In another #Call4.0Leaders interview, Business Review sat down with Mustafa Tiftikcioglu, CEO of Garanti BBVA, to talk about the company’s approach to the four main trends of the new reality: resilience and sustainability, human-machine balance, organizational agility, and co-opetition.
- What projects have you undertaken in the past year to make your business operations more sustainable and resilient?
The theme of sustainability is gaining more and more importance in the world, as well as in Romania. And that’s fine, because sustainability is no longer an option but a must.
Therefore, sustainability is one of Garanti BBVA’s five strategic priorities, in line with our assumed role as an important contributor to inclusive, environmental, economic and social development. As a bank, we can act as a financier for a greener economy, but also share our knowledge, foster cooperation with external stakeholders and use our influence in society to raise awareness and achieve results in promoting of sustainable development.
Therefore, to become more sustainable, we have taken some measures at the company level, including selective collection and efficient use of electricity. In addition, we have developed our offer by adding financial products that contribute to the protection of the environment, such as Casa Eco, a green loan granted to individuals for the acquisition of green residential units certified as such by the Romanian Council of green building.
We also apply a hybrid work model, which helps reduce the carbon footprint of our employees as they do not have to commute to work every day.
In addition, our organization will continue to mobilize its human and intellectual capital as well as its financial capital to support responsible and sustainable development, one of our strategic objectives.
I firmly believe that we all have a moral obligation to migrate towards sustainable choices, which help preserve the environment for future generations.
- How do you strike the right balance between smart machines and human intelligence in the new business reality of accelerated automation and digitization?
Indeed, we live in an age of a mixed workforce, where smart machines and humans combine to accelerate business success. Yet we need to find that balance to deliver the best products and experiences to our customers.
Now that we have increasingly capable robots and artificial intelligence (AI) systems capable of taking on tasks that were previously reserved for humans, it is easier than ever for organizations to operate intelligent machines. .
As for the banking system, technology is also becoming increasingly important, especially in the context where, in recent years, more and more customers are opting for digital and easy-to-access solutions. Additionally, the pandemic has accelerated the digital rush.
However, I believe that the importance of the human factor in a bank will not diminish, because customers always want to have someone to talk to about the challenges they face, to listen to the ideas of others and to understand them. And a true team of professionals possess not only knowledge, skills, energy and creativity, but also humanity and empathy, and can make clients feel like they are in good hands. hands.
This type of advice cannot be provided by robots, but only by dedicated and empathetic employees. Therefore, the human touch will remain essential to build trust.
- Are flatter, more agile structures better equipped to succeed in the new reality than their more traditional, rigid counterparts? How would you describe your organization in this respect?
Quick access to critical information in a timely manner is very important for decision makers in any business these days. Therefore, a lean and collaborative business model is crucial to avoid bottlenecks and working in silos. In addition, it promotes innovation and constructive debate. While the banking sector can sometimes be seen as rigid due to the number of rules and regulations we follow, I believe that Garanti BBVA promotes a very constructive collaboration between the different departments. This allows us to be agile in our processes and to deploy solutions very quickly.
- Is the business world moving from a competitive mindset to a coopetitive mindset? How integrated is your company in this respect and what can you tell us about the partnerships you have made with other organisations?
As defined, coopetition is a business strategy in which competitors enter into collaborative partnerships.
At Garanti BBVA, we examine this concept with interest, especially since researchers point out several advantages resulting from coopetition, such as the stimulation of partner innovations, the development of technology, obtaining complementary resources, the entry in new markets and the creation of new products. .
Additionally, we have seen extraordinary developments resulting from coopetition, especially in the technology industry and healthcare, so we are not ruling out this opportunity in the future. After all, any option that helps us diversify our products and services to better meet customer needs is worth considering.