CEO Outlook Magazine

Daniel Șologon | CEO & President of the Board | CEMACON

Daniel Șologon

CEO & President of the Board

"Only by ensuring that all my colleagues are motivated, empowered, trained, that they are all connected to the company’s vision, that they work well as a team, we can expect to perform as a successful business"

Providing Quality of Life

” Only by ensuring that all my colleagues are motivated, empowered, trained, that they are all connected to the company’s vision, that they work well as a team, we can expect to perform as a successful business. “

Cemacon has over 300 employees, and their performance as a team determines the company’s performance. Daniel cares about his people and invests time in the strategic alignment and harmonization of the management team. “Only by ensuring that all my colleagues are motivated, empowered, trained, that they are all connected to the company’s vision, that they work well as a team, can we expect to perform as a successful business,” adds Daniel. “And the sustainability of their jobs is given by the very fact that Cemacon achieves its goals. Basically, it’s a system of mutual conditioning, in which everyone must be aware of their responsibility. And the company’s results are subsequently translated into highly competitive individual benefits”.

Becoming A Leader

Daniel was on the board of Cemacon for 11 years as a CFO, running the company’s turnaround and the path for growth and modernization. In the history of Cemacon, there were several years between 2011 and 2014 when the company faced significant financial problems and was on the brink of insolvency.

Through the efforts of the professional management team, to whom the shareholders entrusted the recovery, and through a very open-minded collaboration with the funding bank, in 2015 Cemacon implemented a strategy to restructure the company’s loans, thus, reducing the bank debt committed in 2007, a debt of more than 33 million euros: they made a debt-to-equity swap of 13 million euros, moved 5 million euros of the debt along with a set of non-core assets to a new established SPV and were benefitted from a write-off of 2 million.

Immediately after, the company’s recapitalization followed through a share capital increase and outstanding operational and financial performance, uninterrupted until today.

“During all these 11 years, I participated in designing the strategies and I took part in the decision-making process and the implementation of all major restructuring and innovation projects”, says Daniel. “Fast-forward, at the beginning of 2022, I took the leadership role from my former teammate, the company’s CEO, thus moving from a wingman role to the helm of Cemacon. It was a challenge that I accepted with both curiosity and responsibility, aware that I had the chance to deepen the positive impact I had made up to that point and also aware that, through my lenses, the long-term vision of the company will acquire new positive valences and milestones”.

What defines his path is that he lived every day working with joy and with the awareness that the results will be sustainable and beneficial for all the company’s stakeholders. ”I believe that a young man can succeed if he approaches life optimistically, seriously, and willing to give first and only after to wait for the reward”, underlines Daniel.

Building A Brand

Cemacon is currently a performer and a best practice benchmark in the construction materials manufacturing industry in Romania and South-Eastern Europe. They have a tradition of over 53 years as ceramists and extensive experience implementing necessary organizational modernization and technological innovation projects. Cemacon is the largest brick manufacturer with Romanian capital and the leader of the masonry market in Transylvania, the most developed and economically dynamic region in Romania; the company is listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange with consistent corporate governance.

The company operates the largest and most modern brick factory in South-Eastern Europe. It has been recording a steady growth in turnover, year after year, since 2011, with a significant upgrade in 2022 since Daniel stepped into the CEO role (a 26% increase in 2022 compared to the previous year). In 2023, Cemacon will diversify its product range and expand its manufacturing plants, and in the near future, they are considering continuing investments, including in greenfield projects.

“The sustainability of our products is mainly given by the raw materials used, especially by the clay mined from the factory’s deposit, as well as by the various additional materials incorporated in the recipe, many of which are thus recycled,” says Daniel. “We also continuously analyze and test the addition of various new materials, including waste, into the clay mass, to optimize energy consumption and reduce the company’s carbon footprint.”

What is worth mentioning is the fact that Cemacon has a consistent energy efficiency and environmental protection strategy: it’s been two years since the installation of a cogeneration plant that generated a reduction of the carbon footprint by 2,700 tons of CO2/year (the equivalent of the annual emissions of 900 houses). The new factory of brick slips that will be operational by this spring will establish us as a significant player in the market with a product that stands out for its design, technical performance, and sustainability and can reduce the carbon footprint of buildings by 90% compared to traditional facing brick construction.

2023 is the year of some strategic milestones for Cemacon, which will define the company’s development in the medium and long term: they will launch a new factory equipped with cutting-edge technologies. This investment will exceed 13 million euros. “We will also acquire another production unit in Romania in 2023 and lay the foundations for other greenfield investments,” says Daniel. “All this is part of the long-term strategy, which foresees the development of an industrial group of construction materials, guaranteed by the shareholders and based on the know-how of the Cemacon team.”

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