Author: Andra Stroe, Business Magazine
Local strategy, international investment: What does Coherent Solutions Romania plan to achieve with the investment of 1 million euros this year? Alina Şandru, Country Manager, Coherent Solutions Romania: This period of development requires the know-how and investment budgets of international companies. ”
Alina Sandru likes challenges. Six years ago, he opened a local branch of a multinational and grew it from scratch, and now he has started from the same model, with a new project: the launch of Coherent Solutions Romania. What are your ambitions for the first year of activity?
Discussions with Coherent Solutions – a company specializing in the development of customized and innovative products and solutions, such as web and mobile applications, DevOps and emerging data services and technologies such as blockchain and IoT, began 3 years ago, when the founder and the president of the company, Igor Epshteyn, came to Romania to analyze a possible expansion on the local market, says Alina Şandru, Country Manager, Coherent Solutions Romania. “I really enjoyed the interaction with him and the company’s CTO, and even though it wasn’t the right time for me to make a change, I kept in touch. And at the beginning of 2021 – in the middle of a pandemic year and of adaptation to the new normal – I felt it was time to roll up my sleeves again and I accepted the challenge of opening a new software development center in Romania “. The main reason for this decision is that it was related to the fact that he found in the company a combination of professionalism and family atmosphere that he has not met in a long time in the business environment.
Alina Şandru was born in Călăraşi and attended the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bucharest. “Unfortunately, I did not find what I was looking for here and Statistics and Neurocybernetics were my favorite subjects. So I decided to go for the HR / organizational psychology, I did a master’s degree at SNSPA (Management and Organizational Psychology) and, after a few initial jobs, I had the chance to get hired by a Romanian software development company, called , at that time, Akela. Here I grew up with the company, which was initially taken over by an American company called TechTeam Global and then by Stefanini. For the most part, I was the operational manager, meaning I was the link between the team and the client, having both the role of people / team manager and account manager. ” Then followed the first big challenge, as operations coordinator of an international business – RES Software (now Ivanti), a Dutch company specializing in the development of software solutions, which analyzed the hypothesis of opening a software center in Romania. “I was responsible for turning the idea into reality. We opened the office in 2015 and in 2021 we have a team of about 100 employees. ” In the six years of the role of Director of Engineering and Operations Romania, during which time the company has grown from a turnover of 0 to 19.7 million lei in 2019, she says that she has learned more than she did in his entire career. “It was clearly the best business school for me. At the same time, it made me realize that the local software industry not only has enormous potential, but also that, at least during this period of development, it needs the know-how and investment budgets of international companies. ”
Now, with the local launch of Coherent Solutions, he says the team’s goal is to contribute to the development of the software market in Romania. “We have an extraordinarily high-performance training center globally and we will certainly use it to develop the technical skills of many colleagues in Romania.” In launching the business, he budgeted about $ 1 million for this year, an investment that will be directed, in large part, to recruiting specialists in software development, IT infrastructure, renting an office in a shared office building, recruitment services and other operational investments. “We are currently working on identifying a permanent office, in which we intend to invest to bring it to high standards of safety and comfort, preparing for the times when we will return to the office – if we want, from time to time,” she added. amused. The company hires people in all counties, many of whom will work completely remotely, except for the team in Bucharest, where a hybrid model will be adopted. Alina Şandru estimates that they will end the first year of activity with an income of at least 1 million dollars and a team of at least 30 employees, the team being currently made up of six people. “Our medium-term plan is to grow the team to 150 employees by the end of 2023, mostly software development specialists.”
Most of the clients come from the USA, but the company’s representatives plan to expand their portfolio in Europe as well, with the opening of new development centers in Romania, Ukraine and Lithuania. “Over 70% are large public or private companies, with a turnover of over 100 million dollars, in industries such as healthcare, tech, manufacturing or e-commerce. About 15% of our customers are start-ups; We care a lot about this because they are usually the ones who experiment with new technologies “, describes Alina Şandru the profile of the companies that use Coherent Solutions services, offering some examples: WexHealth, Carbonite, Lands’ End, Cargill or LifeTime Fitness.
The executive claims that the biggest challenges in Romania are, unfortunately, still at the level of institutions and procedures. “We are still victims of bureaucracy and we often risk losing investment (or trust) only because of the rigid procedures that are not adapted to the period in which we live. I set out to be actively involved in projects and actions aimed at remedying these issues in the Romanian business environment and to draw attention to this risk that foreign investors feel quite strongly. ” About the competition, Alina Şandru says that good, curious and passionate software specialists are sought after by the whole market, even by those who are not in the industry, “so we kind of fight with all those who are looking for good people, ready to make a step forward in your career. That’s why I chose not to look at it as a competition and focus on what we can do. I believe that each company must contribute to the development of its employees and implicitly the local business area, and I also believe that there are employees suitable for any type of company, depending on their profile, their stage of development and their priorities. ”
Her plan, she adds, is to create an organizational culture based very much on respect and teamwork, in which people’s opinions will be heard and, as far as possible, put into practice. “It simply came to our notice then. I want to become one of the employers wanted by software specialists in Romania. ” Coherent Solutions was founded in 1995 in the USA by two friends who are still part of the company. It is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. In its 25 years of operation, the business has implemented over 1,000 projects and expanded to five countries: Belarus, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania and Ukraine, and currently has an international team of over 1,600 employees. In 2019, the company had a turnover of 57 million dollars, and for this year it estimates revenues of 76 million dollars.