Managers under the spotlight - Lucia Stoicescu, CEO

Can you tell us about your career journey and the story?

From an early age, I was passionate about discovering the world beyond what I was reading in books and conversations with my father. Motivated by a strong love for chemistry and a natural ability for critical thinking, I consciously decided to start my academic path at the University of Mathematics and Informatics in Craiova, followed by a Master’s degree in web programming at the University of Bucharest, and a MBA from UQAM, Université du Québec à Montréal.

The rest is history, I’ve been involved in the software industry since 2005, spanning an 18-year career, with a primary focus on fintech, telecom, and medtech.

I joined six years ago, building on my previous collaboration with Irina Arsene, the company’s Founder and Chair of the Board. We’ve put our trust in each other and started building what you see today. A successful Romanian company, specializing in data & software product engineering to drive business growth and deliver an impact inside and outside our customers’ organizations. We have strong and long-lasting partnerships with clients activating in retail, banking, e-health, pharma, foodtech, publishing, and travel.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, we've maintained a steady annual growth rate of 40%, in our revenue and our community of software engineers. This can only make us happy and prepared for the future.  


What are the current challenges of your role?

In the fast-paced world of technology, I encounter various complex challenges every day. My focus has always been on finding opportunities for growth and driving meaningful change, not just adapting to circumstances.

Challenges come and go, depending on the project, but they revolve around innovation (staying ahead of the curve in terms of technological innovation), growing while remaining agile (displaying a self-management culture with strong flexibility and maintaining communication between teams) and uncertain external challenges (every day I must adapt based on what challenges show up).


How do you balance the need for innovation and the need to maintain profitability in the IT industry?

Balancing the need for innovation and maintaining profitability in the IT industry is a complex and critical task for any tech CEO, especially during this period in Romania. Here's how I approach this challenge:

In terms of strategic planning, I develop a clear and compelling long-term vision that aligns our innovative efforts with our overall business objectives. In terms of resource allocation, we focus our efforts on continuous learning, research and development of our capabilities – I focus on what matters towards supporting core revenue-generating activities.

Balanced Innovation: I strike a balance between game-changing innovations and incremental improvements to existing offerings. This dual approach keeps our partners satisfied and revenue streams steady.


How many employees does your company have? What is your approach to talent acquisition and management, and how do you attract and retain top talent in a highly competitive industry like IT?

Our community consists of 235 colleagues. In the fast-paced and competitive landscape of the IT industry, our approach to talent acquisition and management revolves around cultivating an inclusive and innovative company culture that offers challenging and impactful work.

We emphasize diversity and transparent communication, encourage participation in meaningful projects, and provide opportunities for networking and internal mobility. Through these strategies, I strive to attract and retain exceptional individuals who find purpose, growth, and fulfillment in contributing to our dynamic and forward-thinking tech ecosystem.


What are your thoughts on the future of the IT industry in Romania and Switzerland, and what steps do you plan to take to position your company for long-term success?

In both Romania and Switzerland, the future of the IT industry holds great promise. Opportunities for growth are in next-generation software development and in many industries with growth themes related to digitalization, working seamlessly through the value chain, enhanced experience, Data and AI.

Switzerland, known for its innovation and quality, continues to lead in areas like finance technology and precision engineering.

As the CEO of our company, it is very important to position us for long-term success, tailoring our offerings to meet the distinct needs of our customers, strengthening our positioning, our partnerships, emphasizing ethical practices and sustainability, and engaging in community-focused endeavors. Thoughtful leadership and innovation must be accompanied by responsibility and a consistent track record.

Gaining speed, efficiency and improving the quality of the software development processes with AI capabilities developed internally is our focus for the next period. Understanding the potential and how to deal responsibly with AI is a learning journey that starts with us, as a management team and continues with our entire organization and through the value chain. We take it seriously because there is a lot of hype around AI and we want to be the one advising with clarity, transparency and enable our partners and customers to make informed decisions.  


What’s your current hobby?

Currently, I enjoy a mix of hobbies that keep me engaged and happy. I love reading books that help me grow as a person. Gardening and outdoor activities like swimming help me relax and connect with nature. Sharing experiences like going to the theater and visiting museums with friends and family brings me joy and I'm also a big fan of traveling and exploring cities, which adds excitement and variety to my day-to-day life.


What’s your favorite book? /or Who is your favorite author? (your choice)

One of my all-time favorite books is "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth. This book resonates deeply with me as it delves into the idea that success is not solely determined by talent, but by the combination of passion and persistence. Duckworth's insights and research highlight the importance of hard work and determination in achieving one's goals, which is a philosophy I truly embrace. The book has inspired me to approach challenges with a stronger sense of purpose and to keep pushing forward, even in the face of obstacles.