Orlando Szasz is the new star of the latest season of “Arena Leilor” on TVR2. Replicating the British format of the popular Dragon’s Den, “Arena Leilor” is a show which presents the negotiations between 5 millionaires interested to invest and their potential partners, Romanian entrepreneurs with bold ideas. One of Renania’s founders and open-minded business angel, Orlando Szasz will bring colour, humor inspiration and a positive approach to this season of Arena Leilor Show.
Ad Hugger: You will be the new star at the Romanian version of Dragons’ Den show. What expectations do you have from the applicants?
Orlando Szasz: I’d say I am hoping to find business propositions close to my heart and ideas that are uplifting. I am in the quest of consistent and intelligent projects, that bear the inner power for growth.
AdH: Which are your criteria when choosing a business that deserves attention and financial investment?
O.S.: In principle, I am looking for two essential elements in a successful proposal:
The first is about business projection, meaning I need to understand and feel its potential, while the second is related to the quality of the person I’m about to start a partnership with. Therefore the entrepreneurs have to be extremely competent and take things seriously.
AdH: A lot of previous applicants were mostly looking for expertise rather than financial support. How much are you prepared to offer your “business expertise” to the projects you will be studying / financing?
O.S.: I am ready to invest both the expertise and the financial resources. What I will be avoiding though, is an executive role (active day-to-day involvement) in the running of the new businesses.
AdH: How much will it be a capital injection and how much a competence injection?
O.S.: As much as needed… When I commit to a new project, I automatically take to deliver everything I had promised (what was initially established) of both elements. It is hard to specify percentages as we are not discussing a specific case.
AdH: How many of the things you learned while setting up the business you built with your brother are applicable to any kind of business? Please give a few examples.
O.S.: Absolutely everything I’ve learned along the way is applicable, I believe.
Should I enunciate a few basic principles, those are it:
- In every business it is important to fully understand the needs of your clients and identify exactly what makes them pay you.
- It is of paramount importance for the success of your business to build up a series of elements that set you apart from your competitors, which can be easily understood and accepted as extra value by the clients you are addressing.
- Last but not least, I should mention the necessity of a business plan as accurate as possible, to the smallest detail, which accounts for even the smallest variable you can think of.
AdH: Which are the highest risks an inexperienced entrepreneur is exposed and how would you advise avoiding them?
O.S.: Significant risks can appear in the relationship between the new entrepreneur and his clients, referring to insufficient precautions taken to insure the amounts receivable from those.
I would also advise any new entrepreneur to preserve for as long as possible the financial resources he has and produces and to not extract them out of the productive circuit at least in the first few years of activity. Furthermore, I recommend the externalisation of as many activities as possible, meaning hiring third-party companies specialised in those particular components of the business which aren’t its core and do not benefit from being managed in-house.
AdH: What’s more important in a business partner: the character or the “financial genius”?
O.S.: Ideally, both, in as high a percentage as possible. But if this isn’t realistic, then I consider that in the long run, the character of the person is of higher importance.
AdH: Which are the mistakes that shouldn’t be made by those wanting to present their business plans in Arena Leilor latest season?
O.S.: The absence of perspective, coherence and consistency should be avoided. If there is no clarity of the business proposal or its inner prosperity, why apply in the first place ?
Who is Orlando Szasz ?
Orlanso Szasz entered the business world while still at university and, alongside his brother, founded Renania. Nowadays, the Szasz brothers are number 114 in Top 500 Forbes, with an estimated fortune of 37 million Euros.
In less than 7 years, the Renania company has become the market leader in the import and distribution of safety equipment, with a turnover of over 21 million Euros. Orlando Szasz was born in Targu Mures, is 40 years old, speaks fluently 4 foreign languages, practices contact sports and is passionate about Formula 1, watches and modern art.
Interview made and written by Andreea Popescu and Vera Gavrila