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
Good customer relationships are the key to our success.
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.
Building the future
It is important to us that our employees are well covered.
"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.