We are back with our focus on Neomobilers! This month we share an interview with one of our HR professionals who recently started a new chapter in Neomobile as Site leader in our office in Belgrade: that’s exactly the demonstration of how the role of HR professionals is evolving, embracing new paths and horizons

Say hello to Carlo Duronio!

You are in Neomobile since 7 months, but you approached the company many years ago! How did you begin working in the Company?

It’s a funny story. I tried to join Neomobile since 2011, but there never was the right opportunity for me (in a certain moment I was thinking I will be sued for stalking 🙂 ). In 2013 i renounced, and then, after 1 year, I was contacted directly by Enrica Lipari, Neomobile’s People Director. I can clearly remember that day, I was in the garden of the old company, totally surprised, excited and incredulous. Then I had to wait the follow-up of the process for some months and in the meantime I have been interviewed by almost all People guys. I had also the opportunity to meet Gianluca D’Agostino, Neomobile’s Co-Founder and now Onebip’s CEO: I felt like a little child in front of a Rock star 🙂 . In the same moment I received 3 different job offers from 3 companies (one of these was a really huge and famous multinational company), but I didn’t have any doubt about my choice: Neomobile! It was a “dream come true” for me, I was (and I am still) sure that this could be the right company for me, where I will have the opportunity to learn and grow up in a funny, fast-paced environment. All my expectations became reality!

What is your role and how it changed during these months?

I was hired as HR Sr specialist with the objective to handle Horizontal Projects and HR Process Development but soon People team reorganized itself, so I came back covering the beloved role of HR Partner for Tech and EU countries. This role is strongly aligned with my work approach and with my nature, so it was not a traumatic change, I love my job under all points of view. During these months my job has been hard and very satisfying at the same time, it gave me the chance to go deep inside business and understand all process’ in details.

Then in October I started this new role of Site Leader for the Serbia Office in Belgrade. It’s something brand new for me: I had previous experiences in 360° management but I have to say that this represents a great challenge for me, that I really love, I confess. So now I am in charge not only of HR but also of Finance, Administration, Office management, etc. in a moment in which Neomobile is going to implement a strong business revolution worldwide, that involves also Serbia. I feel really proud for the trust that the Top Management has shown me, I have a lot of responsibilities but I love to be out of my comfort zone. Actually I was not expecting all this changes in few months, but “Everything changes and, somewhere along the line, I’m changing with it.”

As an HR Professional, what is the added value of such experience?

If I think back, I feel so lucky to have had 7 years of experience in very different companies. Even if my objective was often to remain in the same company for a long time, so many times for reasons not related to me I had to change jobs. I’ve never stopped working during these years, so I “surfed” through all kinds of companies in different markets: digital, e-commerce, TV, retail, no-profit, manufacturing, etc. I also lived the experience of working in a very small environments (like 8 people) as well as in very huge company (130000 employees). So I observed different cultures, processes, environments, habits, official and unofficial “way-to-do-things”, and always with different company languages. These gave me an open mind attitude and a changing work approach. I saw what are good things that can inspire new ideas and the bad things that should be avoided, both in small and huge companies.

In addition, I saw the business world from different perspectives: the small company trying to receive money from customers for a small invoice in a short time, as well as companies able to spend huge amounts for a high-risk investment without any fear, so I learnt also the real meaning of the word “relativity”.

Considering Serbia’s growing IT sector, its multicultural mindset, and skilled young people, the country has definitely a great potential: how do you see it?   

I knew there was a really important potential in this country, first of all for skills. Then I confirmed that this potential is true: these guys have got amazing advanced skills and, overall, their professional determination is something we have to share all over the world. In Serbia people of 24-25 years old, newly graduated, are ready to join the labor market, something that in Italy, for example, is quite impossible. I observed this fact specifically in IT: I attended the “Coding Serbia” Conference 1 month ago and I realized that a lot of tech guys all around Belgrade and Novi Sad are strongly involved in very active IT communities, organizing a lot of events based not only on specific coding, but also very focused on Agile methodologies and new business models.

Anyway, we don’t have to go outside of our office to see brilliant professionals. In Belgrade office we have amazing colleagues with an important background, able to switch from one topic to another without issues, strongly passionate for digital and e-business, always full of new ideas and determined to reach their goals. Yes, this potential is AMAZING!

Describe a typical day in Belgrade: meetings, daily activities, social breaks…how is the environment?

The daily rhythms are a bit different than the rest of the offices I visited, due to work habits and Serbian labor laws: all guys here have breaks during the day, but the typical Italian “lunch-break” is not part of their habits. And I am adapting to this, and it improves my weight :). Considering the nature of different business in place here, the rhythm is very high and continuous: we have always people in the office from 09.00 to 21.00 during the week and also during weekend, because of CC operators shifts. It seems an office with different companies inside, due to the different nature of the Serbian guys’ jobs. And it’s really funny, because they have the opportunity to talk to each other continuously sharing their experiences, so everyone is able to understand what the others are doing. Overall they are very united and above all very very kind. From my 1st day here I felt at home, they are always taking care of my stay in Belgrade, just like a family.      

What is your take on Agile methodology, that Neomobile is currently implementing in processes and business to be always on top?

In my previous experience I already got in contact with Kaizen approach, but it was in a manufacturing industry so only a few practices were similar to the Agile ones (just the stand-up meeting, called “tier meeting”, and some other). So I had to study a lot to begin changing my natural waterfall mindset. As you can understand, being HR and facilitate Agile is really complicated sometimes, because we have to revolutionize radically what we have studied and practiced for decades. So, all business books and practices become old and, using Agile slang, messages could be “dystonic”. Due to my Tech department partnership, my switch to Agile mindset was almost mandatory, because I had to match the old waterfall business model to the oncoming Agilization of almost all company’s departments. So, I just had to connect 2 separated and very far mindsets in a changing moment for everybody in Neomobile…but always aiming to reach the right balance and, above all, never forgetting the business goals! If I have to imagine myself in this role, I could be represented by an “acrobat” running on a wire and balancing with my two hands two enormous angry moving gorillas. I have a lot if imagination…I know!

 What do you love most about your job?

Easy to say: it’s a matter of matching human side and business, supporting people that are all together oriented to reach the same goal. That’s it, I know that behind this quick sentence there is an entire world, but this represents the best short and complete explanation.

What do you like about Neomobile and what would you recommend to those who want to work in our company?

I like the fact that here is really possible to have fun working, and to work having real fun. I work really a lot because I love my job and my job environment, but it’s not something hard for me. Confucio said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

If you would like to join Neomobile, I strongly suggest to be curious, open to changes and fast in learning. If you remain linked to old job world, to manuals, to books, to everything that is “standard”, ok…maybe we are not the right company for you: we are here to make the revolution and each one of us is here to make a difference, not to walking well-known streets. Be passionate and brave, only in this way you will make a difference. And, last but not least (not only in Neomobile but in your way)… please: study, acquire and maintain always a strong “P.M.A.” (positive mental attitude – editor’s note)

Finally, don’t miss any of our interviews: from tech colleagues to young professionals who country-rotated around the world…click here!