Can you discuss the history of Electroalfa and its progression over time in the local energy ecosystem?

Electroalfa was founded at the end of the 1990s, during the initial stages of Romania’s democratic era. At that time, there was a mismatch between energy supply and demand due to the previous system’s rigorous planning, which created a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter an emerging market. Initially, Electroalfa focused on assembling simple equipment, but as the market grew, so did the company’s turnover and workforce. The company gradually developed its production capabilities and diversified its portfolio to include a broad range of products, which is currently the widest among local manufacturers in the energy sector. Additionally, Electroalfa expanded its business to include a line of steel fabricated parts, since there were no local producers of such parts in the 1990s. The third business segment under the Electroalfa umbrella consists of turnkey projects in the energy sector, which involves designing and executing projects.

Can you discuss the primary areas of focus for Electroalfa presently and the motivation behind your new management system?

Our current focus is on enhancing the efficiency of our business operations and production processes. For example, we are investing 5 million EUR to modernize our production capabilities and improve efficiency. This shift towards automation is due to the increasingly challenging nature of recruiting human resources in Romania. Concurrently, we are implementing the Kaizen methodology, a structured business approach consisting of a series of principles and instruments to optimize business processes. We spent three years integrating this methodology by establishing a team of people, including management and other employees with expertise in various business sectors, who identified common values and vision for the company going forward. We also quantified these values and vision, making it easier to achieve our goals. This is a collective effort and needs to resonate with everyone in the company, as they are the ones who have to adopt the new methodology.

Are you exploring options for expanding outside Romania’s borders?

Romania has been our main market traditionally, but for the past few years, we have been looking at opportunities in international markets. We recently set up a presence in Senegal, after a thorough analysis of the market and identifying local partners. We believe that we have a solid understanding of how to approach this new venture, but it is yet to be seen whether the market will present the opportunities we expect.

However, we’ve noticed that Romania does not have a strong infrastructure in place to support companies looking to expand overseas, unlike Germany, where the Chambers of Commerce provide extensive support, assessing opportunities worldwide and bringing potential business partners together. Having someone to facilitate direct meetings with decision-makers is extremely valuable, and the absence of this infrastructure makes it expensive for companies to identify the potential of certain markets, reducing the appetite for exploring new opportunities.

Can you discuss the role of technology in Electroalfa during this era of constant innovation?

We employ the latest technologies, such as laser machines and welding robots, in our production process, which we believe is critical to remain competitive in the market. This year, we are finalizing a 4 million EUR investment that includes the acquisition of modern equipment utilizing the latest technologies. Our in-house R&D department serves several functions, such as updating existing products in our portfolio, as every product has a specific life cycle and requires upgrades dictated either by market regulations or new technologies. Additionally, the R&D department focuses on developing new products that are not necessarily revolutionary but involve minor improvements to enhance the overall product. However, we emphasize the need for thorough consideration and security since any modifications pose significant risks.

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