La Spezia is commonly known as the most important gateway for the astonishing Cinque Terre. Since last November, it is also home for an amazing Romanian performer, who has traveled such far to receive a key role in the Italian office of a global organization. Today we reveal an ambitious person who firmly believes that with hard work and passion he can achieve everything he wants, for himself, his wife and his beautiful daughter.
Name: Catalin Cucu
Abroad since: August 2015
Living in: La Spezia, Italy
Current position & company: Operations Director at KRUK Italia
TGR: Collection – not really the most popular industry right?
CC: It is not the most popular industry due to the negative perception of the people in debt towards the collection companies, but we believe that in Kruk we manage to consider our people in debt/debtors as clients and we find the best solutions together with them, as partners, focusing on the win-win approach – we really help our clients to get back on track.
More than 9 years with Kruk – they must have done something right, haven’t they? What made you stay all these years?
To be honest I started in Kruk as a Call Center agent, having in mind that this will be my “way in” in the bank industry and initially planning to leave after 3-6 months But the reality was different, I found in Kruk a perfect and dynamic environment that gave me constant and fast development opportunities, a great collective of people (I even met my wife here ), the hard work always was paid off with appreciation and engaging in more complex tasks which boosted my motivation and career.
What is your current main responsibility in Italy?
My main responsibility is to create and develop the Kruk Italia Operations Department – now is a start-up and each step made is visible and brings added value which is great! Operations is practically the heart of the company, the identity and originality of our core business that makes the difference vs. the competition, so I am really proud to be part of this team.
How many direct reports do you have?
At this point I have 9 direct reports.
Can you tell me something only you can do best in the company?
It is very hard to mention one thing that I am doing the best in the company, considering that I am not a specialist in a specific area. I am a manager with wide view in business and I have a role of driving others to do their best!
Well, I am sure you have already proved you are unique in Kruk - they could have chosen someone else for this key role but they didn't I suppose your most urgent challenge is to blend in this new culture, surrounded by Italian people...
I have few months since working with them directly so I don't want to create any paradigm, but I found Italians as very proud and passionate people (you can see it especially in their gestures). Building relationships comes first, then they start doing business with you. They feel specific and unique in the world and they demand to be listened and understood before going further. I believe in order to have them on your side, you need to be patient, good listener, to focus on creating a relation with them, to make jokes, to respect them and of course their daily siesta at lunch If you follow the previous remarks, I believe Italians are really nice and open people, warm, funny and really open to the expats – they explained and showed me and my family many things about the surroundings and how to “survive” here, so I feel really good in their company.
How do you find Italy after 4 months in La Spezia?
Personally I really enjoy Italy, it is a really beautiful country with millions of places to see. La Spezia is a small touristic city but well placed on the map and close to many important travel objectives, so 80% of my free time is spend on travelling with my wife and my 3 years old daughter. I like the climate, for example in January/February was between 10-15 degrees with sun while in Romania was snowing... We have palm trees and sea with nice beaches and is really nice to live where others are paying to make vacations
Did you find anything to disappoint you so far?
Nothing really disappointed us up to know, we just need to accommodate with the different variety in terms of social life compared with the ones we got used to in big cities like Bucharest or Wroclaw from Poland - where we lived before.
Romania, Poland, now Italy. What’s next for you?
Hard to say, most probably we will remain in Italy till our daughter will reach 6-7 years and then back to Romania for starting school there, at least this is the plan… But who knows, before leaving Romania I was strongly saying that I will never leave Romania to work, and if I will do it, for sure not without my family… And I've done them both in the same time (for the first 6 months in Poland), so I learned never to say never
How often do you travel to Romania?
I am traveling to Romania in average once per quarter.
What do you mostly miss about Romania?
I miss my family and friends; whenever I am in Romania, I am trying to divide the short time that I have and see them all, but is hard and never enough... I also miss the food, the people, Bucharest, the Romanian atmosphere, which maybe is not the perfect one for some but for me is home, it represents me, it made me who I am today and I always like it. After this experience I really hope I will come back and contribute for making it even better!
Please tell me something particular about Romania that you would usually say to a foreign friend.
We are more than Ceausescu and Hagi, Romania is a country with hard working and creative people, with beautiful landscapes in mountains and sea, great gastronomy... Romania is the land of all possibilities, not America
What is your biggest dream?
To have my own successful business in Romania.
Any final remarks regarding our home country?
I believe Romania should focus more on brand awareness (the positive one) in order to contra balance the partial negative image that we have now abroad and for sure is not a suggestive one.
The Golden Romania
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