Meet the CxO – Cristi Săvescu, COO mWARE
Coming from Focșani, Cristi Săvescu is the COO of mWARE. Having 28 years old, he is one of the most promising Romanian entrepreneurs. Soon after he was flunked in math in 6th grade, he discovered a passion for mathematics that didn’t stop, not even today. Now he is a COO for the first company in Romania that took the concept of big data to a new level.
Tell us a few words about how your company started
Our company started in 2007, with the idea to build a consultancy company for Oracle Middleware technology. At that time, this particular technology was just being adopted by the market, thus we focused our attention on helping companies in Romania and Middle East to adhere at this technology. We understood very well the markets, and we could easily win clients and develop our firm. In 2012, things changed in our shareholders, and we moved our attention from Middle East to Europe, while keeping Romania as the main base for our firm. Starting with 2013, we started to develop a big data product and to this day we invest a lot in the R&D. We invested in research, innovation and the construction of this product, and right now we are the only ones in Romania that have a big data platform that can be integrated and its compatible with products from Oracle, IBM and Microsoft, to name a few.
What drives you each day?
I am a business man formed in ICT so having a firm with state of the art consultants is for me the dream I wanted to achieve. The idea of a business where we can innovate, where we bring real value to the market and to our customers, is what united us in the first place. We always try to foresee the needs of our consumers. Name it trends, if you want to, but what we do is far more powerful, as we don’t focus on something ephemeral, but on changes that affect the very core of our customers’ business, that brings positive changes to their modus operandi and brings a new philosophy in their company.
When we started to shape our ideas and develop the big data product back in 2013, I remember there wasn’t all this hype around the concept that you see nowadays. We are, practically, the pioneers in Romania on big data, and we sit at the table with big companies because our products can deliver real solutions to real needs, that maybe not even they can cover.
What do you believe are the 3 main accomplishments that brought you here today?
First of all, the fact that I managed to gather around me people with whom I could built a business, completely different from the common idea of a corporate company with strict rules and so on. Mainly because our core idea was to build around the idea of performance and delivering competence and, in the same time, fight for our employees, to keep them close and loyal.
Second of all, the desire to constantly deliver quality. For that, we had two very clear directions: 1) market and technology analysis, so we could have a good prognosis on what will be used in the future, and 2) deliver high-end products that can cover a constant flux of quality validation, no matter the cost, so that the consumer can be satisfied with our services and software.
Third I can say perseverance and consistency. Every entrepreneur had its ups and downs, bankruptcy, unpaid projects or that led to a dead end. Despite all this, you have to persevere and be consistent in your work, because if you don’t, that will affect your business and your employees on the long term.
What do you believe are the main failures that brought you here today?
I had some partnerships in businesses that I shouldn’t have been a part of. This is the main failure that an entrepreneur can have – going in a business that he doesn’t know. Starting a random business with 2 friends, there are not so many success stories. At least one of you has to know the market you want to enter. I tried to be part of something cool, like a shop, a restaurant, a bar, stuff like that, but it didn’t work, not in my case. Everything I accomplished was through ICT.
Also, I was flunked out at Math in sixth grade. Starting with seventh grade and until the end of high school, I was an Olympic in Math, and that became my principal driver, it became a passion for me.
Do you ever disconnect from the office? How?
My life is structured in three areas – business, recreational where I’m doing sports, and mathematics, a passion that follows me until today. I am still active in Olympic math commissions, I’m invited to math competitions where I recommend problems and so on. This is still one of my biggest passions up until this day and I don’t see it end very soon.
Education – Classic or alternative?
There are many things that Romanian education lacks in my vision, especially that I am still connected to it. First of all, I truly believe that education should be taken more serious. Not in the rigors that are in this moment, because I do not believe in the multidisciplinary education. For example, because I was a math Olympic I had some benefits in school, like being left alone by the other teachers, but in the same time besides math, my grades at other disciplines were quite low, as a result for not studying as thorough as my other classmates. Being serious is finding what or trying to find what you like to learn. And focus on that.
Second of all, the way the education is made now, is quite ubiquitous and that’s wrong. The world we live in does not need people with a vast general knowledge. We are in the situation where we have lots of graduates with straight A’s but a big problem in finding a job. Despite their general knowledge, an employer in my area of expertise, is looking for intelligence and perseverance, and doing your job very well, I want see the employee is a human being, not a robot.
Now tell us more about the business you are running. Let’s start with the clients you currently work on.
We have clients in the public and private sector. When it comes for the public sector, we work for the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Financial Supervision Authority, Competition Council, European Commission and others. For this clients our projects are mainly on middleware like portals, interoperability, SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), integration or modernization of old systems.
As clients in the private sector, we have Erste Bank, Telekom, Metnet and Amplexor, among others. For example, we are now working on a big data system for medical purposes. We want to come with an extensive platform of hospital management system that integrates the big data. Its purpose is to suggest treatments by taking in consideration the patient’s medical history and symptoms. Obviously, the final decision belongs to the doctor, but what we want to do in this project, as well as in all of our projects, is to create the necessary tools for the client so that we can aid and support him. We take the big data, which is a huge pile of information, stocked, and we add very intelligent algorithms that cover the quality of the artificial act of thinking. Thus the solution for our clients have a quantitative part, like big data, and a qualitative part, as we use neural networks that are very similar to the human act of thinking.
What is your most beloved project you worked on?
The most beloved project is a digital work space that we made for Amplexor and its still in progress. It’s a very long project, that we built, and now it ramifies functionally. It is a platform that wants to completely transform the traditional intranet, thus in any organization, any individual, can log in and find the information that he needs. It is extremely complex because it focuses on the employee.
The whole system is based on Oracle technology. The architecture of the project was made in almost a year by me and Amplexor’s architect, and its implementation lasted two more years. A great project, that I love being part of because it can structure any organization. Unfortunately, it’s very expensive to adhere at this platform, because it can be used by companies that work in retail, production, aerospace, you name it. Being this complex, the costs are very high, only the Oracle technology was 500,000 Euro.
What project forced you be creative and innovative?
The big data product. The most innovative by far. Its where we pushed our limits. Anytime a new idea was on the table, we had to take it to the extreme, see how it ramifies, how its projected in the market, in the clients’ needs and especially how much we need to work to make it happen.
What was/is the biggest struggle?
I can’t find workforce compatible with our spirit. First of all, because there is no competent workforce. Being member of mWARE doesn’t mean you have to know Java, Oracle or big data, but to be very intelligent, open and have a positive attitude. Everything can be learned, regardless of the technology. For example, we got taught by time and experience that the technology you know now, in a few years, it won’t matter as much, because the technological advancements are very fast and, sometimes, a new one can make an old completely useless. We want to see that you are opened to learn. Unfortunately, people are in search of quick money. In the same time the corporations came and employed a lot of people on big salaries and thus destroyed any sort of rush in our junior staff, and the worst part is that the best chose to leave the country. Finding good people to employ became harder, but I remain positive.
What is your advice for a young entrepreneur
You must never do things for money. You must do them because you like it. And I’m saying this from my experience. Every time I tried to do something for money, I failed miserably and when I did because I loved the project, the money was coming. So you must never look after money if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.
The most important advice is – take good care of your people, your employees. If it wasn’t for the people in mWARE, I would be nothing. Maybe not even a developer. I would literally have problems in finding work. So let’s not forget about the employees and I’m not saying this demagogically. They are the heart and core of any company.
What do you want to accomplish in the future?
We want to expand and to sell more. We do not plan on the long term. The most important thing for us is to have a bigger presence on the international market, to create a new and complementary product for our big data solution, and to make all of our products more intuitive. One good example are the Apple products. We truly want our platforms to be more and more intuitive and easy to use, so that any user can find everything he wants, whenever he wants.
Smart Alliance – Innovation Technology Cluster
Why did you join Smart Alliance – Innovation Technology Cluster?
A very good friend of mine who’s a founding member and also in the board of directors, presented me the idea of the cluster and its purpose. After a thorough analysis we decided that we should be part of Smart Alliance and I can’t say there are lots of things we regret. Obviously, we had our ups and downs, but I’m very positive about the following period.
How does it benefit your company?
The internal synergy with partners from the cluster and undoubtedly sharing on the clients. I like the fact that we take innovation to a new level, because when we are creating solutions that we deliver together, especially when it comes to heterogeneous technologies, we can bring to the table a product that can be seen as good as the ones from the big players, if not better.
How do you see the evolution of the cluster?
I started to be more involved in the cluster, as my vision is strictly on innovation and improving the education. The latter is extremely important, because by improving the educational act, we can have resources that can help us with fresh and new ideas, vision, passion, that we could use to in research and development. We need them because we want to make better products and to help them grow so that they too can create products, when their time will come.
Having an in-depth knowledge of the customers’ issues, anticipating technological trends and boldly and decidedly assuming innovation represent the foundation of our vision and we approach all projects accordingly. We like to think of ourselves as a small science and research laboratory – very determined and passionate about the Big Data challenges, which we consider essential for society’s and organisations’ thriving and development in the future.