Denisa Hutu – A journey of managing a team of 300 in a BPO, becoming an entrepreneur and accepting a new challenge in a SSC
Denisa Hutu is an well-established professional with a progressive experience of 13+ years within various industries. We’ve recently invited her to take a look at her journey so far and share some of her personal insights into the Romanian Outsourcing space.
Here’s what Denisa told us.
OA: Can you briefly state the most important stops in your career so far?
D.H: I’ve started my career in a national company’s Call Center and continued within one of the biggest BPOs in Bucharest. This was definitely one of the best ‘schools’ I could have ever joined. It provided a fast-paced environment with high quality standards, exposure to a wide range of domains, a ‘growing engine’ which helped me develop as a person, as a professional and as a leader. I’ve had the opportunity to start and coordinate different outsourcing projects, such as: Call Centers (customer care, helpdesk, collection, retention, telesales & telemarketing), Back Office, staff leasing, fulfillment and purchasing, while coordinating teams up to 300 employees.
After 8 intense years, I felt the need to make a change in my life. Although there might have been further opportunities to explore, I just needed to be challenged in a different way. My choice was entrepreneurship and I wasn’t wrong!
When I decided to choose a niche to explore with my business, E-Learning seemed a very appealing industry. It combined perfectly my interest in the latest technologies with my passion for learning and development. This is how ‘Elearn Advisers’ came to life – the company provided end-to-end online learning solutions from requirements through delivery, evaluation and continuous improvement and educated partners and clients on the latest technologies and solutions. I have also developed an online academy dedicated to both individuals and companies – a customised online shop which integrated a Learning Management System and offered eLearning courses and other online studying options exclusively in Romanian.
The eLearning market was still small in Romania at the time, so it wasn’t difficult to stand out. In 2013, when a global company, which was setting up its SSC in Bucharest, was looking for support in this area, I found it really interesting. I initially started the collaboration with them as a Subject Matter Expert while still keeping my own business activity, but gradually I became more and more involved in this new set-up. After more than 4 years, I am still part of a successful journey, setting up new services, managing different business lines (HR services, Finance Business Services), attracting and developing best talents.
OA: If you think back at when you started in Outsourcing, 10+ years ago, what has changed, in your view?
D.H: There are few aspects I would like to mention, looking especially at the Romanian market:
- The evolution of technology, which is already influencing certain providers in terms of changing existing commercial outsourcing structures
- The increase in the number of stakeholders, which is leading to a continuously higher competition within the market
- The rise of a new generations and a different attitude of the resources – less patient, stronger characters, more confident and ‘self-assured’
- Evolution from a ‘low cost’ location perception to an optimal combination between expertise & fair cost proposition and a multi-lingual talented workforce.
‘I expect more high-end and important business services to be outsourced’
On the other hand, when I think about the future of Outsourcing in Romanian, I still see space for growth and development. It won’t happen by default though – in the context of a highly competitive international environment, I believe that focusing on keeping the educational level high and investing in people development are key for a sustainable future of the industry. I also expect more high-end and important business services to be outsourced, while low-end or transactional services will get stabilised or automatized (e.g. robotics).
OA: Think about the team that you are currently managing – what would you say sets them apart?
D.H: It’s a pretty new team, which I am currently developing and managing; a team that I am really proud of! 🙂
This Henry Ford quote expresses very well where we are:
‘Coming together is a beginning,
Keeping together us a progress,
Working together is a success’
We have started as a mix of diverse people with different life and work experiences and different degrees of success working within previous team. We are currently on our path to grow together, having the trust and the reciprocal support as pre-requisites. Working together already seems like a success and if I were to mention a few of our achievements so far, these would be: great customer feedback, organic growth and new service lines created. Helping my team members to be successful brings one of my greatest professional satisfactions.
OA: Based on your experience, what’s the typical profile of a Romanian Outsourcing Professional?
D.H: I don’t believe that there is a standard typical profile of a Romanian Outsourcing Professional. Probably our diversity itself can be considered our key strength.
However, there are few assets which I consider that define and place us in one of the highest ranges: well educated workforce, multi-lingual, technically skilled and, at the same time our adaptability.
OA: Is career something that happens or something that you build, what do you think?
D.H: Career is not something that happens! You build it through hard work, continuous learning and perseverance. I truly believe that it doesn’t matter where you start; what it matters is to follow the right steps and continuing to develop and make it sustainable. This applies to any domain and any career path we might choose.
I am not aware of any ‘secret recipe’…sometimes it might be that we need to act on opportunities, sometimes it might be that we do mistakes, sometimes we might decide to take certain risks. As long as we keep a ‘can do attitude’, rely on healthy principles and act with honesty and integrity, success will follow at a certain point of time.