Romanian entrepreneurs increasingly look to grow though global scaling

Ten years ago, export was one of the few survival options for Romanian companies in the industry, and the markets of the Middle East were the dream of many manufacturing companies. Today, a new wave of players is trying to penetrate these markets. It’s about tech companies launched by Romanian founders with a born global mentality. For these ventures, Magurele Science Park,  through the PROSME project, is here to support founders in their internationalization process.

First in our region were Polish companies and tech start-ups from innovative sectors, like the medical industry, participating in the recent years in the most significant events in the Middle East. Romanian companies are trying to catch a new wave of expansion in the Middle-East markets, even if the sales cycle and the time to enter the target markets are getting longer. DRUID is one of the locals who accelerated internationalization in the Middle East last year via a strategic partnership with Omnix International. The Romanian company looked for a partner with operations spanning the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, with experience in industry sectors like education, energy, and infrastructure.

Also, Bunnyshell, an Enterprise SaaS company with software development for teams, has partnered with the Middle East Telecommunications Company (METCO). The plan will support the expansion of the Romanian start-up in the Arab markets of the Gulf. Headquartered in Kuwait, METCO provides information and communication technology solutions to telecommunications operators, large private companies, and government institutions. It also has offices in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, and Oman.

The Bunnyshell company estimates that, by the end of 2024, 70% of sales will be made outside of Romania. Currently, 35% of Bunnyshell’s turnover is generated from global projects. What motivates Romanian entrepreneurs to expand in the East? The Arab markets of the Gulf are currently developing numerous opportunities in digitization. Also, companies active in essential fields in the United Arab Emirates see innovation as a strategic priority. Moreover, the partnerships signed with companies in the technology sector will not only support the companies in their efforts to penetrate the Arab markets but will generate a future potential for development and investments in the tech sector in Romania. For example, retail, fintech, banking, and e-commerce are the areas with the most tremendous growth potential, according to Alin Dobra, Bunnyshell CEO.  

Also, TAW Energy, a company with a solid foundation in the green energy industry, is about to expand its presence on the international stage, preparing to open strategic offices in Europe and the Middle East. This expansion reflects not only the growth of the company but also a progressive vision in promoting sustainable energy.

Enterprise Europe Network has constant opportunities for founders willing to find new partners. For example, EEN Circular Economy Matchmaking Circular Europe Days at Dubai EXPO represented an opportunity also for Romanian entrepreneurs. During 6 days, founders booked meetings with interesting parties, involved in the circular economy from all over the world.

Other platforms and communities connecting Romanian companies with UAE markets

The United Arab Emirates (UAE’s) plans to become a leading global tech hub are not just limited to government initiatives and a higher share of investment in the region but also attracting new companies prying on expanding abroad. For Romanian companies, the only concrete expansion option is through some platforms in which local entities from the UAE are also involved, according to Business Review. A first example is The Gulf-Romania Investment Council (GRIC), which contributes and facilitates the connection between business people from Romania and those from member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (such as UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) in various sectors of activity, from IT and technology to agriculture and food production, energy, logistics, tourism, and real estate. A second current model is the Romanian Business Council, which aims to build a bridge between Romania and the United Arab Emirates as a facilitator for developing long partnerships.

#internationalization #scaleup #eencanhelp

Claudiu Vrînceanu – EEN adviser 

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