Rombat CEO Alin Ioanes managed to keep the company on a market leading position last year while taking major steps to transform the company’s team and vision. And plans for this year are equally bold: Rombat aims to make further investments to expand its production capacity, reduce its carbon footprint, and launch products and solutions for customers looking for green energy production facilities.
By Anda Sebesi
2021 was an excellent year for Rombat, as reflected by two key figures that hit record highs, namely the number of new battery sales as well as the amount of lead recovered and reintroduced into the manufacturing process.
“We sold 2.65 million car batteries, 15 percent more than we had sold in the previous year. At the same time, through our recycling facility at Copsa Mica, we recovered about 13,000 tonnes of lead from used batteries and brought them back into the production process,” Ioanes says. Additionally, Rombat was able to strengthen its position as market leader, which it has held for 25 years.
Ioanes says that last year was full of challenges for him as CEO, from several points of view, including consolidating Rombat’s position on the market in a complicated economic context and leading the transformation of the team and the changes in the company’s vision. The pandemic also remained an important topic at Rombat last year, as it involved the redesign of some operational flows to ensure health and safety and business continuity. “This crisis has shown us that nothing is permanent and that everything might change overnight, even though changes may not necessarily be negative. It was the best incentive for us to think outside the box and make quick decisions.”
In economic terms, the shortage of raw materials and the rising energy prices were also among the major issues of 2021. “For a big consumer of energy like us, the explosive rise of energy prices had a major impact. The commodity crisis has also led to significant increases in the prices of lead and polypropylene. This global phenomenon has shown us that besides its benefits, globalization can also have shortfalls, and companies worldwide have been striving to identify sources of key materials nearby, in order to reduce transportation costs and delivery times,” Ioanes explains.
Ioanes expects the next few years to be challenging, too. “The watchwords of the future will be innovation, digitalization, and automation, all of which are extremely important in the new economic context and will help us remain competitive and strengthen our position as market leader.”
In 2022, the company aims to make further investments to expand its production capacity, reduce its carbon footprint, and launch products and solutions for customers looking for green energy production facilities. “We want to add Li-ion batteries to our product range, for customers developing photovoltaic parks or for users who are interested in installing green energy production facilities within their households.”
According to the Rombat CEO, the automotive sector is a healthy competitive environment with very strict conditions and rigorous performance standards. This means that only serious companies can succeed on the market, by carefully managing multiple variables: operations, costs, quality, and business plans. “The inflationary spiral will continue this year, while the geo-political context will also influence the economy. We’re going to see further changes in consumer behaviour, and many business in the industry will reposition themselves as a result,” Ioanes predicts.
Alin Ioanes’ 3 business lessons of 2021
- Be flexible in an unpredictable context and quickly think of ways to adapt to new market conditions.
- Always trust your team and product, take the risk of entering new markets, and be ready to reposition yourself when things don’t go your way.
- Failure doesn’t have to mean the end; it may actually be the opportunity you need for a fresh start.