Constantin Popovici. Our goal is to support customers

Constantin Popovici, Regional Director of HUB Nord at maib, in an interview with journalist Pavel Zingan.

Constantin, hello. Personal manager positions for small and medium-sized businesses in regional HUBs started at maib in 2020. Have you been Regional Director of HUB Nord since the beginning of this process?

Yes, I have been working at maib since 2009, initially as the Director of the maib Edineț Branch. Later, I was asked to take over the management of the HUB.

What cities and districts are included in HUB North?

I know the answer to this question without even thinking about it - Lipcani, Briceni, Ocnița, Dondușeni, Edineț, Drochia, Glodeni, Bălți, Fălești, Sîngerei, Florești, Șoldănești, Rezina and Soroca.

Almost half the country! How have customers in the regions reacted to the changes in how personal managers are assigned and attend to customers? It's easy for you to answer this question, given your extensive experience working with customers before creating the HUB

Indeed, customers have reacted positively to these changes. We all appreciate the personal attention and individual approach. In addition, the information management and decision-making process has immediately accelerated, which is essential for customers.

How big is the HUB Nord team?

It counts six people with over ten years of banking experience. Therefore, I've had someone to rely on right from the start. The team's expertise is extensive, and discussing different issues and situations helps us grow and develop our skills.

Practice is the best teacher?

Practice helps us to understand our customers' needs. But when we talk about training, I'd also like to mention the training given by our colleagues in the back office. These allow us to understand the features and benefits of our new products, whose development has accelerated in recent years and is dictated by trends and the market.

What are the main sectors of the HUB portfolio companies?

About half of our portfolio is made up of companies in the agribusiness sector, which, of course, greatly determines the specifics of our business. In recent years, agriculture has faced many difficulties, and many agricultural businesses need financial support and a flexible approach that considers the real challenges and problems. Our mission is to support the customer, so we look at each situation individually.

What do you think about the trends of 2024? How was the first quarter?

The dynamics are positive. Our portfolio is up about 20% compared to the previous year, so there's reason to celebrate, but it's too early to relax. We have significant growth planned for this year, and given the preponderance of agricultural businesses in our portfolio, growth will take work. However, we are determined to meet the challenges, all the more so as we now have more freedom and flexibility in our decision-making. When we talk about supporting innovation, maib is first.

Examples stick in our minds most easily

One notable example of our commitment to sustainability is our funding program for alternative energy sources, including photovoltaic parks. We recently granted a loan to construct a 1-megawatt photovoltaic park in Bilicenii Noi based solely on forecasts. This decision reflects our understanding of the importance of developing green energy and our willingness to support such initiatives.

Last question: how do customers in the regions react to the digitisation of banking processes?

Time is one of the most precious resources, so digitising financial services is crucial in increasing business efficiency. Customers understand this, and our businesses are moving towards digitisation.

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