BR Interview | Felician Pop (Pop Engineering): “Amid the pandemic, we continued to hire and invest in people”

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 02/11/2020 | 17:22

Launching the company Pop Engineering was “a baby born from love, that is taken care of by 50 employees, professionals and motivated people, alongside which we succeeded in reaching a turnover of over RON 13 million”, as the entrepreneur Felician Pop is telling. In his teens a passionate piano player, real rocker, now responsible father and keen biker that travels around the world in order to recharge his batteries, BR talked with Felician Pop and found out about the roots of his passion, how he built the company and how he is handling those difficult COVID-19 pandemic times.

By Romanita Oprea

 

How are you positioning yourself on the market?

Pop Engineering is a company that does industrial electric installations and offers services such as low tension industrial electric installations, civil and industrial electric installations, creating electric panels; automatization; designing, installing and maintenance for burglary system CCTV fires; implanting and executing fire extinguishing systems; sprinklers and drenchers; smoke and pressurization systems; hot gas extraction and exhaust system; SAS pressurization and stairwells; fire resistant tubing installation; connecting and implementing the necessary automation functionalities for the whole system; maintenance and training.

The company developed healthy during the last years succeeding in reaching in 2018 a turnover of EUR 1, 4 million and in 2019 almost doubling it to EUR 2,7 million. We believe in organic and sustainable growth and we always invest in the teams we work with. For me it’s extremely important to make sure the people I am working with have very good work conditions and a stimulating salary. I believe in the fact that if your people are happy and coming to work from pleasure, that will show in the work they do and the clients will be happy. That has always been my motto and it definitely paid off.

I believe the workforce is very important in our activity field. You need to know how to motivate your people, otherwise they will migrate from one company to another. In Romania is hard to find the right people to work in this field, therefore it’s crucial to know how to keep them in your company. Even we had moments in 2020 when our business suffered a big fall due to the stopping of the activity, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we fought to keep our people. I consider that now is the moment when employers show their true colors and how you handle the personnel situation tells a lot about how you are as a person and how you want to handle your business.

 

Speaking of clients, what is your client list?

Among the most relevant clients I am happy to mention names such as: Mall Veranda, Mall Sun Plaza, Valleta Residence, Timken Company – West Park Ploiești, Prysmian Group, Michelin Group, Philip Morris International, Rockwool, etc. I am very proud of the work we did for the office building Hattrick Office Building Sibiu, for the Rugby Stadium at the Arch of Triumph Bucharest.

 

How are you different then your competition?

We are working in a very competitive industry, but our goal is to always be on time and offer top quality services. I am doing my best to inspect all the major executions and make sure everything is done by the book. We are ready to do extra-time work and sacrifices, in order to finish the work as it should. We have very flexible teams, with experienced personnel.

At Pop Engineering we are also offering really good salaries, for example an experienced electrician in my team is paid like an engineer is in another company. This is one of the reason I have an 100 % retention of people. And that even one of my biggest challenges as an entrepreneur was finding the right, experienced people. The ones that are constant and able to take the project to the finish line.

I succeeded in 2012 in finding two young people that wanted to learn the ropes of the job, that worked hard, I trained them, they stood beside me and now are persons that I can really count on in my business. They were very ambitious and now are foremen.

I hired this year as well, as people were coming back from working abroad. I considered that even the work was going slower, I can invent and support them for 6-7 months before the industry will come back to its real speed again. Having the right teams is more important than everything for my business.

Therefore, we characterize ourselves as a company that has as main values being prompty, adaptable and offering the right rates. Moreover, we are proud that we always find innovative solutions.

 

Let’s get back a little at the beginning. Please tell us how you started on your own and why?

I was one day at a car wash and the owner heard me talking on the phone with a friend that I can do different works, that I have good people, a great team. He came to me and told me that he will pay me to open my own business and have him as his first client. He was sure from the conversion he overheard that I was the right person for him. Therefore, I kind of became an entrepreneur by chance, in 2007.

 

What are for you the main advantages of being an entrepreneur and would you ever give it up?

I don’t see myself being employed anymore. Even I had many good offers and I could live an easier life, I value a lot the quality time I get to spend doing the things I love, in my manner, and the holidays I share with my little girl. I’ve travelled the country from one corner no another, on a motorcycle or in a caravan and I love every minute of it.

 

What are your goals for 2021?

Taking in account that starting the pandemic and until now we had three major works canceled, a fact that shook the whole year for us, I am very careful about what is the near future having in store for us. And I believe this is a very wise business attitude, in our environment. Although I am still optimistic and I keep the faith and hope that better days will come, I have to think rationally and take things step by step.

I am expending the list of the companies that I am working with and outsourcing the new business part, in order for me to have the time to focus on growing the business I have today and training the people in the teams.

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