Integrity should be a priority for all those who want to be successful in business. This fact is demonstrated by five small enterprises, which were awarded this year within the category “integrity standards in business”, as part of the “Trademark of the Year” competition. This award was offered by the UNDP and the National Anticorruption Center, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
These five companies are the protagonists of the campaign “A prosperous business is a business of integrity”, launched by the United Nations Development Programme and the National Anticorruption Center. During November-December 2020, several TV stations and social media networks broadcasted videos to promote integrity in private sector. The action aims to advance the best practices in the area of implementing integrity standards among small enterprises.
“Some entrepreneurs spend too much time and energy looking for ways to avoid the taxes, instead of building up a healthy and competitive business”
Nicolae Iasîbaș, Director of Lokmera, one of the companies which received the integrity award, notes that anticorruption standards are guiding principles in their activity.
“There was a period when no customs broker would want to work with us, because we were not paying informal fees. Alongside with ISO standards, we also implement and observe in our company the code of conduct and the compliance regulation, which is a set of rules explaining the phenomenon of bribe and corruption, and the ways how to prevent and report these wrongdoings. The contracts signed by Lokmera and its partners cover clauses which provide for fairness and transparency in actions. It is important to have an honest business. In my opinion, our entrepreneurs spend too much time and energy looking for ways to avoid the taxes, instead of building up a healthy and competitive business. The authorities should promote honest business and support entrepreneurs”.
“It is possible to do honest business in Moldova”
Sergiu Jaman’s business — Agrobiznes portal, was established eight years ago, combining his two passions — IT and agriculture. He started to develop the portal all by himself, being supported by a friend, and now he has a team of six persons. Currently, Agrobiznes is an information source for hundreds of people, being read in dozens of countries from the entire world.
“I think that namely the integrity of our company helps us to build long-term successful relations with our partners. Besides the general rules, we focus on principles of loyalty, openness, and transparency. This allows us to avoid several issues, including corruption. It is possible to do honest business in Moldova; for that, you need patience and tenacity. To do integrity-based business, people from our country need support and courage, a lot of confidence that what they do is useful and that only by acting correctly from the very beginning they will be able to resist to all the challenges,” tells us the young person.
“We do not offer bribes”
“Ronți” Company, another winner of the integrity in business competition, is proud not only of the products placed on the market, but also of the fact that it builds up a business based on integrity standards. Angela Sobol, the owner of the business, underlines that legal provisions are their cornerstone.
“We do not offer bribes, and if necessary, even in the detriment of our business, we wait for three months to get a certificate. All the institutions we work with know that we do not offer gifts and advantages. I have built this company from scratch, from loans and grants, working hard so as to have results, to pay the salaries, to pay back the loans, and to pay the taxes and we do not think that we should contribute to the pockets of some persons holding certain positions, because they anyway get their salaries by the end of the month,” claims Angela Sobol.
“It is easier to raise a specialist from scratch than to unteach him/her illegal practices”
Integrity means prosperity also for RapidAsig Company — another winner of the competition launched by UNDP and NAC.
“We have a set of principles — integrity and honesty are the most important, and they are communicated from the very start to all future employees. We prefer recruiting young specialists, without experience and even without any university degree. We consider that it is easier to develop a specialist from scratch than to unteach him/her illegal practices. We have a management system for quality internal control; as for our relations with the authorities — we observe strictly all legal provisions and hence it is not necessary to pay fines or bribes. It is absolutely certain that it is possible to do honest business in Moldova!” thinks Alina Roșca, Executive Director of Rapidasig.
The young lady is convinced that if she succeeds to overcome corruption, Moldova may become a prosperous country.
“We really hope that over the next ten years Moldova will succeed to combat corruption, people will not leave the country anymore and there will be better conditions for business,” tells us the young lady.
“We have an efficient mechanism to prevent corruption”
Biantti is the brand that succeeded to position on the market thanks to its eco products, but also based to the integrity standards it is guided by. The company produces almonds, nuts and white sea buckthorn, as well as cold-pressed oils, dry fruits and other eco products, including for export.
Igor Golban, the founder of Biantti, mentions that over the years he has had a number of challenges induced by the realities of the country, but he has never given up his basic principle — an honest business with no place for corruption and illegalities.
“We implemented several actions to prevent corruption within our company. The personnel should not use their work competences for purposes other than those related to fulfilling their duties. The employees involved in decision-making processes should sign a declarations of interests or a declaration that they are not in a conflict of interest situation,” tells us Igor Golban.
The winners of the business integrity award demonstrated that they have implemented during 2019mechanisms to promote integrity and anticorruption standards in business. They have submitted to the evaluation panel their corporate codes of conduct and ethics in business, procedures for reporting on-job irregularities and for solving conflicts of interest, mechanisms for protection of integrity whistleblowers, as well as of internal control and gifts’ declaration and evaluation.
The “Curbing corruption by building sustainable integrity in the Republic of Moldova” project, supporting the business integrity award, is implemented by UNDP Moldova with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and aims to create a sustainable integrity and anticorruption system within public and private sector entities and association sector. The project is implemented during 2019–2021.
Text: Natalia Porubin, UNDP
Photo: Ion Buga