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02:46    |    24/12/2009

It is important to study abroad, then get back to Romania and make money here

She entered the tough business world very early, at 18 and, in only a few years, she became the manager of three companies: Bouquet Events, Urban Flowers and The Library. When she turned 18 she received from her parents, Camelia Sucu and Dan Sucu, the owners of the furniture retailers Class Mob and Mobexpert, a present which proved to be a challenge: a restaurant. Not only did she prove that she can manage one business, but she also developed an event firm and a flower shop. She lived in London for a while, where she studied international management, but, although England’s capital became her second home, Ioana Sucu is among the few young people who chose to return to Romania, convinced that she can have a successful professional path here as well, Ioana Sucu told Bucharest Herald

BH: You have three businesses right now, which are linked. How difficult is it to manage them at the same time?
Ioana Sucu: I started these businesses without thinking at the beginning that I can link them. It happened in time. I started with the restaurant, I continued with the events firm and then I opened the flower shop.But it is difficult to keep under control a system in which the firms provide services one another. The risk is to favour the firm that is not working over those that are working and all the companies can end up working badly, or they can even go bankrupt. But with the help of my parents’ constant advice I managed to maintain the balance and organize the payments as good as possible. It is impossible to lose, acting like this.  

BH: Did you always wish to get involved in business or did your parents draw this path for you?
Ioana Sucu: I grew up in this environment and I was charmed by it. It was ambition first of all. I saw my parents working and developing a large business and I wanted to do the same thing, to accomplish even more than they did. Then my parents tried to develop my businesswoman spirit and they gave me a restaurant as a present and I demonstrated them that I can manage it. I would have wished to be a lawyer, but because I didn’t have a background of lawyers in the family I chose to make business too. I didn’t necessarily want a restaurant, but I wanted to organize events since I was 12.  

BH: How well is the events segment organized in Romania, compared with England?

Ioana Sucu: I came from England with a lot of optimism and determined to implement what I saw and learnt there.  But in Romania not everybody understands the events concept, its complexity and people imagine that it’s very expensive to hire a specialized firm to organize an event and they prefer to contract each service separately. In my opinion the stress you go through before a wedding or before an important event in your life can be reduced when  you knows that somebody else is running for you and takes care of everything you wish.

BH: What happens with the firm Bouquet Events, that organizes events?

Ioana Sucu: The firm still exists, but due to the crisis, the demand has declined a lot on my market segment, but I am optimistic that next year I will have a very busy summer.  Right now I am focusing on the restaurant and on renting the location from Snagov, that we have for two years.

BH: How is your firm perceived on the corporate events market?
Ioana Sucu: I haven’t entered the corporate events segment yet, because there were all sorts of bids won by firms with large experience on this segment. I’ve organized more personal events.

B.H: Why is your restaurant called “The Library”?
Ioana Sucu: Everything started from the library I wanted in the background. I wanted to create a warm and friendly atmosphere for the restaurant clients and I believe that reading an interesting book or magazine while eating the favourit dish is as relaxing as possible.

B.H: Why did you relaunched it at the end of November?

Ioana Sucu: After my high- school graduation I went to London to study. I went to university there and I had to appoint another administrator and things didn’t work just as well anymore. The restaurant was working inertly and it was no longer attractive because it looked old. So I decided to make a major change both in terms or design and functionality.

BH: What did you study in London ?

Ioana Sucu: In London I studied international management. The university is more difficult than in Romania. But the system teaches you something that you cannot learn in Romania: to work in team, to appreciate the people you work with, to treat them as colleagues, not as subordinates and to understand that the role of the leader is to direct the people, not to give them orders. Then the access to information is higher abroad. But it is important to study abroad and get back to Romania, use the knowledge and make money here, help the economy of your country, not the economy of another country.

BH: Why London? Why not USA or another location in Europe?
Ioana Sucu: I wouldn’t have chosen the USA because it’s very far away and I am very attached to home. I was accepted at Bocconi in Milan as well, but I went to London, because more friends were going there. At the beginning it was difficult to adapt, when I saw that I was alone, but now I feel like home. When I’m there I miss Romania, when I’m here I miss London.

BH: How much did your parents help you make these companies work?
Ioana Sucu: My sister and I were taught the value of money since we were little and we were never spoiled from this point of view. With both my mother and my father I had a parent- daughter relationship and another business relationship between partners. They never made me favors, so I could get used to the idea that none of my business partners will ever make me favors and never to get used to believe that I deserve something without work. At first I found it hard to understand and accept the way they were acting, but in time I have managed to understand and thank my parents for this lesson. We separated very well the family and the business and I think it was the right thing.


Ioana Sucu: E important sa studiezi in strainatate iar apoi sa te intorci in Romania si sa faci bani aici

A intrat in lumea dura a afacerilor foarte devreme: la 18 ani si a ajuns, in doar cativa ani, sa administreze trei firme: Bouquet Events, Urban Flowers si The Library. La majorat a primit din partea parintilor, Camelia Sucu si Dan Sucu, proprietarii retailerilor de mobila Class Mob si Mobexpert, un cadou, care s-a dovedit o provocare: un restaurant. A demonstrat nu doar ca poate administra un restaurant, ci ca poate dezvolta si o florarie si o firma de organizari evenimente. O perioada a fost plecata la Londra, unde a studiat managementul international, dar, desi capitala Angliei i-a devenit a doua casa, Ioana Sucu este printre putinii tineri care au ales sa se intoarca in Romania, avand convingerea ca poate avea un parcurs profesional de succes si aici.

BH: In acest moment ai trei afaceri, care sunt interdependente. Cat de greu este sa le administrezi in acelasi timp?
Ioana Sucu: Eu am demarat aceste trei afaceri fara sa ma gandesc la inceput ca le pot uni. Lucrul acesta s-a intamplat pe parcurs. Am inceput cu restaurantul, am continuat cu firma de organizari evenimente si apoi cu floraria. Dar este greu de tinut sub control un sistem in care firmele isi furnizeaza servicii una alteia. Exista riscul de a favoriza firma care nu merge, in detrimentul celor care merg bine si in felul acesta toate firmele pot  ajunge sa mearga prost, sau pot da chiar faliment,insa cu ajutorul sfaturilor pe care le-am primit constant de la parintii mei, am reusit sa mentin un echilibru si sa organizez cat mai bine platile. Astfel procedand nu ai cum sa pierzi.  

BH: Ti-ai dorit intotdeauna sa te implici in afaceri sau parintii tai ti-au trasat aceasta directie?
Ioana Sucu: Eu am crescut in acest mediu si m-am lasat prinsa in vraja acestuia. A fost vorba de ambitie in primul rand. Ii vedeam pe parintii mei muncind si dezvoltand o afacere de amploare si imi doream sa fac si eu acelasi lucru, chiar sa-i depasesc prin realizari. Apoi parintii mei au incercat sa imi dezvolte spiritul de om de afaceri facandu-mi cadou restaurantul si le-am demonstrat ca ma pot descurca. Mi-as fi dorit sa fiu avocat, dar pentru ca nu am avut un background de avocati in familie am ales sa ma ocup tot de afaceri. Nu mi-am dorit neaparat un restaurant, dar de la 12 ani mi-am dorit sa organizez evenimente.

BH: Cat de bine organizat este segmentul de evenimente in Romania, comparativ cu ceea ce se intampla in Anglia?
Ioana Sucu: Eu am venit din Anglia cu foarte mult optimism si hotarata sa implementez ceea ce am vazut si invatat acolo. Insa in Romania nu toti oamenii inteleg conceptul de eveniment, complexitatea lui si isi imagineaza ca ii costa foarte mult sa angajeze o firma specializata pentru a organiza un eveniment, preferand sa isi contracteze singuri fiecare serviciu in parte. Din punctul meu de vedere, stresul la care esti supus inainte de o nunta sau un eveniment important din viata ta, poate fi micsorat in momentul in care stii ca altcineva alearga pentru tine, se ocupa de tot ceea ce iti doresti.

BH: Ce se intampla cu firma Bouquet Events, care se ocupa de organizari evenimente?
Ioana Sucu: Firma exista in continuare, insa din cauza acestei crize, cererile au scazut foarte mult pe segmentul meu de piata insa sunt optimista ca anul ce vine voi avea o vara plina de munca. In momentul de fata  ma focalizez pe restaurant si pe inchirierea locatiei de la Snagov, pe care o avem de 2 ani de zile.

BH: Cum este perceputa firma ta pe piata de organizari evenimente corporate?
Ioana Sucu: Pe partea de corporate nu am intrat inca, pentru ca s-au organizat tot felul de licitatii castigate de firme cu experienta mare pe acest segment. Eu am organizat mai mult evenimente de tip personal.

B.H: De ce se numeste restaurantul tau “The Library”?

Ioana Sucu: Totul a pornit de la biblioteca pe care mi-am dorit-o eu in planul de decorare. Am vrut sa creez o atmosfera calda si primitoare pentru clientii restaurantului si consider ca citind o carte sau o revista interesanta in timp ce mananci felul preferat este cat se poate de relaxant.

B.H: Care a fost scopul relansarii de la sfarsitul lunii noiembrie?
Ioana Sucu: Dupa bacalaureat am plecat la Londra unde mi-am continuat studiile.Am facut facultatea acolo si a trebuit sa numesc un alt administrator, iar lucrurile nu au mai functionat la fel de bine. Restaurantul functiona din inertie si nu mai era foarte atractiv pentru ca avea un aspect vechi. Asa ca am hotarat sa fac o schimbare majora atat la nivel de design, cat si la nivel de functionalitate. Intentia a fost sa pozitionez conceptul intre Class si Mobexpert.

BH: Ce ai studiat la Londra ?

Ioana Sucu: La Londra am studiat management international. Facultatea e mai grea decat in Romania. In schimb este un sistem care te invata ceva ce nu poti invata in Romania: sa lucrezi in echipa, sa ii apreciezi pe oamenii cu care lucrezi, sa ii tratezi ca pe niste colegi, nu ca pe niste subordonati si sa intelegi ca rolul liderului este acela de a-i indruma pe oameni, nu de a le da ordine. Apoi accesul la informatie in strainatate este mult mai mare. Dar e important sa studiezi in strainatate si sa te intorci in Romania, sa folosesti cunostintele si sa faci banii aici, sa poti ajuta economia tarii tale, nu pe cea a altei tari.

BH: De ce Londra? De ce nu SUA sau alta locatie in Europa?
Ioana Sucu: Nu as fi ales SUA in niciun caz pentru ca este foarte departe, iar eu sunt foarte legata de casa. Eu am fost acceptata si la Universitatea Bocconi din Milano, dar am plecat la Londra pentru ca mergeau mai multi prieteni acolo. La inceput mi-a fost greu sa ma adaptez, cand am vazut ca sunt singura, dar acum ma simt ca acasa. Cand sunt acolo mi-e dor de Romania si cand sunt aici mi-e dor de Londra.

BH: Cat de mult te-au ajutat parintii sa faci aceste afaceri sa functioneze?
Ioana Sucu: Sora mea si cu mine am fost invatate de mici valoarea banilor si nu am fost rasfatate niciodata din acest punct de vedere.Atat cu mama mea cat si cu tatal meu am o relatie de parinte- fiica si o alta relatie de afaceri ca intre parteneri. Nu mi-au facut niciodata favoruri tocmai pentru a ma obisnui cu ideea ca niciunul dintre partenerii mei de afaceri nu imi va face favouri niciodata si sa nu ma obisnuiesc sa cred ca mi se cuvine ceva fara munca. La inceput mi-a fost greu sa inteleg si sa accept modul in care procedau, insa in timp am ajuns sa ii inteleg si le multumesc parintilor mei pentru aceasta lectie. Am delimitat foarte bine familia si afacerile si cred ca a fost foarte bine asa.

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