Interviews - Top 100


Mihai Bordeanu

The pandemic made us more agile

In Romania, Dacia maintains its leading market position, dominating the sales ranking despite the difficult economic context. However, the components shortage that affected the global car industry did not bypass Dacia. Since the first quarter of this year, when it hit the industry, we have been coordinating our response at group level within crisis units with the procurement and logistics teams in order to adapt and meet customer demand. The crisis is still not over, it is still affecting us. In July, production at our Romanian vehicle plant was interrupted for three days.

Zdravko Maric

Croatia on track for 2023 eurozone entry, public debt seen below 3% by end-2021

Croatia is a highly euroised economy. We made a lot of quantitative analyses, calculating what are the pros and cons of us joining the euro area and the benefits, such as the elimination of ethics risk, reduction of private transaction risk and related risk, which are long-lasting, are much bigger than the potential threats. However, we also need to be very much focused on potential threats. We asked our citizens what are the key challenges that they see for us in introducing the euro, and the number one they mentioned was the possibility of inflation pressures because of retailers rounding up the prices. We also did an analysis of the situation in the newest members of the Euroland – the Baltic and Central and Eastern European countries – and on the average the inflation effect was just 0.2% for one year only as it is a one-off effect.

Valer Hancas

We plan to sustain expansion pace

The pandemic did not stop our investments or key projects, just the reverse. We made total investments of over 300 million euro, we continued to support and develop partnerships with local producers and in 2020 alone we have worked with over 2,400 suppliers in Romania. More than 8 million euro were allocated last year to community projects, which benefited 2.8 million Romanians. Kaufland was the first retailer on the market to certify its premises with the DEKRA international standard, which certifies that they comply with all measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Since the onset of the pandemic, we have invested over 20 million lei in the implementation of protection and prevention measures at our premises – shops, warehouses, offices – with the greatest responsibility.

Matteo Rivellini

Green and digital transition, inclusive growth, common market at core of EIB’s 30 mln euro plan for W.Balkans

The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have created global disruptions that need to be tackled simultaneously. A COVID-19 recovery without parallel success from climate action in limiting global temperature rises to below 2ºC will be pointless in the long run. A green recovery that is mindful of our need to prevent an environmental catastrophe is the only meaningful way forward. This will require the transformation of our lives and business practices, as the global economy will need to shift to a circular and sustainable model. This will be the most effective way to mitigate the impact of these two calamities and increase the economy’s resilience.

Marko Markovic

Simpler online payment, processes, new financing options giving boost to e-commerce

Online commerce has developed rapidly in recent years in Romania, both due to investments made by retailers in infrastructure and in simplifying the shopping experience, and due to the fact that people started to value personal time more and more and are looking for ways to use it most effectively. The factors that support the growing use of this sales channel are the simplification of online payment processes and the development of new shopping financing options, such as instantly approved online loans, quick access to a wide range of products, flexible options and speedy delivery, along with a simple return process.

Raluca Popescu

ESG factors fully-integrated into our decision-making processes

Being a responsible leader in the corporate banking in Bulgaria, we strengthened further our focus on taking the digital banking services to the next level. Companies can take advantage of our e-solutions in the digital channels as well as in Bulbank Online and Bulbank Mobile. We have been developing and popularising further the Module for Online Securities Trading in Bulbank Online, which gives the individual clients opportunities to place orders and keep track of the securities and transactions from their personal wallet. Furthermore, we are proud with our Trade Finance Module in Bulbank Online which accepts easily corporate clients’ orders and all trade finance deals can be administrated completely online. The newest service developed by UniCredit Bulbank is the e-signing of documents – now legal entities have the opportunity to digitally sign (approve and send documents using QES* or the mobile app Evrotrust). For us it is important that Evrotrust, in their start-up phase, entrusted UniCredit in Bulgaria to support and help them grow. This is another proof of the important interdependence between fintech and financial institutions. This way we simplify and accelerate the process being more operationally effective paperless and maintaining a better traceability and archive of the documents. Easy, secure and time-saving.

Marko Markovic

We are looking to further grow in management consulting and solutions, expand outside SEE

The fact is that the pandemic changed everything both in our private life and business. Our clients’ focus moved to organisation, digital and process efficiency, and IT systems connected to the new reality of working from home, social distancing, and lockdowns across Europe. Every business that wanted to survive had to fully change towards a new way of work and that was their main issue we were trying to solve. We had several IT and digital projects followed by process improvements and change and implementing digital business models. On the other hand, many of our clients used this opportunity to optimise their organisation and improve efficiency. The future perspective and opportunity assessment were also very much present and even though we believed that we would not work too much on strategy with our clients, we had many strategy projects in 2021.

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