Dan Isai, the CEO of Salad Box, talks to BR about the state of entrepreneurship in Romania.
How attractive is Romania for entrepreneurial investments in terms of the local business environment?
I think that the Romanian market is much more interesting and attractive than it seems. Although at first we noticed a lack of state involvement in supporting Romanian entrepreneurship, there are opportunities for a business to establish itself, as long as there is a good idea and a lot of work behind it. The competition is bearable and the level of investment is acceptable. But the business plan and the return on investment need to be calculated on the medium term and not on the long term.
When is the right time for an SME to think of expansion in the region?
It is important to consolidate on the local market before considering regional expansion. The local market becomes your support in your development abroad because it is the source of your money and the necessary expertise and ingredients. The internal proven know-how combined with an adjustment to the foreign market gives you a good chance at succeeding.
What should an SME consider when deciding to expand abroad?
To ensure that you find the right employees or partners that represent the specific area. As for the know-how of the region you target, you need to be sure that you have the right and complete legal and fiscal information, the local competition and behaviors. Everything is important and relevant.
What are the main difficulties that Romanian SMEs face now?
I think that the lack of trust from foreign partners when they hear that we are a Romanian company is the biggest difficulty. But we, the entrepreneurs who extend abroad properly, will slowly change this perception.