From my entrepreneurial perspective, I am convinced that we can give Romania power through direct involvement in society

Alin Luca he started his first start-up in college, and that experience was a good step forward on his path to entrepreneurship. Even if the project did not develop as he wanted, he took important lessons for the future. He realized that business is all about learning and that execution is more important than the idea. He understood that it is essential to dedicate yourself completely to the business and there are no shortcuts.

Before launching Fliphas invested a lot of time in research, discussions with electronic repair services, choosing the right business partners and finding investors. In the first months after its launch, he and his two colleagues took care of everything – from customer support and marketing campaigns, to testing new features and managing the financial area. Now, two years after its launch, the company has 11 employees and specialized departments for business needs, and Alin has earned the right to weekends.

People are optimistic despite the current context. An entrepreneur is looking for solutions and adapts quickly regardless of the conditions, I think that in such situations we really feel what it means to have a business, says Alin.

We’re talking to Alin Lucain the would be Creative Powersupported by BT, about optimism and power, investors, accelerators and motivation, what are the challenges of the Romanian business environment at the moment and how have they adapted to the uncertainties of the last two years.

The beginning of entrepreneurship

I have always wanted to be able to work on projects that I am passionate about and I am convinced that this has contributed to the beginning of my path in entrepreneurship. I had my first start-up in college after participating in an accelerator, at the end of which I received a grant. The idea was similar to Flip.ro, but less sophisticated and I think it was the experience from which I learned what it means to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t manage to get the business going where I wanted to go and I gave up on the project, but I realized that, regardless of the outcome, I really like working in the start-up environment.

Essential moments in training

The first start-up experience was certainly essential in my training. That’s when I realized that business is all about learning and that execution is much more important than the idea. It is also necessary to be “all in”, both you and the team with which you start the project. There were no shortcuts. Later, I had small businesses in different fields and this helped me to have a better understanding of the business environment. All these experiences have helped me to gain know-how from several industries and business roles, which was very useful when I started Flip.ro.

What goals did you start with Flip?

I flirted with the idea of ​​a marketplace for electronics in the past, at the first start-up, but at that time I couldn’t find a “product market fit”. I felt that the experience offered by the existing platforms was no longer “up to date”, there had to be a better solution in the process of selling & buying electronics. Later, in a discussion with George, my colleague, we came up with the idea of ​​creating a marketplace where products are verified – this is how Flip.ro was born.

At the beginning I invested a lot of time in research, discussions with electronic repair services, choosing the right business partners and finding investors. It took us about 10 months from the moment we started working on the idea until we launched Flip.ro.

How the company evolved

In the first months after the launch, Alex and George took care of everything. We supported customers, drew up marketing campaigns, thought and tested new features for the platform and took care of the financial area. Later, we started hiring people in the support area and after a while we decided to internalize the Flip.ro service, so we brought specialized people there as well. 2 and a half years after its launch, we have more than 110 employees and we have created departments that take care of all the needs of the business.


The Flip Team

Plans

We want to grow locally this year, but also in 2 foreign markets. We have already launched the first country, Bulgaria, and depending on the results we plan to launch the next country by the end of the year.

Phones are the largest market and our goal is to focus on maximizing market share in this segment. However, in the future, we will look at other categories of electronics such as wearables, laptops and tablets.

Satisfaction. Hard times

The partnership with eMag was an important moment; I really felt that the Flip.ro project is a successful product. Otherwise, I can say that I am happy with any victory that the Flip team manages to achieve, from the launch of a new country to the implementation of a new functionality in the platform.

I think the beginning of the pandemic was a more difficult time for Flip because we were going to raise a round of financing, and the investment funds had become quite cautious. We remained optimistic, we proved with numbers that we have potential and we managed to raise the funding we needed.

What motivates you

It is very important that you like what you are working on and who you are working with. Flip and the team formed around this project keep me motivated. I am an energetic person and I rarely have moments when I can say that I feel tired. In fact, energy comes with motivation, but I tend to think that “genetically” I am an optimistic person.

Routine that works

I’m not in the morning at all. I recently started doing sports in the morning and I try to get to the office by 9:30. It rarely happens that I leave before 21: 00-22: 00 because I enjoy working in the evening, I think that’s when I’m the most efficient, but the workload is still quite high. However, compared to the early years of Flip, the program is much lighter.

Free time

Since we managed to bring a complete team to the business area, we have gained some free time over the weekend. However, I believe that it is not the amount of free time that is most important, but the quality of the activities on the days when I manage not to be connected only to work.

Entrepreneurial challenges

It is quite clear that an uncertain period is coming. Both the geopolitical and the macroeconomic situation do not seem favorable and I believe that any entrepreneur must rethink his strategy so that the business, employees and customers do not feel these changes.

The entrepreneurial environment has changed for the better. There are investment funds that can finance you, business angels that are ready to help you at the beginning of the road and a lot of energy focused on acceleration programs for start-ups.

People are optimistic despite the current context. An entrepreneur is looking for solutions and adapts quickly regardless of the conditions, I think that in such situations we really feel what it means to have a business.

Entrepreneurship lessons

1. I became much more patient and realized that you have to be optimistic no matter what the situation. If you put in the effort and insist, things will work out the way you want them to.

2. The team you create around the product matters a lot. Without the right people, you can’t get far.

3. Investors are very important, no matter when the start-up is. You also need their direct involvement because they are experienced people who deserve to receive advice, not just money. Choose them wisely!

What does power mean to you?

Today, I believe that power lies in the freedom to choose, a strong man is, first and foremost, a free man.

How can we empower Romania

From my entrepreneurial perspective, I am convinced that we can give Romania power through direct involvement in society. Regardless of the field in which you operate, I am firmly convinced that there are problems in solving which you can get involved.

The power to create. The power to move on. The power to stand up, to find new resources, to push the boundaries. The power to innovate. Power is of many kinds, but it has one thing in common: the engine that transforms things, the energy that makes them possible. In the series Creative Powermade in partnership with BT, we talk to those people who, through the businesses created, their inspiration and determination, give strength to others, to the surrounding communities and, together, give power to Romania.

The stories of those who give strength and confidence to Romania.


Source: IQads by www.iqads.ro.

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