Introducing EPAM Romania: A New EPAM Location with New Opportunities
In March 2020—right before the global lockdown—the new EPAM Romania team in Bucharest was in the midst of planning its office opening. What challenges did the team face in a suddenly virtual world? How did they quickly switch gears to bring new employees onboard in a remote working environment?
We sat down with Ovidiu Sutac, Global Delivery Organization (GDO) Country Head, EPAM Romania—who brings over 25 years of experience in the IT and software development field to his role—to hear about his first year in the role as well as the obstacles, opportunities and future of this new office.
Let’s start from the beginning: how did you start to build your team?
We recognized right from the start that we would need to have a strong, talented core team. There are around 90,000 talented engineers in Romania. Given that, we knew we’d be able to combine both existing and new talent for this team. Additionally, universities in Romania have reputable applied mathematics, engineering and computer studies programs, which further widens the talent pool and makes the field more competitive. We plan to leverage these existing ecosystems by creating internship and training opportunities with them.
How does EPAM stand out from other tech companies in Romania?
EPAM Romania has access to EPAM’s global network of 40,000 employees who work with both local and global clients across over 35 countries. At EPAM Romania, we work with local and global clients mostly in the financial (insurance and banking) and healthcare sectors. With a client-first mentality, we adapt to customer needs across all matters of business. For example, we communicate in English for global clients and communicate in Romanian for the local ones. Of course, we also work in different time zones to ensure we meet client needs.
What’s surprised you most when you joined EPAM?
The best surprise was the positive market response. Though EPAM is not too well-known in Romania yet, we got attention and a lot of interest from candidates when we started to advertise for our first open roles. They wanted to learn more about who we are and what we are doing. IT companies usually headhunt for talent, so I was surprised to see that a lot of candidates had studied our company profile and applied directly to the roles on our website.
What are your responsibilities as GDO Country Head at EPAM?
The role of country head can be a complex one. It incorporates multiple roles within the company. What I like the most is that I switch from one area of the business to another. I combine multiple activities in my role, which keeps me motivated and excited:
- I oversee business operations: I need to make sure that I am setting up the location and processes and that EPAMers of Romania have what they need to deliver excellently in everything they do.
- I work closely with our customers: I’m responsible for acquiring new projects for EPAM Romania. To do so, I stay in close contact with our account management team. I also work with clients directly and ensure that EPAMers are delivering the best products and services for our existing clients.
- I build out EPAM teams: I build up teams that will work on both current and future projects and deliver the results according to client needs. I discuss the requirements with the project owners, and then I stay in close contact with the talent acquisition team.
- I help foster an inclusive, productive work environment: I seek constant feedback from our EPAMers in Romania. I need to understand how I can help them and what they need to grow as employees.
How are you adapting your strategy to this “new normal?”
I joined EPAM only one day before the lockdown. At that point, our office at Bucharest wasn’t ready. We decided not to open it due to the state of emergency that was in place at the time in Romania. That continued until May. Instead of opening our office, we took a different approach. We started working safely in a coworking space, which would help us to adjust our needs quickly if needed. Of course, we implemented all the proper protocols to keep our employees safe and comply with local and global regulations.
My experience growing delivery centers from scratch has been very helpful in building up EPAM Romania. Of course, we take advantage of procedures and tools already in use by different EPAM locations, so we can replicate them here.
EPAM Romania is hoping to open our office later this year. We need to understand how the pandemic will evolve, so we are considering three aspects:
- Safety precautions: How can we keep EPAMers safe?
- Business practices: What are the requirements from the client’s side? How are they responding to the current situation? What can we do to best meet their needs?
- Employee culture: How would EPAMers like to continue working, and what would be the best setup for them? How can we maintain the EPAM team spirit?
What are you looking for in a great candidate for EPAM?
Here in Romania—and it is similar in all countries we operate in—we're looking for candidates who are open-minded, collaborative, patient and technology-oriented. We want passionate technologists who are ready to make discoveries and work with world-class teams. We are looking for excellent professionals who act with integrity and are ambitious and reliable.
What unique opportunity does EPAM Romania provide its employees?
Employees have the opportunity to work in a strong, fast-growing technology company. We were named the top IT services company on the 2020 Fortune 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list—climbing an impressive 50 positions to #21. Here in Romania, you will join an innovative team and help build it from the ground up.
We invest in the professional and personal growth of our team. As an employee, you can choose from thousands of online courses on various learning platforms or register for mentoring programs across all areas of the business. We allow our people to have a chance to explore different projects in different industries or choose a new career path.
Right now, we are hiring everywhere in Romania. As EPAM Romania is operating virtually, any new team member will be fully remote for the time being. In the future, we plan to offer relocation options.
What positions are you hiring for?
Currently, we are hiring developers, testers, analysts, people with technical knowledge and consultants in the following roles:
- Java specialists
- Full stack developers
- DevOps specialists
- Cloud engineers
- Big data engineers
- QA automation engineers
- QA engineers
- Frontend developers
What’s next for EPAM Romania?
In 2021, we are planning to grow our workforce and clientele, so we can work with multiple industries. 2020 was challenging, but we have a solid base for EPAM Romania’s next steps and will continue to rigorously grow our business with interesting projects, great teams and new clients.
EPAM Romania presents an opportunity to work at a growing global tech company. It’s an opportunity for professional growth and personal development. This is how I want EPAM Romania to be seen—as an opportunity.
What is your single most important career advice you can give someone who joins EPAM?
Be curious! When you join EPAM, you get access to a plethora of opportunities—not only local but global as well. You’ll have an advantage of being part of a bigger and global EPAM team—that’s what I enjoy the most.
Interested in working at our EPAM Romania office? Visit epam.com/careers to apply today or get referred by someone you know at EPAM.