The 7th edition of Romanian Business Services Forum & Awards Gala, 2021 edition celebrated its WINNERS on the stage of InterContinental Hotel in last week of May.
Congratulations to all the WINNERS!
BUSINESS SERVICES COMPANY OF THE YEAR (over 800 employees) – ENDAVA
During the challenging year of 2020 represented by the pandemic, this company had to adjust its operating model and adapt to the new working trends and environment. It was a matter of days in March 2021 until all its employees switched to fully working from home and kept doing so until today. They monitored closely the productivity impact of this changes and realised it remained stable with an average 5% uplift while working from home.
The period has marked a continuous growth for the winner of this section. While initially some clients from the most affected industries had to stop their projects, this company soon was hit with an increased demand from new clients needing digital projects to help them navigate the new challenges of the new world.
The winner of this category is Endava.
Francesco Giovane, Head of Development Bucharest, Endava: “Thank you for this award. We are very proud that our business is being recognized as a contribution to the economy and the society. We hope to continue on the same track.”
BUSINESS SERVICES COMPANY OF THE YEAR (less than 800 employees) – SOFTBINATOR TECHNOLOGIES
2020 was a great year for them and the company who won this category and managed to achieve some amazing results during previous year: Just an example:
A young company with a very young management/c-level team (under 32 years old) managed to convince Simple Capital (one of the well-known local VCs) and Bittnet (the only one public IT Romanian company listed on the main market) to join the company as investors and shareholders. After these two transactions, the company was valued at 8M USD and the Bittnet acquisition was considered by ZF one of the most successful transactions in IT in 2020. Since the company was started (2017), the revenue has doubled each year, making it one of the fast-growing companies in Romania.
The winner of this category is Softbinator Technologies.
Daniel Ilinca, CEO, Softbinator Technologies: “Thank you for this award and for the kind words. Hopefully, we will see you again next year on this stage.”
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR (over 800 employees) – ENDAVA
This company believes in its values and manages to convey it among its employees. It values the most diversity, inclusion, engagement, and wellbeing of its employees. The main initiatives that this company has taken lately to support its people are:
WOMEN IN TECH – seeing more and more women embracing careers in tech and making a difference as IT professionals, leaders, mentors, and colleagues. Around 35% of their people are female with near gender parity in graduate and entry-level technical roles. DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION – The company wants all of their people to be the best they can be – it’s explicit in their purpose. The company’s committed to ensuring that there is both equality of access and equity of opportunity.
ENGAGEMENT: This company cares that everyone has a voice and feels heard. The CEO and Executive Team regularly engage with the people, answering questions in #companyGatherings live broadcasts hosted in all their regions.
For this and many more initiatives like these, the winner is Endava.
Alina Soare, Head of People Development and Recruitment Bucharest, Endava: “We are incredibly honoured and proud for receiving this award. It is an incredible appreciation of the efforts we are doing in this area. We really appreciate the recognition of the brand of Endava. We are keen to contribute to the development of the communities in which we operate.”
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR (less than 800 employees) – ZITEC
Since March 2020, with the priority of team safety, the company has moved its operations entirely online, trusting the organizational culture based on flexibility, communication, and continuous feedback that it has built for almost 18 years. In order to be permanently connected to each other and aligned with the company’s objectives, the company team members use Mirro, a complete human resource performance management solution, a product developed in-house.
In the new work environment, the company continued the recruitment processes, focusing on growing the team and attracting talented people through an exclusively online recruitment process. Thus, the company ended the year with a team of 187 members, increasing by 22% compared to December 2019, joining a total of 58 new colleagues. The Digital Marketing division also expanded its team to 18 specialists with Google Ads, Google Analytics and Facebook Blueprint certifications to cover the growing number of clients and projects.
The winner of this category is Zitec.
Alex Lapusan, CEO Zitec: “It was a tough year and we did everything possible to keep everybody happy, motivated and that showed great results in terms of performance. Everything was perfect. It worked well because we are always putting our culture first when it comes to decisions priority.
BEST WORKPLACE – COGNIZANT SOFTVISION
The company has always enjoyed a vibrant culture across its 40 global studios. In March 2020, the entire organization and thousands of its employees went to a remote environment in less than 48 hours to adhere to ‘Shelter in Place’ rules associated with the global pandemic.
They, like many organizations, were faced with a daunting challenge: How to maintain its unique collaborative and team-oriented culture when everyone is operating in a distributed environment from home? The company sprang into action with “Challenges Keep Us Connected,” a campaign of online events and activities.
Recognizing that the world has shifted, and remote work is not just accepted but sometimes preferred, the company is rolling out Hubs, its new offering that enables current and future employees to choose where they want to work remotely from home, in the office, or in a hybrid model. The new model, which is being piloted in Romania, focuses on the company as ‘The Place to Be” for heads-up work, meet-ups or events that impact and disrupt the tech industry, offers employees flexibility, empowerment, mobility, and trust as they consider a customized, personable experience in their future of work journey.
The winner of this category is Cognizant Softvision.
Alina Mihut, Content Manager, Cognizant Softvision: “I’m really happy to be back in this room today because I was here two years ago when we organized the biggest coding contest in Romania. I’m so happy to talk about our work, about keeping our people connected. We humanize digital experiences.”
NEW ENTRY ON THE MARKET AWARD – ARIADNEXT
This company, a European provider of solutions for digital identity, identity control, document security and digital signatures, rented 850 square meters of space in the Centro office building.
Headquartered in France, will create 100 jobs in Iasi by the end of 2021, following the launch of a new service of the company, respectively the manual verification of the authenticity of the documents.
At the launch on Romanian market, Guillaume Despagne, CEO and co-founder of the company said: “Romanian banks and financial institutions are keenly interested in our electronic document and identity verification solutions. We are already present on a local level thanks to our French customers, who rolled out Europe-wide projects. There are great opportunities to be seized in Romania, and more widely in Eastern European countries.”.
The winner of this category is Ariadnext.
Valentina Dragomir, Business Developer, Ariadnext: “Thank you very much for this award. It’s very important for us. We believe in Romania. We believe this is a huge opportunity here in Romania. We are here to be your partner in digitizing Romania.”
CEO OF THE YEAR – MIHAI BONDAR, Director of Shared Services Centres, SCC SERVICES ROMANIA
The winner of this special category has been working in the IT Services industry for his entire career, with experience ranging from Software Development, IT Operations, Hardware Break & Fix and Telecom. He has practical knowledge of all stages of the IT Service Lifecycle and was involved in designing large scale managed services deals and has good experience in delivery as well.
He is valued for an extraordinary ability to bring valuable people around him. To the uniqueness of his management style is the added desire for proactive action to improve the performance of the organization he deals with, the courage to make decisions and trigger projects for change and organizational improvement, even when their usefulness is not yet obvious to others.
We are talking about Mihai Bondar, Director of Shared Services Centres, SCC Services Romania.
Mihai Bondar, Director of Shared Services Centres, SCC Services Romania: “Thank you for this award. I was actually hoping not to have to come up here tonight because I’m quite shy. This is the first time that I pick one of these awards personally, because we got quite a few as a company. Even though it’s my name, it’s still down to the team, because you can’t have any great leader without great teams.”
CSR INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR – SOCIETE GENERALE GLOBAL SOLUTION CENTRE
For this company, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is about Citizenship (giving back to the local community, to vulnerable people in order to help them to have a better life and chances for their future), Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion, Sustainable IT and Sustainable Banking. The efforts made for supporting vulnerable groups in order to increase the chances for a better life and social inclusion has always been a central pillar of the company’s strategic directions. For this, ever since its establishment in 2011, the company has supported projects dedicated to improving the “education” and “professional integration” of those less fortunate, such as The Code Hero project, implemented together with Cartea Daliei association, as part of this continuous effort.
The Code Hero project was aimed to contribute to counteracting a local reality harshened by the pandemic. To fight this, Code Hero gave over 2.000 Romanian children, 9-13 years old, from both rural & urban areas, with hearing problems & healthy, the occasion to develop their digital skills in order to further have better hiring chances and a successful adult life.
The winner of this category is Societe Generale Global Solution Centre.
Evelyne Lutas, Communication Specialist at Societe Generale Global Solution Centre: “Thank you very much for this award. It really means a lot to us. This one goes to all our colleagues that helped this project come to life.”
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR – WIPRO
This company has a history of driving innovation by investing in a set of advanced technology themes that can be applied to create services in different industry verticals. Their team applied various LSS tools and methodologies in order to increase productivity, eliminate various wastes and gain value for the end-customer.
This year’s awarded initiative is called Moses and Lazarus – Operational & Digital Transformation Hand in Hand, the company set out to transform and improve the Contract Management Operations space for an important Technology Company with a $600M yearly revenue services business and with 250+ resources globally. The focus of Moses was improving invoice linearity, dramatically reducing invoice disputes, improving end to end turnaround time, customer experience as well as employee attrition in the company. Through this journey, they have managed to implement a new operational framework addressing people development, automation, process re-engineering and have recorded significant metrics improvements (e.g. 90% reduction in disputes, 40% linearity improvement, 55% reduction in attrition and many more).
The winner is Wipro.
Mihai Draghici, Site Leader, Contract Management Operations, Wipro: “Thank you for the award. It’s a great honour. It goes to the talented group of people that we have in our team in Bucharest.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT OF THE YEAR – COGNIZANT SOFTVISION
While the global pandemic has proved to be a difficult time, the work experience and safety became extremely important to each company. Like the rest of the world, this company adapted to the new reality, and successfully implemented a new Work From Home Journey that largely involved changing the way they work. This led to collaborate remotely and remains closely aligned.
They have shifted from face-to-face meetings and events to virtual events, hosting a very successful exclusively online Programmers’ Week, with 53 external tech talks – 1500+ attendees and 83 internal tech talks with 1800+ attendees, along with other 66 exciting webinars that have kept us connected and engaged! They had 696 community tech talks and local meetups, 2 community podcasts, 30 study groups and 27 speakers at external events.
The winner of this category is Cognizant Softvision.
Narcisa Marin, HR Manager Bucharest, Cognizant Softvision: “Thank you very much. We are very proud and happy. I want to thank my colleagues because together we form a great team, and also thank them because they are part of our journey.”
L&D INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR – WIPRO
“Talent at scale in the online world”: The winner of this category says that “Due to the pandemic, we were unable to train in class. All new joiners, all mandatory training sessions had to be online within a matter of days. Initial objective was to ensure that the minimum need was assisted through online training session. Priority #1 was the Onboarding package of training and along with that, the business-related content for service delivery and domain knowledge. As a next step, priority #1.1., we planned the soft skill areas & Leadership programs to be adapted and redesigned through new approach, tools, and technologies, however keeping the human touch as the basis of the activities.
For the second priority (equally important), the soft skills made a shift in parallel with the other programs of onboarding, using the same tools and approach. Hence, from 2 countries to 18+ countries reached the training calendar month on month. The session increased with 71% as compared with last years. The participation also increased with 82 % as compared to last years. All these due to online reachability and well received content delivery.
The recognition for these efforts goes to Wipro.
Teodora Todoran, L&D and Talent Transformation / Training at Wipro: “This year we changed everything that we were doing. From two delivery centres in Bucharest and Poland, we are now catering across 18 countries. We had people from Singapore, India, China, Nigeria. We were surprised to see how many people have chosen to attend our online training calendar. That was the validation that we are doing a great job. Thank you for this award.”
BEST UNIVERSITY-BUSINESS COOPERATION PROJECT OF THE YEAR – ANIS scholarship program for university teachers
This awarded programme is now at its third edition and it is a tool by which Romanian technology companies support young teachers in integrating new technologies and innovative teaching methods in the academic curricula.
So far, 17 faculties participating in the first two editions, 22 qualified teaching projects and 110,000 Euro was the total value of the scholarships.
The winner of this category is ANIS SCHOLARSHIPS PROGRAM, launched at the initiative of the association to stimulate the efforts of teachers – lecturers and university assistants – in introducing the latest technologies in the industry and innovative teaching techniques into the university curriculum. The program takes place at national level, qualified teachers benefiting from a sponsorship worth 5,000 euros.
Gabriela Mechea, Executive Director ANIS: “Thank you for this award. The program was initiated three years ago with the aim of creating a bridge between IT companies and universities, to incentive young teachers and to convince them to stay in the academic environment.”
BEST WELLBEING INITIATIVE – ENDAVA
In 2020, the company who won this award launched a dedicated program to wellbeing, a programme that brings together a wealth of tools and resources organised around four key pillars – Mind, Body, Home, and Community. The programme encourages exploration of the mechanics of the Mind, discovering the most critical steps in taking care of the Body, examining the need for digital detoxing at Home, and learning about the important role Community plays in having a sense of belonging.
As of February 2021, over 5,000 participants joined the workshops and masterclasses led by renowned experts. More than 2,500 people signed up for different Wellbeing Apps and communities, and the content from our broad digital library was accessed over 2,000 times. Satisfaction levels are high, with 97% of participants recommending this Wellbeing programme to a colleague.
Some of the masterclasses held were: Fresh thinking for the year ahead and The science behind exercise. The award goes to Endava.
Alina Soare, Head of People Development and Recruitment Bucharest, Endava: “Thank you so much for this award. This past year has been really challenging for all of us and I’m sure that each of you have taught of ways of making your lives a little bit better in the face of the challenges we are facing. We also collectively taught of trying that through this wellbeing program centred on all the areas of our lives.”
BRAND OF THE YEAR – MAJOREL ROMANIA
Voted online among over 4,000 responses to our survey held in previous month, this company celebrated in 2020 ten years of customer excellence. Romania is home to four of the company’s Multilingual Hubs. The manager for European Eastern region of the company said: “Our dynamic industry requires adaptability and creativity, characteristics that define Romanian people. We feel honoured and proud to be here. Over the years, we have managed to develop a significant presence and our plan for the future is to continue growing both our client and service portfolio, as well as the local team”.
With more than 1100 employees in Romania, this company serves clients in 28 countries and operates locally from Brasov, Bucharest, Sibiu, and Cluj-Napoca.
The brand of the year in business services for 2021 is Majorel Romania.
Daniela Micusan, Managing Director, Majorel Romania: “I thank my team for this award, and for everything they did to make it through to be here today. Thank you!”
BEST CUSTOMER CENTRIC INITIATIVE – PENTALOG
Digital has been the core of this company’s business since 1993, when five classmates decided to build a new kind of company. The entrepreneurial drive remains embedded in their culture and defines their DNA, a company committed to learning from the market and anticipating customer needs.
The company powers the digital transformation across the product life cycle by providing companies access to world-class talent to accelerate delivery, innovation, and growth.
The award for this category goes to Pentalog.
Frederic Lasnier, CEO Pentalog: “Thank you very much for this award. It is beautiful to be awarded for what you do for your customers. Thank you for the great words that were said about us.”