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Marian Stanculescu, founder of the Furnizor Unic platform: “Even though I am not in a church, I feel like I am fulfilling the same mission

Marian Stanculescu, founder of the Furnizor Unic platform, is a man of contrasts. Despite graduating from the Faculty of Theology, he did not follow the path of the clergy; instead, he ventured into entrepreneurship. However, his studies left a profound imprint. At the age of 35, he is a leader guided by principles such as morality, mutual aid, and integrity. In a rapidly changing business world, Marian not only accepts challenges but pursues them with passion, blending innovative spirit with solid values. With three children who inspire each day, this father and entrepreneur exemplify that business success and integrity can go hand in hand, inspiring others to redefine true success.

C&B: Marian, what is the story behind your business?

Marian Stanculescu: In 2014, I founded Smr Divers, a company initially focused on personalized cardboard cups, with a special emphasis on Easter-themed ones. Due to a dynamic approach and responsive adaptation to market demands, the company’s product range expanded rapidly. Cleaning and hygiene product lines, single-use catering packaging, as well as office supplies and stationery, were added shortly.

The mission to provide high-quality products led me to collaborate directly with factories and initiate imports. This expansion resulted in the creation of the platform, an integrated hub for companies, offering a wide range of products and consumables. The platform, with its advanced features such as personalized pricing settings and multiple account options, positioned itself as an essential ally for businesses. Furthermore, to provide comprehensive solutions, we launched the Smr Professional Hygiene brand. Under this name, Smr Divers produces or imports professional hygiene and cleaning equipment, such as trash bins, paper and soap dispensers, solidifying our position as the primary supplier for companies’ cleaning and hygiene needs.

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

Marian Stanculescu: In childhood and adolescence, with a theological background (my father was a priest), I often imagined becoming a priest myself. It was more than a mere religious aspiration; it was a deep desire to connect with people, understand their needs, and offer help and support. Communication and empathy have always been at the core of my vision.

Today, although I have chosen the entrepreneurial path, the essence of that vision has not changed. I am just as dedicated to being close to my clients, understanding what they truly want, and providing solutions that are genuinely helpful. Instead of simply proposing products, I strive to offer exactly what they need, based on sincere relationships and open communication. Essentially, even though I am not in a church, I feel like I am fulfilling the same mission of being there for people, whether for their souls or practical business needs.

C&B: What life and business principles do you abide by, and what is their explanation?

Marian Stanculescu: The principles guiding me in both personal and professional life are rooted in the values of morality, mutual aid, and integrity.

  • Morality is essential to me because it represents the compass directing every decision I make. I strongly believe that every action should be taken with responsibility and integrity, ensuring that I have respect for others and myself.
  • Mutual aid reflects my sincere desire to be of service to those around me. In business, this translates to always seeking the best solutions for my clients, choosing to provide them with exactly what they need. In personal life, it means being present and available for loved ones, offering the support and understanding they need.
  • Integrity is the principle helping me build authentic and long-lasting relationships. Both in business and personal life, I highly value being fair and just, treating everyone as I would like to be treated.

These principles, deeply ingrained in my being, represent my commitment to those I interact with – that I will uphold my commitments, act with integrity, and always be there to offer help and support.

C&B: How has the Crisis and the war in Ukraine impacted your company’s activity?

Marian Stanculescu: Although our activity was not directly linked to Ukraine in the sense of having suppliers or clients there, the impact of the crisis and war undoubtedly influenced our operational approach. One immediate effect we observed was the increase in the prices of raw materials our suppliers imported from Ukraine, particularly concerning paper products. This led to a need to recalibrate our sourcing and pricing strategies.

Additionally, some of our clients with operations or businesses in that region had to scale back or close their operations. This, in turn, resulted in a reconfiguration of our client portfolio and the adaptation of our offerings to respond to the new market realities.

Lastly, the overall price hike, accelerated by the instability in the region, had an impact on the entire industry. Consequently, we had to adapt quickly to these changes, emphasizing efficiency, innovation, and building strong relationships with our partners.

In conclusion, even though we were not directly affected by the events in Ukraine, the repercussions of this crisis influenced our activity in multiple ways, requiring us to be flexible and resilient in the face of challenges brought about by the global economic landscape.

C&B: Marian, let’s switch to a lighter note. Share a few amusing situations from your business experience!

Marian Stanculescu: Ah, business! Sometimes it feels like a sitcom episode with unexpected situations. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a few moments that made me laugh out loud… after they happened, of course.

One of our clients, let’s call him ‘The Nighttime Vintner,’ had a special talent – negotiations. Now, we all know negotiations can be a complicated process, but imagine doing it at midnight after a few glasses of wine. I remember nights when the phone would ring, and his name would appear on the screen. It was a sign that the night was just beginning!

Then there was the time I felt like I was in a TV show. A client invited us to his office for a pricing discussion. The surprise? His current supplier was sitting in the same room. It was like walking into a ‘Who Bids More?’ game, where offers flew in the air, and glances became sharper.

And, of course, I can’t forget ‘The Great Escape.’ One of our drivers, on an apparently normal day, decided it was time for a radical change – the company car left in a field, and he went straight to Spain for fruit picking. Don’t ask me about the normal notice or other such things. Perhaps normality was thinking about whether he forgot to bring his fruit-picking basket rather than the company car.

All these moments serve to remind me that in business, as in life, it’s good to have a developed sense of humor. And, of course, to expect the unexpected!

C&B: What advice/tips do you have for those at the beginning or undecided?

Marian Stanculescu: In the business world, where everything seems to move so quickly, and competition is fierce, I understand the fears of those who are at the beginning or feel undecided. I’ve been through such moments, and I’ve learned a few essential things along the way:

  1. Start with “why”: Before making any decision, ask yourself why you want to do what you have in mind. Inner motivation is key to enduring tough moments and steering in the right direction.
  2. Keep educating yourself: The business world is in constant change. Invest in yourself and your knowledge, whether through courses, seminars, or simply reading a good book.
  3. Accept failure as part of the process: There is no successful entrepreneur who hasn’t failed when starting. What’s important is to learn from mistakes and not repeat them.
  4. Surround yourself with positive and trustworthy people: This not only helps you see things from a different perspective but also adds positive energy around you.
  5. Be persistent but flexible: Be determined to achieve your goals, but be prepared to adapt when the situation calls for it.
  6. Don’t let fear paralyze you: Indecision often stems from fear – fear of failure, judgment, the unknown. Acknowledge these fears but don’t let them dictate your steps. Take a step, no matter how small, every day.
  7. Most importantly, remember that every great success started with a simple decision to try. So, despite uncertainties, dare to take that step!

C&B: What are your perceptions about society, businesses, and careers in Romania?

Marian Stanculescu: Romania, as a member of the European Union and a country with a rich history and culture, presents a fascinating dynamic regarding society, businesses, and careers.

Society in Romania is in constant evolution, attempting to balance modernity with deeply rooted traditions and values. We’ve faced challenges but also opportunities, with talented and ambitious people wanting to make a difference in their country.

When it comes to businesses, the current context is indeed marked by instability, especially due to new fiscal measures that often seem not fully supportive of the entrepreneurial environment. Additionally, the significant gap between salaries in the public and private sectors, as well as the lack of workforce, are pressing issues affecting business performance and development. Despite these obstacles, many Romanian companies demonstrate resilience and the ability to innovate, adapting to changes and finding alternative solutions.

In terms of careers, there is a strong desire, especially among the youth, to develop professionally and access career opportunities both in Romania and abroad. However, salary disparities and instability can impact motivation and job satisfaction.

In conclusion, I would say that, despite all the challenges, Romania has tremendous potential. Clearly, reforms and concrete measures are needed to create a more favorable business environment and encourage the professional and personal development of each citizen. With vision, dedication, and collaboration, I am confident that we can turn these challenges into opportunities.

C&B: If you were in front of a potential client or partner, how would you convince them?

Marian Stanculescu: If I were in front of a potential client or partner, the first thing I would do is not try to sell them something directly. Instead, I would choose to highlight the benefits of collaborating with us – we are dedicated to efficiency and simplicity.

One of the major advantages of working with us is streamlining supply needs: we offer everything in one place for all company consumables, reducing effort and management time. Direct import allows us to provide competitive prices, and physical stock in our warehouse ensures quick delivery, eliminating waiting or uncertainty. So, rather than selling, I would emphasize the savings, efficiency, and reliability we can bring to our partner.



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