The Business Review Awards enters its home stretch, the prestigious gala set to happen on June 15, 2021, at the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel. Once again, it’s time to meet the esteemed jury members of this year’s edition, top senior professionals representing the business community who will review and shortlist your nominations and finally cast their votes to decide Romania’s business champions of 2020! It is our great pleasure to introduce Mr. Marius Ghenea, Managing Partner at Catalyst Romania as a jury member of the Business Review Awards Gala, 2021 edition.
Marius Ghenea is a Partner in Catalyst Romania VC Fund (3TS Capital Partners), serial entrepreneur and business-angel with successful investments in SEE, co-founder VentureConnect (regional matchmaking platform for tech start-up entrepreneurs and early-stage investors); Entrepreneurship, Innovation and New Business Ventures Professor, Maastricht School of Management EMBA program; co-organizer Schoolforstartups Romania, the first SE European entrepreneurship school; and author of “Entrepreneurship”, the first Romanian book on entrepreneurship. He is a graduate of the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest.
Read Marius Ghenea’s Testimonial Interview for #BRA2021, below:
BR: How do you define performance in the 2020 challenging year?
MG: That is an excellent question, because with an asymmetrical crisis brought on by the pandemic. We are a tech investor so we looked carefully at this industry and some companies had windfall results because they were in high request because of the specific needs of the crisis (particularly eCommerce, marketplaces, online meetings, gaming and other similar tech sectors), while others where stifled because the relevant activities they supported or enabled stopped or were severely affected (travel-tech, hospitality technology and others). In this framework, performance was not about the year-on-year growth in terms of revenues or profit, anymore, but about how the businesses performed compared to the industry benchmarks. So a company with severe growth in 2020 could be considered a very good performer if they fared much higher than their peers, while another company that succeeded to grow in 2020 could be a non-performer if their growth is much lower than that of companies from the same vertical.
BR: From your point of view, what mattered the most in a company’s leadership, to continue to keep the business afloat?
MG: For those businesses where keeping business afloat was the main goal of 2020, the main leadership traits that I would identify are the following: cost-consciousness (in companies where spending was lavish before the crisis, it is unlikely that they are doing fine during the pandemic), personal rapport with the team (especially going to work-from-home in many companies, if the personal rapport was not good before, it would be very difficult to work with those people in a remote-work setting) and high flexibility (without this, adapting to such volatile business environment is very difficult).