Success story: the SovaMax CEO — Viorica Sirbu
Our today's #successstory heroine is Viorica Sirbu, the CEO for SovaMax. We found out how here career growth in Grafit started, what challenges she encountered, and how should one solve work conflicts.
What is your name and position?
My name is Viorica Sirbu, I am a part of the big Grafit Holding family, working as the CEO for the SovaMax project.
Where did you study and what were you doing before joining Grafit?
I graduated from the Alecu Russo University in Balti, Faculty of Foreign Languages: German and English languages in a group of translators. After that, I managed to spend a year in Germany, about 6 months in Austria, and 3 years in France. It was a very pleasant experience, I made a lot of new acquaintances, changed many views of life, and adopted good practices. It was truly great!

My experience of working abroad started through the Au Pair cultural exchange program that supposes living with a local family in exchange for babysitting and helping with household tasks. I managed to see the world with my own eyes and draw conclusions based on rich experience. Before long, I returned to Moldova and started working as an administrator in a luxurious hotel at the time. One month later, I decided to change my job and got hired into Mox Telecom, a German company.

In 2010, a friend told me, "Come to Grafit, it's good in here, they pay on time, they have a good schedule and a very interesting work." I came to the interview that had two stages with two different people. I learned new technical terminology that I've never encountered before. And the only thing I knew about Xerox is that you could make a copy for several coins. J But I told myself: look, there are people working in here and they are young, too. If they manage, I can do it as well. I simply indulged in wishful thinking. J A few days after the interview, I got a "Yes!"

At first, I worked as a sales representative on the Belgian market, then I became the head of Benelux and soon was working with the German market, as well. In 2012, I became a manager of a wonderful team. After a while, I was promoted to become the sales department vice president, and in 2017 I became the CEO of the wonderful SovaMax project.
Was it a rough path?
If you want to achieve something, not only should you want it very bad, but put all your efforts into it. Was it rough… Perhaps, it could be difficult, but when it's not interesting to you and you don't want it J But when you do want it, you like everything, you give your entire self, and you go farther and farther, ultimately achieving your goal. Of course, I had to work, I had to work a lot. When I had a free evening, I preferred to look for new suppliers and close deals. I can still remember, how excited I was to tell my parents about my new job J In other words, I enjoyed working!
Hobbies?
I'm trying to find time for sports because it's necessary to support yourself in terms of a good and healthy shape.

Previously, when I had a bit more time, I used to read a lot. Today, I feel a big need in that and am trying to find at least some time for reading. I love to cook :)
What were the challenges you encountered while working with the team?
I'll tell you about the very last challenge – the quarantine. It was new to us – everyone had to work from home. Besides the fact that it was a total lockdown, we still had to keep on working, being productive, and bringing revenue. If there's no revenue, there's no company, and it didn't seem like a great perspective for all of us to remain without money and the workplace. I clearly remember that tension that both I and my colleagues felt. But again, we united and managed to deal with it. Due to the solidarity and persistence, me and my team achieved good results even during the quarantine.
What helped you to become an effective manager?
It all accumulated with experience. I always say that practice beats theory. When you have life experience, a lot of things happen intuitively.

Besides, by joining Grafit, I was fortunate to learn and adopt decent experience from Olga Maxim. She taught us a lot of things. She is a perfect leader with exceptional features!

And, of course, last but not least – it's the ambitiousness and lack of fear to set big goals for yourself.
I always say that practice beats theory. When you have life experience, a lot of things happen intuitively.
How do you resolve conflicts?
We try not to have them first of all J Personally, I am not a confrontational person and I'm sure that there's always a possibility to sit down and discuss everything. Figuring out the root of the problem and understanding the goal, i.e. the thing we want to achieve by that and where we want to get are principal here. Everything else is a matter of negotiations.

Besides, I consider myself a very happy manager. I am surrounded by very wise and intelligent colleagues, with whom we can solve any conflict.
What did Grafit teach you?
You know, Bilan has a song that goes something like, "impossible is possible" :) This is exactly what Grafit is good at teaching and proving that everything indeed is like that. A lot of things depend on us, personally, and on our desire to succeed. Don't betray your dreams! Be yourself and never give up! Grafit supports its people in this. You will find understanding and support in here.

In addition to all the benefits offered by Grafit – and there are quite a few of them, - the company makes sure that every person feels comfortable. In other words, that they feel better than just at some work. This includes constant growth and the support from colleagues, managers, and the entire holding.
Is Grafit a family or colleagues? Does the work affect your family?
I am a team player and am absolutely convinced that only together we can achieve success. Either way, the concept of a team gradually permeates the concept of a family of people with the same values and goals. Besides, we spend more time at work than with families.

Does the work affect the family? Of course it does, but only in a positive way. I have a very wise and kind husband, with whom we made very correct decisions that helped us to get organized to make sure everyone is happy. I am very grateful to him for his support. Our children are attending a kindergarten and they like it in there :) So, everyone is doing their favorite thing. In the evening we get together at home – inspired and happy.
What do you need to achieve success in SovaMax?
First of all, you need the desire: the desire to work and succeed. It's necessary to set clear goals and move towards them without looking back and giving in to doubts!
It's necessary to set clear goals and move towards them without looking back and giving in to doubts!
Why is it cool to work in the Grafit Holding team in 2022?
The holding offers constant growth and development, always opening new opportunities and new projects. This is a live organism that evolves continuously. Each one, who wants to develop a startup, has all the chances to do it at our company. I've never met and don't know any other team that would be more motivated, that would support you in everything you have on your mind, and that takes care of each employee.

The holding has an ecological, "green" direction. Even if projects differ, each has a different product, we all have one "green" mission – to save the planet from overproduction and give the product a second chance at finding a home. This aspect gained a more pronounced meaning, especially in relation to the pandemic. And I am very proud that we, at Grafit, make a big contribution to the stable development.
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