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August 9, 2022

Vlad Iftime, Managing Partner Vestra: This year we aim to help cities and communities become economically competitive and move towards new sustainable services

How did you choose to invest in SUBLIME Energie?

In addition to the policies declared at the level of the European Union and in the European Legislative Framework, the decision to invest in the company SUBLIME Energie was based, first of all, on the care for nature and our passion for a sustainable environment. Quality is the principle that guides our steps in the activity we carry out within the Vestra cluster. Out of the desire to provide companies with the most suitable solutions, we are constantly evolving and adapting to the needs of the market by offering quality products and services by associating with world leaders.

Whether it is about traditions, history and nature, many of the businesses in which I am involved are closely related to my passion for the tradition and history of our country. I want to bring people closer to traditional customs and contribute to the development of a sustainable environment both through activities within the company and investments in modern systems and technologies, all of these while adding value to companies that pay more attention to the environment. This is also the reason why I got involved personally or with Vestra in projects that bring a plus in people’s lives.


Why did you choose to invest in France? Are you thinking of such an investment on the Romanian market as well?


The most important pillar in Vestra’s investment is the sustainability achieved through the synergy of technology developers, civil society that understands technological change, but also those who propose the legislative framework to achieve the objectives. Thus, France fulfills the most appropriate combination necessary for the development of the technology that we support within the company.

We definitely want to implement this technology back home and be a trend-setter for agricultural farms and wastewater treatment plants because we want to build a sustainable and predictable model in Romania. We consider ourselves part of the group of visionaries who are trying to find long-term solutions for Europe and we have great confidence in the SUBLIME Energy executive team that we support. The results of the investment may apply to agricultural farms and wastewater treatment plants in large and medium-sized cities, respectively, combining major European Union policies related to green energy production, sustainability and social inclusion.


What can you tell us about your activity during this past year, the 2020 results, and the challenges and opportunities created by the current context?


The COVID crisis has significantly affected the Romanian business environment, an already fragile one, in which many poorly capitalized companies, without financial resources, have struggled to cope with this pandemic that has hit hard all areas of activity. For me, 2020 was a year of challenges in which adaptability was the keyword.

I was faced with an unforeseen situation until then, but which, fortunately, I managed to manage. Tourism companies were most severely affected during the state of emergency. We had to minimize investment to keep these businesses operational. Even so, in the second half of 2020, Haita Land, the unique accommodation concept in the village of Gura Haitii, recorded a 10% increase in income.

Because it is part of the technology sector Vestra Industry (www.vestra.ro) was barely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. There were many challenges, but the most important is that we fought together to achieve common goals and we managed to keep the activity of all companies open. Thus, we find opportunities in every challenge and we have generated a greater degree of flexibility within the organization to obtain optimal solutions that streamline the company’s activity.

We focused on consolidating existing projects, on developing a new IT division and we aimed to help cities and communities become economically competitive, move towards new sustainable services and, of course, help in the development of Romanian tourism. Regarding the Vestra activity, this year, we proposed a strategy for start-up investments in areas such as energy and software.


On a related note, sustainability became equally important in the current context, what can you tell us about your activity and future plans in this area?


Sustainability is a central point for us in 2021. Our projects are based on the policies declared at the level of the European Union and on the Legislative Framework. The concept of sustainability has become increasingly popular with the introduction of legislation on environmental protection, safety and protection of employees and communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rethinking of business strategy for companies, with sustainability playing an important role in redefining long-term priorities. This year we aim to help cities and communities become economically competitive and move towards new sustainable services through: the use of electric cars and car sharing for urban mobility, dedicated waste management systems and more efficient use of energy resources.


What is your opinion on hydrogen investments? Could Romania approach this market segment as investments?


Investing in hydrogen production is a great opportunity for the Romanian market which has  enormous potential for development. Hydrogen can support the transition to a world that relies on energy from renewable sources. Used as a raw material, as fuel or to transport and store energy, hydrogen has many possible applications in all areas of the economy. It does not emit CO2 and does not pollute the air when used. Therefore, it contributes to achieving the European Green Pact’s climate neutrality target by 2050.


Apart from the Vestra business, you are also involved as an entrepreneur in Haita Land. How did this business start?


The unique accommodation concept, Haita Land, was born shortly after, by chance, we accidentally arrived in a remote village, Gura Haitii. I discovered a house over 100 years old, once inhabited by an outlaw. Conquered by the mystical atmosphere and the landscape around us, we decided together with a group of friends from various fields (architects, doctors, engineers, IT specialists, lawyers) that we must offer others the opportunity to feel everything  this “essentially Romanian” land has to show.

Currently, the project in Ţara Dornelor offers tourists three houses – Sihastru, Pridvor and Cuib – built sustainably and non-invasively for the local ecosystem. The first two can be rented in full, with tourists having about 2000 square meters of yard. In the “Nest” there are 2 apartments that can be rented separately or together, they are “linked” through a secret door that may or may not be opened, depending on customer preference.

This is the beginning of the Haita Land story (www.haitaland.ro/) which will continue by developing other housing units as well as a camping/glamping area that will attract as many nature enthusiasts as possible.


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