Call for Leaders | Andreas Lier (BASF Romania): Common sense and knowing your business well are the main ingredients for navigating through any crisis

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 09/04/2020 | 19:10

Call for Leaders – 3Q is a new category where Business Review features our 3 questions with some of Romania’s top business professionals, bringing a positive, insightful, or otherwise constructive view of their markets in the context of the current crisis.


Current conversation: Andreas Lier, CEO BASF Romania


What measures have you taken to protect your business during this period?

This is the kind of situation when companies have the opportunity to demonstrate that “we put people first” is not just a slogan. We recommended work-from-home for the positions that can implement this measure early on, we restricted drastically travel, we are sending updated information letters on Covid-19 recommendations in the sites where work interruption is not possible almost every day. On the operations side, we are looking into the value-chains for the most affected industries, such as the automotive, where we are a supplier for many of the tier 1, 2 or 3 manufacturers. Anticipating as much as possible the impact is an important part of managers’ duties in such situation. In agriculture for instance, a shortage in the supply of inputs for the spring season may reflect in lower productivity later on and consequently disruptions in the food availability. So we also keep a close eye here. We are confident that the essential sectors in which BASF Romania is part of the value chain, are covered according to current estimations.


What would be your advice for other business leaders in this time of crisis?

Remain balanced and be human. Common sense and knowing your business well are the main ingredients for navigating through any crisis. Listen to your colleagues more than before in a structured way because many solutions come from “the field”. Get involved in a constructive way. Our German Chamber of Commerce & Industry, AHK, is sharing ideas and solutions with the Government and advocate for solutions beneficial for the industries, the people and the country. Our headquarters try to do the same at Brussels level, for instance. There are no universal solutions, but guiding principles continue to apply in my opinion: be collaborative, stay positive while bracing for the worst. Plan for business continuity, disruptions reflect not only in the shareholders’ earnings, but also in society especially if your company is at the beginning of value chains.


What’s the most positive business news you’ve read today and would want to share? 

There are many people, start-ups and big companies ready to jump in and help. I receive emails on various threads with initiatives that span from a 3D printing solution for breathing ventilators to new materials proposals for face masks. Probably not all of them are realistic, but some are already helping doctors cope with the situation. This is the attitude that can take us all further through the crisis and also after!

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