Catalin Chis, Romanian entrepreneur from Cluj Napoca and owner of the Active Power Solutions group of cos., recently acquired the majority stock within Graffiti Public Relations, Romanian PR and communication consultancy and the local affiliate of the international network Ketchum. Following the stock take over, Chis now owns 86% of company’s shares, which he acquired from Graffiti Marketing and Multimedia Holding SA.
Ketchum‘s exclusive affiliate in Romania since 2012, Graffiti PR is 3rd in the performance top among specialized agencies in terms of turnover and won over the time a series of accolades and awards for efficiency, innovation and creativity of its campaigns. The company ended 2015 fiscal year with €2.64M turnover and, in present, has a team of 33 communication professionals.
We are happy to have such a strong partner in Romania. Graffiti PR is, by far, one of the innovators among Ketchum’s affiliates, and the integration of technology is perfectly matched with Ketchum’s long term strategy. We wish them success – one they have already proven they can build through a solid team and a strong product
Ketchum Europe COO
According to its new owner, Catalin Chis, Graffiti PR completes the actual business portfolio of APS, which mainly focuses on telecom and tech.
In 15 years of entrepreneurship, whether I started from the first step, supported start-ups that made the first steps or invested in projects that already had a solid base of operation, I considered each team that was with me a partner for growth. Graffiti PR, the most recent investment from my portfolio, is a company I met as a client and, alongside the other companies developed within APS Group, we will search the necessary synergies so that the businesses growth is relevant and significant for everybody.
Starting 2012, the year of the affiliation to the Ketchum global network, Graffiti PR has entered a continuous development process of its agency product, reaching in present strengthened competencies with a strong differentiator in the market, among which Brand Strategy, Sustainability and CSR, Branded Entertainment and Advocacy.
The main expertise of the companies in which I am involved targets the technology and communications area, being investments with a long-term future. In the context in which generations are significantly changing, the information is transmitted in new codes and languages, and environments are liberalized and extremely dynamic, communication is, maybe more than ever, an art, and the investment in a company as Graffiti PR brings competencies that naturally complete the technology area.
The local communication consultancy product will need to faster follow the global dynamics and especially the technology integration within the communication product. Through this shareholder change we will have a much faster and easier access to this type of resources, through the synergies that we will create with the rest of the companies with a strong technology DNA from the APS Group. Graffiti PR’s storytellers will have continuous support and assistance from the IT&C solutions creators. There are unlimited possibilities at one click away. I want to thank Catalin Chis for his trust, the clients alongside which we grew in the last years and last, but not least, the zaggers from Graffiti PR, because they contributed to building such a strong business and, as we see, one that is interesting for investors. The team will have the same structure, and Graffiti PR’s future will continue in the established direction – strengthening its consultancy competencies, developing vertical strategic competencies for the agency and integrating technology in the product we offer, everything with a higher reaction speed.
Graffiti PR Executive Director
Nora Marcovici, BBDO Group Romania CEO, expects a further consolidation of Graffiti PR’s position in Romania’s communication industry:
Graffiti PR has been the rebel child of the BBDO Group, making innovation a way of being. I am happy to see, five years after the affiliation to Ketchum, a solid business consultancy company (not only PR), an extremely capable team, with passion and a strong attachment to what Graffiti PR represents. It’s no surprise that the business was interesting for investors. I am convinced that getting close to a technology group will strengthen Graffiti PR’s position in the market.
Founded in 1997 as part of the local BBDO communication group, Graffiti PR offers to its clients, which are from different areas, from IT&C to Oil&Gas, from auto to pharma, complex communication solutions, including branding, advocacy and CSR, which focus on business and reputation. The agency uses a strategic approach that is anchored in business strategy, creative solutions that aim to change approaches and uses viable measurement methods to build brand communication, reputation and trust among stakeholders.
Founder of Active Power Solutions group of companies, Catalin Chis owns a diversified business portfolio (distribution, production and services), focused on the technology and communications fields. His companies’ activity add up to 13 offices in Romania and one in the United Kingdom (London), 300 employees and an €6M turnover in 2015.
Part of APS Group are the following companies:
- Life is Hard S.A. – the 1st Romanian software company listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange – AeRo market. The company has 13 years’ experience in applications development for B2B market from Romania and is the developer of 24broker.ro, the biggest brokerage platform from Romania, which trades insurances with a value of over 150 million euro every year. Its exceptional results brought it, two years in row (2014, 2015), in the Deloitte CE Technology Fast 50 top and Deloitte FAST 500 EMEA top (includes Europe, Middle East & Africa). In 2015, the company won in London the big award in BEST ERP/CRM SOLUTION OF THE YEAR category, offered within European IT&Software Excellence Awards.
- Active Power Solutions (APS) – specialized in customized telecom services for B2B and B2C markets and founded in 2001, it is one of the most experienced players on this market. It is partner of Vodafone Romania since 2005 and got, 6 times in 10 years, the status Partner of the Year for B2B segment.
- RT Solutions – founded in 2008, presently operates in the distribution category for B2B and B2C energy services (ENEL).
- Barandi Solutions – purchased in 2013, the company focuses its activity on the IT outsourcing area.
- NOAH Watches – an active start-up in the luxury fashion industry, supported since 2016 by Catalin Chis, as shareholder.
Among the recent projects of the APS Group are okey.ro, the first business management software with an accessible price and significant results in business management. The project is developed by the LIFE IS HARD team as a solution supports small entrepreneurs from Romania and brings important facilities when it is used for SMEs and entrepreneurial projects that are at the beginning.
Cătălin Chiș is actively involved in start-ups support, especially in the IT and telecom areas, through the “SusținAntreprenoriatul.ro” platform. He is also involved in community development, through the “Parents from Romania” Foundation. The most popular project of the foundation is Peditel 1791, the first pediatric call-center in Romania, available 24/24 for emergencies and free of charge medical advice.