5. As a global group, Kaeser Kompressoren is able to compare the Romanian market with those in Central and Eastern Europe. What are the main similarities and differences?
All Eastern European countries have similar economic evolutions. Kaeser Romania started its activity later and, in the beginning, we had a different dynamic. In time, these differences have faded, the procedures have aligned and we have comparable results regarding the market share. The only difference resides in the payment methods, as the cash flow is faster in neighboring countries.
6. At the local level, we have seen two main drivers for growth: the borrowing price from banks has reached a minimum low and taxes have been lowered. Have these tendencies helped the industry and your market? Please detail.
The influence of these drivers doesn’t seem to be too big, or perhaps other opposing factors are countering the potential benefits. Our partners are still complaining about the difficulties they encounter in accessing finance and about the numerous taxes. Some of the tax regulations adopted are hazardously applied to all operators, although they are subject to exemptions in other member states.
7. Please emphasize some of your strategies for growth in the following years. Does the concept of Industry 4.0 play a part in your strategy? Please define and detail.
We believe that more and more companies will outsource activities which are currently using valuable resources, and we are getting ready for that. We are focusing on our main activity, as supplier of compressed air equipment, and leaving the complementary activities to others. We are on the verge of a new industrial revolution, and Industry 4.0 or the Internet of Things are trends which we take very seriously. We have developed equipment and applications which allow us to be constantly connected to the compressed air systems we installed. This is surely what the future will be all about. Each partner who owns one of our central management system, SAM 4.0, will also have a virtual compressed air station on our servers, which will retain all the relevant information. This will help us step up from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance. We are ready to collect and store a huge quantity of information and digitalize complex processes. Mr. Thomas Kaeser, CEO of Kaeser Group, often says that: ‘This company will have to turn digital or it will cease to exist’.
8. What is your forecast for growth in 2017?
Although Kaeser Romania is already a mature company, we will never stop aiming for improvement and growth. Our goal for 2017 is reaching a growth of at least 10%, provided that truly significant factors don’t stop us from achieving our target.