The market of competitive intelligence services has tripled in the last two years in Romania, companies being much more attentive, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the fluctuations of the markets in which they operate, to the movements of competitors, to market changes and to the predictability of the political and social climate.
In this context, the need for rapid implementation of measures with major impact in the short, medium and long term, is likely to generate a higher need for intelligence products to support decision makers. Thus, company managers wanted to be more informed, to analyse faster, possibly in real time, markets, companies, trends, in a legitimate attempt to minimize the risks generated by new investments, fraud, association with new partners, or the launch of new products.
Competitive intelligence services involve collecting, analysing and providing information about vulnerabilities, risks, but especially about opportunities in a market, in order to support strategic decision making in companies.
“We can talk about the competitive intelligence market in Romania for just a short time. Like any new market, it is directly linked to several socio-economic factors: the degree of competitiveness in a particular sector or industry, the appetite for investment in a particular region, government incentives or fiscal policy. All this directly influences the way in which the management of companies relates to the need for competitive intelligence services. And in this field, Romania, compared to the more developed economies in the West, is still at the beginning”, says Gabriel Zgunea, CEO of Corporate Intelligence Agency.
Competitive intelligence services represent about 30% of the entire corporate intelligence market in Romania, estimated at approximately 10 million euro in 2020.
Currently, in Romania, international companies have the greatest appetite for competitive intelligence services, operating in highly competitive sectors, such as investment funds, banking companies and insurance, retail and energy companies. At the same time, more and more managers understand the importance of allocating resources in this regard and appreciate prior information, diligence and objective knowledge of the market.
“Regarding the evolution of the competitive intelligence market in Romania, the prospects look very good – beyond a greater understanding of the beneficial effects of these services, we also noticed an increased investment interest, especially from foreign investors. With Brexit, but not only for this reason, we have seen many investors analysing the opportunity to invest in Romania or move their business here. Exactly in such a context, we expect to see a dynamic growth of the competitive intelligence market, because such services are the basis of a correct and informed decision-making process, and the basis of a solid and efficient risk management policy”, says Gabriel Zgunea.
What are the needs of companies that use competitive intelligence services
Identifying vulnerabilities is one of the main needs of companies, and for this they use enhanced due diligence, especially in the case of investments. It is a complex service, which targets all the potential vulnerabilities or problems that a company may encounter when analysing the opportunity for a new investment.
In addition to this type of due diligence, companies frequently use competitive intelligence services to know about business partners or a key person who is particularly relevant in their business or may present in the future – as a key employee for example. These background check services are targeted and designed to help companies stay in line with the rigors of their internal policies, such as “know your partner policies”.
“In M&A projects, after intervening in the due diligence process, legal teams were convened to amend the contractual clauses, following the identification of elements unknown until then by the partner, consultant or lawyers involved in the transaction, or the transaction was suspended and sometimes even cancelled, considering that there was too much risk, of a financial or reputational nature. Regarding risk management, after our intervention, the partner restructured the company, modified processes / procedures in the organization, stopped collaborating with employees involved in activities in the field of occupational fraud or ended the partnership with suppliers of goods / services on which they suspected non-compliant practices etc.”, says Dan Rusu, Senior Partner Corporate Intelligence Agency.
Also, more and more companies use this type of service only to improve their capabilities in the field of risk management. It is about the competitive risk, especially relevant when the companies consider the launch of a new product, when a new competitor appears, or when they take into account restructuring the business strategy.