Madalin Popescu, Managing Director, Deutsche Telekom Services Europe
- What was the most challenging thing your company, people, and you, personally, had to face in 2020?
I believe we all faced the same challenges, both personally and as a company. And maybe that’s a good thing. Since we all went through the same situation, there was a lot of room for understanding and compassion, but also room for developing solutions to the new problems.
Our digitalization and automatization projects were well underway when the pandemic started, for the last three years we’ve been on a straight forward fast track towards automation and process robotics. For DTSE Romania the pandemic digitalization (if we can call it that) came as a natural evolution and not a revolution.
Of course, one of the most difficult challenges, which affects personal and business affairs, is the isolation.
- What pleasantly surprised you last year? / What are you grateful for?
There were some mixed feelings in moving everyone to work from home. The health and safety of our employees always comes first, but we had some concerns related to productivity. However, our employees came through and really exceeded expectations. I am grateful to be part of such a wonderful team.
- What are your plans and expectations for 2021?
It bears repeating that we are very intent and focused on digital transformation. We have automation and digitalization projects in almost all areas, some already being success stories while others are in pilot phases with very good results. We will continue to capitalize on these success stories in order to achieve our ambitious objectives. Another crucial development is the building of excellence centers for different business areas.
- What do you foresee it will be different this year and what impact it will have on our industry/Romania/your company/your people?
Many of the changes of 2020, generated by the pandemic, will continue in 2021. First, the relocation of activities in telework has raised the level of demand for tools and programs to facilitate this type of work. More than that, processes that included face to face interaction, like recruiting, have been adapted and digitalized. This is a trend that will surely continue in 2021.
As SSCs we saw come clear benefits during the pandemic. Our main area of activity is remote services, the impact of this type of services have been brought in the limelight and it resulted in an increase of scope , services and digitalization efforts.
At the same time, it’s clear that this focus on automation leads to the transformation of SSCs into competence centers.
Also, the year 2020 with all its challenges, highlighted the role of HR managers, which has been and continues to be increasingly consolidated. How companies have adapted to the “new normal” depends and will depend a lot on the way HR works and reacts. Their role is now a transformational one, implementing telework, sanitary prevention measures, professional development plans and so on. A great part of the benefits we offer our employees have been adapted to respond to the new needs of mental health, wellness and health of the employees. This trend will continue in 2021.
- What is your message for the ABSL community?
The message is simple: we need to work together and make Romania one of the main hubs for Business Services.
- What could we do to grow stronger as a community?
I think it would help us to invest time in collaboration and dialogue between us and with the authorities.
- A message for ABSL or a suggestion.
Create space for virtual and live collaboration.