And so, the year-old wondered if there was a possibility that he could re-launch the brand. At the time, every child had a Pegas or wanted one. Doing some research, Mr Botescu found that no-one owned the rights to the Pegas name, so he quickly registered the trademark. Mr Botescu had no prior experience of either making bicycles, or running a business, but after taking on a specialist bike designer, his company was up and running.
In the firm sold bicycles, which then doubled in , and reached 3, in To help build up sales, Mr Botescu was savvy with his promotional work, setting up a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and Instagram account. As communism ended in Romania in the s, a great many former state-owned brands like Pegas disappeared as factories were closed or privatised. Yet fast-forward two decades and other Romanian entrepreneurs and businesses are realising that there is money to be made from communist nostalgia.
When Laurentiu Banescu quit his job to open a small brewery in , he was inspired by the former beers of the communist era. The old communist-era beers had long since stopped being made, and their breweries closed, but Mr Banescu says he wanted to echo their small scale production, natural ingredients, and handmade ethos. To set up the new brewery, Mr Banescu and his business partner bought an old factory in the town of Maneciu, km 70 miles north of Bucharest.
They named their beer Zaganu, after an extinct type of eagle that used to be found in the region. Mr Banescu says: "We named the beer Zaganu as a parallel between the small beer factories that disappeared, and the disappearance of the eagle. With a number of years of experience in sales and marketing for big companies, including global beer firms, Mr Banescu was very aware of the need for a good logo, so picked a drawing of an eagle and a font that harked back to the communist era.
The brewery is yet to make a profit, but Mr Banescu - who now has 17 employees - says he is confident, and is inspired by the success of the craft beer industry in the US. It is not just start-up companies though that have been looking back to communist era Romania for inspiration. Rom is a Romanian chocolate bar that was first introduced in the s under communist rule, and is today owned by Romanian company Kex Confectionary.
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