Andrian Muntean's Success Story: The Director of the Gamaiun Company and a Member of Grafit Holding's Board of Directors.
Today's #successtory interview was taken from the director of the Gamaiun company and a member of Grafit Holding's board of directors, Andrian Muntean. With over 15 years of experience in banking sector and an overall huge experience in project launching and managing, Andrian has become a reliable strand of the company in 2018 having reinforced our team. We found out how and why he left the world of finances, how to get on to the board of directors, what to do with the migration of the youth, and what exactly is Gamaiun.
Tell about yourself and your career before Grafit Holding.
I have two economic degrees: "Banking and Stock Exchange" and "Accounting and Auditing." When I was young, I used to read a lot of books about finances and was quite enthusiastic about the topic. This is why I knew that I wanted to deal with the finances well before going to the university.

Before joining Grafit Holding, I spent 15 years working in the banking sector of Moldova. I started my career in Moldova Agroindbank where I grew to become the Deputy Head of Department. In 2008, I received a proposal from MobiasBanca (that was part of the famous Société Générale financial group) to lead their project management department. That was a very tempting offer, so I agreed to it. For the next 7 years, I fully dedicated myself to the development and integration of Mobias' new projects, having often going on business trips to Romania and France where I learned from experience of my foreign colleagues.

However, in 2015, I decided to leave the bank to do consulting. During that period, Serghei Suruceanu – the head of Grafit Holding – was one of my customers. With him, we developed the idea of combining support services for major projects: the result was the formation of the Mteam project in 2016. Two years after the project launch, I was working with the company as a consultant, helping it line up Mteam's work processes. A bit later, I was offered to become part of the company and become the head of the Gamaiun management project. This is how I started my path in Grafit Holding.
Why have you decided to leave the banking sector?
I always had – and still have – an innate need to implement new and ambitious tasks. Having spent 15 years working in the banking sector, I understood that many projects had become quasistandard, were developing in the same way, so I lacked the drive. I needed a complex task with multiple unknowns that I would puzzle over, figuring the ways to launch and develop a project, turning it into a complete product or service. The thing I was doing in the financial sector for a long time was standardizing, has become a routine and stopped bringing me pleasure.

I needed a new challenge, so I decided to move on to the area of consulting and project management.
What does the Gamaium project that you lead do?
Gamaiun is Grafit Holding's managing company that contributes to the effective work of the projects. We are implementing various initiatives that are directed towards the holding's long-term development: managerial, financial, administrative, and educational.

Holding's financial operations are going through our team. We are ensuring the correctness of financial flows to hit the set business targets. Also, we identify the successful experience in various projects and implement it on the entire holding level.
Why do you need the board of directors and how do you get into it?
First of all, the board of directors takes care of Grafit Holding's strategic development. Our priority is neither today nor now, but the arrangement of the holding's non-stop development for the next 3-5-7 years.

Secondly, this is an organ that facilitates the integration of projects into an integral whole. This allows us to combine the knowledge and experience acquired in private projects and adapt them for the entire holding both in Moldova and abroad.

It's hard to get into the board of directors but it's still possible. The board's composition is defined by voting held by Grafit Holding's founding shareholders. Any founder can propose a member into the board of directors, while other founders have to make the decision.
Why do you like your job?
Business is an intellectual game that never grows old. It always includes new projects, ideas, and you have to think, change, and move onwards in order to implement them. This is what motivates me.

I developed such attitude towards business and figures when I was in the high school. At that time, mathematics was my favorite subject and I spent my free time on solving the most complicated problems beyond school curriculum. Throughout almost my entire career I was dealing with integrating something: bank cards, products, or processes. I always long for new tasks, because solving them helps changing the world for the better.
Business is an intellectual game that never grows old. It always includes new projects, ideas, and you have to think, change, and move onwards in order to implement them. This is what motivates me.
2020 was a tricky year. What does the holding wat for in the future? How will it affect Moldova in general?
Unfortunately, one of our country's main financial flows is coming from the migrants that work abroad. The coronavirus situation decreases the possibility of earning money in Europe, going there, or transferring money to Moldova. There will be consequences but, hopefully, not the worst ones.

Speaking of the holding, 2020 was a good stress resistance test for us. Our advantage is that we aren't focused on one market, so we don't depend just on Italy or Germany. If we don't succeed in one country, we can succeed in another.

2020 was also crucial for us: several startups showed a significant growth as compared to the previous years. I believe that 2021 is going to be even better as the projects have learned to cope with this temporary discomfort.
Do you have any room for your own self between the job and the family?
In my free time, I read a lot, listen to music. I can listen to hard rock as well as the music of various nations of the world. I love jazz. It all depends on my mood.

I'm reading Robert Cialdini's behavioral psychology, Vladimir Tarasov's books on management. I finished Harari's "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" – great book. As for fiction, I would mention Lyon Feuchtwanger. Also, I'd recommend to check out the American writer Carlos Castaneda. At the moment, I have Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" opened in my e-book reader.
Where would you go first of all as soon as the pandemic comes to an end?
I would love to go to a lot of places, for example, even to Romania that is located very close, but still has places I've never visited. I want to visit Italy and go to Spain one more time. There are many interesting places that I'd love to go to, but the most important thing at the moment is that pandemic ends as soon as possible.
Is it possible to stop youth migration from Moldova and what does Grafit do for this cause?
I believe that migration is a normal process that has always been happening. From our end, we are continuing to create comfortable conditions for work in Moldova, so that our fellow citizen would want to stay at home and wouldn't have to leave it looking for a better life.

Grafit Holding is doing everything that's necessary: from an office building in the center of the city to gym and internal language school memberships. This year, all employees that have been with us for more than three years are going to receive access to a free medical examination in Medpark. During the first wave of the pandemic, we paid laboratory coronavirus tests for all employees and were providing them with an opportunity to work distantly in the isolation period. Besides, we made an agreement with the bank regarding mortgage loan issuance to our employees on very favorable terms. It's important to us that our workers feel themselves at least as good as residents of Germany or France.

We want to show our fellow citizens that it's possible to build a successful career, live comfortable, and earn good money in Moldova and that they can go abroad just on business trips or vacations.
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