Interview with Zoltan A. Kosy, Country Manager Tornator.
Mr. Kosy, what are the beginnings of Tornator in Romania and what made the management to expand company’s activity to our country?
Tornator’s investments in Romania have been part of the company’s long term growth strategy to expand its operations and businesses outside Finland and to become an internationally respected forest management company. Romania, among other countries, have been defined to be one of the target countries.
You have been representing Tornator for many years already. All this time, what exactly of your experience with the Finnish company have you already implemented here, in Romania, and what do you intend to do further for maintaining its good performance?
Tornator’s aim in its Romanian investments has been the long term sustainable use of its forests and the environmentally sound, socially responsible and financially profitable utilization of the wood and other nature resources, which are under its management. We intend to invest further in Romania and to develop our business further by offering high quality, customer focused and tailored forest and other asset management services for other private and public forest and land owners.
What are the strengths of Tornator on a very competitive domestic forestry market and how much did local operations (respectively, in Brasov) contribute to the financial consolidation of the whole group so far? How it looks like in figures (turnover, staff, exploited forest areas a.s.o.)?
Tornator’s strengths on the Romanian forestry sector and wood market are the know-how in large scale forest management, TornaApps forest management system and related IT solutions, the diverse product and services portfolio and the company’s skilled and committed personnel. The key figures for Tornator group in Romania in 2009 (starting year) were: ownership of ca. 11 500 ha of forests (no management services offered to other customers), 38 000 m3 round wood sold, 17 permanent local Romanian employees in rural areas and the turnover of ca. 650 000 EUR. The same figures in November 2013 are: 12 000 forest ownership, management of ca. 18 000 ha of forests and pasture land of other private and public land owners, sale of 140 000 m3 round wood, 38 permanent local Romanian employees and ca. 30 short term seasonal employees in the rural areas and the expected turnover of ca. 2 200 000 EUR. The profit from its Romanian businesses Tornator has been re-investing in the improvement of its forest road infrastructure, in the further development of the skills and know-how of its local Romanian personnel and in the development of new business opportunities in Romania.
What are the main sale markets for your Romanian investment and how many companies have you added to your customer portfolio?
Focus of our sales is on the Romanian market and the main customers of our products and services are Romanian small and medium size family owned wood processing companies and selected large scale incorporated Romanian legal entities in the forestry and wood industry sectors.
Does Romania continue to be a point of interest for the company you represent? Do you want to continue investing elsewhere besides Brasov?
Although during the last 2-3 years we have been investing more actively in the Baltic region (business climate have been more investor friendly), Romania will remain a point of our interest, hoping that present obstacles and barriers (ex. high bureaucracy, obligatory administration with high costs and low efficiency, poor infrastructure and very limited ability of forest owners to practice their ownership and property rights compared to other EU member states) for new investment will decrease.
As an important investor, how would you describe the collaboration with Romanian authorities, especially taking into account that forests exploitation is a touchy subject?
Tornator is not only “exploiting” the wood and the forests in its negative meaning. Our aim is the full utilization of the production potential of forest resources and the increase of our assets’s and investment’s value by investing in and taking care of the regeneration of new forest with planting nearly 100 000 trees every year and by investing in the proper management of our young forest stands.
As a significant representative of the Finnish business community, what is Tornator message to the businessmen interested to invest here and what is your message for the Finnish National Day?
My message to the business is to think globally, to act locally and to perform responsibly! As the national days of Romania and Finland are very close (December 1st and December 6th respectively) I would like to wish to the people of both countries Happy Independence Day!