23 February 2015 BusinessMagazin.ro
“What advice I would give myself if I were 20 again, but mastering today’s knowledge and experience?” The most admired entrepreneurs and executives in Romania answer this question for the first time and speak about the things they could have done differently.
Raul Ciurtin, President of Albalact::
“Back in 1999 I was a fresh graduate of the Medicine Faculty of Cluj-Napoca, and started to practice medicine as doctor in training when I had to go back to my home town to take over from my father the management of a diary factory privatized by the state on the verge of bankruptcy. I had no experience in building a business, but plenty of something essential to go on this adventure: passion. Ever since my student years, I was toying with the idea of starting my own business at one point in time, but that moment seemed so far away”
The entrepreneur Raul Ciurtin, founder of Albalact
The time came faster than I expected it and found me completely unprepared. This, however, forced me to adapt and learn whatever I didn’t know faster than I thought I was able to. I acquired my business experience step by step, watching and doing, and, sometimes making mistakes. I have a nose for picking the right people at the right time. As an young doctor, I was learning to write prescriptions; as an entrepreneur I learned that there was no recipe for a successful business. I managed to take the company to where it is today because I was bold enough to keep going; whenever my goal, by objective was attained,
I set another on, even more ambitious, for myself. I was bold enough to invest and innovate ahead of, and more than others, I trusted the people I chose to stand by my side, and I learned to put things in perspective. Being a visionary does not come easy, it is something that can be too built.
So, the pieces of advice I would give any young man or woman who wants to become an entrepreneur today are the same I would give myself if I were 20 again, but with today’s experience. Learn fast, from wherever possible and whatever you find useful, take chances, choose the right people to develop a well articulated strategy and direction with, and never loose sight of the market, not only in the short run, but in the long run too. Place the consumer in the center of the strategy, not only the business and profit. Consumers help us grow. Never stop investing, built a strong identify for your company and brands, communicate openly, not only with your target audience, but also with your partners and employees. Be brave enough to take the next step, because it cannot be done standing still. Be positively stubborn, that is never abandon the idea you think is the winner. Never make the same mistake twice. Seek to make the most realistic possible evaluation and monitoring of the economic context they find themselves in, and their own potential and that of the company to make correct investment decisions”.