Up Romania: 20 years of commitment to people and businesses

Up Romania: 20 years of commitment to people and businesses

Interview with Elena Pap, Regional Director, Up Romania

Can you provide an overview of Up Romania and its journey over the past 20 years in Romania? What sets Up Romania apart from other players in the service ticket market?

Mrs. Elena PapThe story of Up Romania began in 2002, a time when benefits were just starting to emerge. We were pioneers and contributed to educating companies and individuals. Today, 20 years later, we talk about digitalization, flexible benefit platforms, and their adaptation to the needs of employees. It has been and continues to be a journey that we enjoy and undertake together with the people at Up, and we learn new things every day over these 20 years. Perhaps the most important lesson is that only together can we respond to challenges and find joy in our achievements.

Up Romania is a company that focuses most on people and their needs when it comes to clients, partners, and employees, and that's what sets us apart. We understand that appreciation and authenticity are fundamental ingredients in any relationship, especially in business relationships.

What products, tools and services Up Romania offers its clients? How has the product portfolio evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of client companies?

Mrs. Elena PapA few years ago, we were talking about paper vouchers, but today, we discuss cards and advanced digital infrastructure, including electronic payment tools and applications. The portfolio is stable and now includes the four products (Up Dejun, Up Vacanta, Up Cadou, and Up Cultura) and the star of the portfolio, the Up MultiBeneficii platform. This platform caters to the recent needs of employers, allowing them to allocate a budget to each employee, who can then choose the benefits that suit them. Needs change, and so do benefits, and the solutions we offer come in this context of agility and frequent benefit updates.

With over 20,000 client companies, how does Up Romania tailor its offerings to cater to the diverse needs of its clients?

Mrs. Elena PapWe understand that each of us is different, just like our needs, and adaptation is the key to evolving our relationships. We offer customization based on clients' needs. For example, the Up MultiBeneficii platform has special functionalities for certain clients because we constantly aim to adapt to specific requests.

Can you share some success stories or examples of how Up Romania's services have positively impacted client companies?

Mrs. Elena PapOur products bring well-being to people, and every card on the market positively impacts society and our clients' lives. We love to surprise our clients with the different things we do, the events we organize, and the value of the information we share with them. We firmly believe that success stories are written with the "pen" of the quality of the services you provide.

How do you see the service ticket market evolving in the coming years, and what role does Up Romania aim to play in those changes? Are there any emerging trends or technologies in the industry that Up Romania is leveraging?

Mrs. Elena PapAs studies show, 9 out of 10* employees desire flexibility regarding fringe benefits. That's why we support and respond to this demand with our Up MultiBeneficii platform. We achieve this by offering employees the freedom to choose their own benefits and employers the freedom to manage the budgets they allocate. We are also preparing innovations in our benefits market, focusing on technology and digitalization.

Up Romania offers a range of social vouchers. How does the company contribute to social and community development through these initiatives?

Mrs. Elena PapWe invest a lot in the development of communities in Romania and always strive to find the best solutions for people from less developed backgrounds. We have a dedicated social projects team, and we are proud to say that we have covered a wide range of needs through these projects, contributing to improving living conditions, education, and the well-being of people, all of which are embedded in our DNA.

Can you share any specific social impact projects or collaborations that Up Romania is currently involved in?

Mrs. Elena PapWe have been involved in social causes for many years, planting trees as a team and volunteering as a team, and we should mention our 8-year partnership with Hospice, during which we engaged Up employees in supporting the association's causes. Last year, we even involved our clients in our efforts. We organized an impressive event where we invited colleagues, clients, and partners to a private screening of "The Tree of Wishes," an initiative that was awarded at the CSR Awards Gala for team involvement.

We are engaged in education, both through our actions and the partnerships we choose. We are partners with the Association for Values in Education (AVE), and we are involved in supporting inspirational individuals who contribute to shaping the personalities of young people.

What are the key challenges that Up Romania faces in the current business landscape, and how does the company navigate them? Are there specific opportunities or growth areas that Up Romania is looking to capitalize on?

Mrs. Elena PapThe environment in which we operate is constantly evolving and growing. We adapt to changes and learn at an accelerated pace how to overcome challenges, learn from them, and put them into practice. Macroeconomic movements impact us, and changes in the business environment affect us as well. We seek to find opportunities in every challenge, developing new niches and directions that ensure stability and growth.

Employee development and well-being are integral aspects of a thriving workplace. How does Up Romania prioritize and foster its workforce's professional development and overall well-being? Additionally, in what ways do these initiatives contribute to the company's overall success and employee satisfaction?

Mrs. Elena PapWe continuously invest in the growth of our people and believe that we contribute to the development and well-being of our colleagues. At Up Romania, we invest in training our colleagues through courses, participation in events, and even exchanging experiences with colleagues from other countries. We love to learn, so we have internal innovation programs in which colleagues get involved and help develop our products and services.

Because we want to scale our focus on people, this year we launched a bold campaign, #RedefinimMunca (Redefining Work) – a manifesto for change, in which we aim to change how employers and employees perceive work, educate, and contribute to the consolidation of strong organizational cultures. The market and industry experts have already recognised our initiative, earning two awards at the Employer Branding Awards.

How does Up Romania incorporate technology and innovation into its products and services? Are there any recent technological advancements or innovations that Up Romania has embraced?

Mrs. Elena PapWe have placed a strong focus on innovation and technology, both in Romania and in the other countries we operate in. We support change and adapt to it, with most changes occurring in the technological field. While there is increasing talk of technology replacing human work, I believe it will replace only repetitive tasks, allowing people to focus more on creativity, authenticity, and giving meaning. At Up, we already have several technology-related projects, including the Victor chatbot, a virtual exhibition in partnership with Sorin Onisor, content created with the help of technology, and ongoing studies. The list will continue to grow because we have a long list of projects in development.

Can you provide insights into Up Romania's plans and strategic initiatives? Are there new products or services on the horizon that Up Romania is excited about?

Mrs. Elena PapWe are pleased to see that flexibility is so important today, which is why we will continue to develop the Up MultiBeneficii platform, both in terms of functionalities and user experience. At the same time, we will continue our journey to Redefine Work in Romania, believing that we are agents of change in the industry in which we operate through everything we do.

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, the role of leadership is crucial. How do you embrace transformational leadership, and in your view, how does this leadership style contribute to securing sustainable growth for the company in both the short and long term?

Mrs. Elena PapA company's growth is primarily based on the growth of its people, and contributing to an individual's development is based on a set of values. Over the more than 20 years spent with the people at Up, we have developed common values, such as responsibility, authenticity, and passion for what we do. Because when the people around you see an example in the company's leader, they will be more performant and motivated.

*According to the Up Romania & eJobs 2023 study


You can also find the full interview in the document below: