Sorin is one of the many IT professionals Romania has produced in recent years. He is unique however since he had the courage to partially differentiate from his employer and start his own business somewhere in Germany. He realized his vast expertise can help any company learn about the importance of IT security and in the same time can offer a better future for his two children in one of the healthiest environment in the world.
Name: Sorin Mustaca
Abroad since: 2003
Living in: Tettnang, Germany
Current position & company: Founder and CEO of "Sorin Mustaca" IT Security Consulting UG (limited liability)
TGR: Who is Sorin Mustaca and how did he become an entrepreneur?
SM: I've been working in IT Security for the past 17 years now. I started as a developer for the RAV Antivirus and worked there until they were acquired by Microsoft in 2003. Then moved in Germany to work for a company which you know now as Avira. Not many know that I was one of the few people who helped establishing the modern Avira. I also helped establishing the Avira Soft company in Bucharest. I've worked at Avira until 2014.
Consulting came as the next normal thing because it was the only way I could use my skills in Agile Software Development, IT Security, Antimalware technologies and Product and Project Management for Software.
My company offers consulting services in exactly these areas where my skills are. For software development I use freelancers or subcontracting companies.
How many employees do you have?
I have two employees and several freelancers working on special software development projects on behalf of my customers.
Can you name a few well-known customers?
My biggest customer is definitely Avira. I have also worked with Heimdal Security, SS Protect Ltd, Magility, DefenX and others.
Which is the career accomplishment you are mostly proud of?
This is not easy to identify because I've had so many. I think that it has to do with the fact that I was creating "in-the-cloud" services to be used in cybersecurity when most companies were investigating to optimize their file updates.
Tettnang is worldwide known mainly for housing Avira Headquarters. Despite the fact you have parted with them by July 2014, you still live in this small town. What makes Tettnang attractive for you?
Tettnang is a town placed near Lake of Constance (called Bodensee in German) and the Alps. I am less than 1h away from the best ski resorts in the Alps and less than 20 min away from the lake. I am 2-2.5h away from Munich, Stuttgart, Zurich and I have an airport 10 min away from home. As you can see, Tettnang is placed quite "strategical" from all points of view. Additionally, I have friends here, my children (4 and 9) have friends here and this is why I see Tettnang as my home.
How do you usually spend your free time? Your "strategical" position seems pretty offering for tourism opportunities…
Ah, free time... I try to be with the family as much as possible. If not, then I am diving in the lake. I am a certified rescue diver with PADI and will be Dive Master this year. If I am not under the water, then I am probably closed in my office tinkering at some projects with Raspberry Pis. I have 5 of them...
I suppose after all these years in Tettnang you can call yourself at home. Is there anything disappointing though? Don’t you miss the “buzz” of a big metropolis?
I was never a fan of big cities, even if I grew up in Constanta and lived for 7 years in Bucharest. I like quietness, nice and friendly people, clean cities, fresh air. The only disappointing thing with Tettnang is that it grows more and more every year and it is no longer the small city it was 13 years ago.
Don’t you actually have the freedom to serve your customers from anywhere in the world?
Yes and no. I still work with Avira (they are my customer) and for them I still do some travel to their customers in Europe and not only. For all other customers, it doesn't actually matter where I am.
What about Romania? What do you mostly miss about our home country?
Well, I miss my family, a few friends and the Black Sea.
Do you see yourself moving back? What would convince you?
I am an adept of the saying "Never say never", but honestly, I don't think of ever coming back. What could convince me to come back? In this moment, because of my children, I don't think that there is anything what could convince me to come back. They were born in Germany and their first language is German. My son (9) speaks very good Romanian, but my daughter (4) speaks only very few words. I am sure she will improve, but they will never have their first language Romanian and will never actually feel Romanians. Yes, they both have also Romanian passports.
How often do you travel to Romania?
For private reasons, 1-2 times a year with the family. While I was working at Avira I was traveling every 2-3 months there.
Please tell me something particular about Romania that you would usually say to a foreign friend.
Black Sea and Danube Delta I love to dive and swim in the Black Sea and ... to smell it. You know, I fly every year with the family to Spain (usually Mallorca) but it doesn't smell like the Black Sea. I know why it smells differently, but let's stay away from technicalities. I hope that people will keep them clean, safe and as much as possible natural.
What is your biggest dream?
I don't like to have dreams. Dreams are the things you can't achieve. I have plans...
Business: My biggest plan is to put the basis of a great company where to grow old and be able to improve people's lives.
Personal: I want to dive with my son with whale-sharks. I am getting closer and closer to this one since my son will make this summer the first diving course for juniors. Hmm... maybe 1-2 more years and we're there.
Any final remarks regarding our home country?
Different than many people abroad, I am never ashamed to say that I am also Romanian.
Unfortunately, as long as there is so much corruption and demagogy in the politic class, Romania will keep its "bad name" and low ratings.
I closely monitor the actions of the masses via blogs and foreign reports and I could see in the last few years a dramatic change in the philosophy of the people: the Romanians are no longer tolerating incompetence, being lied, being stolen, being forced to feed the corrupted ones.
I am happy to see that and will be continuing watching this (r)evolution.
Well, Sorin, we are for sure on the right track despite recent political events. I honestly think one day you will be able to say that your grandchildren could have a similar development in Romania as your children currently have in Germany! Until then, I wish you all the best with your projects and plans!
The Golden Romania
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