With a strong business model, high know-how level of the oil and gas industry and plans for exporting to the Middle East, Christof Industries is one of the most successful foreign investors in Romania. The company, which is currently the biggest unit within the Christof Industries Organization, has extensive experience in the oil and gas industry and boasts substantial growth and excellent international reputation. Proud of Christof’s success, Mag. Markus Gran, Managing Director, discusses the company’s strategy and Romania’s investment potential.
European Times: What makes Christof a unique company?
Markus Gran: Christof’s major advantage is the fact that we are not a public listed company. As a family owned company, we are driven by a different philosophy, since family members have different perspectives compared to regular shareholders. With a uniquely developed connection with employees and a strategic view towards the future, it is clear that Christof represents a long-term investment in Romania. Furthermore, we place significant value on social responsibility, which is evident through the Christof Foundation dedicated to supporting employees in case of serious illness.
European Times: How are you dealing with the crisis in the oil industry?
Markus Gran: Recent developments in terms of oil prices reflect negatively on the entire industry and all contractors and subcontractors. This challenge cannot be overcome solely with conservative measures of cost cutting. At the moment it is necessary to focus on two main parts: enabling strong trustworthy partnerships and promoting innovation. The problem should be addressed multilaterally and offered solutions should reflect the entire process chain. Christof, along with Petrom, already implemented several innovative steps which will result in significant cost reduction.
Circumstances have changed dramatically during the past decade. Nowadays contractors can make profits only if they significantly reengineer their procedures and methods. We can no longer rely on optimizing ourselves in conservative ways, so it is quintessential to explore potential partnerships and innovative ideas in order to move forward.
European Times: As a foreign investor, how would you describe your experience in Romania?
Markus Gran: The business community in Europe doesn’t see the real potential in Romania. Negative messages regarding lack of infrastructure and high level of corruption are exaggerated and completely unfair. I consider Romania to be much more effective for foreign investors than its reputation, especially in terms of an educated and qualified workforce. This country is an excellent location for investments and offers superb value cost comparison. I invite all investors to analyze the total cost of ownership and to consider Romania as their next investment destination.