Page 1

PROFILE: Xavier Piesvaux, general manger of Mega Image, tells BR that the retailer plans to keep up its robust expansion plan in 2014 and launch an online store with home deliveries for its AB Cool Food brand by mid-year »page 8

ROMANIA’S PREMIER BUSINESS WEEKLY

MARCH 17 - 23, 2014 / VOLUME 18, NUMBER 9

FOCUS THE GOVERNMENT MUST MAKE SURE IT CAN PLUG ANY GAPS IN REVENUE FROM POTENTIAL TAX CUTS TO AVOID THE ADOPTION OF NEW TAXES, SAY FISCAL EXPERTS »PAGE 10

FrameBreed, the studio of brothers Andrei and Vasile Brovcenco, will start working on a new series of SpongeBob, one of the most popular Nickelodeon animations worldwide » page 6

BUSINESS IN 3D

Photo: Mihai Constantineanu

NEWS

NEWS

Ax for Alro?

Time for T

Aluminium maker Alro warns it may be forced to close down production capacities in the face of higher energy costs due to renewable incentives

Romtelecom could be rebranded as Romania Telecom, while its services and those of Cosmote could be marketed under the T brand

» page 4

» page 5


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

NEWS 3

NEWS in brief up by 11 percent on the previous year, said company representatives. In 2014, the hotel chain wants to consolidate its results, both in terms of accommodation and on the events segment. The 2013 results were generated by the growth of the leisure segment, which accounted for 28 percent of Ibis Romania’s business last year, up from 23 percent in 2012. A total of 47,998 accommodation nights were bought by leisure travelers, up 34.5 percent y-o-y. Romanians represented 70 percent of the hotels’ total number of guests last year, followed by German, Italian, French and Greek visitors, each with a share of about 5 percent. A growing trend in 2013 has been the increase in online reservations, making up 27 percent of total reservations.

BANKING UniCredit Tiriac posts EUR 20 mln consolidated net profit in 2013 on higher revenues UniCredit Tiriac Bank’s consolidated net profit reached EUR 19.8 million last year, according to the lender, on the back of higher revenues and increased SME and mortgage lending. The bank reported a net profit of EUR 40 million in 2012. Its consolidated operational income stood at EUR 337.8 million, while operational expenses amounted to EUR 164.5 million. The lender is set to take control of local leasing operations from the holding company later in 2014, in a move that was approved earlier this year. Following the transfer, the entities that are directly or indirectly controlled will be included in the consolidation process.

Garanti Mortgage to merge with Garanti Bank by year end Garanti Bank and Garanti Mortgage (Domenia Credit IFN) announced last Wednesday that they have initiated formal procedures to merge the two companies in Romania, a process which should be concluded by year end, following the approval of the central bank and the completion of all legal requirements. The bank said the merger would not influence in any way lending conditions for borrowers that have taken out loans from Garanti Mortgage, and that customers would be notified about the move. Last year, Garanti Mortgage registered EUR 3.1 million in revenue and EUR 600,000 in profit.

CONSTRUCTION Veka takes over competitor Gealan German uPVC profiles manufacturer Veka has announced that it has acquired competitor Gealan Holding GmbH, which is owned by investment fund Halder Beteiligungsberatung. The takeover will involve all Gealan subsidiaries and activities in Europe. Both companies are present in Romania and, alongside Rehau, are the main players on the local uPVC profiles market. All details concerning the takeover remain confidential, announced Veka representatives. The deal is pending approval from the relevant authorities. Gealan Romania had a market share of about 25-30 percent in 2013, according to company data. Unlike Veka, which only imports uPVC profiles to Romania, it also owns production facilities.

Smash hit: tennis ace Halep set to net highest ever local WTA position Romanian tennis player Simona Halep will be number five in the WTA rankings from Monday, following wins at the Indian Wells tournament in California, where she made it to the semi-finals. This is not only a career high for Halep, but also the top spot ever held by a Romanian tennis player in the professional tennis rankings. Two other Romanian players have previously made it to the WTA top ten: Virginia Ruzici, who reached number eight in May 1979, and Irina Sparlea, who got to number seven in October 1997.

DELIVERIES Cargus: EUR 25.7 million revenue in 2013 Cargus, a major local domestic delivery company, has reported a 20 percent growth in revenue for 2013, making it the best year in the firm’s history. The courier company posted a record EUR 25.7 million in revenue, almost EUR 6 million up on 2012. Cargus officials attribute the firm’s results to its investments in infrastructure and services, as 54 percent of its growth came from new clients and the trading performance of its existing ecommerce portfolio. In 2012 Cargus was acquired by Abris Capital Partners, a mid-market private equity fund, and made investments in fleet and infrastructure updates of approximately EUR 4 million in 2013 alone.

EUROPEAN AFFAIRS Romania gets EUR 164/per capita in cohesion funds to spend Romania obtained the lowest per capita sum from European funds as part of

the EU cohesion policy for 2014-2020. The EUR 164 awarded is half the amount allocated to Slovakia and Hungary, according to a report on six states in CEE: Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia. The total amount allocated to the six states in the European financing program is EUR 167.1 billion. Poland will receive nearly half of this sum: EUR 77.6 billion (44.6 percent of the total for the region). Romania can access EUR 22.9 billion (13.8 percent), the Czech Republic and Hungary EUR 21.9 billion each (13.2 percent), Slovakia EUR 13.9 billion (8.4 percent), and Croatia EUR 8.6 billion (5.1 percent). On a per capita basis, Romania did worse than its neighbors. Slovakia was awarded the most, EUR 369 per capita, followed by Hungary (EUR 316), the Czech Republic (EUR 299), Croatia (EUR 289) and Poland (EUR 288), with Romania trailing on EUR 164.

SOFTWARE Pentalog and Luxoft receive EUR 10 mln of state aid Software companies Pentalog and Luxoft have recently received approval from the government to receive state aid worth a total of EUR 10 million to start investment programs that will create a total of 480 jobs, according to a piece in Ziarul Financiar. The approval came on February 25. Pentalog was granted EUR 5.79 million and Luxoft will receive EUR 4.4 million. The companies will use the funds to expand their activity and headcount. Pentalog will generate 230 jobs in Bucharest, Iasi, Brasov and Cluj while Luxoft will create 250 positions in Bucharest. In total, state aid was approved for nine companies, including IBM, Microsoft and Dell, and a total of 3,600 new jobs should be created via the financing scheme HG 797 / 2012, according to Ziarul Financiar.

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HOSPITALITY

3 Rompetrol changes its name to

Ibis Romania increases occupancy by 11 percent in 2013

4 Vicomte A. fashion brand launches

The four Ibis hotels in Romania have reported selling some 170,000 accommodation nights in 2013, meaning an occupancy rate of 61 percent. This was

KazMunayGaz International in Romania

5 Romania’s renewable capacities

exceed 4,400MW by January 2014


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

4 NEWS TELECOM

IT

Romtelecom and Cosmote to be rebadged under T brand

Entrepreneur Radu Georgescu sells Axigen to local investors A Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom logo, T

R

omtelecom could change its name to Romania Telecom or Telecom Romania by the end of this year. The operator’s services and those of Cosmote Romania could be promoted under Deutsche Telekom’s T brand, according to Mediafax newswire. “For Cosmote, we will have T-Mobile, while at Romtelecom they are discussing offering services under the T-Home brand. One way or another, at the end of the rebranding process, the two operators will run under the T brand of Deutsche Telekom,” reported Mediafax, quoting market sources. This would be a new step towards the Cosmote-Romtelecom merger, which has already started with the convergence of the two companies’ operations and offers. At the same time, the Romanian state intends to sell its minority 46 percent stake in Romtelecom. The majority stake in the operator is owned by Greek group OTE and Deutsche Telekom, which owns a 40 percent stake in OTE. Romtelecom also has a 30 percent stake in sister company Cosmote Romania. The former minister of communications, Dan Nica, said while in office that to privatize Romtelecom, the state would prefer to list the company on the stock exchange. “We may have a dual listing, Bucharest-London and Bucharest- Frankfurt,” said Nica at the time. However, it is not yet known what the priorities will be for the new head of the ministry, Razvan Cotovelea. On February 28, the Romanian Ministry for the Information Society signed a contract for consultancy services with representatives of the consortium headed by SSIF Swiss Capital, which also includes UBS Limited, Musat si Asociatii and BT Securities. Hogan Lovells, Banca Transilvania and KPMG Advisory are subcontractors. ∫ Otilia Haraga

fter the sale of Avangate to Francisco Partners last year, Radu Georgescu (pictured) has announced a new deal: the takeover of Axigen Messaging, part of Gecad Group, by a group of four Romanian entrepreneurs with investments in the local IT industry. The value of the transaction is being kept confidential. Georgescu started developing Axigen in 2004 with the intention of delivering top email communication technology in Romania and abroad. Its technology has since been adopted by internet service suppliers, telecom operators, government institutions and foreign companies. “Since Gecad is now focusing on internet and e-commerce companies, the decision to sell Axigen Messaging was natural. I am content that Axigen will develop in the hands of these young Romanian entrepreneurs, who have vast experience in IT solution integration projects at global level. I expect Axigen to grow exponentially from now on, receiving a strong impulse from the new shareholders, both in marketing and sales, as well as in the development of new technologies and services,” said Georgescu, founding partner of Gecad Group. The entrepreneur decided to sell Ax-

igen Messaging to facilitate its development by making it part of a group of IT integrators, which should allow easier access to clients and complex projects. This is a strategic decision which will allow Axigen to grow further, according to the businessman. The entrepreneurs that acquired Axigen are Cristian Daniel Draghici, 36, Bogdan Moldovan, 36, Ion Nistor, 35, and Vlad Trofin, 35, according to Ziarul Financiar, Axigen currently has ten employees. The four entrepreneurs have invested in various technological companies, including Modulo Consulting, which offers IT consultancy and integration, develops software projects, VoIP

equipment and phones, as well as providing consultancy and integration services for complete VoIP solutions through its Tenora business line. “Axigen is a communication product for both internet providers and organizations that wish to optimize their communication and internal collaboration. It has great potential that we will keep on developing. We are delighted to take over this product and the people that helped to build it,” said Moldovan. Georgescu has built various technological businesses from scratch over the past 20 years, some of which he has since made an exit from. While he remains the central figure in Gecad Group, Georgescu has sold several technological products and companies in the past. In 2003, he sold the RAV Antivirus security solution to Microsoft, while in 2010, he sold online payment integrator Gecad ePayment, currently called PayU Romania, to South African group Naspers. Finally, in October 2013, he sold Avangate to Francisco Partners, which marked his third international exit in ten years. Gecad Group announced it would continue to support the entrepreneurial community in Romania and invest in technological and e-commerce companies. ∫ Otilia Haraga

AIRLINES

Local businessman launches new airline, targets EUR 15 mln turnover

A

new airline will begin operating locally on May 15 under the brand Fly Romania. The airline is owned by Ten Airways, a company set up in 2010 and controlled by Romanian businessman Ovidiu Tender (pictured). In its first year of activity, the airline plans to fly some 100,000 passengers on domestic and international routes and reach a turnover of around EUR 15 million in 2014, said Catalin Butu, GM of Ten Airways. Fly Romania will operate flights from the Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport (Otopeni) and airports in Timisoara and Tulcea. “We have considered routes where there is room for a new operator, if not two or three. We have targeted underserved routes. The Timisoara airport has very good business traffic and is served by two operators. There is potential for two more,” said Butu. The decision to operate from the Tulcea airport is an unexpected one,

given that it has one of the smallest volumes of traffic in the country, but Fly Romania’s GM thinks the airport and the Tulcea area have the potential to generate consistent business. Ten Airways was launched in 2010 and has so far operated only charter and wet lease flights (a type of leasing that also includes flight or cabin crews, and usually fuel, insurance and so on). It now runs a fleet of six aircraft and last year flew approximately 300,000 passengers. The company’s clients in-

clude Blue Air, Air Moldova, Aegean Airlines, Roya Morocco, Blue Panorama, Perfect Tour and Paralela 45. “Six years ago I decided to invest in aviation. I bought a company (e.n. Jetran Air) and for five years I had the misfortune to not benefit from the best management. More than a year ago, Catalin Butu took over the company’s management. Today we are in the position to launch regional flights through Fly Romania,” said Tender last week during the launch event. The domestic flights the airline will operate are Timisoara-Bucharest and Tulcea-Bucharest for fixed fares of EUR 69.90 and EUR 49.90 (one-way) respectively. For international flights, fares start at EUR 29.90. Fly Romania will operate flights to Bergamo, Verona, Genoa, Barcelona, Frankfurt and Antalya. The flights will be operated with two MD-82 and MD-83 airplanes which Ten Airways has purchased from Alitalia. ∫ Simona Bazavan


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

NEWS 5

ENERGY

Alro fights for life over soaring ecotaxes A

36%

Aluminium industry grapples with overproduction

Gerd Gotz (left), director general of the EAA, and Gheorghe Dobra, general manger of Alro Slatina

Aluminium price/tonne 2012 February 2014

USD 2,049 USD 1,682

Source: EEA ropean Aluminium Association (EAA), told BR. Asked if Romania was currently the worst destination for aluminium production in Europe, Gotz said, “Probably today – it is certainly a place that is extremely exposed. If you had asked last December, I would have said the Netherlands, because in mid-December one of the aluminium smelters had to file for bankruptcy as it could no longer pay its electricity bills.” Trade unions in the energy sector, including some of Alro’s employees, were protesting last week as BR went to press, calling for the approval of the bill deferring the awarding of some green certificates. In addition, workers are asking the government to stop the over taxation of electricity and the deregulation of gas prices.

Green certificates spark political conflict

the drop in primary aluminium production in EU over 2007-2013

51% Source: EEA

EU dependency on aluminium imports in 2013, up 10 percent since 2007

investments faster. He added that the government would issue a new emergency government ordinance by April 1 if the president declined to approve the current one.

Agerpres

lro, the local aluminium maker that is part of Russia’s Vimetco, said it may survive on the market only for a few more months if the government does not reduce the level of ecotaxes payable by big industrial consumers. Gheorghe Dobra, Alro’s general manager, said last week the company was working on different scenarios to cut production this year, which may include the closure of one power-hungry asset. He added that the firm was losing USD 15,000 every hour. “Romania still has the most generous support scheme for renewable energy and we cannot transfer these costs to buyers because we are part of a global market,” said Dobra. Under one scenario, Alro would scrap its local operations for good, which would lead to a 3TWh decrease in electricity consumption. This would drive up the mandatory acquisition quota of green certificates by 7 percent, thus increasing the price of electricity, according to Dobra. Alro’s manager said the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, was set to approve some guidelines on state aid schemes for the environment and energy sector for the 20142020 period. The scheme may offer ecotax exemptions of up to 85 percent. In Romania, around 200 companies would benefit from this measure, according to Dobra. The aluminium producer last year paid USD 81/MWh, while the average industry cost hovers around USD 37.5 USD/MWh. The company said it had invested around USD 100 million in the past nine years to improve energy efficiency. “The EU should shield our aluminium industry against the additional burdens that only exist in Europe. This regulatory burden amounts to 11 percent of the cost base of aluminium production,” Gerd Gotz, director general at the Eu-

The changes in the renewable legislation have triggered a political war between Prime Minister Victor Ponta and President Traian Basescu. The emergency government ordinance that deferred the issuance of some green certificates for renewable producers through to 2017 was rejected by the president, who challenged it at the Constitutional Court. The president argued that the EC had not been notified in advance of the changes to the incentives scheme, which are treated as state aid. The de-

partment of energy maintained that the EC had been informed of the changes. PM Ponta said last week that the president had declined to approve the ordinance because he supported private companies recovering their renewable

President Basescu said last week that Alro’s main issue was the falling price of aluminium, which enhanced the energy cost component. Aluminium prices slid in late November to a four-year low of USD 1,748 per tonne for delivery in three months to the London Metal Exchange as the market grappled with oversupply. Three-month delivery prices for aluminium stood at USD 1,758 per tonne as of March 12. According to the Financial Times, US aluminium group Alcoa said earlier this year it was closing a key smelter in Australia, while Rusal, the world’s biggest producer, and Rio Tinto, the second largest producer, have also cut smelting capacity. Production in China, meanwhile, grew by 6 percent last year. ∫ Ovidiu Posirca


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

6 INTERVIEW

Local animation studio FrameBreed becomes SpongeBob creation hub Director and CGI supervisor Andrei Brovcenco (left), 24, and artistic director and CGI supervisor Vasile Brovcenco, 31, are behind many of the animations and special effects viewers see on a day-to-day basis in Romania and abroad. The brothers have a studio specialized in delivering animation and VFX for entertainment, movies and commercials. Their work on SpongeBob SquarePants 4D: The Great Jelly Rescue! earned them a nomination from the Visual Effects Society for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project. The two brothers opened up to BR about their journey.

Photo: Mihai Constantineanu

âˆŤ OTILIA HARAGA Why did you decide to start FrameBreed? We founded the company five years ago. From the start, the idea was either to go out there in the world and make a name for ourselves, or to try to create something from scratch here. We have been doing special effects and animation since we were children; it was our passion. We are from the Republic of Moldova but we attended school here in Romania. I (Vasile), attended the informatics high school and the Faculty of

Automatics and Computers within the Bucharest Polytechnic University. Andrei studied at the I.L. Caragiale National University of Theatre and Film (UNATC), with a major in film direction. This is a field that combines the two: technical and artistic skills. We have been using our artistic skills since childhood and adolescence because we used to draw a lot. We used to cover all the walls in school with drawings! We would draw anything, from battles with horses to fruit or animals. I (Vasile) am more active at management level while Andrei is more in-

volved in the production. We now share our tasks differently – for instance, I may be good at one particular technical aspect and he at the other. This domain has many branches that are very different: modeling, composition, light, camera animation and character animation. In other countries, there are people specialized in only one branch; for instance, some do only camera animation. Why did you stay here instead of trying your luck somewhere else? We could have left many times but we dreamed of having our own studio in

Romania. We had the bad luck to open the studio right in the middle of the financial crunch. Not to mention that the entire global market was flooded with animation and special effects, while in Romania nothing like this was being done. So we opened the path to doing it in Romania. From when we appeared in 2009 until 2013, we barely had time to breathe. We did not have time to think about the marketing strategy or other stuff; we had to take project after project. We were busy all the time; we had no holidays. And all the plasma TVs in town ran stuff we had made.


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

CV FrameBreed Founded: 2009 Projects: Films: SpongeBob SquarePants 4D: The Great Jelly Rescue!, Last Stand (visual interfaces), Mido Dino Trailer, Don't let the weekend surprise you!, The SteamPork Ads: Christian Tour (Plane Tickets, Aqua Park, Buletinul Vacantelor, Paris, Hotel), Romtelecom (HBO, Business Solutions), Cosmote (3G), Orange (Karaoke), ZOHO (Fruitful Apps), Aspacardin, Star (Football Championship, Dreamer, Popcorn), Pepsi (Penguin, Meerkats, Collection Cans), Granini, Plafar, Bramac, Faringosept, Margaritar (Sugar Bas-Relief) Headcount: ten at the moment; project based Turnover: 2009 RON 131,641 2010 RON 536,463 2011 RON 378,859 2012 RON 938,072

What projects did you deliver during this time? For instance, we delivered a project in Italy for Generali, which wanted the clip to look like a game. Another foreign client we worked with directly several months ago was ZOHO, on an ad where we came up with the ideas, concept and character design. We also did something for LinkedIn. We made the animation for an interactive game Career-a-pult. Michael Page, one of the world's leading recruitment consultants, wanted to increase its online presence and establish itself as an innovative and approachable company. The game gave professionals on LinkedIn the chance to pit their profile against a friend or colleague. The main client we are collaborating with is a US production house, Super 78. Initially, it advertised a three-minute animation pilot called Mido Dino and we took part in the pitch. The company was researching studios abroad and we entered the pitch, did a test character and they were very impressed by the quality and the approach. So we did the first project with them, working in a team of four. This began a strong collaboration with them. We also worked on The Last Stand, a 2013 film with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Forest Whitaker, for which we did some digital interfaces. These were smaller projects until the pitch for SpongeBob was launched, where there were a lot of contenders. We proposed an interpretation of the character in 3D. The character is traditionally in 2D and up to that moment,

INTERVIEW 7 the creators of the series had never found a 3D proposal that they liked. Even large modeling studios had proposed 3D versions of SpongeBob, but they did not like them. We were glad that our model was the chosen one. The SpongeBob drawers said this was what they had wanted all along. We were very glad about this because we were great fans of SpongeBob, and we could not believe our luck. After a while we received the news that we would be working on SpongeBob for a seven-minute ride. And suddenly the wheels were set in motion. This was in the summer of 2012 and we worked on the project until March 2013. Before the film is complete, it must be interesting to see from the very early stages. In the beginning, it is all bits and pieces, but with the voice and the montage on, it must be interesting from the start. And this takes time. We started from a Word document and did the storyboard, everything; we thought how the film should be. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Great Jelly Rescue 4D attraction will premiere this summer in various theme parks, zoos and aquariums around the world. We had a great experience working side by side with Nickelodeon Animation Studios, SimExIwerks and Super 78. So how do you divide the tasks between the team? We share our tasks among ten people. In the beginning, we did everything ourselves, but now we must delegate. Right now, there are ten of us, but two are currently not involved because there are no projects for them at the moment. It’s all project based: there used to be 14 of us working full-time on the SpongeBob project. But if we get to work on a series or a project that can last for two years and need to deliver a high quantity, we will need to hire people, and we may come across problems. It is hard to reach a team of, say, 30 people, because it is hard to find specialists. Where do you recruit from? We mainly recruit from the gaming industry and film production, and there are also those who do these things out of pure passion for modeling and 3D. There are some attempts at teaching this in school. Even at UNATC, there is an animation section, but it does not have anything to do with what we are doing. First of all, they don’t apply new techniques. Animation studios such as Laika and Aardman use very advanced techniques. They sketch every frame in 3D, the characters are then animated in 3D, then those 3D characters are printed. In school, no such things are taught; what is taught in school is elementary stuff. There are no experienced people who can teach it. There should be a core team in which someone works on something,

and then delivers it to someone else who – irrespective of who worked on the project before and what skills that person had – must be able to take that project over and work on it. And if that person decides to leave, they need to be replaced easily, but it is not simple to do that because what people know is vague. It’s not like in the West where there are people who do character modeling on a certain niche. We are considering organizing an internship or making presentations at certain schools and faculties to inform them of what this is about and then they will also know what to learn. How is creating an animation for a film different from creating it for an ad? We try to do our best on any project. Even though the client is not aware that we add certain effects, we do it, because we are paid for it. On the other hand, when you work with someone who has experience from the visual point of view, it can be more difficult, because even if you understand what they’re saying, in their mind they picture things differently. In the case of an ad, a project can last for three weeks, one month at most. With a film, there is a large work volume which requires stricter management; you must estimate how much time it will take, how many people will be working on the job, and

who will be involved – you must plan the entire project from the start. It depends a lot on the project, but generally we charge approximately EUR 30,000 for one minute of full 3D animation at very good quality. Of course, the bigger the project, the lower the price per minute. Also, with a film, it is important who you are working with. For instance, for SpongeBob we had to do a presentation when the project was mid-way. Things went like this: they rented a movie theater in Los Angeles, they flew from New York to LA, then the lights went off in the cinema and the screening of what we had done up to that point started. And of course, there is a lot of pressure because they could even delete half of the movie. We were lucky: this did not happen to us, as they were happy with the project. Soon, we will start working on a new SpongeBob. Already, the entire documentation for the next project is written based on our execution. SpongeBob was the most well-known and loved animation in the United States, so the series is pretty important. The production for the new SpongeBob is set for May 2014 and it will probably end at the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015. We don’t know the name of the project yet. otilia.haraga@business-review.ro


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

8 PROFILE

Mega Image maintains expansion pace, gets ready for online Mega Image was the Romanian retailer that opened the largest number of new stores in 2014: 104 out of an estimated total of 250 new units. Xavier Piesvaux, the retailer’s general manager, talked to BR last week about whether the company intends to adopt a similarly aggressive expansion plan in 2014 and what other development targets are on his agenda this year. ∫ SIMONA BAZAVAN For Bucharesters, the chances of living in the vicinity of at least one Mega Image store have gone up so much over recent years that the retail brand has made it into urban culture. While consumption showed no solid signs of recovery in 2013 and other retailers have slowed down expansion, the Belgian retailer has found the necessary resources to continuously open new shops and establish the largest network of supermarkets in the capital. The manager responsible for this expansion is Xavier Piesvaux, GM of Mega Image since 2008. “Delhaize has given us a free hand to have our own strategy in Romania […]. We have ambitious plans for 2014. The expansion is just the visible part of our strategy,” he said during the ninth Business Review Awards Gala after winning the Business Leader of the Year award. He later told BR that over the past two years the retailer’s main strategy has been to be close to its customers. It has subsequently opened a large number of branches, both supermarkets – under the Mega Image brand – and proximity stores, with smaller surfaces – under the Shop&Go retail brand. “So we try to cover all the needs of our customers in the city. We still have expansion to do, there is still room in our territories to expand; but, indeed, for the years to come what we are looking more deeply at now is how to better serve our customers, better interact with them and better understand their needs (…),” he added. But after opening 104 stores last year, will Mega Image maintain a similar expansion pace in 2014 too? “The market will decide. It depends on how many locations we find, but let’s say that as a matter of principle, yes,” said the general manager. Out of the 104 branches the retailer opened last year, 37 are Mega Image supermarkets, 66 Shop&Go proximity stores and one AB Cool Food outlet. At the end of 2013, the retailer had grown to

CV Xavier Piesvaux l He was promoted to general director of Mega Image in 2008 after having previously served as operations director since 2005. l Before joining the Delhaize Group the same year, Piesvaux worked for Comptoirs Modernes in France until it was taken over by Carrefour. l Between 1999 and 2003 he worked for Carrefour in Brazil and China as operations director at Champion France and general director of Champion China, respectively.

Mega Image general manager Xavier Piesvaux, winner of the Business Leader of the Year award at the ninth Business Review Awards Gala earlier this month

a network of 296 outlets, most of which are located in Bucharest. Last year the company also invested in opening two concept stores in the capital. “We focus on Bucharest and its periphery, and there are also some stores in the Prahova Valley where customers from Bucharest go on vacation, such as Bran and Brasov, but also Constanta. We are open to any territory but, indeed, most of our operations are based in Bucharest because our logistics are here in the city,” he outlined.

Taking the step online Mega Image is preparing to launch an online store with home deliveries by mid-year, Piesvaux told BR. The service will only be available for products sold by AB Cool Food – a new store concept launched by Mega Image last year, dedicated exclusively to selling frozen products.

l Piesvaux graduated from the Ecole superieure de Commerce de Montpellier in 1990 and from the Universite Sciences Economiques Montpellier 1 in 1987.

The retailer opened only one such “We cannot say no. There are a lot of store last year, making Romania the constraints so we want to be sure that first country where the Delhaize the day we launch we will be ready to group launched the new retail brand perform. So far we are just analyzing,” and format, and for now there are no he added. plans to add more units. “Our target is to fine-tune the con- Growing business in 2013 cept – to move to home deliveries (…). The official numbers for the retailer’s This is our intention in the coming 2013 sales are not yet out and Piesmonths, to stabilize what we vaux commented only by saying that have, test and approach home deliv- Mega Image had improved its finaneries,” he said, adding that the results cial results in 2013 compared to the reported so far by the first AB previous year. Cool Food store are positive. “For us Given the consistent expansion it is a learning process. We are devel- last year, growth is to be expected. oping a new range of products and we For example, after opening 88 new are asking customers to change branches in 2012, Mega Image intheir vision about frozen goods, creased its profit 3.5 times to RON going more for food quality and food 46.7 million (EUR 10.5 million) on the safety. We have good feedback,” he previous year, while its turnover rose added. by 44 percent to RON 1.75 billion (EUR Piesvaux does not rule out the 394 million), according to public inforpossibility of offering home deliveries mation. for the Mega Image range of products, but this is not in the cards for now. simona.bazavan@business-review.ro


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

FOCUS 9

Kingfisher hopes to soar to 50 local DIY stores despite challenging market British company Kingfisher last week opened the first two stores rebranded as Brico Depot. Over the next two years it wants to convert the remaining 13 outlets and open new branches. ∫ SIMONA BAZAVAN “The market indicates that there is the potential to reach 50 stores. How will we get there? There are various options and we have no restrictions – acquisitions, takeovers, anything is possible. It is too early to speak about the expansion pace, but, anyway, we want to move fast,” Patrick Papot, deputy CEO of Brico Depot Romania, told journalists last week. The first two Brico Depot stores were opened last week – the former Bricostore Pantelimon and Orhideea outlets – and the rebranding of the remaining 13 will take place over the next two years, he added. However, company representatives refused to comment on revenue targets for this year or the timetable and investment budget for the expansion. What will differentiate Brico Depot from its competitors will be its pricing policy, they said. “This is not about

adding a new name to the local DIY scene but about launching a new and different concept,” said Papot. Focusing on promotional offers and sales as a means to ensure customer loyalty is a strategy now used by all local DIY retailers, he went on. However, this has only served to “confuse customers”, he suggested. Instead, Brico Depot will employ an “everyday low prices model” which it says will enable it to grow on the local market. A Brico Depot unit will also require fewer employees than Bricostore outlets – on average 62 per store – and as a result the company has reduced the total headcount from 1,400 when it took over Bricostore last year to about 1,200 at present. No further layoffs will follow, said Isabelle Pleska, the operations director of Brico Depot Romania and former GM of Bricostore Romania. British home improvement retailer Kingfisher took over the 15 Bricostore branches operated by French company Group Bresson locally in June

Depot only in France and Spain.

A challenging market

2013 for the total sum of EUR 75 million, according to Mediafax. In 2012, the Bricostore network reported a EUR 131 million turnover in Romania. The company is Europe’s leading home improvement retail group and the third largest in the world, according to its own data, with a network of around 1,050 stores in nine countries in Europe and Asia. Its main retail brands are B&Q, Castorama, Brico Depot and Screwfix. In addition to Romania, Kingfisher is present with Brico

The local home improvement and DIY retail market has been on the wane for several years now, prompting various market shifts, the most recent of which was the takeover of the local Praktiker chain by Turkish businessman Omer Susli. Other international players on the local market include Hornbach, OBI, Baumax and Mr Bricolage, but the leader of the local DIY market is now local player Dedeman. Owned by Romanian businessmen Dragos and Adrian Paval, Dedeman had a network of 36 stores countrywide at the end of 2013. Unlike its competitors, Dedeman has maintained a steady expansion pace over recent years, opening six stores in 2013 following on from four the previous year. The company’s 2012 turnover stood at EUR 540 million. simona.bazavan@business-review.ro

CEO CORNER Florentina Totth Country President, Schneider Electric Romania

Letting ourselves be inspired by youngsters “Ask the young. They know everything,” said the French essayist Joseph Joubert, while the Irish writer Oscar Wilde added several years later, “I am not young enough to know everything.” This is why I want to talk to you about the importance of letting ourselves be inspired by youngsters, as well as our duties to support them. According to an old saying, “those who do not have an elder in their family should acquire or borrow one.” I would say the same thing about youngsters. They may lack experience and patience, but they abound in creativity and courage. They may not have wisdom, but they are confident and innovative. They may not know much about the world, but they have the ambition

among us to remind us of our dreams and to inspire us to achieve them. At the same time, it is essential to ask ourselves what we can do for the next generation. If we want them to be our future, we should try to be their present. We should become part of their lives, get involved in their education, support them in their plans and celebrate their success. This is why I encourage companies, regardless of the industry in which they operate, to engage in various educational projects, to have close relationships with schools and universities, to develop internship programs and to offer real development opportunities. A major challenge in this process and courage to change it. These are qualities we all had once, but we is to select the best ways to get to have lost some of them with age. students. If you want to bridge the This is why we need young people gap that separates you from them,

you must start building the bridge from your side; you must adapt yourselves to their expectations. Find the best channels to communicate: if they are so attracted by social media, start being present there and try to engage them with your messages. Look closely to youngsters and see what talents lie in them. Think of ways you can support them. Find out what goals you share and team up! Innovate together, make a difference together! This is the best path towards sustainable success.


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

10 FOCUS

Prospective tax cuts raise risk of new taxes The government has proposed tax reductions in critical sectors including labor and retail in the next two years, as it tries to clamp down on tax evasion running at around EUR 30 billion. Experts, however, warn that the cuts should not pave the way for new taxes, as authorities may then face a lower overall tax take. ∫ OVIDIU POSIRCA

Tax evasion generated by black labor market Year

Sum

GDP

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

RON 8.9 billion RON 14.6 billion RON 16.6 billion RON 17.5 billion RON 18.3 billion

1.7% 2.9% 3.2% 3.1% 3.1%

Source: Estimates by Fiscal Council based on INS data

Courtesy of Musat&Asociatii

“I am a big supporter of a reduction in CAS (e.n. social security contribution). I hope that the reduction (…) will be made this year. If not, we could include it directly in the Fiscal Code at the be-

Courtesy of PwC Romania

Hopes for a CAS reduction from July

Courtesy of Soter&Partners

The updated political strategy of the third cabinet of Prime Minister Victor Ponta was adopted last week in Parliament by Ponta, following the break-up of the center-left coalition, the USL. The program proposes a 5 percentage points cut in VAT and social contributions along with a progressive income tax and a 22 percent hike in the minimum wage. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has repeatedly urged the government to clearly outline new streams of revenue if it moves to cut taxes so as to prevent any widening in the budget deficit. The country currently has a EUR 4 billion stand-by agreement with the IMF and the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU. A new review mission of the international lenders is due in Bucharest next month. The government said that these measures could be implemented in the next two years, provided that there is “room” in the fiscal-budgetary framework. Ioana Petrescu, the finance minister, said last week in a broadcast appearance that her main priority as minister would be to put in place a more efficient tax collection system. Easing the burden on taxpayers has been cited as one the main drivers in achieving this goal.

Romulus Badea, tax partner at Soter & Partners

Mihaela Mitroi, tax and legal services leader at PwC Romania

Ionut Bohalteanu, partner at law firm Musat & Asociatii

ginning of next year. I hope we can do it from July,” said Petrescu, a Harvard alumnus and former adviser on taxation matters to PM Ponta. Members of the business community have been calling for a reduction in CAS in recent years, arguing that it could help create more jobs and shrink the black labor market. Mihaela Mitroi, tax and legal services leader at PwC Romania, the professional services firm, said Romania’s 45 percent labor tax rate was among the highest in Europe, while the caps on social contributions were also big, accounting for five months’ average pay. Meanwhile, average EU social contributions stand at 35.6 percent, while in neighboring Bulgaria the figure is 30.3 percent. According to statistics from the Fiscal Council, an independent think tank specializing in budgetary matters, Romania’s informal labor market was made up of around 1.4 million workers in 2012, accounting for 23.2 percent of the total employees in the economy. Overall, local tax evasion reached around EUR 30 billion in 2012, which is equivalent to 24.5 percent of GDP, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INS). “In the current macroeconomic context, as is the case with other fiscal ‘easing’ measures, the target of reducing CAS for employers by 5 percentage points would both support consump-

tion and investments, and be an attempt to attract additional resources to the budget by reducing employers’ incentives to make ‘informal payments’,” Ionut Bohalteanu, partner at law firm Musat & Asociatii, told BR. “It is well known that Romania has one of the highest labor taxation rates in Europe, which is still unattractive for investors. In addition, this labor taxation level forces numerous people to seek alternative income sources, which are not necessarily legitimate, in an effort to avoid the system.” According to Romulus Badea, tax partner at Soter & Partners, a tax consultancy, the government should pursue voluntary tax compliance by easing the fiscal burden on companies. He commented that controls by the tax collection agency ANAF and labor inspection body ITM cannot cope with the sheer size of the black market. Claudia Sofianu, human capital country practice leader at EY Romania, the professional services firm, said the 5 percentage point reduction in CAS would lower total wage costs by 4 percent (around RON 100), based on the average gross medium wage of RON 2,298 (EUR 510). However, for unskilled labor or seasonal jobs, such as in the construction sector, bosses generally declare only the minimum wage. “As a result, we do not think this reduction would in any way reduce the black labor market, and even less stim-

ulate the creation of new jobs,” Sofianu told BR.

Government wants progressive taxation on income Another measure included in the political strategy is the enforcement of a three-tier taxation system for individuals, depending on their wage. A progressive taxation of wages with fiscal deductibility of 8, 12 and 16 percent will be applied depending on income scales to be established. Bohalteanu of Musat & Asociatii said this measure should in principle help increase domestic consumption and the disposable income of low earners. However, he added that it would create an additional burden for companies, which would have to make differentiated reporting on income statements and change their IT systems, as well as for ANAF, which would oversee the implementation of the measure. The reduction of CAS and the progressive taxation rate should create enough room for the government to gradually increase the minimum wage to RON 1,100 (EUR 243), according to Badea of Soter & Partners. The government has reduced the minimum wage target for 2016 by RON 100 (EUR 22), a move that was included in the political program approved in 2012. Sofianu of EY said any growth in the minimum wage has to be sustained by an organic growth of the economy.


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

Tax evasion on VAT Year

Sum

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

RON 38.2 billion RON 40.2 billion RON 50.2 billion RON 46.7 billion RON 48.9 billion

GDP 7.4% 8.0% 9.6% 8.4% 8.3%

Source: Estimates by Fiscal Council based on INS data “Any other option is not feasible, given the persistency of a significant budget deficit,” said Sofianu. She commented that the current fiscal framework does not allow any reduction in the level of the black labor market. “This is due to the fact that those employing people on the minimum wage and paying the rest of the money “under the table” will make part time labor contracts and thus, pay officially less than the minimum wage,” she added. Sofianu expects the flat tax rate to be kept at least by the end of this year. She said the reduction of the taxes for low earners is not the solution, but the increase of the tax deductions, which would reduce the taxable base and help them obtain a higher net income. She commented that scrapping that flat tax rate may pave the way for a further increase of the maximum tax rate, which would hit the economic activity and push higher wages in the area of tax evasion. Mitroi of PwC added that once progressive taxation is rolled out, the authorities may be tempted to increase the rates, which would impact the economy and consumption, and at the same time discourage labor, saving and local capital formation.

Lower VAT needs higher tax take PM Ponta said last week that the return of VAT to 19 percent would be sustainable if the economy continued to grow at over 3 percent annually, according to Mediafax newswire. VAT was hiked from 19 to 24 percent in 2010. Official estimates show the local economy is set to grow by up to 3 percent this year. “Discussions regarding the reduction of VAT from 24 percent to 19 percent are premature. The government should realistically assess the impact of these measures and estimate if there is room for it, fiscally. Such a reduction would be beneficial only if it were supported by a significant improvement of collection and not through the introduction of new taxes to cover the gap. At present, tax evasion on VAT is very high and you cannot achieve miracles in the short term,” said Badea of Soter & Partners. He suggested the government make targeted cuts in VAT for food products, following the reduction of VAT on bread to 9 percent last year. “Even this measure has to be sustained by a better tax collection and not by new taxes, such as the increase in ex-

FOCUS 11 cises last summer. If this is not possible, the economic value of this fiscal measure disappears and only the electoral one remains,” added Badea. VAT currently accounts for 26 percent of revenues to the state budget, amounting to around RON 51.8 billion (EUR 11.5 billion), according to Mitroi of PwC. “Assuming the reduction would be partially offset by the decrease in tax evasion, which is significant on VAT, it would still create a gap of a couple billions of RON to the state budget. As a result, we do not expect a reduction in VAT on the short term, but some differentiated rates for other food products (oil, milk, sugar, cooking oil), which would have a positive social benefit, but would also contribute to the decrease of tax evasion,” Mitroi told BR. PM Ponta has said that lower VAT should be applied in areas where tax evasion is rampant. “From my point of view, we have to focus, as much as possible, on targeted areas (…) I would like this in fruit and vegetables, because there we also have huge fiscal evasion and unfair competition between local producers and the fruit and vegetables that are brought from outside the EU and within the EU, where we have evasion on intra-community taxes,” said Ponta in a TV appearance. He hinted that VAT on meat could also be slashed to 9 percent, in addition to fruit and vegetables, “if possible”. According to agriculture minister Daniel Constantin, tax evasion on meat imports dropped from 50 percent in 2012 to 30-40 percent this year, a level he said “is still very high”. However, he acknowledged that control institutions were doing their job. Bohalteanu of Musat & Asociatii warned that the proposed 5 percentage points reduction in VAT would eat into budget revenues, given that VAT collection currently has the second biggest share in the budget, after contributions. He said the government should focus on collecting more taxes to make this measure work. The partner added that the reduction of VAT on bread and the reverse taxation on cereals trading had reduced evasion and fraud in this sector, which is barely taxed. Bohalteanu said this had happened because the potential “gains” of those involved in such activities had been diminished. Florina Paring, senior tax consultant at EY Romania, said: “Against the backdrop of the low collection of budget revenues, VAT ensures fast collection (by the 25th of the month after the one in which the delivery was made) for the state budget when transactions are carried out by fair taxpayers.” She said that any discussion regarding the selective reduction of VAT on other food products could come after the impact of the VAT reduction on bakery products on the budget revenues is assessed. ovidiu.posirca@business-review.ro


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

12 FOCUS

Present perfect Women’s Day gift trends Around the world, flowers, chocolates and other gifts symbolize appreciation for females on Women’s Day, an occasion recognized internationally since 1975 by the United Nations. Romanians also mark March 1, the local celebration of the arrival of spring, by exchanging amulets for Martisor. BR took a peek inside the gift boxes that were presented to women and found out the 2014 gift trends – and how much they would have set you back. launched on the market in September 2011. Pandora bracelets have separate Most women love flowers, so a safe amulets and customers can choose bet when celebrating Women’s Day is from more than 600 models (from giving a floral bouquet. “Because EUR 18). “The most expensive gift that March 1 and March 8 fell on weekends someone bought in this year, this directly influenced orthis period was a ders, which were down. Of course, gold bracelet corporations were our main with gold clients,” said Marius Dosiamulets nescu, CEO of FlorideLux which cost online flower shop. The EUR 6,700. biggest bouquets were sold Also, we for around EUR 220. had one For FlorideLux, 80 percustomer cent of the orders come w h o from corporate clients. The bought most extravagant bouquet jewelry for was delivered in Braila, for his wife, sisDragobete (February 24), feater, mother and turing roses, irises, hyacinths m o t h e r - i n - l a w, and daffodils, and costing EUR 750. paying almost EUR 6,000 Roses are the top flower for the occasion, but in spring season buyers for the presents, after spending sevorder also tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, eral hours in our store,” added Lucian snowdrops, lilies, freesia and orchids, Adochitei, country manager for Pandora Romania. says Dosinescu. Alexandra Martoiu and Irina Enea, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt,” owners and designers at MyPrecious wrote the famous cartoonist Charles Buzztard jewelry company, told BusiSchulz, and he is definitely onto ness Review that their customers buy equally from their online shop at something. Belgian pralines are becoming a www.buzztard.ro and their showpopular present nowadays, and BR room. During this period, they had spefound out more from Ion Codreanu, importer of Leonidas chocolates. In cial orders, such as a functional gold this period, the biggest order came whistle (EUR 390) for a swimming from an IT company that bought EUR coach and a grandfather who annu3,000 of chocolate, put in separate ally orders a pendant with pho250g boxes (of 16 pralines). Others togravure of his opted for exquisite pralines in fancy niece. MyPreboxes, such as the Prestige gift – 45 cious Buzztard has two bestpralines for EUR 38. Most customers like to come to the selling products, store to see the pralines before they the Love Circle purchase them, but the online side ring (EUR 120) and earrings for chilhas also started to grow. (EUR In the jewelry domain, the dren best known bracelets with amulets 240). S o m e are probably Pandora, a brand that is available on the Romanian people consider clothes a market. The best sold product is the silver suitable present bracelet (from EUR 55), 15,000 of for any occasion, which have been sold since it was and the sartorial

∫ OANA VASILIU

options are limitless, even in Romania. Catalin Tirsa, store manager of La Martina Baneasa & Victoria Gallery, told BR that a few days ago they had received an order that exceeded EUR 34,000, consisting of a limited edition blazer, a leather trip bag and a jacket. The most extravagant gift over this period was a full outfit given by a generous gentleman to his wife. The selection included everything from clothes and shoes to perfume, a bag and a scarf, all for EUR 2,200. For businesswomen, writing equipment might be a useful and welcome present at this time of the year. Swiss-based company Caran d’Ache’s Perla collection contains a pen and a necklace with an Akoya pearl pendant (from EUR 380). Outside this period, the Varius and Ecridor collections are most popular with the firm’s customers when it comes to presents for women. “Recently a young lady surprised us when she declined a Perla collection box and instead chose an Ivanhoe pen, which is made of stainless steel and finely woven,” said Alexandru Gheorghe, business developer at Caran d’Ache. Pour les dames gourmandes, Le Manoir Gastronomy and Gifts offered some extravagant delights, such as

L’Univers de la Comtesse, a gift consisting of a stylish chest containing delicious gastronomic specialties such as duck foie gras and goose foie gras, Bayonne ham rolls with duck liver and Espellette pepper, tuna, salmon and Saint Jacques rillettes, various terrine, onion chutney and fig chutney, assorted jams, Kirsch cherries and other fruits in alcohol specialties, sweet bread with candied fruit, Agen prunes stuffed with vanilla and Armagnac brandy cream, assorted chocolate pralines and so on. The package also contains Deutz Brut Classic Champagne, Michel Redde Cuvee Majorum AOC Pouilly Fume (one of the best wines of Pouilly Fume, Loire Valley), a bottle of Chablis Premier Cru AOC Joseph Drouhin and famous red wine from Chateauneuf du Pape, Chateau the Beaucastel, Perrin family-owned. The gourmand package costs EUR 1,000. “For March 1-8, most of our customers were individuals, who preferred to come to our stores for gift shopping,” said Ioana Bosca, commercial director of Le Manoir Gastronomy and Gifts. It seems that most men went further than a dozen flowers this year to show the women in their lives how much they love, appreciate and know them. From our brief research, men still give traditional presents for special days, although they typically invest more money to buy expensive gifts. oana.vasiliu@business-review.ro


www.business-review.eu Business Review | March 17 - 23, 2014

14 CITY / HR

DON’T MISS

WHO’S NEWS BR welcomes information for Who’s News. Submissions may be edited for length and clarity. Get in touch at simona.bazavan@business-review.ro

Eric Faidy

Laurentiu Trocan

has been appointed country sales manager of D-Link Romania. He has a solid sales background in domains such as IT, telecommunications and healthcare. Prior to joining D-Link Romania, he coordinated the marketing, sales and business development operations of Softelligence Romania. Trocan also worked as marketing and sales director for Medicover. From 2004, he filled the position of sales director at Adecco IT Romania, for three years. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Foreign Trade and the Faculty of Finance-Banks, within the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest.

Radu Batrinu

is the new marketing director of Flanco Retail. He has 11 years of experience in electro-IT retail and previously worked as trade marketing manager for a global home appliances producer. Batrinu has held various management positions over the past six years, first in

the food industry and, since 2003, in the electro-IT segment. In 2007, he was appointed trade marketing manager in charge of outlining the sales strategy. Batrinu is a graduate of the Transylvania University in Brasov and has undertaken rigorous training.

Bogdan Jambori

is the new business unit director of Klar Professional, the automotive paints division of local dye manufacturer Policolor. He joined the company at the beginning of the year. Jambori has over 17 years of experience as sales manager in the paints and coatings industry for the auto and industrial sectors. He graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Faculty, part of the Polytechnic University in Bucharest, and has followed other educational programs over the years. Prior to joining Policolor, he worked for Chempro Chemicals as sales director. Between 2005 and 2011 he served as division director and client management officer at Poly Delta Chemicals/Quaker Romania. In 2000 he became head of Akzo Nobel – Sikkens.

Fabrizio Giombini

has been appointed head of the Romanian subsidiary of Merck & Co, the drug maker known as MSD outside the US and Canada. Giombini has worked for over 25 years within the MSD group, starting his career as regional representative of the company in Italy. He held various positions within Merck in the US and the EMA region. Giombini came to Romania after spending almost four years in Italy, as executive director of the business department for primary care.

FOUNDING EDITOR Bill Avery PUBLISHER Anca Ionita EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Simona Fodor JOURNALISTS Otilia Haraga - senior journalist, Simona Bazavan, Ovidiu Posirca, Oana Vasiliu COPY EDITOR Debbie Stowe PHOTO EDITOR: Mihai Constantineanu

ISSN No. 1453 - 729X

LAYOUT Beatrice Gheorghiu ART DIRECTOR Alexandru Oriean

Courtesy of One World Romania

was last week elected president of the board of administration of the French Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Romania (CCIFER). The president of Michelin Central and South Europe, Faidy is replacing Bruno Roche who resigned from the position to which he had been appointed in 2010. Roche is director of Veolia Environnement Romania and more recently has been given responsibilities in Bulgaria as well. He will continue as a CCIFER manager.

ONE WORLD ROMANIA

Where are You, Bucharest? (2014), directed by Vlad Petri

March 17-23 Cinema Studio, Cinema Elvira Popescu, Horia Bernea Hall at the Romanian Peasant Museum The festival will showcase 50 documentaries, as well as ten linked events and discussions with filmmakers and some of the subjects of the works. Documentaries of local interest include Where are You, Bucharest? and Romanian Autumn, while topical films such as Putin’s Games will get a timely screening. Alexandru Solomon, director of the festival, says, “Since our last edition, the streets have been filled with people who’ve found a cause worth fighting for. For the first time since 1989, there blew a wind of solidarity. We looked at the calendar and noticed that 25 years had passed – 25 years should have been enough. We’ve gathered films that look back on this quarter of a century and at what had happened before in Eastern Europe.” Since last year, the festival has also had an educational component, bringing a new approach to presenting huEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR George Moise SALES & EVENTS DIRECTOR Oana Molodoi SALES & EVENTS Sales managers: Ana-Maria Nedelcu, Oana Albu, Raluca Comanescu Sales executives: Ana Maria Andrei MARKETING Ana-Maria Stanca, Catalina Costiuc, Iulia Mizgan PRODUCTION Dan Mitroi DISTRIBUTION Eugen Musat

man rights issues. As part of a project involving the School Inspectorate of Bucharest, One World Romania put together the Learning about the Holocaust brochure with the case study Charging the Rhino, and the Education through Documentary Film brochure with the case study Our School. Now on its sixth edition, One World Romania is the only documentary festival in Bucharest and the only film festival in Romania dedicated to human rights. To date, almost 200 documentaries have been screened. It began life as the offspring of One World in Prague, brought over by the Czech Centre Bucharest, though gradually the selection and organization became autonomous. In 2009 the organizers of the festival started the One World Romania Association.

Tickets cost RON 8 and a full pass for the entire festival is RON 70, while RON 30 buys entrance to five movies. The festival catalogue is on sale for RON 5. oana.vasiliu@business-review.ro

PUBLISHER Bloc Notes Media ADDRESS No. 10 Italiana St., 2nd floor, ap. 3 Bucharest, Romania LANDLINE Editorial: 031.040.09.32 Office: 031.040.09.31 EMAILS editorial@business-review.ro sales@business-review.ro events@business-review.ro


Business Review Issue 9/2014 March 17 - 23  

Business in 3D FrameBreed, the studio of brothers Andrei and Vasile Brovcenco, will start working on a new series of SpongeBob, one of the...

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