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Ambition driving business

1669 afisari
By Claudia Ariton
His daily running routine, his skills and values have given Hezi Shayb, New Kopel Group's CEO, the strength and determination to accomplish his goals.
As the head of a company with a sizeable 25 million Euro turnover, his list of accomplishments is a consistent one. From the very beginning, we found out that the company's gains have been based on teamwork. He is in charge of a young group of people, who have helped the company reach new levels of success in this industry. The company has a long history in Israel as well as in Romania. New Kopel entered the domestic market in 2005 as the only company offering, all together, operational leasing, fleet management and rent-a-car services. It was a combination of products which immediately allowed the company to stand out from the crowd. Since then, it has been growing and expanding.
In the CEO's own words:  "We have already started looking for opportunities to extend the business line in Romania, and we intend to make this a long term objective. We are interested in companies that have synergies with the group, so we can provide them with added value. Real estate is a potential market that we started to explore, as we firmly believe that Romania is on the verge of returning to moderate, organic growth," admits Shayb, who emphasizes that the group is here to stay. Meanwhile, the management team chooses its investments carefully. "We are searching and waiting for the best business opportunities. In the end, all the opportunities that come to our table, and we see as added value for our business, will be taken into consideration," he says.
2016 is a busy year for New Kopel Group. "In 2016, we continue to focus on SMEs and startups as well as on increasing our market share in the operational leasing segment. In the car rental business, our objective is to maintain the upward trend that the company had in 2015, and expand the SIXT Rent a Car fleet up to 800 cars. This year, our growth will also be backed by a 20 per cent increase in our workshop, Union Motors. The Group has a sales target of at least 1,500 new and used cars", he says. How does the company attract new clients? With an unfailing strategy: "When it comes to rent-a-car services, one of the challenges is to create solutions for the local market: We found that there is a low demand for the rent-a-car business during weekends because, on the one hand, foreign business people leave the country and return after weekends. On the other hand, the weekend demand for rent-a-car services on the local market was very low in the past. Because of this, we have created the 9.9 Euro per day service. Right now, anyone in the country can rent cars from us for a very low price (based on availability). This project has changed the market behavior and, step by step, the Romanian people have started to rent cars."
Also, as part of its strategy, the Group supports start-up companies: "In New Kopel Group, they can find a good partner for their needed mobility. One of the big challenges for start-up companies is to find finance for their fleet. We have created a solution for them, combining two services in one package – Operational Leasing and Rent-a-Car. Due to the fact that we have the SIXT Rent-a-Car Business Unit, it allows us to be flexible and take the risks with the start-up companies that we believe in. Moreover, we can offer them Operational Leasing services with the same advantages that big companies have access to."
New Kopel Group has developed the so-called One Stop Shop System, offering all the solutions available in the automotive industry, and this allows the company to provide its customers with integrated solutions. "We are like a big mall, where sometimes you go for shopping, while other times you go for entertainment or stop for a meal in the food court. Almost 80 per cent of all our customers are using four or five business segments at once." With a high level of customer loyalty and a good track record in addressing customer needs, the management has made ambitious decisions, both in the past and for the future. "We have set a three-year target to expand our fleet to 4,000 vehicles by the end of 2016, covering the car rental business, operational leasing and fleet management. With each month we find ourselves one step closer to our objective," he said.
How is the company going to accomplish all that in a market that has yet to recover from the recent financial crisis? It's very simple, explains Shayb. The demand can only go up: "I have confidence in the young and bright management team of New Kopel Group, who will succeed in expanding the business and so reinforce the market trend."
"In the last two years we have created an amazing team of people that manages the Group. They are smart, motivated, determined, professional, working perfectly as a team. I have full confidence that they will lead our Group to the right places in the near future."
He speaks of his team in such flattering terms that it's almost unbelievable that such words come from a man who has served many years in the Israeli Navy, who was a world champion boxing manager, and who now runs a multi-million-Euro business. "Our success, both in services and marketing, is due to our well-trained and professional team, starting with the young management one, whose members are all between 33 and 40 years old, and finishing with all the Group's employees. In the end, it is all about people," he emphasizes.
How does he see the evolution of New Kopel Group and what challenges lie ahead? He takes a Western approach:
“At the end of the day, the biggest generator of the economy is the middle class, people that want a better life for their families and themselves and, on the way, they push the market forward. Unfortunately, during the past years, the middle class hasn't been so strong in Romania, but it is growing very fast. And with its growth, the economy becomes better and better. All of us have to encourage this movement and to support it as much as we can.”
He adds: “In the corporate field we see that step by step commercial companies understand that the car is a tool and not an asset and the operational leasing solution is the best option for them. Even though the penetration of operational leasing services in Romania is very low compared to the Western countries, we have seen a double-digit growth over the last years and that trend will continue.”
We were also interested how this determined man, who can easily lead a pleasant conversation, spends his time outside the office, in his free time. However, there isn't much of it - free time, that is. His life is perfectly balanced between his time at work, his sports routine (running, swimming and cycling) and the Ph.D. research that he is working on.
In Romania, he came by mistake “only for two days”. After that, the two days became two weeks and very fast, he fell in love with this country.
“The landscapes are amazing and the people are kind and smart. Moreover, the business environment is a wonderful platform for creativity and so there is a lot of room for success.”

The editorial is also available in our print edition.

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