ESSA Group, one of the biggest players in trade marketing and sales services on the Romanian market, has several ongoing projects to consolidate its business lines, after a year full of challenges - 2020, where the whole business had to be recalibrated and proper actions needed to be taken according to the pandemic context. Founded a decade ago by Eugen Saulea, ESSA Group reported a turnover of 15 million euros in 2020, 5% more compared to the previous year.
”There were three main ingredients that saved our business last year: flexibility, involvement and motivation. Those represented the main aspects of the ESSA structures without whom we wouldn’t have been able to adapt to 2020’s sudden changes. We were attentive to our customers’ needs and we customized our services according to budgets and sales evolution” – Eugen Saulea says.
A good example in this regard is the development of the cleaning and sanitation services for metro stations and areas where people socialize. Moreover, once the commerce moved online, ESSA developed platforms for network support, from call centers and online ordering to preparation structures for orders directly at the point of sale.
The ESSA services are divided into three major divisions: merchandising (over 60%), personnel leasing (over 15%) and BTL (Below-The-Line) services (23%). The percentages for each division refer to the period before the pandemic happened.
Social distancing measures, as well as the low traffic on points of sale and the sudden switch to ”work from home” were the reasons why the ESSA partners decided to terminate the services that implied disease transmission – BTL services and projects that implied promoters at sales points. ESSA Group acted fast in implementing diversified services and, as a result, there was no need for employee layoffs. Moreover, in March and April 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, ESSA hired a few hundreds of employees and, at the end of 2020, ESSA had a total of 1.643 employees.
Investment of 2 million euros in this year’s first semester
As part of the strategical development for the first half of this year, ESSA will invest in the consolidation and growth of the services that were most requested during last year’s crisis, such as personnel leasing for cleaning and sanitation services, online picking services, POSM management services and commercial workers services. ”As longs as there’s a great request for developing a complex service for sales support (orders taking-over, delivery, collection), we’re planning on investing in this direction. The investment will certainly be over 2 million euros, through a partnership with a bank”.For the second half of the year, we hope that BTL projects (promoters and consultants) will be functional again, because there’s a need for them to be active on sales points. Actually, ESSA’s greatest challenge was to recover the 23% deficit caused by the termination of BTL projects”, Eugen Saulea says.
Analyzing the actual context, the entrepreneur thinks that 2021 will bring even more economical challenges and certain business sectors will not fully function sooner than this year’s second semester.
About ESSA Group:
Founded in 2010, ESSA Group is today one of the biggest players in the trade marketing and sales services on the Romanian market. ESSA Group reported a turnover of 14.3 million euros in 2019 and managed to surpass the 15 million euros milestone in 2020. The services in the company’s portfolio include recruitment and placement, BTL and events, POSM management services (communication materials), call center and merchandising. Currently, ESSA offers leasing and outsourcing services for over 30 customers, suppliers and manufacturers who are leaders in the categories in which they operate, but also for large retail chains such as Carrefour, Kaufland, Auchan, Metro Cash & Carry or Mega Image.