Passion for fashion leads to suitable business

Newsroom 07/06/2010 | 12:48

With an investment of about EUR 60,000 in his first store, BAROTTI in Unirea Shopping Center, Tiberiu Banica intends to extend his clothing business nationwide in the medium and long term, with the investment in each unit being from EUR 30,000-40,000.

Anda Sebesi

 

Tiberiu Banica took his first steps in the business world back in 1997, and founded Barotti International in 2009. The company is the exclusive importer and distributor of the Barotti menswear brand and opened its first store in Unirea Shopping Center in October last year. For the entrepreneur, Barotti has a special personal and professional significance. “It is the brand from which I learned everything I know now,” says Banica, managing partner of the company. He adds that he was infused with the entrepreneurial spirit since the beginning of the business. “I offered all my energy and dedication to this brand,” says the young entrepreneur. He believes that any start-up is exposed to certain risks and so an entrepreneur should find the right positioning and communication for his or her company. Banica’s business ethos is that a brand’s stated promise must infuse the products or services sold to the final consumer. “When we decided to set up this business we thought about it and analyzed a set of factors that were linked both with the economic context and the purchasing decision,” says Banica. According to him, price, offered benefits in time, brand awareness, the certificate of authenticity for imported products, textile composition and advertising were some of these factors.

The idea to set up the business was born from frustrating shopping trips. Whenever Banica wanted to buy an outfit – business or occasion wear – he traipsed through many stores both in Romania and abroad in order to find something suited to his style. “Visiting many stores and seeing many items of clothing, the idea came to launch a clothing brand with styles that I would like to have in my wardrobe. I also thought that I would find a target of men that share the same taste in suits as me. And I wasn’t wrong,” says the managing partner. “I can say that I have the Barotti brand in my heart; I always wanted to create and develop it.”

The main objective of the business was to offer a special brand for men that can give them a sartorial experience that makes them feel unique and special. “Barotti promotes a range of clothing with a style born of elegance, making men stand out through the quality and diversity of the products it encompasses,” says Banica. He adds that he studied many types of clothing over time and participated in some domestic and international trade fairs to try and satisfy the needs of the stylish gentleman through the Barotti brand.

Asked to specify the most difficult moment his business has faced, Banica says that it comes every time the firm has to come up with new spring-summer or fall-winter collections for men. “Every such occasion is difficult and involves a tough decision for us,” says the young entrepreneur. He believes that each business has its hard moments that should be forgotten such as those related to the current bureaucratic requirements. But thinking solely of his own company, he wouldn’t change anything. “I think that Barotti has evolved in a natural manner and has always tried to adapt to international trends, especially to men’s sartorial requirements,” says Banica.

Challenges have included finding the right approach, the under-developed market niche and coming up with the funds and people to convince the customer to choose his brand instead of the competition. “It is not an easy time to enter on a market considering the current economic context but we have now found the necessary financial and human resources,” says Banica.

The Romanian menswear market is very crowded at the moment, but despite this Banica says there is plenty of space for new players, especially on the mainstream segment. Romania is also an emerging market because fashion for men is no longer an uninteresting game but an attractive and challenging one. “The local menswear market has undergone some changes as a result of variations in Romanians’ purchasing power, level of education and lifestyle,” says Banica. According to him, refinement, diversity, high quality of materials and style are the attributes of Barotti brand. “Barotti man pays a lot of attention to detail, keeps in step with the latest clothing trends and wants a garment that gives him a lot of comfort. Our classic line of garments addresses men for whom elegance is a must in their professional environment,” says the managing partner.

Going forward, Banica says that he intends to open at least one more stand-alone location, but has not yet decided whether it should be in Bucharest or elsewhere. “We intend to diversify our plans for territorial expansion and start to aggressively enter malls and shopping centers nationwide,” says the businessman. According to him the store in Unirea Shopping Center needed an investment of about EUR 60,000 and he estimates that the investment for each unit the company intends to open will be between EUR 30,000-40,000. “We could also focus on high street commercial locations,” concludes Banica.

 

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