20 years of excellence in managerial education

Newsroom 04/03/2013 | 09:58


Ionut  Mihailescu (in picture), General Manager, told Business Review about the success story behind CODECS and the company’s main achievements since its establishment.

By Anda Sebesi

What lies behind CODECS’s attainments?

Our success story is the result of a synergy of several factors. First, there was a huge need for managerial education at international standards back in the 1990s. Second, there was private initiative, which brought dynamism, flexibility and adaptation to the market – the resources needed to start the project. Back in 1993 the first 25 students of the Open University Business School in Romania set up CODECS, the Centre for Open Distance Education for a Civil Society, in order to promote, implement and develop distance learning in Romania. Third was our British partner, Open University Business School, one of the most prestigious business school in Europe. It brought its creative capacity and know-how to the Romanian partner, and earned CODECS its trust and respect.

What are the company’s main achievements since its establishment, and how has CODECS adapted to the market realities in Romania?

The diversification of our business through new products that the market demanded has had several significant steps. In 1998, CODECS set up its training and consultancy division and signed an exclusive partnership with 360 Solutions, one of the most influential suppliers of training services worldwide. In the same year we founded the CODECS publishing house, specialized in publishing business books. Its mission is to boost Romanian managerial culture and improve the performance of managers, by offering a great selection of books written by well-known Romanian and foreign authors specialized in general management, economy, business, sales, marketing, project management, leadership, human resources, education, training and coaching.

Another step was taken in 2000 when CODECS introduced the first project management program in Romania. Over 9,000 managers have graduated from these courses to match that of Western cultures. In 2001, we set up the CODECS for Leadership Foundation. Its most well-known educational program is Leaders of the Third Millennium, introduced in schools and high schools nationwide. The main goal of this program is to develop the leadership skills among scholars, students and teachers, and to promte values such as: trustworthiness, honesty, competence, performance and the courage to initiate civic action. More than 9,000 people have graduated from the foundation’s Leaders of the Third Millennium educational program. The program is supported by top business profesionals and has become a highly reputed business education source. Aside from seting the foundation for a future career and offering great networking opportunities, it has also inspired students to start getting involved as volunteers or trainers. The launch of the Business Operations and Supply Chain Innovation, Strategy and Management in 2008-2009 was another significant step, followed by the introduction of the Management: Perspectives and Practice course back in 2010, within the MBA program’s first stage.

Last year, Prospectiuni, in partnership with CODECS, founded the Center of Professional Development, a program that helps young geologists and geophysicists enter the professional sphere easily and efficiently. Courses include a comprehensive curriculum of specialized presentations and are taught by experts  within the company, who coordinate students’ professional development. With a focus on the exploration sector of the oil and gas and minerals industry.

This January the first class of graduates of the Center of Professional Development concluded their courses, and 15 young professionals joined the international community of explorers for the development of our planet’s resources.

CODECS has also been involved in many educational projects, organizing conferences and workshops, such as: Project Management Forum (2004) and A New Thinking for a New World management conference (2007) held by Dr. Charles Handy.

Dr. Handy is a specialist in business philosophy, an expert in organizational development and the foundation of modern principles of organizational culture and leadership. CODECS also organized Leadership 2011, a conference dedicated to leadership in business.

You have been pioneers in many education-related areas. For example, in 2000 you introduced the Project Management program in Romania. What is it like to be a pioneer in a market you are developing?

Now more than ever, the business world needs pioneers capable of moving beyond the uncertainty and fear that control the market. Being a pioneer means having a vision about the future evolution of demand for personal and managerial development. It means having the capacity to inspire people in their desire for personal and professional development. It means courage in accepting  challenges and taking chances. Since 1993 CODECS has been following its mission to inspire people, because through their own personal and professional to contribute to the advancement of our professional society.

The CODECS slogan is “the power of knowledge”. What does this mean in the 21st century? And what does it mean in the current technology-dominated economic and social context?

We all witnessed the effects of the international financial crisis and know how hard the labor market was hit. That’s why we believe that those who choose to sacrifice their spare time and invest in their personal and professional development are the real winners during this crisis. We hope that these people will have the same aplomb and thirst for knowledge, as we must not forget that knowledge is power! With each generation of graduates we enhance the level of managerial education in Romania, to match that of Western countries. Excellence in managerial education is the core value CODECS promoted in 20 years of hard work.

CODECS products

The MBA program offered by the Open University Business School through its partner CODECS is accredited by AMBA (the Association of Masters of Business Administration), EFMD (the European Foundation for Management Development) and AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business).

The Professional Certificate in Management is a top professional qualification for managers, designed to increase their knowledge, competence and confidence as a new, general or middle manager.The Certificate courses provide a practical introduction to the key ideas, techniques and overall competencies you need in order to manage effectively and productively in modern organisations in any part of the world.

The Project Management program covers a variety of issues: project initiation; risk; necessary estimations and contracts; planning, forming and leading the project team; execution of the project.

The Business Operations course covers the essential elements of an organization such as: basic processes needed to transform different resources  added-value results for customers and other stakeholders.

The Supply Chain Innovation, Strategy and Management course presents types of distribution and procurement systems, management techniques and efficiency, and methods to extend the supply chain management to the whole product life cycle.

The Training and consultancy course offers integrated solutions to customers’ problems and  meets the training and development needs of our beneficiary organizations.

Number of graduates in areas of business

18,000 – students nationwide, top managers in some of the most important companies in Romania;

5,200 –  graduates in Professional Certificate in Management;

2,400 – graduates in Professional Diploma in Management;

363 – MBA graduates;

9,000 – managers have specialized in project management, business operations and supply chain innovation, strategy and management.

List of customers

Microsoft; Vodafone; Prospectiuni S.A.; Siemens; Orange; Alcatel-Lucent; Deltatel; Oracle; Siveco; IBM; Hewlett – Packard; Ericsson; Total Soft; TNT Romania; Coca-Cola; SABMiller PLC; BAT; Ringier; Zentiva; Sanofi Aventis; Farmexim; Continental Automotive Romania.

 Who’s who / codecs TEAM

Gehrig SchultzGehrig Schultz

Chairman, CODECS Board of Directors

Mr Schultz started his career in the geophysical industry in 1987 and progressed through operational andis currently the CEO of Prospectiuni S.A. He has extensive international experience, having lived and worked in Latin America, West Africa, North Africa and Europe.


Ionut Mihailescuionut mihailescu

General Manager

Mr. Mihailescu was appointed General Manager of CODECS in 2012. He supports the company’s commitement to innovation, excellence and passion to be the leading professional development educaion provider in Romania.


Silviu BalutSilviu Balut

Operational Director

Mr Balut joined the CODECS team in November last year, taking responsibility for the planning, managing and coordinating of the operational activity of CODECS, in cooperation with the General Manager.


Dr. Rodica Maria RadulescuRodica Radulescu

Director of CODECS Business School

Dr Radulescu holds a PhD in Economics and has 18 years of experience in managerial education for adults. She is also a consultant, tutor and trainer in strategic management, performance management, change management, marketing and project management.


Silviu BarbalataSilviu Barbalata

Sales Director

Mr Barbalata has been part of CODECS since 2008. As of January 2013 he took the sales manager position, working towards aligning the company’s great potential with its highly ambitious goals.


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