"If you enjoy doing something, there's no way not to be successful"

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"If you enjoy doing something, there's no way not to be successful"

Two friends, one goal: founding their own company and making a difference together. Young entrepreneurs Theo Sismanidis and Vitor Rodrigues took the plunge into self-employment in their early twenties – a courageous decision that was rewarded with success.
Theo Sismanidis and Vitor Rodrigues, both 28 years old, have known each other since elementary school and grew up together. After completing their commercial apprenticeship, the two friends worked for the same construction company. Success came quickly: Within a short time they were promoted to sales managers. This success spurred them on, and their goal of becoming self-employed together quickly became concrete. Vitor Rodrigues recounts: "Making a difference with our own company has always been our dream. We said to ourselves: 'We're young, and we have no obligations or fixed costs – it's either now or never.'" Simuro Baubedarf AG was born. Since the two friends were still living with their parents at the time, they were able to save the money necessary to eventually realize their dream of self-employment. "I can't imagine running a business with anyone other than Theo," says Vitor Rodrigues. "We share a vision, and we're both determined and ambitious."

The early days were intense

The two young entrepreneurs started with a small 300 m2 warehouse in Zurich-Altstetten. In the beginning, they lived off their savings and could not afford to pay themselves a salary. However, they worked constantly, doing everything themselves: They took care of the warehouse, the orders and accounting. "From the outside, everything looked very simple. No one knew what was needed in the background to keep the business running," Vitor Rodrigues relates.

A few years later, things look different: ten employees, one apprentice, 3000 m2 of warehouse space and numerous satisfied customers. Already in the second year of business, the young entrepreneurs hired their first employee: a warehouse clerk. They already knew him too, so the small team quickly settled in and the two managing directors were able to focus on sales. This step was decisive in developing the company successfully in the long term. Soon, additional sales staff joined the team. "Suddenly, the office space in Zurich-Altstetten was no longer enough," recalls Theo Sismanidis. The company moved to Schlieren, into a building with a larger warehouse space and seven offices over 750 m2. Along with their success, the demands on the accounting department also increased – a professional was needed. They did not have to look for long: Theo's brother, Georgios Sismanidis, brought the necessary skills to the young team.

The key to success

Since its founding, Simuro Baubedarf AG has grown considerably and has been able to gain a foothold in the industry. While the two managing directors initially had to prove themselves in the market, they now have exclusive contracts with suppliers. They look after major customers personally, in line with their company motto: ordered today – on site tomorrow. "We offer our customers good and reliable service. This leads to valuable referrals," says Vitor Rodrigues. "In our business, good customer relationships are the key to sustainable success." The two young entrepreneurs are very passionate about nurturing the relationships they have built. They also take care of materials procurement and price negotiations with suppliers. Simuro gives preference to Swiss suppliers; when this is not possible, they buy from neighboring European countries.

Good customer relationships are the key to our success.

Vitor Rodrigues

Laid-back company culture

Everything still looks new in the shop in Zurich-Urdorf. The location of Simuro Baubedarf AG, with a 3000 m2 warehouse and drive-in arena, is conveniently situated near the highway. Since January 1, 2022, do-it-yourselfers have also been able to find a selected range of tools and consumables in the company's small store. The company operates throughout Switzerland: Vitor is responsible for French-speaking Switzerland, Theo for German-speaking Switzerland, and one employee for Ticino. Italian, Spanish and Portuguese are spoken a lot on the construction sites, so a multilingual team is an advantage. The average age of the all-male team is around 30.

"Our corporate culture is flexible, dynamic and open," says Theo Sismanidis. "We work together in a laid-back but professional way. Being able to enjoy work is important."

I'm convinced: If you enjoy doing something, there's no way not to be successful.

Vitor Rodrigues
They are satisfied with their business development: "We want to continue to grow, gain experience and continuously develop," says Vitor Rodrigues. The current location will certainly be suitable for the next ten years, but processes still need to be automated in order to exploit the full potential of the premises. The two friends have a big dream: The next step is to build their own facilities from the ground up.

Building the future

Simuro Baubedarf AG is already building its own future. Although retirement is still a long way off for the young team, they are already looking into retirement provision.

It is important to us that our employees are well covered.

Theo Sismanidis

"We therefore meet with our pension advisor once a year. This is how we ensure that we have the optimal retirement provision solution for our employees and the company." As the company has grown, its occupational retirement provision needs have also changed. Vitor Rodrigues sees it as his duty as managing director to provide for his employees: "At 65, they should be able to enjoy their retirement without worries and not have to think about financial matters."

The youngest employee, 21-year-old apprentice Luka Sretenovic, hasn't given his retirement provision much thought yet. "But I know it's important to deal with the subject early on. That's why I put money aside every month," he says. It's important to him that he can maintain his standard of living later and not have to worry about finances. "Unfortunately, I don't know enough about investments, so I don't invest my money. But I want to change that." Luka Sretenovic is involved everywhere at Simuro and thus gains an insight into a wide variety of areas – including occupational retirement provision. This will certainly pay off later, because it pays to make provisions early on for a carefree retirement.

About Simuro

Simuro Baubedarf AG was founded in 2018 and is active in the wholesale of building materials. Its headquarters are located in Baar in the canton of Zug. The name Simuro stands for the surnames of the founders: In addition to the two managing directors, Theo Sismanidis and Vitor Rodrigues, Rolf Müller is the third member of the group and is active behind the scenes as a lawyer.

Fairplay in occupational retirement provision

Vita is committed to fairplay in occupational retirement provision and provides transparent information on redistribution. Vita also creates future-proof pension products and supports you in choosing the right solution for yourself. Simuro Baubedarf AG has chosen the Vita Classic retirement provision solution of the Vita Collective Foundation. The Vita Collective Foundation devotes itself responsibly to balanced and secure occupational retirement provision – for the current and future generations. The retirement provision solution can be flexibly tailored to the needs of the company and its employees. Thanks to the widely diversified and sustainable investment strategy, long-term stable incomes can be generated. The Vita Classic retirement provision model facilitates direct, balanced participation of the insured in the investment income generated. Together, Zurich and the four Vita Joint Foundations offer a suitable retirement provision solution for every SME – for more fair play in occupational retirement provision.

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