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Radu Palamariu “…Ultimately it is people, not technology, that makes or breaks businesses!”

Originally from Romania, Radu Palamariu has been working as a headhunter in consulting and executive search roles building strong teams over the past decade. He is a sincere believer that the people making up a business are key and enjoys challenging assignments that push him to use a multitude of channels to find the perfect senior executive to enhance the clients’ business. His exposure to a multitude of cultures and business networks has allowed him to become an insightful and skilled business manager. 

His podcast, “Leaders in Supply Chains and Logistics” details the leadership stories, personal experiences and expert advices given by leaders and executives in supply chains. 

CEEC: For a Romanian professional, how easy was it to set up and operate a company in Singapore?

It was easy and straightforward. And I only have words of praise for the Singapore business set up regulations – it is no surprise that Singapore consistently rank top in the world in terms of ease of doing business – setting up took us around 30 minutes and most of the things can be done online.

Whilst in terms of ongoing operations of the company and interaction with government bodies – again all of the activities are digital. And easy to perform. Reducing the time we need to spend for this and hence allowing us to have more time to focus on business

So, in conclusion, for us there is no better place to run a business than from Singapore.

CEEC: What is the startup ecosystem in Singapore like and how is it different to the one in Romania? 

As I have been away from Romania and Europe in general, for more than 12 years, I can’t compare much. However Singapore startup scene is a vibrant one – lots of exciting ideas, entrepreneurs that come here from all over the world to set up companies with a focus on Asia and then globally. 

And also what is good is that the Singapore Government has a lot of grants and schemes to help startups. Which make life a lot easier when you are setting up.

CEEC: “Leaders in Supply chain” podcast – tell us more about this! 

As you know our business is focused on executive search and recruitment for executive-level in manufacturing and transportation companies.

And we realized there is a need in the industry for quality and personal content. Hence we launched the Podcast, which works like an online radio show where we interview C level executives from transportation, retail, and manufacturing companies. And make it then available for everyone to listen and learn from.

We have been proud to have some of the leading CEOs, thought leaders and multi billion dollar entrepreneurs join us, from DHL, Electrolux, Henkel, World Economic Forum, UBER, Mars etc

And on average it reaches more than 10.000 listeners and our database of 70.000 contacts which makes us very proud. As it is a sign that it is useful and relevant

(For those interested the link is here: https://www.alcottglobal.com/podcast/leaders-in-supply-chain-podcast/)\

CEEC: How is the current situation affecting your industry?

I guess there are very few businesses that are doing great in these times – it is an unprecedented situation and the crisis is disrupting most activities

For us, given that our main focus is recruitment and consulting, of course, our clients are putting most projects on hold. Hence I am expecting a slow Q2 and hopefully, things will pick up again in Q3.

But we are remaining optimistic, as this period allows us to focus on providing value through content and online events. And playing our small part in keeping the industry going even if times are tough

And then when things will pick up, we will be in a good position continue to help our clients.

CEEC: What do you think are the biggest challenges your industry will face in the next 5 years?

I am expecting most of the transactional side of recruitment to be automated – meaning the low level interaction, background checks, initial screenings, technical interviews, etc. All of these can and will be automated.

However, what cannot be automated and where there will be even more demand will be in the soft skills that a good headhunter brings to the table. The understanding of the industry that brings the ability to find hard to get candidates. Coupled with the ability to them to join your client even if they may be happy in their current role and company. Those skills will be even more valuable as people are the secret sauce to success in any company. And having and attracting the best people is key! 

CEEC: What are the traits that you look for in a CEO or C level executive? 

Firstly – an open mind to learn new things and new developments in the industry. There is no room for “I know how this industry works” type of thinking. Constant learning, unlearning and re learning is a must

Secondly, they also need to be able to build partnerships outside of their organisation. To create relationships with small tech start ups who can help their companies innovate and move faster. 

Thirdly, but probably most importantly, the ability to inspire people – to be authentic, approachable and relatable – there are too many executives which may have a good vision, however, they fail to emotionally connect to the staff. And hence the staff is not engaged to the vision. Ultimately it is people, not technology, that makes or breaks businesses!

CEEC: How do you personally define success? 

If you are working on something that inspires you and you enjoy doing it. Together with people that you like and that push you to constantly learn and develop yourself and contribute in some way to make the world a bit better. That to me means to be successful.

CEEC: What do you expect for business after the pandemic crisis? 

I do expect most businesses will realise that actually working from home is a perfectly viable solution and they will allow much more flexibility around it

I also expect that companies will significantly cut down on business travel as this crisis will make it clear that a lot of meetings face to face are not needed.

Regarding the economic recovery, given the extent of the crisis, I think it will take at least 12 months for some sort of normality to come back – as consumer spending has significantly decreased. And several sectors like automotive, aerospace, oil&gas and industrial have been significantly hit. But I do believe that eventually it will come back, in a 12 to 18 months horizon. And given the strong position of growth in Asia, I am convinced we will be the first global region to get out of the crisis.