The story of the entrepreneur who started a business in

The story of the entrepreneur who started a business in

From e-commerce to services, the online environment has become more and more popular among Romanians in the last two years. A relatively new industry is benefiting from the new consumer behavior: digital marketing.

A report by the Romanian Online Marketing and Advertising Industry Association in the year of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic showed that the digital marketing market has grown to over 80 million euros in 2020, compared to 55 million euros in 2019. if in the second half of March everything seemed to be stopped in place, since April, online commerce has exploded, and many services have also begun to make their presence felt in the online environment, in order to be more visible. And digital marketing budgets have increased by up to 40% for advertising on Google (Google Ads) and up to 37% for promotion on Facebook, the same report shows.

According to estimates by ARMO (Romanian Association of Online Stores) and GPeC, the e-commerce sector reached the threshold of 5.6 billion euros at the end of 2020, to exceed six billion euros in 2021. As for the current year, Experts believe that this segment could increase by another 30 percent, amid changing consumer habits.

As competition increases in the online environment, many players in this industry have turned their budgets to digital marketing. This is fully confirmed by the turnover of the profile companies. Sinaps, for example, an agency in Iasi for online advertising and administration services for Google and Facebook, achieved a turnover of about 1.2 million euros last year, up from 700,000 euros in 2020. this, we estimate an increase of up to 1.7 million euros “, says now the co-founder George Rășchitor (34 years old).

According to him, over 65% of the business is generated by online stores, the remaining 35% coming from companies in the area of ​​health, real estate, law, accounting and architecture. In the last two years, the entrepreneur has started to look more closely at the real estate sector, which is on a continuous upward trend. “We target businesses that are not really in the startup stage. We target those who have reached a point and want to grow “, details the entrepreneur.

Sinaps is based in Iasi, but most customers are in Bucharest. The business is currently mostly local, with only a few UK companies in the portfolio. George Rășchitor says he intends to go abroad, but most likely this year he will focus on consolidating his business in the local market. In the near future, it wants to consolidate its presence in Bucharest, where it already has four employees. They are working in a co-working system, but Sinaps is going to expand its team in the Capital this year and open its own office, most likely in the central or northern area.

Crisis strategies

George Rășchitor intended to increase his team even before the introduction of health restrictions, amid a slight increase in the market. At the end of 2019, Sinaps had 15 employees, and at the time of the pandemic, the number was already 20. Immediately after the e-commerce area began to grow rapidly, Sinaps reached 35 employees. At the moment, George Rășchitor’s team has 48 people, and in the next period it will increase. Because he had to grow his team in a new time, the entrepreneur says that new strategies were also needed. “Our procedures were designed for a team of up to 30 employees. When the number of employees suddenly increases, you end up losing control and you don’t know how to organize them anymore “, explains Rășchitor.

To solve the organizational problems, Sinaps prepared a team of managers who rethought the procedures, focusing on working from home. Moreover, employees working online were recruited from Cluj, Constanța and Bucharest counties. Against this background, says the entrepreneur, the organizational structure of his company was completely changed from the moment before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only the internal organization was a pandemic challenge, but also the way of collaborating with its clients. He remembers that when the pandemic broke out, he was preparing to celebrate seven years since the company was founded. However, the event was canceled, and its first objective was to secure both the team of employees and the client portfolio. “There were two or three weeks of panic in which the customers did not know what to do,” recalls George Rășchitor, adding that many of them were thinking of stopping the collaboration with Sinaps.

And since most companies switched to the work from home system, many employees did not have their homes ready for this. “In a short time, some people needed a laptop, an office chair,” adds the entrepreneur. Under these conditions, he advised the customers who had such products in their portfolio to promote them, which led to the strong advancement of the e-commerce segment. And this is because the only way to consume electronic products or for the home was online, most of the physical stores being closed and the movement of people restricted. So most e-commerce players have increased their online marketing budgets.

Passion marketing

George Rășchitor says that he has been passionate about this field since the tenth grade of high school, when marketing was introduced in the grid of subjects. He graduated from the economic high school in Iași and also graduated in marketing from Iași. From an early age, he wanted to be financially independent and from high school he went on to seasonal work that he could do on vacation. After studying, he became a real estate agent in 2007. Only in 2008, with the crisis, he had to change his field of activity. So he ended up working for originals.ro, an online platform for selling fashion items, which was on the market since 2006. As a director of marketing and purchasing, he wanted to grow his business and started looking for online marketing agencies in the market. to help him sell better. Since he couldn’t find it, he decided to try to do digital marketing in house. “In six months, we already had a very big increase in the sales area and we managed to optimize the profitability as well”, says Rășchitor.

This made him brave and decided to go into business on his own. He founded Sinaps in 2013, together with two partners, Remus Corcaci (34 years old) and Mihai Iliescu (36 years old). Initially, the company started in the area of ​​business consulting, so that a year later it would focus on digital marketing. The first customers were from e-commerce and were mostly startups, but over time they sought to target more mature companies interested in growing their business. At that time, larger companies were willing to allocate more than 10,000 euros for online promotion. These budgets are still there, but older customers, who have been in the market for several years, have doubled their digital marketing campaigns. As for medium-sized companies, the marketing budget allocated before the pandemic was about 5,000-10,000 euros.

George Rășchitor’s intention is for his partners to gain more confidence in him, estimating that in the next seven years he could reach a turnover of about ten million euros. Obviously with an emphasis on e-commerce.

This article appeared in issue 133 of . magazine

PHOTO: Laszlo Raduly