When he thinks of what he would want Romania to look like, Radu Timis, the owner of Cris-Tim, sees a country with a better education system, which could provide highly qualified workforce, as well as a more developed infrastructure that would allow people and products to move around faster.
Timis also says he hasn’t been bothered by the salary increases of the recent years, as he thinks Romanians deserve better living standards, but he would like a more predictable fiscal system. Furthermore, he says, a long-term national strategy is needed to approach the possible financial or demographic problems of the future. Together with his wife Cristina, Radu Timis launched the Cris-Tim brand in 1992. More than a quarter of a century later, he continues to work on growing the brand, also with the help of his wife, along with two of their four children. In fact, Cris-Tim current performance can be explained by its management’s professionalism, dynamism and commitment, which can be seen in several members of the Timis family.
Radu Timis Junor and Stefan Timis coordinate key departments within the company – the former works in sales and marketing, while the latter works in logistics. The Cris-Tim group reached a turnover of EUR 145 million in 2017 (a growth of around 20 percent compared to the previous year). For 2018, their target is EUR 170-175 million, and the estimations for 2019 foresee a revenue growth of about 12-15 percent. Speaking about numbers, it’s also important to note that Cris-Tim now employs around 2,600 people and that over 140 million of the brand’s products reached consumers in 2017. And not just in Romania – around 500 tonnes of salami, sausages, ham and hot dogs are exported every month, primarily to markets where there are large Romanian communities (Spain, the UK, Italy, Germany or Cyprus). Another notable fact is that the quantities Cris-Tim delivered across the borders increased by 20 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, and the growth trend continued in 2018 as well.
Besides the cold cuts factory in Filipestii de Padure in Prahova County, the Cris-Tim group also includes dairy brand Mugura, ready-meal products sold under the Bunatati brand, the Casa Timis winemaker and the company’s own store network. Moreover, at the end of 2017, Cris-Tim took over the assets of Diavist Product (in insolvency) near Campina. The new cold cuts factory is very close to the old one, has been modernised and is about to start operations in several areas, including to increase the group’s capacity to produce salami. And investments didn’t stop here: in 2018 they bought a winery, and in order to increase the energy needs for growing production in Filipesti, they inaugurated a 1MWh cogeneration station. On the list of possible investments is also a factory abroad, which would combine the fact that an increasing share of production is going towards exports with the fact that a large part of the raw material used by Cris-Tim is imported.
One of the major moves Timis has recently made is the launch of the Clean Label concept – cold cuts that contain no gluten, no starch, no MDM, no soy, no artificial colouring or monosodium glutamate. “With this major innovation Cris-Tim is bringing to Romanians’ plates, we want to prove to them that what’s good and tasty can also be healthy. We know it’s hard to believe, but the Clean Label products are the result of a research and investment effort in the production process and in terms of recipes, in order to offer the same great taste, but without having to worry about our consumers’ health”, the founder explains.
But things would truly radically change in terms of the group’s image and power if another plan revealed by Radu Timis would come to fruition. “We’re thinking of a stock exchange listing, but there’s a lot of work we have to do before that”, he said in the fall of 2017. Some of the benefits of a listing would be raising Cris-Tim visibility, as well as the change to attract important sums that could later be directed towards expanding operations.