Romanian entrepreneur interview: Adela Salagean and Andrei Barabas, Share Your Cart
Adela Salagean and Andrei Barabas, the two founders of Share Your Cart, a Romanian venture which created tools connecting social media to eCommerce, talked to Romania-Insider.com abut their business, which they plan to incorporate abroad – either London or Silicon Valley, while using the local IT brains.
Interview by Corina Chirileasa
Who founded the company, when and what was the main reasoning behind setting it up?
Andrei: Adela and I founded the company in May 2011, and we did so in order to solve a problem that we had seen over and over again, for other projects. That problem was the need to increase social sales, without having an entire department to manage online communities.
Please describe your project.
Andrei: Our vision for ShareYourCart is to disrupt the way social media connects to eCommerce, bringing them closer, but in a way that is naturally intuitive for users. What we are currently working on is exposing shops to the social world, and this is where Adela’s marketing skills & large e-commerce background come into play.
Adela: The ShareYourCart app addresses eShops. It’s all about a button that can be positioned on eCommerce product & checkout pages and invites visitors to share and make the purchase with a given discount.
There are a couple of apps out there that we are competing with. They all have great coding, but Andrei’s vision for ShareYourCart will make all the difference: adding marketing to the app’s recipe. That is where I step in, and this is where I get the chance to work with a brilliant entrepreneur at creating a superior marketing tool for eCommerce.
Where is the company based and why did you choose to set it up in that place?
Andrei: The company is not yet incorporated, but we are thinking of doing it either in London or in Silicon Valley. Of course, the plan is to still have most of the personnel in Romania, especially IT, but the headquarters must be outside of Romania in order to have a better visibility on the market, and an improved ( to be read: stable ) financial system.
What were your main struggles as entrepreneurs? How did you overcome them?
Andrei: In entrepreneurship, every day is a struggle. Especially in those days that you see yourself failing …. failing to meet an objective … failing to raise enough money for product development … failing to do a partnership that the company needs so much … The main struggles are not the ones you fight with the outside world, but the ones you fight with yourself. They keep you motivated even if all things go bad, and in the end, they make you push even harder! As to how I’m overcoming them, it’s simple: Quitters never win, Winners never quit.
Adela: I’m raising twins! By choosing to be an entrepreneur and give birth in the meantime, I basically chose to ‘raise twins’, my incredible new baby and my business-baby. So my main struggle as an entrepreneur was to have it all, do quality business and be a woman and take care of the family.
How did I overcome that? By adopting the Walt Disney mindframe: If you can dream it, you can do it. And I dream a lot!
What do you think of Romanian entrepreneurs, what sets them apart on the international business scene?
Adela: Nothing. Romanian young entrepreneurs (under 30) should be called ‘Young Entrepreneurs’. In every aspect that matters, the ‘Romanian’ part is completely irrelevant.
If you hear them complaining about the injustice of being a Romanian entrepreneur, then it has nothing to do with entrepreneurship, it’s about the person. If you hear Romanians bragging about the Romanian spirit and how Romanians are better, this, again, has nothing to do with the fact that they are entrepreneurs, it’s about personal beliefs.
What is your personal target for this project?
Andrei: To disrupt the way people think about eCommerce and social media.
Adela: To market ShareYourCart as the powerful eCommerce tool that it is, to help e-Commerce marketers use it strategically to fully benefit from it.
What is the size of the project – team members, financials, any other milestones you want to share?
Andrei: Currently the team consists of 3 people: Adela, myself and a developer. As for the milestones, we’ve succeeded in making over 13,400 shops interested in our product and we’ve just reached 1 million views of the ShareYourCart button for 2012.
What is your business growth strategy for the project?
Andrei: The growth strategy is simple: create easy to use plugins for all major e-Commerce platforms, allowing owners to have everything at one click away.
Adela: The basic fact that fuels our app is the power that social media has nowadays. So we are practicing what we are preaching: expanding our own social media reach in order to generate valuable leads, just like we tell our clients they should do.