Agropolychim is Bulgaria's, and indeed southwest Europe's, largest producer of fertiliser, and has been growing steadily over the past five years. This, however, was not always the case. When Philippe Rombaut began his tenure as co-CEO of the company, it was bankrupt, and in need of drastic restructuring to survive. Philippe, along with his partners, took on this challenge and managed to turn the company around and have its plants running at full speed again in only a couple of years. "We have made a tremendous improvement," Philippe says. "We started as a company in bankruptcy; now the 2014 results are in and we have over 260 million in turnover, and we had net profits of a little more than 25 million."
This turnaround required a lot of hard work and difficult restructuring of the company. Philippe had to cut costs drastically, including very large staff cuts, to ensure the company could continue. "In the beginning, our investments were really focused on reducing costs. We were really in crisis times. The challenge was survival, and we had to convince a bank to give us money. We had to make an organisation with the right people. We started here with 2,400 people and going into liquidation we fired 2,200. So we had just 200 to save the plant from being scrapped, and then when we started up again we hired back 800 people. But we had to find the right people."