Alex Gavril, founder and CEO of Promocrat, left the corporate world to start this growth agency along with a few friends. In 2020 he made it to Forbes 30 Under 30, and here are a few words about his journey.
How it all started?
Promocrat was born out of a need for a couple of good friends to change their lives. In 2012-2013 we were all following a fairly predictable path – fresh graduates with OK jobs in corporate environments. We weren’t passionate enough about what we were doing and imagined a different future than the one that had been laid out for us. So we chose advertising.
When we started, we had neither academic nor industry experience, we just knew that advertising would be an exciting environment in which to be creative, grow and showcase our mix of personalities. However, we were outsiders, and in a service industry where experience, portfolio, awards, and connections mattered and still do, we had to take action in order to start generating business. So we positioned ourselves as the agency for start-ups in Romania.
In 2013, entrepreneurship was going through a rebirth phase, following the introduction of state funding for micro-enterprises, the opening of the first coworking hubs, and the spread of the Lean Startup idea.
From the very beginning, we intended to make Promocrat a full-service agency, a strategic partner with strong advisory roles beyond implementation. We aimed to be more than ‘just some guys’. For start-ups, it’s a great fit because their options are usually constrained by budget and the need for agility, a territory where the traditional agency business model doesn’t work effectively.
We’ve gone through a lot of challenges, deployment environments, technologies used, types of campaigns and activations, but nevertheless, our customers have always pushed us towards digital. New clients have always come from referrals, and from the start-up area we moved into the technology area, and from there we moved into more traditional areas such as financial services (Banking, Insurance) and then FMCG.
We are currently working with big names in their respective industries such as Tymbark, Leroy Merlin, BCR Life Insurance, but we continue to shine most alongside high-growth tech companies such as mindit.io and with high-potential start-ups such as Sessions, Tailent, Plant an App, and FintechOS.
Promocrat at the moment is a core team of 25 people and the easiest way to describe what we do is that we are a growth partner with key skills in digital marketing, business development, and creative support We are valued for our agility and the fact that we look at any new challenge with open minds. We still see ourselves as outsiders, in fact, we have made this element part of our organizational culture, even our recruitment policy. Most of our teammates are people who have changed careers to work in an environment where they can put their skills to good use, where their ideas reach millions of people on the shelves, on TV, online.
Working with start-ups has developed a strong entrepreneurial culture within the company as well. Thus, we decided that Promocrat would be the starting point for a start-up studio where our first public experiment is Învie Tradiția, followed by other projects in the tech space.
About Învie Tradiția
Our mission is in the name – the project aims to keep Romanian traditions alive in the minds and homes of Romanians. It’s a project through which we create distribution channels for Romanian craftsmen who carry on the art of our past generations. At the same time, we also provide a framework in which we promote the craft traditions and the people who still practice them and in a country where traditional Romanian souvenirs are produced either in China or in Bulgaria, it is extremely important not to let the secrets of the craft get lost in history.
The starting point was the online shop www.invietraditia.ro, but now we are also present on the shelves of retail chains, book shops, in the airport, and in tourist areas. We also don’t miss any opportunity to be present and support projects, fairs, and events that value national traditions.
For now, we operate mainly as a trade business, but we have plans already started in the area of merchandising, self-production, courses and events. In the first year, the turnover was more than 50,000 euros, and in the second, more than 100,000.