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IS-Guide 2009: Interview Vector International, Romania
sursa: IS-Guide special publication - Paperworld Frankfurt 2009

Vector International is one of Romania’ leading companies for office supplies
incorporating distribution, wholesale and importation. ISG spoke to General
Manager Marius Avram about Vector’s dynamic growth and the prospects for the
Romanian market.

Marius Avram

“At the moment the economy is not so bad and this year Vector registered an average growth of 20%,” says Marius Avram, General Manager, Vector International.

ISG Visions & Trends: Where is Vector positioned in the Romanian office products market?

Marius Avram: Vector started in office supplies in 1997.Since that time we have continuously developed our product range to become one of the leading companies in the Romanian market. We are active in two channels: first, the distribution channel all over Romania as a reseller to dealers, and second as a B2B distributor in Bucharest and its surrounding area. This area represents about 40% of the Romanian B2B market. The market has been increasing by
10-15% a year, which has helped us grow as a company.
We have also expanded by increasing our market share.

ISG Visions & Trends: What are your most important product categories?

Marius Avram: We are oriented towards office supplies because this was the first area that our business was successful in and had strong growth. This sector has developed faster
than other segments and we offer everything that a modern office needs to function. We are not so active in the backto-school business, but it is an area we continue to look at. From my point of view it involves more risk than office
supplies because if you don’t sell the goods during the season you have to store them in the warehouse. However,
there is a lot of potential in the Romanian market for backto-school products. We have just launched a new catalogue for office dealers in Romania, which we have received go
od feedback from. It also contains a chapter on school products.

The importance of offering new products

ISG Visions & Trends: Are you diversifying your productrange?

Marius Avram: That is certainly our strategy. Our customers are always asking 'What’s new?' Of course, it is difficult to keep bringing out new products, but this is what we work to do. Every year we add new brands to our range, but we
also try to develop the existing ones by bringing in new products.

ISG Visions & Trends: Are you offering any value added services like free 24-hour delivery to boost sales?

Marius Avram: Yes, we are following the “next day delivery” concept, and so far we have always respected our time delays with customers. We do not only offer this in Bucharest, but also for the rest of the country. Part of our strategy is selling goods with added value and we think that this is very important in the business. Free delivery is standard for us.

Romania

The Romanian market is one of Europe’s most dynamic. Bucharest and its surrounding area is the focal point of the country’s economy, representing around 40% of the B2B office products market.

 

ISG Visions & Trends: How quickly does Romania follow Western European market trends?

Marius Avram: In general, we do not have too much official data about this, but for green products we are just beginners. We are in the process of trying to see how the market will accept them. But I think the consumption is still
low compared to the European markets. So, for a while, the market share will be quite low. However, we have followed the trends and tried to bring them into our market. If you look at our catalogue, you’ll find ergonomic products which
we are already selling.

ISG Visions & Trends: How about a green range of products? I heard that you were thinking of developing one?

Marius Avram: That idea came at Paperworld 2008 because I visited several of my suppliers and it seemed that they all had new, environmentally-friendly products. I thought
that it would be an advantage to be one of the first on the Romanian market with them and to add them to our catalogue. I think we all have to make an effort to promote these kinds of products and encourage our customers to buy them. We are continuously developing this range in response to the need for a healthy and comfortable work environment. This year we introduced antibacterial products for children
into our catalogue. By promoting these products we intend
to make Romanians more aware about children’s health

Introducing green products

ISG Visions & Trends: Are you getting a demand for environmentally-friendly products from your customers or is it something you are trying to introduce to them?

Marius Avram: There is some demands coming
from the market, but I think that when our
customers see the products in the catalogue we will get a lot more feedback. We will definitely follow the Western European trend and we’ll make sure that more and mor
e environmentally
-

ISG Visions & Trends: Are the big box players strong in Romania?

Marius Avram: At the moment, there are no big players in the B2B market. I’ve heard that Lyreco is looking to establish itself within the next two years. There are only national companies who are leading the B2B market at this moment. There are some multinational companies like Biella Romania, Hoh I Noor, Herlitz, but they are more
active in the modern mass market trade or as part of the reseller market.

 

depozit.

In 2007 Vector moved into a new premises
encompassing 600m2 of office space and a 1,000m2 warehouse which can accommodate 2,000 pallets

Crisis yet to hit sales

ISG Visions & Trends: How is financial crisis affecting your business?

Marius Avram: We don’t know yet. We hope it won’t have too much affect on us, but we will have to wait and see. I think we will feel the crisis more in Spring 2009 because for
now there is currently a lot of money in the market as we have had elections and the economy has been dynamic. Anyway, if our customers have problems, they will pass
them on to us, too. But at the moment, the economy is not that bad and this year we registered an average growth of 20%. Of course, everybody is concerned that the market will slow down.

sediu vector

In 2007 Vector moved into a new premises
encompassing 600m2 of office space and a 1,000m2 warehouse which can accommodate 2,000 pallets

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