Bogdan Pismicenco, Kaspersky Romania: “The region we are covering from Bucharest is thriving business wise”
“I am privileged to work with excellent specialists in the company, who are very focused on their own self development and self-improvement all the time, cause otherwise it would be difficult to keep up or anticipate the moves of cyber criminals,” Bogdan Pismicenco, Country Manager Kaspersky Romania, Bulgaria, and Republic of Moldova, told The Diplomat-Bucharest. “Staying ahead of the game is our day-to-day job.
I am, however, particularly pleased that the team we have in Romania is growing and that the region we are covering from Bucharest – which includes Bulgaria and Republic of Moldova is thriving business wise.”
What do you think will be the main business drivers for business growth in your company in 2021?
The accelerated digitalization of companies has already been the main business driver for our company. The generalized migration towards online has also given new ideas to the cybercriminals, as well as new opportunities for scheming, extorting and harassing companies and professionals. The value of the data we carry on our computers has increased vastly in the past 10 months and most of us were not prepared to deal with this safely. At Kaspersky, right now we have a double challenge – to supply companies with the much-needed cyber security solutions and to train their people to stay alert to any suspicious activities. The dangers of the online world are more insidious and subtle, and we need to learn to defend and protect ourselves as quickly as we can.
This double challenge has kept us busy all of last year and we are fairly confident most of 2021 will be similar, with growing cyber-criminal activity and an increased need for security.
Will we assist to a Great Reset-oriented strategy in business or returning to business-as-usual?
To us it is business unusual, meaning that all our activities have intensified and moved to our most familiar territory – online. So, whether the world will reset or not at the end of the pandemic, we still expect to be there and do our jobs, because one thing is certain, the advancements of online are not going to be reverted once the world has a cure to COVID. Those are here to stay.
What is the flag-ship project of 2020 in your company?
There were many successful projects in 2020, and it’s hard to name a particular one as it depends on the criteria (revenue, quantity, challenges, etc.). But I would say that our dearest one was the partnership between Kaspersky & Telekom Romania, The Online Park (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGi–yWIOJw, https://www.telekom.ro/kaspersky-safe-kids/). A partnership meant to promote our parental control software, Kaspersky Safe Kids, among all families in Romania. It’s my favourite choice as, besides its commercial side, it also included a social component to educate all children and parents on how to safely use all digital resources available today, especially the Internet.
What kind of workspace culture & values is to be consolidated in your company in 2021?
We are an international team, so we have been working remote and cooperating via online conf calls for a long time. From this perspective – of workspace and culture – little will change. The pandemic consolidated our values and culture in as much as we realised how important it was for us that we did not have to adjust all of a sudden to a new style of work, that we were well prepared for WFH and we were well positioned to continue our operations seamlessly. Last year and this year as well we advised our clients on the benefits and pitfalls of remote work and we could do so by leveraging an experience of several years, not just ten months.
What is a manager’s role and skills in order to maintain and enhance a team’s cohesion?
Communication, empathy, trust, and authenticity. All of them are pretty much self-explanatory. We cannot function as teams if we do not communicate. We need to be more than empathic – compassionate in this day and age – because the pandemic is hitting hard and in places where you least expect it. I guess many managers have found themselves acting as coaches lately, working hard at maintaining the focus and the morale of their teams in uncertain times.
What kind of skills and capabilities need to be improved in your company / team in 2021?
I am privileged to work with excellent specialists in the company, who are very focused on their own self development and self-improvement all the time, cause otherwise it would be difficult to keep up or anticipate the moves of cyber criminals. Staying ahead of the game is our day-to-day job.
I am, however, particularly pleased that the team we have in Romania is growing and that the region we are covering from Bucharest – which includes Bulgaria and Republic of Moldova is thriving business wise.
In term of general business & teams’ core-values, which are your 3 power words for 2021?
Agility, responsibility, and speed. We are cyber warriors, so we need to be quick and innovative in relationship with our adversaries, and we cultivate responsibility towards our customers.