My name is Raluca Dorobanțu and I am the General Manager of Chairry Contract Furniture (since 2011). The company offers complete solutions, providing furniture for commercial spaces and offices. We have a team of 10 experienced and highly qualified specialists.
How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?
Being a fresh graduate from the Faculty of Economic Engineering (within the Polytechnic University in Bucharest) I returned to my hometown to teach for a while. But as the dream of my life was to live in Bucharest, I decided to try my luck here. So, I started to work in an 100% Romanian entrepreneurial company (in pharmaceutical field) within the Accounting department. From there I spread my wings and took the opportunity to work in a bank, as front office first, then advanced as supervisor and subsequently as credit control officer.
After my second maternity leave, together with my husband we decided to start a family business and grow this project to what soon became our third child – Chairry.
What were your key career moments (those that had an impact on your professional journey)?
The opportunity I had within the educational high school system, by teaching the teenagers, offered me the chance to discover the young minds. Their eager to change the world inspired me to add value to everything I did from that moment further on in my life. When I made the switch and started to work in a private company and then inside the bank, I understood the importance of the team spirit, leadership and customer’s experience. All these moments have impacted my carrier and helped me develop and improve myself both personally and professionally as I always have been a strongly believer in continuously individual progress.
What is the best three most valuable career lessons you have learned?
In entrepreneurship, sometimes every day is a lesson – a challenge and of course a solution. But what can be more satisfying than at the end of the day, when a project is accomplished, to see the results, feel the contentment and read in the client’s eyes the joy of fulfillment. In any career you would follow the most important lesson you have to learn is to work efficiently with people, both within the company (human resources) and in the relationship with the clients, partners and suppliers. It is also essential to know how to delegate responsibilities, how to listen in an active manner, how to express the message you want to communicate in an effective way or how to self-organize your activity.
Why did you choose this business sector? What were top 3 reasons for choosing Chairry?
We chose this sector on the one hand because we already had experience with furniture fabrics and components, we knew a wide range of strong suppliers and we wanted to valorize our knowledge and experience. And on the other hand, because at that time there was a pretty high demand in the market. Many companies were extending their offices, hotels & private clinics were being renovated, new projects were emerging, and we could not miss this opportunity. Chairry was born by combining two words: „chairs” – our core product and „cherry” – the fruit that brings freshness and expresses the joy of life. This is the Chairry style we intended to stamp on every project we are involved in.
What are your/your company’s plans for 2020?
This year we set ourselves to increase and reorganize the sales team, redraw the promotion and sales channels and optimize the way we work through performance management.
What do you think would be the keywords of the year for managers in the Business Services industry? Automation? Cutting costs?
Automation, for sure.
Tell us a little bit about your private life. Tell us about your passions, family. What do you do to relax?
I am a happy wife and mother of two beautiful kids – a son and a daughter. We spend much time together and I endorse them to be creative and express their mind and personality in their hobbies. I am passionate about traveling and I like to discover new people and ideas. I also love theatre, acting and jogging. When I want to relax, I enjoy reading, dancing or going to the spa.
If you were starting now your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do? What career would you pursue?
If I were to start again, I wouldn’t change anything in my career. Everything I am at the moment represents me and I really like what I do. This is a path that I have chosen by myself. Even if as an entrepreneur you have many challenges and responsibilities, there are also many compelling moments. So, I enjoy every minute of it!
What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?
Communication, People management and Negotiation.
What would you do and what would you avoid doing? – practical advice to young professionals.
In addition to the dream and the ambition you have, there must be a lot of work, perseverance and consistency. You cannot succeed without effort and persistent work. As recommendation for young people at the beginning of entrepreneurship, my advice is to arm themselves with a lot of patience, not to quit easily but rather to be creative in finding optimal solutions and especially to pay attention to the people they bring into the team, because they represent the most important asset of the company.