I am Raluca Burghelea, Managing Director for Accenture Business Process Services in Romania. Our BPS division in Romania has over 2000 employees and we provide a wide range of services, such as finance and accounting, human resources, sourcing and procurement, supply chain, sales and customer operations, insurance, credit services or network services in 19 languages. Our clients have direct access to our top talent, deep industry knowledge, industrialized breadth of capabilities, certifications and more.
How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?
I actually started in a motion and control technologies company, representing an US company in Romania, working in the accounting department. There I learned the basics of accounting and understood how different the reality was from what we were learning in University at that time. After that, I continued my career in finance and accounting by taking various roles from accountant to business controller. I joined Accenture as the first professional services company in my career and ever since I had the chance of going through various roles which led me to where I am today. I never imagined at the beginning of my career I would end up working on such different roles. In my initial years I always thought I wanted to be a CFO. But as the years went by, I realized that there are so many different things you can do in Accenture and you can build your role just the way you want it, regardless of how it is named.
What were your key career moments (those that had an impact on your professional journey)?
I think what defined me over the years was always trying something new. I took every challenge that came my way, from jumping to a management role from individual contributor, to moving to Prague for a while, doing recruitment lead role without experience in the domain, to moving to open a new location or now expanding my role beyond my first love for finance to lead the operations in Romania cross offerings.
What is the best three most valuable career lessons you have learned?
The first lesson is to always keep an open mind. Take every chance that comes your way that would help you towards your career goal.
Then, I learned that you are more resourceful than you think. Even if the mission seems impossible, there is a way to achieve it. Have the courage to ask for help when you need it.
Not in the least, if you are an achiever, it is very easy to keep going until you burn out. Have a break from time to time, set your boundaries and respect them.
Why did you choose Business Service Industry? What were top 3 reasons for choosing Accenture?
When I joined Accenture, I could not say it was a choice of the actual industry. I liked the company based on what I was reading online about it on the global sites and the job seemed interesting. I am now with Accenture for 13 years. Then, candidates were less informed than now.
I can tell you why I stayed, however. I found here an inclusive environment, where people are encouraged to develop and grow, where you experience so many different types of services, industries, clients and cultures, that you can easily find your place and enjoy every single day. I found a company that believes businesses have the opportunity and a responsibility to be a force for good in the world. This means we get involved. Our people strive to make an impact in the communities where they work and live. We are a truly human and inclusive environment where it is easy to be yourself and you are encouraged to do it.
What are your/your company’s plans for 2020?
2020 is set to be an important year for Accenture. Earlier this year, we announced changes to our growth model on a global scale, changes designed to allow us to extend our market leadership, drive significant value for our clients and stakeholders and continue to deliver market-leading growth. This means we are in the process of organizing our capabilities into four services – Strategy & Consulting, Interactive, Technology, and Operations. We will also manage our business through three geographic markets — North America, Europe, and Growth Markets.
In regard to our business outlook, for the fiscal year 2019 we generated revenues of $43.2 billion globally, an 8.5% increase in local currency. For the current fiscal year, we expect our global revenue to be in the range of 5% to 8% growth in local currency over fiscal ’19.
What do you think would be the keywords of the year for managers in the Business Services industry? Automation? Cutting costs?
We believe that in order to survive and thrive enterprises must be able to act quickly – with intelligence, insight, and confidence – to changes in the competitive and customer landscape. This would be impossible without attracting the right people.
So in my opinion, the focus on our innovative talent is especially important. Attracting the right people, with creative and entrepreneurial talent who understand digital technologies, industry and functional priorities is key in our industry. As a manager, you need to rethink talent strategy to augment the existing workforce with entrepreneurial talent. It needs a focused effort to identify and nurture internally, or leverage partners who can help you augment the gap.
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 have a 15 years old son. We are a family of travellers. What I enjoy most, and I am lucky my family does it as well, is to travel to all kinds of places. I mostly enjoy discovering cities, but not in a touristic way. Rather just walk the streets and immerse in the local culture. Doing that, you always have very nice surprises.
If you were starting now your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do? What career would you pursue?
I was very fortunate because my career really evolved towards a direction I enjoy very much. I would certainly treat some of the challenges I had differently, but I would not eliminate them. What I think would have helped, especially in the initial years, would have been to invest more in practice during my studies. The impact of the real work environment versus University expectations was quite large.
What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?
For me, this year will be about digital skills and a better understand of the technologies being used in the BPS sector. I would like to become more fluent in the technologies that are changing the world in new ways every day. On a personal note, I am an activator, both in my professional and personal life, I see the solutions and have the capacity to align the moving pieces in order to implement it and this year I am working on my patience.
What would you do and what would you avoid doing? – practical advice to young professionals.
Learn about career opportunities. Don’t wait for someone to simply offer them to you. Be in charge of your career development. Be curious and open to try new things. Prepare for your first job – take some part time or do some apprenticeship. Always be open to develop new skills. Learning process is never over. If it is, you will become obsolete soon.