Interview for The Netherlands-Romanian Chamber of Commerce
- Dear Elena, please introduce yourself shortly.
I am fortunate. My passion has been my profession. I am an expert in Branding, Marketing, and Communication. So, I haven’t worked a day in my entire life, which (some people say) is rare and quite exceptional. Besides marketing, I am passionate about business development. So, I help companies turn the potential of their people into value, as a trainer, mentor, and executive coach.
- After more than 15 years of working for one of the Big 4, you decided to become an entrepreneur. That is quite a change. What motivated you and how hard it was?
My main motivation to become an entrepreneur stemmed from the aspiration to share my knowledge and experience to other entrepreneurs. There are many initiatives that provide access to entrepreneurs to a wide array of business knowledge, but not so many in marketing & business development. That is why I decided to set up a company – VALORIA – to do just that. The switch from the corporate life to entrepreneurship was not as hard as it could get because I prepared myself 3 years for this change. This period of time allowed me to test my idea, pilot it and put everything in place as thoroughly as possible.
- The entrepreneurial journey is not an easy one. What would be your main advice for a young entrepreneur?
As a mentor in two mentorship programs for entrepreneurs, I am in close contact with many young people who start up a company. Let me tell you that I admire many of them for their vision and courage. In this context, my advice to them is always like this: (1) work on yourself to broaden your business perspective, (2) build up your resilience and determination, (3) have a plan for your business and for your life. I love how Jim Rohn puts it: “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
- Executive branding, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, Visual Content Marketing and Experiential Marketing are some of the most important B2B marketing trends in 2017. How do you see them integrated into the Romanian market?
At Valoria we conduct surveys to measure to what extent the global trends are reflected in the local market. The findings of our surveys show that Romanian companies are not following the global trends in B2B marketing. Many companies are rather simplistic in their approach to marketing and apply just basic marketing tactics. Of course, there are leading companies which tap into the full potential of the latest marketing tools and technology, but that’s not the general rule in the domestic business environment.
- „I believe in people and in their power to change themselves and the world”. This is your statement on LinkedIn. How is that translated in your business strategy?
Valoria is a for-profit business, but at the same time is a vehicle which allows me to set up initiatives which will help companies and people develop and grow. We are just at the beginning and at this moment our main contribution to the development of the local business environment consists of our surveys, as well as our involvement in educational and mentorship programs. More initiatives will follow in 2018.