Call for Leaders | Farlei Kothe (Stefanini): Lack of information can be very dangerous for organizations nowadays, so by all means, keep the communication channels open

Mihai Cristea 09/04/2020 | 16:11

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: Farlei Kothe, CEO Stefanini EMEA


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

At Stefanini, we put together a global Committee with daily meetings to follow-up the changes and synchronize our actions and also an EMEA Committee that takes care of our region’s specific issues. We implemented an Action Plan to have 100% of the EMEA team working from home, the plan is full in place as of the previous week, the other regions are implemented the same. Prior to that, for several weeks now, before our people started to work from home, we had much more intense cleaning sessions in all of our offices.

Currently, we are constantly following all changes, regulations etc., for each country and we have teams to support and follow the local actions/decisions.

We are, of course keeping very close to our customers, co-creating all action plans to take care of their business, as we know they are also going through some difficult times. We keep posting and communicating updates, as communication is key, we have periodic meetings among all layers of the organization, everybody must feel informed.


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

First and foremost, we all need to keep calm, as the pressure and changes are very intense. There is no silver bullet for this unexpected crisis, we are handling it on a day by day basis, always looking at both our short and medium term strategy. Communication is everything, lack of information can be very dangerous for organizations nowadays, so by all means, keep the communication channels open.

Stay close to your customers and partners, all of them are in the same situation, nobody is navigating on calm waters at this moment. Customers and cash are king now, take care of yours. Use this time to review all products, services, processes, presentations, webpages, that usually nobody has time for during business as usual times. Now you have time for them.


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

Besides the big global pressure, during my conversations with C Level people, I notice they are waiting and hoping for a short crisis, so that they can restart the businesses quickly, once this is under control. Following the crisis, I think there will be a very business intensive period of time.

A lot of companies used to be very reluctant about certain measures, Work From Home is one of them. They were cautious about WFH or remote support. Now, since everyone has quickly joined the WHF bandwagon and are noticing the benefits, everything can change in the way companies deliver their services. This “new” business model can be more attractive, efficient and cost effective.

Over the last 2 weeks I had, at least, 6 or 7 meetings with prospects, companies that we have never worked with before. Usually you should meet them face to face, but now I had all the meetings by video-conference and they were very productive. Impressive how everybody’s mindset is changing now.

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