvor Park, Splaiul Independentei


Salsa Clubs

Outdoor festival Via Sport

Latino and African-Latin dances are becoming increasingly popular with Romanians looking for work-out alternatives.

Kiseleff Boulevard, all summer weekends, from Friday at 22.30 to Sunday at 14.30. Tennis, badminton and football areas and bicycle lanes available.

Club Salsa 3

Canoeing, Titan park

Mihai Eminescu Street 89, Bucuresti Phone: 0723 531 841

Club Salsa For You

Delimited by the streets Liviu Rebreanu, and Nicolae Grigorescu Phone: 0744847088, 0722833542 Renting a canoe costs RON 8 per hour.

Nicolae Balcescu Boulevard 3 Phone: 0723 263 567


Club Malibu Amzei market, close to Ion Creanga theater Phone: 0720 009 000

Preoteasa Club Each Preoteasa location hosts salsa parties on weekends. Salsa Galaxy party Calea Plevnei, 61, on the terrace On Fridays, starting at 22.00 New Yorkers party Caloian Judetu Street (Unu Market) On Saturdays, starting at 22.00 Email : Phone : 0726 530 650

Willmark Dance Academy Selimbar Street 1 (at Universitate) Phone: 031 1079 011, 072 0009 000 One of the best known schools of Latin American dances, founded by Willmark, a prominent local public figure.

Cursuri scrima Instructors Hanna & Andreas Ficker. Individual initiation courses cost EUR 180 per four sessions. Monthly subscriptions for advanced students reach EUR 80 for eight sessions. Address: Calea Mosilor, Str Parintele Galeriu 12-14

Wall climbing Vertical Spirit Monthly subscriptions reach RON 130. Two weeks’ attendance costs RON 85. Climbing lessons for children cost RON 220 per eight sessions Locations: Universitate Tudor Arghezi Street 46, Sector 2 The gym has a height of 15 meters and a climbing surface of approximately 400 sqm. Baicului gym Baicului Street 80 Phone: Daniel Burcea, 0766 452 126 Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011


The HR doctor Bolstered by her solid professional experience in the human resources field, MADALINA UCEANU decided to set up her own HR business and has now branched out online in an unusual manner. ∫ ANDA SEBESI For Madalina Uceanu, career coach and senior HR advisor at CareerAdvisor, professional experience served as a building block for her own business. She spent about 16 years as an employee of a human resources consultancy company, where she was involved mainly in headhunting and HR consultancy services. Uceanu now juggles her entrepreneurial activities with an associate professor’s position at the Bucharest School of Management. She is taking a course in Career Coaching at Career Coaching International and is also licensed in using specific instruments such as Thomas International, Human Synergistics, MBTI and Hogan Assessments. The businesswoman decided to set up her own firm last spring. CareerAdvisor provides career management services mainly to executive professionals. But she didn’t stop there. “We also decided to develop an online project under our umbrella, It is one of the first websites about human resources, a source of in-

formation both for managers with HR responsibilities and HR specialists. It also includes an e-learning shop featuring the products of one of the most important suppliers in the field, Skillsoft,”says the entrepreneur. The idea to set up the business came when the HR professional spotted a gap in the market. “It had already been several years since people had started to ask me about their future career goals and senior managers who needed an objective opinion had begun seeking my advice,” says Uceanu. She adds that her approach to different recruitment projects she has been involved in over time has been a balanced one. “I have always tried to make sure that what I proposed as the next step in that person’s career was the right one for his or her professional development. In addition, I had to be sure that the person’s level of satisfaction in their new job ensured very good results.” One of the most important moments in the entrepreneur’s career was back in 2001-2002. “At that time I was lucky

concludes that the major one is the enough to meet a senior coach who sugspecific target for career management gested I become a coach and opened my services, individuals, not only companies. eyes to what personal and professional “The good news is that the level of development meant,” adds Uceanu. interest in such services is constantly inThe online environment is one of creasing and people are starting to the most dynamic fields at the moment invest in their development independand many entrepreneurs have decided to ently of their investments in the comweigh in. On the topic of, pany they work for,” says the entrepreneur. Uceanu says it was born of a revelation Although this market niche is an she had while exploring the resources emerging one, it seems there is plenty of suggested by the Executive Coaching space for it to develop in the future, as School and reading a book that described the Romanian market as a whole exonline business models. “Making our ceeds the level of an emerging market. entrance into the online environment And this is good news for specialized was an intuitive act. There are still a lot players on the local HR scene. of things to learn but I was pleased to find “I think that we are assisting in the people whose approach focused on findbirth of this retail market of coaching ing solutions rather than problems.” services and professional development,” She adds: “Online was the new enviremarks the career coach. ronment we needed in order to change Asked why she decided to continue in our perspective and to get access to perher professor’s role after setting up her sonal development resources both at own business, Uceanu says that stepping local and international level.” down from the MBA program was never Reflecting on the main challenges option. her business has faced so far, Uceanu “I think that an MBA is a very important stage in the careers of those who do it. Plus, at this stage, a different career approach is needed, while responsibility for the management of your own career is crucial,” says the businesswoman. Established: 2010 As a relative novice in the entrepreServices: retail (career advice and neurial world, Uceanu prefers to play coaching; job search coaching; career down her experience thus far, arguing check-ups; development programs) and that analysis will be more appropriate in corporate (human resource consulting; the future. training in recruitment and career man“I think that it will be of more use to agement; executive search; executive talk about my entrepreneurial path in coaching) three to five years, because this period Target: individuals and companies now is one that should form me as an enNumber of unique visitors trepreneur, rather than define me as (for 24,983 one,” concludes Uceanu. Number of visits


(for 43,590 Business Review | July 11 - 17, 2011

14 IN TOUCH CULTURAL CALENDAR Concerts July 12 Narcotango 20.00 Herastrau summer theater The Argentinian electronic-tango is returning to Romania for the first time since the summer of 2010, its last performance. Tickets, which cost RON 100, are on sale in the Biletoo store in Unirea Shopping Center, Diverta, Flanco, Muzica and Victoria stores, Adevarul and Eminescu bookstores, and online at,,, Festivals July 30 Liberty Parade 2011 Venus-Saturn beach (Constanta) One of the top dance festivals in Romania, Liberty Parade, is bringing big names such as Sharam, DJ Optick, DJ Allen, Vali Barbulescu, Christian Green, DJ Andi, Liviu Hodor, Vika Jigulina, NTFO and DJ Raoul to the beach between Venus and Saturn resorts in Constanta. Access to the event is free of charge, but is permitted only to those over 18. August 13, 14 Summer Well Buftea (near Bucharest) The new Summer Well Festival will bring one of the best known indie rock

WHO’S NEWS Dan Oprescu (45) is the new marketing director of Unilever South Central Europe. He is replacing Fulvio Guarneri, who has been promoted to brand building home and personal care VP for Unilever Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (RUB). Oprescu has over 17 years of professional experience in consumer goods. He began his career in 1993 with the Nielsen Company and joined Unilever in 1998. Between 2000 and 2002 he worked for Unilever in Prague and later joined Japan Tobacco Intl Romania as portfolio, brand and trade strategy director. In the past three years, he has led the consumer, marketing and R&D division of Hochland Romania and Poland.

BUSINESS AGENDA bands of the moment, Interpol, to Domeniul Stirbey (“Stirbey Property” in Buftea, near Bucharest). Other big names at the festival include: Plan B, Noisettes, Mystery Jets, Graffiti6, Chew Lips, The Raveonettes, The Wombats, Chapel Club and Alex Clare. Two-day subscriptions cost RON 99 and are available online, at, and Orange Shops. Classical Music September 1-25 George Enescu Festival The Romanian Athenaeum (plus other locations) The George Enescu Festival, one of the region’s major classical music events, has announced its programme for 2011 and tickets have officially been put on sale. They may be purchased from the Eventim network, as well as online at Museums June 16-October 16 Contemporary Art Museum, 4th floor Romanian Comic Book Museum The international events that will take place at the Comic Book Museum will include film projections by the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Czech Center in July and an exhibition by Portuguese artist Eugenio Silva. Autumn will also bring a series of events organized by the British Council.


Summer in the city

July 11 9:30 The Information Society Think Tank (ADSI) organizes a conference on the Digital Agenda of Romania at Athénée Palace Hilton Hotel. By invitation only. 15:00 The British Romanian Chamber of Commerce organizes a press conference on the appointment of its new president at Intercontinental Hotel. By invitation only. July 12 10:30 The Romanian Association of International Medication Producers (ARPIM) organizes a press conference on efficiency in the public health sector at Howard Johnson Hotel. By invitation only. July 14 10:00 The National Council of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Romania (CNIPMMR) organizes an event to mark the launch of the latest SMEs’ Whitebook at the Bucharest Diplomatic Club. By invitation only.

Things are getting are getting all summery over here at Business Review as we prepare to launch our Summer in the City issue, featuring the best terraces and coffee shops to cool off, with suggestions of exciting activities, relaxing pasttimes and the best Bucharest can offer when in comes to a fulfilling, refreshing summer break. To this end, we would like to ask for your input on the Bucharest experiences you have had, things worth trying, service experiences and expectations, as well as what you would like to see featured in this special summer issue. Please drop us a line at to share your feedback and your tips with Business Review’s chief travel correspondent, Corina Dumitrescu. We look forward to hearing from you!

Business Review welcomes information for Who’s News from readers. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity. Get in touch at ner and head of the intellectual property practice at Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP). With professional experience of over 11 years, Baciu has expertise in all aspects related to trademarks, drawings, patents, copyright and domain names. The lawyer is also part of the NNDKP team coordinating disputes related to pharmaceuticals. She joined the firm in 2003. Baciu is a graduate of the University of Bucharest Law School and a member of the Bucharest Bar Association and the National Chamber of Intellectual Property Counselors of Romania.

past four years she has served as executive director responsible for insurance claims.

Cristian Ionescu is the new CFO of Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari. He has been working in the insurance industry for 13 years, the last 11 of which he has spent with the company. Since 1995 he has led Allianz-Tiriac’s financial division. Ionescu has also been appointed a member of the company’s board of directors.

over the past 11 years, in the positions of area sales manager, key account manager as well as product & training manager.

Vlad Tudosie

has been appointed remunerated part-

has been appointed chief operational officer (COO) at Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari. Grigore has over 20 years of professional experience in the field of insurance. For the

formerly national key account manager at Electrolux Romania, has been appointed sales manager for IT&C at retailer Flanco. He will be coordinating a network of more than 75 stores across Romania. Peres has worked for Electrolux Romania

has been appointed country manager of Discovery Networks Romania & South East Europe. Since January 2010, he had worked at Intact Media Group as TV sales director. Tudosie has worked for Discovery Romania before, as sales director. Prior to joining Discovery, he worked for eight years at Cable Direct where he was promoted from sales manager to managing director within a year. Tudosie has an EMBA from Coles Kennesaw State University in the United States, where he studied between 2006 and 2008.

ISSN No. 1453 - 729X

FOUNDING EDITOR Bill Avery EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Simona Fodor SENIOR JOURNALIST Otilia Haraga JOURNALISTS Simona Bazavan, Corina Dumitrescu COPY EDITOR Debbie Stowe COLLABORATORS Anda Sebesi, Michael Barclay ART DIRECTOR Alexandru Oriean PHOTOGRAPHER Laurentiu Obae LAYOUT Beatrice Gheorghiu


ADDRESS No. 10 Italiana St., 2nd floor, ap. 3 Bucharest, Romania LANDLINE Editorial: Office: Fax: EMAILS Editorial: Sales: Events:

Ana-Maria Baciu

Daniela Grigore

Gabriel Peres

Business Review No. 25, July 11 - 17  

Wheely easy Cycling is just one of the many ways to get fit for summer in Bucharest. From swimming to samba, football to fencing and rumba...