“The idea for our business came when we were deciding whether to emigrate or try to start some business of our own in this country,” – Alexandru Hariuc, an entrepreneur | Microinvest

Behind every business, there is a story or a situation that gave birth to it. The Hariuc family faced the choice of emigrating to Russia or trying their luck at home and starting a business in trade. They were not afraid of hardships and opened in their native town Stefan-Voda the Luminița homewares store, which they built from scratch on a recently acquired land plot.

Microinvest company supported their business idea development which was very inspiring. At the beginning of this November, the Hariuc family opened a new store, and it doesn’t plan to stop there. It’s hard to be an entrepreneur, but it’s so nice when your work pays off and loyal and satisfied customers appear over time. Let’s find out how it managed to start a business in Moldova from scratch and what its goals are for the next year.

Alexander, what prompted you to return home and start your business here?

I worked in Russia for a while. We were already planning to move there, but something stopped us. One evening in 2011, my wife asked: “What are we going to do next?” It was a turning point, especially for me, because it was possible to earn quite different money abroad. We decided to return home, buy a land plot we found at a good price, and lay the foundation for our future business. The foundation in the literal sense – we built the building of this store from scratch with our own hands.

What can customers from Stefan-Voda find in Luminița and Regal Textil stores?

Luminița is a one-stop shop that has almost everything you need for your home and household. There is a great need for such stores in the regions. Among the most important categories of goods we sell are textiles, tableware, household chemicals, kitchenware, bathroom accessories, and much more. We have a lot of regular customers, especially women, who speak positively about us. As a joke, they say they don’t want to come to us because they need everything in the store. We recently opened a second store, Regal Textil, specializing in the sale of textiles, to expand our product range and increase our floor space.

How difficult is it to run a family business? What problems do you face and is such a business profitable in the region?

Having a family business is not easy in any sector; it takes time, effort, investment, planning, and proper management. Even if the business seems small, we devote almost all our time to it, including free time, in order to organize everything as efficiently as possible. In the family, we joke that I am the Minister of Foreign Affairs and my wife is the Minister of the Interior. I’m in charge of delivering goods, managing finances, investments, paying for services. My wife takes care of the stores, comes up with ideas for improvements, works with employees and customers. We do everything ourselves, in small but sure steps, plus a few employees who work as salespeople. In the face of the pandemic, we took an important step – we launched an online store. There is still work to be done, but we already have orders from several regions: Stefan-Voda, Causeni, and even Chisinau.

How did you start working with Microinvest?

When we started construction of the store building, we worked with another financial institution, where we ended up getting rejected. There were doubts that our business would work and we would cope. Microinvest was recommended to us and it became our salvation. The expert came to us, we talked, and they refinanced our loan. Since then, we have had very fruitful cooperation. We also applied to Microinvest when we decided to open our second store. We very much appreciate their responsiveness, courtesy, and the fact that they offer individual solutions for each client, without unnecessary bureaucracy. Most recently, with the support of Microinvest, we managed to buy a new car, also for business, we really need it. It is important to have a partner you can rely on and who understands you, such as Microinvest.

What advice would you give to those who are still wondering if they should try their luck at home and open a business here?

If you don’t try, nothing will work. Since the moment I decided to return home, and up till now, our family has gone through many phases: some easier, some more difficult but I have never regretted making that decision. Nothing is simple, everything takes time and effort. Business is like a second child for us. It takes a lot of time, but we are also proud of the work done and the results obtained. Since we have satisfied customers and partners who support us, then we are on the right track.

Microinvest is the only NBLI in Moldova that holds SMART International Client Protection Certificate.  It implies a responsible and transparent lending process, based on international principles of customer service.

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