SPECIALIZED TRAINING, THE SOLUTION TO TACKLE THE GLOBAL SKILLS DEFICIT
The Bureau Veritas Group, world leader in certification of various management systems, with offices in more than 140 countries and more than 75.000 employees, has been present in Romania since 1930. Bureau Veritas Certification completed the world’s first certification of a company, in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 50001 Standard for Energy Management, being accredited by DAKKS Germany. It also completed the first certification of a Romanian company in accordance with the requirements of the SA 8000 Standard for Social Responsibility. What strategic development plan does the group have in Romania, which areas have potential for growth, but also why the accredited certifications are important – to all these questions answered Alexandru Vidu, CEO of Bureau Veritas Romania.
Mr. Director, How is Bureau Veritas positioned worldwide and in the region and how do you promote your services in Romania? Which are the company’s main strengths?
At global and regional level, Bureau Veritas is the undisputed leader in TIC services.
In Romania, we are in the resetting process and we aim the top position through sustained efforts in all directions: by dedicated campaigns on target markets, participating to events, seminars, proving credibility, international recognition, diversity of services, by the auditors’ professionalism.
Unfortunately, the culture in our field of activity is very low on the Romanian market, few companies being aware of the true benefits of a properly implemented management system. This has led to the fact that top global TIC firms have only about 10% of the market.
Given the increased labor market dynamics and the higher competition to attract employees, what services does Bureau Veritas provide to improve their skills and abilities?
In early 2018, we set up a training department within Bureau Veritas Romania to address the issues outlined above. Currently, we have an improved service offer for training and professional improvement through ‘open’ or ‘in house’ sessions tailored to the clients’ profile and needs.
Training courses with trained instructors having international experience are an added value for those who choose our services. Unfortunately, I believe that due to the high demand on the labor market, many prefer to ignore the benefit of having quality training, believing this is not necessary at the stage of candidates’ selection.
Certifications are an additional guarantee of professional safety and competence. Considering that, as you have recently said, more than half of the ISO certifications in Romania are issued by apartment firms, what measures can be taken to work out this situation?
I go back to what I have mentioned above, market culture, first of all, plays a decisive role. In this respect, world-class TIC companies should make a concerted effort to try to change this situation through intensive marketing campaigns for better awareness about quality services.
Increasing the RENAR (Local Accreditation Body) exigency and the involvement of the national accreditation body in the monitoring of the certification bodies market is, at the same time, essential. Also, the exclusive recognition of accredited certifications is imperative.
As CEO, how do you define risk situations, what does a proper management involve and which is the secret of setting up a productive team?
A risk situation involves exposing the company and its employees to issues that could damage the capital and the image. Considering that independence is the great asset of TIC companies, the major risk is related to it. Risks exist every day, but if managed correctly they can be minimized. Ideal is not to be taken by surprise by the things that can harm the company. When you are aware about the risks, you can cope with them much easier.
A productive team is a united team. There must be professionalism, but also a little bit of pleasure in what we do, otherwise everything becomes routine and the employees reach their limits. Their results depend on the working environment, and here a leader plays a very important role in motivating the team and sending the right messages. Communication is essential. I have seen many teams of highly experienced professionals which, due to faulty communication between the members, failed to perform.
Which are the most enjoyable aspects of your job, and the most demanding ones?
The most pleasant aspects are related to the fact that I am part of a team of extraordinary people, real professionals. We have made many organizational changes over the past two years in Bureau Veritas Romania, so we have now managed to get to what I would call a strengthened team.
At the same time, it is very demanding because, when the company is in a high growth process, you must be careful not to lose control. Growth is generated either by the increasing market share on existing services or by the introducing new services, and the most demanding aspect is related to discovering the right human resources to deliver high quality service. Accelerated growth must also be solid growth.
Which directions does the Bureau Veritas Group’s strategic local and regional development plan include for the future? What fields have growth potential in your view?
The development plan was launched in early 2016 by opening a new office in Cluj. At the moment, we want to expand our area of activity in Transylvania by opening a new office in Timisoara and by ‘attacking’ Republic of Moldova through an office most likely to be set up in Iasi.
The market has changed radically if we look at what happened in the last two years and at the performing areas of activity now. For example, services related to the Oil & Gas industry, which went well in 2017, were stagnating in 2018, not only in Romania but also at European level. Thus, we are now in the position to conclude successful contracts with some of the most important players on the market only because of our solid reputation & large service portfolio. Growth potential is also foreseeable in the area of HSE services, where many businesses choose outsourcing or a better awareness in caring about employees and environment.
Overall, Bureau Veritas Romania had a 27% increase in 2018, mainly driven by services for the Industry market, with 52% growth in this segment in 2018, and by the certification services with an increase of 23%.