Interview with Cristina Stanciu

17 April 2023

We have worked together for more than 10 years, and last year you made a career change. What is Sun Wave Pharma?

Sun Wave Pharma is the No. 1 Nutraceutical company in Romania, with nature-based products in the portfolio which help to increase the patients’ quality of life and support a healthy life - regardless of age. We have 420 employees and 9 strategic divisions, and we are already present in Bulgaria and Serbia and developing in other CEE markets.

Can you share some thoughts about your professional experience?

My experience in HR is over 20 years. I  started my career in an engineering business in 2001 and later I moved to the IT industry as part of the HR department of IBM Romania. In 2010 I joined an FMCG business as their HR Manager for Beiersdorf Romania & Bulgaria. Last year I joined Sun Wave Pharma taking on the challenge of leading a complex HR department at a moment of internal transformation, both from the leadership point of view and also from the cultural perspective. Our efforts in the Management Team are about transforming the company from a local one, a private equity with private ownership, to a modern, upskilled regional business, with processes and procedures, with Digital infrastructure, with transparent and fair decisions and responsible and compliant practices towards the market and laws. We are also working to redirect the company’s culture towards more collaboration between teams, promoting more empowerment and a personal growth mindset. We invest a lot in people development and in adopting new modern working tools and benefits, as well as shifting the employee’s perception from ‘What’s in it for me?” to “How can I contribute?”.

Could you name some projects you are proud of?

With employees all over the country, and often their manager in another city, the integration of new colleagues came as a challenge. My team has initiated a very well-structured onboarding process for our newly joined  Medical Reps. We have implemented, together with the Area Sales Managers, a clear process and tasks that are to be done in each week for the first 3 months, including Welcome Box, Induction, learning materials, meeting the colleagues in the headquarters, feedback, discussions, buddies – all meant to create smooth integration and a great Employee experience and journey. The first months are the most difficult ones for the new employees – often they think that they don’t understand anything, they will never be able to do it, maybe this was a mistake and so on. When the leadership and the organization are close to that employee, helping and supporting them, integrating them into the team, those challenges are more easily overcome, and you end up having a positive, long collaboration.

What do you value when recruiting?

When I am involved, I look for honest people, full of energy and ideas with the ability to implement them. I’m a big believer that anything can be taught/learned, but personality is an aspect that can’t be changed. And personality can build or break a team. Depending on the position, of course, then also know-how and experience matter. For my team, for example, I have tried to bring in people with different skills and capabilities so we can learn from each other. I believe the key is to find people with the same values and to be very honest with them from the beginning about all the positives and negatives in the organisation or role. There is no point selling the position and speaking only about the good things to convince someone to join you, because if they don’t find the same things you’ve talked about in the interview, later on when they are hired, they will just leave, and you start all over again. So, I always insist that the leadership and my team detail all our expectations and all the issues the the employee might encounter in the role.

What motivates you?

I take my motivation from the people I work with. If I work with smart, energetic, passionate people, who don’t accept “it can’t be done” for an answer and come up with ideas and drive to move things forward, I can be the best version of myself as well. Also, I’m striving for that enormous satisfaction one has when my work contributes to a better work environment as a whole, to a good culture and to the achievement of good business results.


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