On November 16, “Ziarul Financiar”, the leading financial and business publication in Romania, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special retrospective conference tackling how Romanian businesses have contributed to the national economy over the past 20 years.
On this occasion, QUALITANCE CEO Ioan Iacob was invited to bring in the ICT perspective into a panel discussion that reunited leaders from the banking sector, restructuring and insolvency, foods, real estate, courier and steel industries.
Even though the guests were invited to highlight the contribution of each business sector and propose thriving strategies for the years ahead, eventually the panel discussion focused more on the struggles and less on the breakthroughs along the way.
Ioan, however, took this opportunity to highlight the fact that discussing a problem is not enough to solve it. Furthermore, he urged everyone in the panel and in the audience to take action, and by action he meant:
Keeping our elite at home
Ioan encouraged us to trust our genes and look at the amazing role models before us, namely during the interwar period. Back then our innovators in science and technology put Romania on the global map. Suffice it to mention astronomer Nicolae Donici, scientist Gogu Constantinescu, physicist and engineer Hermann Oberth, economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, professor doctor George Emil Palade, scientist Nicolae Vasilescu-Karpen and engineer Henri Coandă, just to name a few.
It only takes a little research to learn more on the illustrious innovators that the Communist system pushed into exile and kept out of the school books. In his opinion, we don’t talk enough about our interwar elite and we don’t learn from the past either.
For decades, Romania stood still, while the rest of Europe went forward. Twenty-nine years after the fall of Communism, we’re still struggling to recover that gap. What’s more, history seems to be repeating unless we do something about it. Faced with the current emigration phenomenon, the business sector needs to focus on keeping our elite at home. It’s only with these exceptional talents on our side that we can create a breakthrough similar to the 1848 Revolution.
Capitalizing on our own resources
We keep losing an ever-increasing number of highly skilled and educated Romanians, and more often than not it’s not even to better wages. In most cases, they leave the country for a safer, more stable system.
Entrepreneurs need to join resources and capitalize on them through business, technological, educational projects that will make Romania move forward and eventually motivate people to come back and contribute with their expertise. Because the truth is their know-how, their capital and network could make a great difference in our stabilization process.
Making the most of the technological momentum
Since technology has a tremendous effect on businesses and societies and Romanians have a natural talent for it, our ICT sector stands as a powerful driver for the Romanian economy.
While we’re struggling to create a healthy, nurturing environment for businesses, at a large scale technology is making huge steps. Think of how AI or blockchain are forcing us to change mindsets and behaviors, and that’s just one example. It would be a shame not to use this technological momentum to our advantage. It’s a chance to recover the gap created by the Communist era and gain a place at the forefront of Europe.
To watch Ioan’s full contribution to the panel discussion hosted by the National Bank of Romania, check out the livestream below: