20 years ago, Sodexo entered the Romanian market, offering meal tickets on paper format. Since then, it issued more than 3.1 billion vouchers, it had over 20,000 SME Client, and only in 2017 it served more than 206 million meals to the Romanian employees. The company’s development was supported by the diversification of the range of products and services and by the investments in digitalization. As a result, the turnover increased by 27% in 2017, compared to 2016.
The average of the extra-salary benefits received by the Romanian employees is between 1 and 2; most of the benefits are meal tickets and gift tickets. The vouchers in digital format are preferred by the clients, being easier to use them and offering a better control on the expenses through the app Sodexo Card, which is already installed by half of the Sodexo clients. The first benefit offered 100% in digital format is 7card, while 50% of the meal vouchers are also used in digital format.
“Sodexo offers a wide range of extra-salary benefits in Romania, and we will continue to invest in diversifying the employee motivation solutions” stated Aurélien Sonet (Photo R), Global CEO Sodexo Rewards and Benefits. The company takes into account to introduce Culture pass on the local market at the beginning of the next year, when the legal framework will exist. “We are already offering this kind of benefit in Brazil, Czech Republic and France, countries where Sodexo is closely working with the Governments in order to implement the most important public policies. We’ll bring this experience in Romania, too, to create a new benefit for culture and to offer an original cultural experience to the employees” said Sven Marinus (Photo L), Country CEO Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Romania.
In the 20 years of activity on the Romanian market, the company launched various programs and products, including: in 2006, Cresa Pass for nurseries – Childcare vouchers, in 2009 Turist Pass Holiday vouchers, and in 2016 Gusto Card – electronic Meal Vouchers together with a Mobile application. The first million consumers was reached in 2007, and ten years later, their number reached 1.5 million. Last year, the company invested in the Romanian start-up Benefit Seven, the largest provider of subscriptions for leisure and sports for employees, and for the future, it plans to purchase the remaining 40% of the company’s shares. Asked about his opinion on the company’s development this year, Sven Marinus stated: “200,000 people will be receiving Turist vouchers this years”, referring, of course, to the benefits offered to the state employees.
Sodexo is strongly involved in CSR actions. Thus, in 2003, it supported the establishment of STOP Hunger Romania Association, part of a global NGO network supported by Sodexo, which is advocating for eliminating hunger. Some of the projects conducted in Romania by Stop Hunger are “Empowering women”, launched in 2007 in order to support women’s entrepreneurship in rural areas, and “Sa crestem sanatosi” (“Let’s Grow Healthy” – e.n.), promoting a healthy life style for children. EUR 300,000 have been invested in 7 local community projects and 11 actions in 2017.
“Romania is a key country for us, a key market, where we have been quite successful. There is still a lot of potential on the Romanian market. More importantly, we also wanted to share with you that we wanted to take this opportunity of celebrating our 20 years anniversary to reinforce our commitment in terms of diversity and inclusion”, stated Aurélien Sonet at a press conference. Sven Marinus and Aurélien Sonet have signed The Romanian Diversity Charter. Sodexo is a unique organization that implements policies and initiatives promoting the gender equality. “We are strongly committed to support women development, because we are convinced that when we empower women, we also empower the individuals and communities around them. When women do better, we all do better,” added Sonet. In Romania, 58% of the Sodexo employees are women. At the management level, there are 41% women working there.