You have almost 10 years of experience in the leasing sector. How do you see the new challenge as General Manager of Hertz Lease Romania, a position which you took over on March 1?
Ten years ago, I entered the financial leasing sector precisely when the market was taking shape. Now, there is a trend of migration towards operational leasing, a field which is also targeted by Hertz Lease Romania, which is an incipient market that will probably become mature in 4-5 years. Corroborated with the fact that this financial crisis has brought a more intense concern about reorganizing the activity of the company, as everyone was preoccupied about how to better manage the business, operational leasing takes over the responsibilities which appear in such situations, providing an integral deductibility in terms of costs and significant cost savings in terms of fleet management. With operational leasing, any customer may opt for the “acquiring” option that allows purchasing the cars at the end of the leasing period, or the ‘risk-free’ option of returning the leased cars to us. By choosing the latter, customers avoid the effort and cost of reselling the automobile, and resume the activity with a newly leased car. In other words, the crisis is somehow compensating for us, those dealing in this sector. From my point of view, this is the best moment to strongly penetrate the market, identify those customers who will decide to transfer from financial leasing and bank loan to operational leasing; in our case, this is mostly about those companies who operate medium-to-large fleets, are more sophisticated and avail of a more intense deep know-how. Another sector we have entered one year ago, is the Leisure, Travel & Tourism with Rent a Car, for which we have great plans and ambitions in 2012. With this respect, we prepare a number of surprises that will advance the business by more than 100 per cent, compared to our operations last year. I also want to mention our used cars sale action open through Stock Center (www.stock-center.ro), with a fleet of more than 400 automobiles, cars worth EUR 3 M.
Commercial manager with VB Leasing, Commercial Director and Sales Director with ING Lease, General Manager of Deutsche Anlagen Leasing Romania Real Estate, and now General Manager of Hertz Lease Romania – 10 years of experience, mostly in a management position…
Yes, during these 10 years I had to meet high targets, with maximum effort, within the shortest time possible. Such an example is my activity with VB Leasing, a strategic position aimed at devising a restructuring plan and, later, implementing it, which was proposed by me and validated by the Management Board in Bucharest and Vienna afterwards. In other words, of these 10 years, for 7 years I held top management positions. I consider that, through my entire activity, I can demonstrate that I inspire confidence to customers and to the partners I get in contact with.
What will you preserve, or develop within Hertz Lease Romania, from the strategy of your predecessor Theofilos Romaios?
From the very beginning, the company had a good start on the market, it is visible and has top customers – these are things which the previous management counted on and accomplished. We will certainly follow the same path and will develop this whole approach. We will continue to keep the high standard of the company and the satisfaction level of our customers. The way the market evolves will give us additional arguments to grow, but for this we also need an internal approach of processes and of how we work, helping us to sustain our growth. There must be a balance of the elements that form the successful achievement of our commercial ambitions.
Despite the decline of the car market, there is tight competition between Operational Leasing and Fleet Management companies. What are the elements that differentiate you from similar companies?
Hertz Lease Romania has a young and dynamic team, who puts a particular emphasis on the quality of services, the speed of reaction and, last but not least, on transparency. These elements place us in the top of leasing players. Now, the company is in a top 6 of the industry, but our short-term ambition is to range in the top 3.
Job aside, what other hobbies do you have?
I put passion in my job, and this is the main advantage that allowed me to have a successful career. I succeeded in whatever I planned to do, and – usually – when I set myself an objective, I focus 100 per cent and achieve it. This is something I demonstrated to me, and I will continue to do it from now on, as well. Apart from trying to be a good strategist at work, my other hobbies are music, mathematics, trips and piano, when I have time for it.