Giulio G Medda, since January 2013 Director of Office Depot Shared Services Center in Cluj: a center with over 400 Employees based in Cluj Napoca where they manage AR, AP, MDM, DMS, IT, GL and Treasury.
How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?
Immediately after my Finance studies and my Military service I joined Snamprogetti (the Engineering division of the Italian ENI). I started immediately in the foreign branches and subsidiaries of the company and in 13 years I progressed from simple accountant to Finance and HR Manager. Because of the nature of the business (Oil and Gas) I spent all of my 13 years with Snamprogetti working and living in countries like Nigeria, IRAQ, UK, Lybia, Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia and spending short periods in a lot of other countries in Middle East and Asia. I moved in 2003 to Accenture in the Czech Republic because I felt in love with the BPO/SSC concept and till now I think it was the best decision I could make. It is interesting to know that after more than 30 years of professional activity, although I am Italian, I never worked a single day in Italy. My career turn out exactly as I wanted!
What were your key career moments (those that had an impact on your professional journey)?
The most important moment in my career happened in 1990 when I was based in Basarah (IRAQ) and Saddam Hussain decided to invade Kuwait. I was held 4 month as hostage with 80 colleagues and some other hundreds of foreigners. At age 23 I was able to keep cool and in the end I was asked to manage the evacuation of my colleagues when we were released. I consider this a key moment in my career because although still very young I had the opportunity to prove my reliability and my ability to work under high stress.
The second most important moment was the meeting with Accenture and the decision to “marry” the BPO/SSC concept.
What is the best three most valuable career lessons you have learned?
- Adaptability is key. The world keep changing and we need to change with it;
- Impossible does not exist…very difficult, yes;
- A bad decision is better than no decision. Too often we lose opportunities because of overthinking.
Why did you choose Business Service Industry? What were top 3 reasons for choosing Office Depot?
After 17 years in the BPO/SSC field I am still convinced that this is the best way of working. I choose Office Depot in Cluj because after 10 years with Accenture in the BPOs I wanted to complete the circle and live the SSC. I liked the environment and the company culture from the beginning and more then everything else I loved Cluj and its people.
What are your/your company’s plans for 2020?
We are in progress of completing the Oracle implementation and stabilization is gong to be key in 2020.
What do you think would be the keywords of the year for managers in the Business Services industry? Automation? Cutting costs?
Romania has considerably reduce the salary gap with the other western European countries. The key is going to be performance. We need to prove that the BPO/SSC way is not only cost saving but is also the best way of working – is the only way to survive the long term.
Tell us a little bit about your private life. Tell us about your passions, family. What do you do to relax?
I am married and I have a 7 years old daughter, she is the one that takes most of my free time and I really enjoy doing things with my wife and her. We enjoy traveling, exploring and a lot of different sports (skating, skiing, swimming, canoeing, snorkelling, and so on). I was born in Sardinia and obviously the sea has a very important part in my life. My parents still live by the sea and I try to visit them whenever I can. Relax is still not part of my life…I like to live at 200Km an hour.
If you were starting now your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do? What career would you pursue?
I always wanted to be an airplane pilot and I think I would purse this career. It is not because of opportunities but just because I believe that when you follow your passions you will be happy no matter how it goes.
What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?
- General Knowledge is never enough
- Deeper knowledge of the IT environment
- German language
What would you do and what would you avoid doing?
I would follow something I am passionate about and do what I like rather than what makes more money. To be successful in a profession you need to work hard and be focused but to be the best you need to be passionate about it.