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HomeBUSINESSAdina Foldager, founder of Adinish: We anticipate a challenging year in 2022,...

Adina Foldager, founder of Adinish: We anticipate a challenging year in 2022, with many losses and full of surprises.

Adina Foldager is a 38-year-old woman, the founder of the first Scandinavian baby store in Romania, and the first premium one-stop-shop concept in the country. With over 15 years of international experience in the baby care industry, Adina was born in Romania, studied and lived a significant part of her life in Germany. At the moment, Adina resides in Denmark with her husband and business partner, Ture Foldager, and their two children, Annabella and Bertil. Adina divides her activities between the two countries, with Denmark being the family’s base due to the children’s education, schools, and the businesses she and her husband own there. In Romania, Adina is intensely involved in the development of Adinish, while in Denmark, Ture handles the development of other projects owned by the family.

C&B: Provide a description or define your business activities!

Adina Foldager: My activity encompasses all business processes of the Adinish company. It starts with continuous research of various markets and expansion ideas, up to packaging orders during peak periods if needed. I’ve always been the type of leader who joins the team wherever needed. I am in constant brainstorming to bring something new to my concept, to operate in new cities and countries, to expand as much as possible. Alongside the marketing team, I create new campaigns for brand awareness of the exclusive brands we represent in Romania and for Adinish. I handle acquisitions and contact with suppliers. With the showroom team, I ensure its smooth operation. I support the Customer Relations team in daily procedures and contact with customers, suppliers, transport companies, and the warehouse. During busy periods, I support the warehouse team in packaging orders to ensure they reach our customers as quickly as possible. I handle the training of the Adinish team and partners and guide customers who come to us and need our recommendations. These are just a few examples of my daily activities. Let’s not forget that initially, I handled all procedures by myself. It took over a year until we had our first employee. Adinish currently has 15 dedicated employees and collaborators, and I appreciate their support in various departments.

C&B: What is the story of your career or business?

Adina Foldager: Who would have thought? 😊 There are not a few moments when I review this film of my professional life. I studied in Germany in a dual system – a combination of theory and a lot of practice. I started working and studying at a brewery machinery manufacturing company. During my studies, the program involved being part of absolutely all departments of that company, while at school, I learned the theory. After completing the three-year school, the company where I studied offered me the opportunity to extend the contract as an assistant for the sales department. I wanted to advance, and I proposed to continue my studies, this time technical, as a complement to the economic ones. However, the CEO of the company, an approximately 80-year-old gentleman, believed that women had no place in sales; they give birth to children, and you can’t rely on them. I tried to prove him wrong until the financial crisis intervened, and I switched to half-time. This, coupled with the company leader’s management methods, made me look for another job. So, I became the 30th employee of a company producing child car seats and strollers. I started as an Assistant Customer Relations, followed by four promotions in almost 8 years. When I resigned from this company, I was the Director of Business Development worldwide for the group, which owned three of its brands, and I was in charge of their development, having over 20,000 colleagues worldwide.

I received an offer to lead an interior design start-up for children in Denmark, and in less than 3 years, I managed to expand this brand to 45 countries, with a team of 35 people and a turnover of over 15 million EUR.

Three and a half years ago, together with my husband, we chose the path of entrepreneurship, and thus the Adinish concept was born in Romania.

C&B: What were your visions in childhood/adolescence and what are they now?

Adina Foldager: Since the 5th grade, I wanted to become a lawyer, but unfortunately, my family’s financial possibilities did not allow supporting this dream. I am part of the generation that had to pay a hefty sum for an internship at a law firm. Despite this situation, I consider myself extremely fortunate for the opportunities in life and I love my work, career, and the industry I have been active in for so many years.

C&B: How has the Pandemic Crisis influenced/affected your activity, and what conclusions have resulted?

Adina Foldager: The baby care industry is less affected by financial crises compared to other sectors. Babies will be born, and families will always need products for them. On one hand, the pandemic positively affected us because it led to a baby boom.

The negative effects of the pandemic are numerous. Initially, we faced affected and delayed productions, and later we encountered increased transportation prices, sometimes to ridiculous levels. In the last 6 months of 2021, we received an average of three price increases from each supplier. Before the pandemic, there might be an increase starting in January each year, but certainly not from all suppliers. Referring to ‘force majeure,’ there was a flood of increases. Confirmations of product availability were practically nonexistent. We had cases where we informed customers seven different times about stock replenishment within four months. To cope with this situation, we invested a significant amount of money in stocks, which brings with it tied-up capital. The so-called “surcharge fee for transportation,” which became a constant line in every supplier’s invoice, was absorbed by us, as well as many other price increases because, somehow, you can’t change the value of products every two weeks as we received them. All these situations had a major impact on the profitability of our company. When the government decided that only vaccinated people have free access to various locations, we were impacted. Our target audience – pregnant women and new mothers – are still largely skeptical about vaccination, which was reflected in the Adinish showroom figures. Even though we have a strong online presence, from the beginning of the pandemic, we always felt the drastic laws that froze the economy for a few weeks. We could always feel a change in consumer behavior until they somewhat adapted to the regulations of that moment.

We expect a challenging 2022, with continued price increases, delays, many losses, and full of surprises.

C&B: What advice do you have for those starting a business or feeling indecisive?

Adina Foldager: I have always believed that the idea represents only 1%, the rest is just hard work. Entrepreneurship requires a lot of dedication, sweat, involvement, effort, investments, risks, losses, sleepless nights, weekends, holidays, birthdays, worked vacations… Stabilizing a company can take between 3-5 years, so determination and consistency are needed when choosing this path. Can you see yourself out of your comfort zone and can you commit to such a lifestyle for a long time?

I think it is important for each person and family to answer these questions and make an appropriate decision. In life, everything has a price, and even if you think you will only work for yourself and do what you want, unfortunately, it is not exactly like that.

C&B: What are Adinish’s plans for the beginning of 2022?

Adina Foldager: In 2022, we will start with a new website and a more efficient and better working system that will simplify our work and expansion. We want to open more showrooms in the cities of Iași, Timișoara, Constanța, and Brașov, either owned or as a franchise. We are strongly focusing on expanding in Hungary and hope to find collaborators in the Republic of Moldova, and our portfolio will grow with new brands and products.

C&B: Considering your expertise in foreign business, what major differences are there between businesses operating abroad and those in Romania?

Adina Foldager: Abroad, we face much less bureaucracy and more support from authorities and banks. In Denmark, an entrepreneur is appreciated for the taxes they will pay and the jobs they create. Otherwise, I couldn’t say that we are very different. We have the same worries, concerns, and challenges.

C&B: Please provide your own definition for society, businesses, and careers in Romania!

Adina Foldager: From my point of view, the word that unites these three segments is RESPONSIBILITY. I often hear that we want Romania to be like abroad, but do we act like abroad? Do we take our role seriously in the society we live in? Or in the company we work for? Regardless of the profession practiced, I believe it is extremely important to take responsibility for everything we do. It must be realized that we cannot do anything without each other, and only together can we change something, either in society, in a company, or in a family.



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