Alexandru Grigoreanu, Head of Retail Banking & Financial Services – Societe Generale Global Solution Centre
My name is Alexandru Grigoreanu, I am the Head of Retail Banking & Financial Services within Societe Generale Global Solution Centre, since 2021. At the same time, I am leading the IT Filiere community of the centre in Romania.I started my professional career as an entrepreneur, while I was a student. Back then, I wanted to focus on finishing my studies, so I decided to take a part-time job in the banking industry. I quickly became passionate about it, and that is how I developed my career in the financial industry during the last 18 years. At the very beginning, I didn’t know anything about banking, but working in a contact centre gave me the opportunity to interact with various departments of the bank. This helped me understand the business and also shaped my ideas about what to do next. Hence, I started to envisage my next career moves in the banking industry.
Looking back, I recall two key moments that had a strong impact on my career. The first one was when I started working on projects. I liked it so much that I got motivated to get a project manager role. When working on a project, you interact with various stakeholders in different departments and it enables you to acquire very good knowledge of an organisation and how the business functions overall. The second important moment was when I was given the chance to lead a new department with SG GSC with the objective of building new service offers for SG Group in a greenfield model. This role enabled me to develop my leadership and strategic thinking skills. Over time, with proven results, I managed to extend the area of responsibility and get the role I am playing today within the organization.
Throughout my professional journey, I had a lot of lessons to learn, but I would say that the most important ones were to listen to and work a lot with your team, be open-minded, and admit that one does not always have the right answer. Actually, we learn new things every day, and what matters is what we make of these learnings and how we use them to drive the most efficient decisions in a constantly changing environment.
For the last 10 years, I have been working within the Business Services Industry and I made this change because I saw an opportunity for development, as major companies all over the world were looking at working with service centres, captives, and commercial BPOs, in order to streamline their processes, make them more efficient, and get the best possible outcome. It is still the case nowadays. I chose Societe Generale Global Solution Centre because the service centre in Romania was at its beginning back then. SG GSC offered (and continues to offer) plenty of professional opportunities for growth and I enjoy the multicultural environment it fosters. I believe that it is very important to find a company that allows and encourages you to be yourself, to come up with ideas and that is focused on innovation. These are exactly the values and culture that SG GSC is constantly promoting.
I feel it is very important to have a proper work-life balance, in order to achieve strong results from a professional standpoint. I like to travel and discover new places, ride the mountain bike, and also relax in the good company of friends and family. During my free time, I avoid tackling professional topics as much as possible.
If I were to start my career now, in terms of industry domain, it is kind of difficult to picture myself doing something else. I guess the power of habit and past experience is pretty high. At the same time, I feel that the business services industry has a lot of potential for development in the future. However, I would focus a lot on technology, as it is embedded in all aspects of our lives, regardless of the domain you are working in. At the same time, I think it is very important to be on a constant lookout for emerging trends in the market and embrace the changes that we are experiencing, as evolution is inevitable.
As mentioned previously, technology is omnipresent, so developing digital skills is highly important. At the same time, we mostly work with people and not with machines. Being able to show empathy is very important in human interactions, and last, but not least, I would focus on further developing strategic thinking skills. In order to successfully move forward, you need to understand the global environment and trends and be able to translate them into a concrete strategy for your organisation.
As an advice for young professionals, starting their careers, I would recommend for them to be curious, willing to experiment as much as possible and learn from failures. While it is important to have a long-term goal, I would avoid setting very rigid career objectives on long timeframes, as the world around us is changing at a higher pace than ever.
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