Business Services Today: Keeping Pace with the Speed of Change

//Business Services Today: Keeping Pace with the Speed of Change
Loading Events

The business services landscape is constantly evolving, driven by technological advancements, market shifts, and customer preferences. Organizations must adapt to these changes to remain relevant and competitive. Thus, change has become a normal and essential part of the industry. However, the last months brought a number of significant challenges that required quick adaptation: from Generative AI tools, shifts in organizational culture and people practices to the last fiscal changes.

ABSL invites the local and regional business services community to the 7th edition of Cluj Business Mixer. The event aims to facilitate best practice sharing between local companies, acknowledge challenges and opportunities ahead, and help participants in finding solutions and embracing future changes.

Our experts will share their know-how on the most important topics of 2024 in the sector, the development of labour market, tax legislation included, workspace transformations, the impact of artificial intelligence, employees’ wellbeing and ESG, while the knowledge sharing sessions will offer the opportunity to discuss local best practices and current challenges.

We invite you to join our specialists and your peers in discussing these topics in order to strengthen the local community and facilitate networking. The event is dedicated to representatives of business services sector and is free of charge. There is no limited number of participants per company, except for the HR session in which only company leaders and HR directors can participate (maximum 2 participants/ company), in order to facilitate knowledge sharing and the involvement of all those present.

If you represent a local company/ office, you may be part of the event by presenting a study case on relevant themes in the fields of HR, Technology or Business. You are invited to share with the audience practical examples, successful stories, presentations of what works or not, regarding current interests.

  • 9:00 – 9:30

Welcome coffee


  • 9:30 – 9:40

Introductory Speech

Welcome from the event moderator Ovidiu Oltean and Ciprian Dan, President of ABSL Board


  • 9:40 – 10:00
  • Horia Dan
  • Vlad Lascut
  • PwC

Market Insights and Perspectives for 2024 – Navigating Uncertainty

We are exploring the prospects and challenges of the business services sector in Romania, with the main focus on the development of labour market, as well as the economic and regulatory environment in our country. We will also be looking at how the global trends will impact business models, people, processes, technology, and data.


  • 10:00 – 10:20
  • Claudia Cetatoiu
  • iO Partners

The Future of Work Decoded: Know Your People, Know Your Numbers

Investing in quality space is today a greater priority than expanding the total footprint in line with headcount. Environmental and social aspirations will shape future portfolio transformation for each company. Real estate needs are becoming more sophisticated and complex, especially through new real estate technology as a key competitive advantage. AI is seen as one of the biggest game changers for the real estate industry over the next three years. How to act instead of reacting?


  • 10:20 – 10:40
  • Marcela Brie (Antoniu)
  • Zamfirescu Racoți Vasile & Partners

Future@Work 2024: Navigating Employment Challenges & Solutions

In a dynamic world marked by constant socio-economic shifts, employers and employees are facing unprecedented challenges. Join our session to unravel key concerns, from shifts in fiscal facilities affecting teleworking, IT, and construction, to the complexities of returning to the office. Dive into the impact of artificial intelligence on repetitive tasks and discover strategic solutions for affected employees, including employer-supported professional retraining.


  • 10:40 – 11:00
  • Elena Ardelean
  • Iulia Galinescu
  • Steelcase

What Leaders Say Is Important Now. Priorities: People + Planet

We asked leaders what workspace issues they think will be more important in 2024 and new perspectives are gaining momentum. Employee wellbeing tops the list and has been considered important for years. Now sustainability, followed closely by diversity, equity, and inclusion, have emerged as top issues, signalling a shift in leaders’ perspectives.


  • 11:00 – 11:20
  • Lidia Rusu
  • Regina Maria

How to Take Care of Yourself, so You Can Take Care of Others (to be held in Romanian)

During the past years change has been the only constant in our lives. Adapting to change means an increased consumption of resources for each of us, often leading to emotions such as stress, anxiety and even depression. As leaders, managers, or HR professionals, you must manage the impact of change on many levels: employees, colleagues, and of course your own. We will discuss more about the emotional impact of change, how you recognize emotional difficulties in employees and what you can do, but above all, how you should take care of yourselves in order to be effective in caring for others.


  • 11:20 – 11:40

Coffee break


  • 11:40 – 12:40

Knowledge Sharing Session- Local Business Cases

Gen AI- Outcomes & Keeping Humans in the Loop

A keynote that spotlights the fusion of human creativity with Generative AI (GenAI). This session explores strategies for blending human intuition with cutting-edge GenAI, creating a dynamic, innovative business environment. Learn how this synergy accelerates decision-making and fosters significant outcomes. The talk delves into practical GenAI applications, emphasizing context-aware insights and personalized guidance. Let’s discover together how to blend AI expertise with specialized knowledge, particularly in prompt engineering. This approach ensures secure, innovative solutions on platforms – integrating GenAI with existing classical AI technologies for effective, automated and assisted decision-making, while prioritizing human in the loop for the best outcomes.

Speaker: Florin Jurchis, AI Specialist, Genpact

Corporate Real Estate – Cluj Office Relocation

The presentation will describe the business relocation project that took place in the second half of 2023 for Viking. It will present the reasons for such project, the steps you need to consider, what challenges might be there and how to turn these into opportunities. The benefits of such a change are also showcased, together with a final conclusion.

Speaker: Gabriel Vainagi, Facility manager, Viking Office Service Center

Genome and AI Guru

In 2019, Genpact built Genome, an online learning platform designed to make learning a core part of the company’s DNA. However, despite its success in boosting learning by 2023, a bottleneck emerged due to a limited number of master gurus (experts) for the skills available. To address this, Genpact introduced AIGuru, an AI-based learning companion for employees. Powered by GPT 4 (Turbo) Large Language Model and Microsoft cognitive search technology, AIGuru provides real-time responses to queries and personalized learning experiences. AIGuru utilizes internal knowledge, and if needed, accesses global collective intelligence. It features a user-friendly dynamic interface, and its safety is ensured through Microsoft Azure OpenAI API services. Presently, it is accessible to people managers and above, with potential for broader applications in other business areas.

Speaker: Adela Petras, Senior HRBP, Genpact


  • 12:40 – 13:00

Coffee break


  • 13:00 – 15:00

HR Round table: Changes, Challenges, and Impact on People Practices (Closed Session)

Moderator: Nicoleta Azoitei, Romania HRBP Lead, Genpact

Change is often accompanied by challenges and uncertainty determining companies to proactively respond to crises and navigate through the current turbulent times in order to minimize the potential disruptions. It’s a strong pressure with multiple transformational triggers all present at the same time; therefore, companies need to become more resilient in order to remain relevant and adapt to the next development.

What are these triggers for HR departments and how do you keep up with the speed of change? What are the current recruitment challenges? How do you adopt and integrate generative AI tools in HR processes? What are latest trends in the talent market? Continuous learning culture & organizational agility: what are the present learning priorities? Return to the office – what is the status, and how are the companies adapting to the new working space?

These are the questions proposed for this round table where HR representatives from Cluj companies will discuss their concerns, share solutions and good practices on what was done in the past, what challenges did they face and how they see the future of work.

Companies should be represented at this event by HR Leaders /Head of HR (max. 2 representatives per company). This is a closed session dedicated to companies from business services industry.


  • 13:00 – 15:00

Workshop: Adaptation to a Changing Environment in the Local Business Service Industry

Change is an essential and inevitable aspect of organizational growth and success. Embracing and effectively managing business transformation within an organization can yield numerous benefits and contribute to its long-term sustainability: from the implementation of new technology to changes in organisational culture and mergers and acquisitions. Change is closely linked to the concept of continuous improvement. By embracing change, organizations foster a culture of learning, adaptability, and agility. They actively seek opportunities to improve and refine their operations, products, and services, ensuring they remain at the forefront of their industry.

But driving change successfully can be one of the more difficult aspects of a company. In this context we ask ourselves what we can do to reach this goal and adapt to a changing environment. What are the current changes in technology, business, and HR that your company is facing? Where do the biggest challenges come from? How can we address nowadays challenges and opportunities in order to build a reliable future?

These are the questions proposed for this workshop where representatives from Cluj companies are invited to share their perspectives.


  • 15:00 – 16:00

Lunch & Networking

Elena Ardelean
Elena ArdeleanDealer Business Manager Central Europe, Steelcase
Nicoleta Azoitei
Nicoleta AzoiteiRomania HRBP Lead, Genpact
Marcela Brie (Antoniu)
Marcela Brie (Antoniu)Senior Associate, ZRVP
Claudia Cetatoiu
Claudia CetatoiuCorporate Transaction Director, iO Partners
Ciprian Dan
Ciprian DanPresident, ABSL
Horia Dan
Horia DanAssurance Senior Manager & Cluj Office Leader, PwC
Iulia Galinescu
Iulia GalinescuBusiness Development Manager North-West Romania, Steelcase
Florin Jurchis
Florin JurchisAI Specialist, Genpact
Vlad Lascut
Vlad LascutTax Manager, PwC
Ovidiu Oltean
Ovidiu OlteanEvent Moderator
Adela Petras
Adela PetrasSenior HRBP, Genpact
Lidia Rusu
Lidia RusuCognitive-behavioral psychotherapist, Rețeaua REGINA MARIA
Gabriel Vainagi
Gabriel VainagiFacility manager, Viking Office Service Center