Mihai Botan, an economist by profession, is currently the Managing Director of Perutnina Romania, a subsidiary of Perutnina Ptuj, a poultry company from Slovenia with a tradition of over 100 years in the European meat market.
C&B: What is your role within the company?
Mihai Botan: I am responsible for the management of Perutnina Romania, a company operating in the Romanian processed meat and poultry market. I coordinate the activities of 18 colleagues who cover practically the entire territory of Romania. Through our partners, we deliver our products to various points of sale.
C&B: Can you tell us the story of your career or business?
Mihai Botan: I started working during my college years, around the year 2000, as a merchandiser in a Romanian-owned company operating in the processed meat market. Later, within the same company, I managed part of the commercial network (producer’s stores). In 2006, I was offered the opportunity to take over the HoReCa department, which I managed until 2014. In parallel, after Romania’s entry into the EU, I was also responsible for export activities (intra-community trade), participating as an exhibitor in major international trade fairs: SIAL, Anuga, Alimentaria, Indagra Food, etc. Contact with the external environment helped me develop both export and HoReCa activities by introducing solutions/products from the European market that I had access to through the trade fairs I attended. From 2014 to 2017, when I became an employee of Perutnina Romania, I worked in logistics, participating in the opening of a new temperature-controlled logistics center in Brasov. During that time, I gained experience in beverage distribution as well. These three years in other industries than the one that made me known helped me better understand issues related to the supply chain and those faced by a distributor in the relationship with a producer.
C&B: What were your visions in childhood/adolescence, and what are they now?
Mihai Botan: Because I spent the first 10 years of my life in the old regime, due to the hardships we all endured, my brothers and I wanted each of us to work in areas such as baking, meat, and beverages—so that our mother would not lack anything. At least my dream came true! I want to contribute and develop, along with my colleagues, more solutions as good and qualitative as Perutnina Romania has provided Romanian consumers for the past 15 years.
C&B: How has the Pandemic Crisis influenced/influenced your activity, and what conclusions have resulted?
Mihai Botan: Certainly, the health crisis caused by Covid has brought multiple changes, both in terms of regulations in our market and in terms of consumers’ access to our products. We implemented these changes quickly to align ourselves with the new normality. We all suffered, regardless of the industry, but I strongly believe that we managed to reconfigure our business to the new conditions.
C&B: What advice do you have for those starting out or undecided?
Mihai Botan: Have patience, perseverance, a large dose of wisdom, accumulate as much knowledge as possible, research and explore as many related fields of activity as possible, and, last but not least, seek advice from your colleagues and the teams you are a part of.
C&B: And for the Romanian manager?
Mihai Botan: Manage your efforts, learn from mistakes what not to repeat, find balance, and build a team that you care for as you would for your family!