Crises are extraordinary generators of opportunities and innovation

Bogdan Ciubotaru Managing Partner Aliant

What word best describes the year 2021?

Reinvention. It was important to look at business reinvention as a continuous process. The pandemic has profoundly changed global markets and their needs, accelerated innovation and driven companies to embrace digital transformation faster. All this has generated new opportunities and trends. We focused on them because it was clear to us that the world will not return to the pre-pandemic context. And we understood that only through continuous reinvention can we have a fluid, asynchronous strategy to capitalize on these opportunities.

What were your reasons for concern about the business you are running in 2021? (pandemic, economic crisis, commodity crisis, inflation, labor force, government crisis, others).

The biggest challenge was related to finding the right people for our development ambitions. We continued to win new customers on top of a stable existing customer base and expand capabilities in technologies such as RPA robots, Virtual Assistants, AI, VR/AR. The complexity of Aliant's business has grown and, with it, the need to grow the team, to add specialized skills and leadership skills.

Last but not least, there were delays from the suppliers of some equipment, but we were careful in planning and had back-up solutions. The key here was to understand the customer context well and set expectations right from the start.

What are the results of the company's/group's activity compared to the estimates from the beginning of the year?

In 2021 we have a percentage increase of 16% of the business, being aligned with our expectations. Some of the business lines performed better than others and we analyze a series of indicators so that we better understand the dynamics and the areas where we need to improve certain parameters.

In 2022, Aliant turns 30 years old and we are proud of the fact that, in addition to the printing skills that consecrated the company at the beginning, we are today an IT integrator with extensive experience and capabilities to scale our clients' business through digital transformation projects.

What were the reasons from the business area that brought you satisfaction or optimism in 2021?

Beyond the obvious problems, crises are tremendous generators of opportunity and innovation. What matters is the mindset of the team, the perspective we choose to see, and of course, the execution. In 2021 Aliant put into practice innovative ideas, technologies, projects and partnerships that we are proud of and that I honestly believe would not have existed in normal times. Over time, these become the engines of growth – we are already seeing encouraging results.

How do you characterize the private business environment in Romania in 2021 in terms of resilience and dynamism? Argue.

By their very nature private companies need to perform and find solutions to problems. We know how difficult it was and I think we can say that the private sector gave not only an example of resilience but also demonstrated that it is still the reason why Romania is on the world map when it comes to IT, automotive, agriculture and others.

What are the good decisions that the government made to encourage and support the Romanian business environment in 2021? What are the things he should have done but didn't?

There have been programs that have certainly helped, but there remains that feeling that more could be done, better. I think that a real and assumed concern is needed to have a medium and long-term strategy, with an increased degree of predictability so as to give confidence to both multinationals and entrepreneurs, potential investors, etc.

What do you think will be the biggest global challenges in 2022?

The pandemic activated a series of chained crises such as that of semiconductors, raw materials, energy, human resources, etc. in a vortex dynamic, difficult to control and anticipate. These will continue to be stressors for many existing business models.

On the other hand, the development of certain technologies and their application in real life accelerated at an unprecedented rate. Extremely exciting innovations are happening in automation, digitization, AI/Machine Learning, Blockchain, VR/AR and there is growing interest in many sectors. Understanding and adopting them will become a must-have in the future.

For example, I think that in the coming years there will be a difference that will be difficult to recover between companies that have automated their business (through RPA, Chatbots, AR, AI as appropriate) and those that will still operate on the classic model. For the latter, today's lack of vision can become fatal.


The Ant

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