With ambition and perseverance, Anca Vlad founded her own business and was involved in its development.
A blonde, tall and modest lady enters the office, you do not think for a moment that you are in the company of the richest woman in Romania. Anca Vlad is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Romania and the brain behind Fildas Group. Established in 1991, today is one of the leading distributors of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products in the country.
Fildas is the most interesting success story of the early era of the free market in Romania. Although started from the scratch, Fildas became a national market leader under the leadership of Mrs. Vlad.
Anca Vlad began her career as a translator in various symposiums and international exhibitions. Pharmaceuticals became her favorite field and was recruited eventually and appointed manager for Romania by the British company Beecham Plc, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, now known as GlaxoSmithKline Beecham. Sponsored by the company, she has made a number of scientific studies including anatomy and pharmacology, meanwhile perfecting her sales strategy in the distribution of medical products.
Mrs. Vlad is not only a successful woman, but also a true pioneer. After graduating the Rossetti College in Bucharest, attended the Faculty of International Relations of the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest who graduated it in 1980. Soon after the graduation she worked at a furniture company where she was responsible for the export of goods worthing 5 million dollars. Four years later, at the age of 27, she plans 240 million representing the value of furniture exports to Romania, working with international companies such as IKEA from Sweden, MVK – Germany, STEINHOFF – UK. At the same time she worked as an economist collaborator at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania.
In 1991, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and of Ceausescu, while the country was heading towards capitalism, Anca Vlad did not hesitate to use all the opportunities that occured. She was one of the first entrepreneurs in Romania who has chosen the pharmaceutical distribution. With the gained experience and contact with different producers, suppliers and importers, Mrs. Vlad put into practice what she previously learned and started to develop her own business.
Convinced that interest in health and beauty will evolve in parallel with the national development, Anca Vlad diversified her company with over 1,600 employees.
The company has launched two health and beauty publications, a television and a cultural foundation called Fildas Art.
“All women are interested in health and beauty”, says Mrs.Vlad, “so I thought to develop this concept. Catena is the «pharmacy that helps» and Naturalis is the «nature intelligence». Our publication is called Tonic (Health and Beauty Day by Day). It was actually my dream: to create a company to deal with health and beauty”.
Today, Fildas Trading represents 75% of the consolidated turnover and the 3rd place on the Romanian market, after Ad Pharma and Relad. Catena is the second pharma chain in Romania by number of open pharmacies and the franchising project initiated in 2006 justifies an increase of the stores number from five to 300 stores within three years.
Anca Vlad occupied the first place in the Top of the Success Women in 2004 and 2005. Furthermore, it is known as being one of the most powerful women in Romania, while having the reputation of being also the most transparent woman.
Among the top distributors, Fildas is unique because it is not involved in scandals, controversies, rigged bids for the subvention state medical products or corruption. The company can use the advantage of fair play, which will be mandatory from now on once with the entry of Romania into the European Union.
“I tried to create a respectable company based on honesty, and I think that is precisely why Fildas is a powerful company. Now that Romania is a member of the European Union, we are hoping that the performances will improve.
As a member of the European Union, I notice that the positive things happen in this field because Europe has much more experience in the health industry. We only have to go ahead and use the Europe knowledge. It is also expects an increase in consumption by at least 15% per year.” Currently, the consumption is low, between 1.3 and 1.5 billion for a population of 20 million people, due to the lower income and the financial health deficit.
In the coming years, it is expected that the pharmaceutical sector in Romania is growing by 15% and the European Union integration should also increase the competition, thereby enabling the national pharmaceutical market to reach 2.5 billion Euros by the year 2010. As expected, the dynamic area has seen many cases of mergers and acquisitions in 2006. For example, Sindan, the Romanian pharmaceutical manufacturer specializing in oncology was purchased by Actavis, based in Iceland while the Czech company Zentiva acquired the Romanian medical products company Sicomed. Fildas has only one shareholder: Anca Vlad.
However, it took more than experience and contacts, it took a combination of intelligence, initiative, wisdom, intuition and creativity, which allowed the company to reach from a turnover of 2 million dollars in 1992 to 200 million dollars in 2006.
However, while in Romania there is a trend of increasingly larger companies to be bought, also Fildas has its own plans. In order to finance and facilitate the investment proposals and the strategy development company, Fildas obtained a syndicated loan of 80 million Euros from Citibank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has proposed an investment plan for the company and an A/B syndicated loan of 60 million Euros especialy for Fildas Trading.
Anca Vlad says: “One of the leading financial institutions together with Citibank gave the green light to a single syndicated loan for Romania.” Why is this unique? Because Fildas is 100% owned by a Romanian entrepreneur who happens to be a woman.
Anca Vlad is more than a successful business woman, is very passionate about art and culture and contributes to the social and intellectual development of the Romanian society.
“I strongly value the creativity and freedom of expression.” Therefore, she established a cultural foundation called Fildas Art, which sponsors more than 20 exhibitions each year with Roamanian artists. The foundation also organizes abroad group exhibitions of the Romanian women artists.
The contemporary art in Eastern Europe is currently experiencing an explosion, thus being the result of years of oppression in the region. Anca Vlad supports this initiative, imagination and inspiration through Senso Art Gallery.
Furthermore, Anca Vlad bought a television channel, Senso TV, addressing mainly to people between 20 and 45 years. Senso TV specializes in life-style programs, talk shows dedicated to cultural events, health and beauty, travel, food, architecture etc.
Moreover, Anca Vlad is a staunch feminist and proud that she was able to accomplish so much in a country where conditions are not always favorable to women in business. She is a rare exception and that is why many of her projects aimed in a particular way, the women.
So, what motivates Anca Vlad? “Money is no longer a priority for me”, says Anca Vlad. “I wake up every day having the pleasure of facing new challenges, which brings me more satisfaction.”
Taken from fildas.ro