In just a few years, Horatiu Tepes managed to turn BILKA, the brand he created himself, into the leader of the Romanian metallic tile market. Then, the company founded in Brasov became the largest producer in Eastern Europe.
The next step is easy to guess – the entrepreneur wants to make the company become the leader of the entire European roof market. “It is a long-term target and we have the strategy and resources we need to get there”, Horatiu Tepes states. So far all the entrepreneur‘s plans have been carried out to the last detail, so he has every reason to be optimistic.
The first roofs
BILKA’s story started in 2004. While still at school, Tepes gets a job in a Slovakian company. He quickly learns everything about roofs, then realises that the Romanian market is still small and finds many unexploited niches. So he gets permission from the Slovakian owner to open a company in Fagaras and deal with the distribution.
He becomes an entrepreneur, but still keeps his job. That is until 2007, when the company for which he worked was taken over by Lindab. At that point, he decides that it’s time to focus on his own business, and this turned out to be a very good decision. In just one year, the entrepreneur sees a tenfold growth in his turnover. Then, although the economic crisis begins, he takes the next step: production.
He invests around EUR 400,000, a large amount for the company’s level at the time, in a production line and other machinery. Since the investment, BILKA has been among the top metal roofs manufacturers every year. Although the company quickly became a market leader, Horatiu Tepes continued his strategy of building new production facilities and acquiring state-of-the-art equipment.
Thus, following an investment plan worth EUR 10 million, Tepes bought and equipped the Romlag platform, which belonged to the Rulmentul Brasov factory. Then, a year ago, BILKA acquired the Hidromecanica 2 Brasov platform for EUR 5.5 million. By adding the new area to the current BILKA factory’s 4.5 hectares, the company reaches a total area of 14 hectares. The total investment plan for this new development phase amounts to 20 million euros, and the completion deadline is 2020.
BILKA ended 2017 with a turnover of RON 394 million (EUR 86 million), up 45 percent compared to 2016, when it recorded RON 271 million in turnover. In one year, the company produced and marketed 57,000 complete roof systems and used 80,000 tonnes of steel, as the largest pre-painted steel consumer in Eastern Europe. In 2018, at the beginning of November, the company reached the threshold of 100 million euros, up 30 percent over the same period of 2017. Another interesting milestone has recently been reached: since it started out, BILKA has covered over 250,000 homes. Its performance can best be explained by the level of investments, which have already reached over EUR 40 million.
How did Horatiu Tepes manage to have hundreds of employees, invest tens of millions of euros and become the leader of the Eastern European metal tile market? The answer is simple: he made a passion out of business. He spends a lot of time at the office and is always connected to the business he is leading.