Teo Galea, Country Manager Romania, Colt Technology Services
- What was the most challenging thing your company, people, and you, personally, had to face in 2020?
In 2020, the biggest challenge for Colt was to forecast the impact of Covid. Even though the Telecommunication industry, in which Colt operates, is a strong sector and essential for society, it was still a challenge to predict the impact of Covid.
For our people, the greatest challenge was the new lifestyle imposed by the pandemic. People had to handle in a totally new way their emotions, family relationships, responsibilities and working patterns. Basically, I would say that the main challenge for our people was to learn to live a new life.
On a personal level, the most challenging part of 2020 was the time when I had Covid. I was off for a short period but the symptoms lingered for a long time and I still had a team to manage. It was really hard to motivate others to remain positive when I was struggling with it myself.
- What pleasantly surprised you last year? / What are you grateful for?
Although it was a though year, I was really pleasantly surprised by the involvement of our colleagues in the charity area. The willingness of our people to help and to give, the ability to set new records in giving back to society (charity, social cases, helping colleagues) is what I am most grateful for. I was really impressed by the sense of community and the ability of our people to put others on the first place.
At a company level, I am very grateful for being part of a company that truly cares about its people. This was shown in the flexibility and willingness of the company to shift to home office, provide a safe workplace allowance to each and every employee, so that everyone could equip their home office to make it as comfortable as possible. I am grateful to be in a company that has these values and this behaviour.
As for my personal life, I am grateful for having had the chance to spend more time with my children and my wife. Without business travel, I was able to enjoy small things such as having meals together and even sleeping in my own bed.
- What are your plans and expectations for 2021?
The most important goal I have set for 2021 is to be healthy and to stay healthy. The second point is to keep doing well for our people and our customers, to understand our changing environment and to find new ways to improve the employee and customer experience and satisfaction. By doing this, we are building a sustainable business, that is there to last and where all parties involved are getting satisfaction.
Having this in mind, I believe that this is an opportunity for Colt Romania to grow and to contribute, in a significant manner, to customer satisfaction. In the same time, I believe that by offering employee satisfaction, Colt Romania has the right ingredients to grow and to attract new talent.
- What do you foresee it will be different this year and what impact it will have on our industry/Romania/your company/your people?
Firstly, I believe that even though 2021 might seem more predictable than 2020, this might be a false feeling. Here I would like to mention Robert Swan, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South Poles, and one of his reflections that I really like: most of the experts who are climbing the highest mountains, rarely get injured on the way to the top. It mostly happens on the way down when they have the false feeling that the difficult part is over so that they lose attention and focus. I believe that we as a society are facing the risk of thinking the worse is already over and lot of people will pay the price for this.
On an optimistic note, I believe Covid is positively impacting our industry as the pandemic represents a chance for companies to reinvent themselves and to find new ways of creating value for their customers. In the same time, on a negative side, I think we are facing a global trauma at a societal level. Due to the length and severity of the pandemic, the behaviour of people is significantly changing and it is possible that even more people will struggle in 2021.
For our local office, I foresee a stable environment with the opportunity to grow. Colt Romania is a Shared Service Centre meaning that we are providing services remotely to other parts of the business. During the last year, we have proved once more that this model of providing remote services is working very well and is here to stay. In addition, the Shared Service Centre concept represents now more than ever a very competitive advantage on the market. Therefore, I am quite optimistic about the future of Colt Romania with one condition: people need to realize that it is not enough to be in a competitive location and market unless you don’t continue to increase the value that you deliver.
- What is your message for the ABSL community?
Keep being optimistic and grateful for being part of an industry that has a good present and a good future. Being part of this community means you are in the front line of the ongoing global change. But at the same time, you are also the beneficiaries of this new world. Not everybody has the opportunity to be part of such as flexible environment with opportunities to grow and to develop. So cherish this, be grateful and make it count by adding value to your business. Do not become complaisant but keep growing.
- What could we do to grow stronger as a community?
In order to grow stronger as a community, we need to act together. It does not suffice to meet and share opinions as long as everyone acts alone. If we want to become stronger as a community, we should act together in the sense of having one voice regarding legislation, the future of remote working and education by becoming an active partner for the educational system. Then, we should look at what we can do business wise in order to maintain a high level of competitiveness. I think that by acting together from these three point of views – legislation, education and economic environment, we will be able to achieve more as a community.
- A message for ABSL or a suggestion.
Beautiful people, keep being warm and keep showing that you care in everything that you do. And keep going. Sometimes this seems to be the most obvious thing to do. But life is not always straight forward so just keep going.