Cosmin is an enthusiastic entrepreneur and technology lover with experience in smart city and IoT projects. After numerous investments in AI and mobility, in early 2023, he exited to focus on Bitcom, where he serves as the general manager.
C&B: How would you summarize your career story so far? What do you hope to follow? Cosmin Carvaci: I began my career as an enthusiastic entrepreneur and technology lover, initially working in international e-commerce, IT, and design. Later on, I specialized in the software industry for 13 years. In 2018, I got involved in the digitalization of public institutions, implementing solutions for public and residential parking in most Bucharest municipalities. Currently, at Bitcom, I work on low-energy IoT projects, delivering charging stations for electric cars, air quality monitoring equipment, parking sensors, automated parking access and payment systems, and much more. In the next two years, we aim to access a more spacious facility for our operations. Additionally, we need a new automated line to produce printed circuit boards essential for custom prototyping, and we plan to invest in the software department and AI technologies.
C&B: What were your aspirations in childhood, and how have they changed over time? Cosmin Carvaci: In primary school, like any child, I wanted to be an astronaut. Influenced by Alexandru Mironov’s show, “Science and Imagination,” I became fascinated by buttons, screens, cables, and the image of the Earth from space. I was drawn to the speed of technological progress and its global impact. Later, I wanted to be a police officer. Besides their uniform and equipment, I liked the idea that people turned to them to solve problems. Eventually, I ended up wanting to be an IT professional after intensive computer science studies in high school to learn programming basics. Life took me on different paths to an economics-focused college, followed by a short period as an insurance agent, and then the desire to become an entrepreneur. The dynamic environment where technology can truly help people by addressing their needs remained my preference, becoming the place where my aspirations could materialize.
C&B: What was the experience that shaped your professional journey?
Cosmin Carvaci: Despite being very passionate about programming, the emergence of the internet provided the favorable context to apply my knowledge and realize that I could have both an impact and earnings. Specifically, in adolescence, together with some friends, we launched a neighborhood network and gathered around 1,000 clients. This step directed me towards web design, website and software production, and later into the digitalization of public administration systems.
C&B: What lessons have been useful to you and you wish to pass on?
Cosmin Carvaci: Observe market needs and propose a solution to what is missing. Be curious about how things work and draw conclusions from an industry that could be implemented in another. Expand your knowledge base because future employers or partners might emerge from there. Do not be discouraged if the majority does not proceed like you – it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. That gives you the opportunity to pave the way. Only give up if the road closes at some point, but remember that it’s not all lost – you won’t start from scratch again; you’ll rely on your experience.
C&B: What values guide you?
Cosmin Carvaci: Commitment to innovation, instilled at the team’s cultural level, is essential in this field. It comes hand in hand with promptness because what’s new today might not be relevant tomorrow. Also, the quality of products and services delivered is high on the list of objectives because we care deeply about customer satisfaction and solutions that stand the test of time.
C&B: Why did you decide to stay in the country?
Cosmin Carvaci: I am always connected to news and trends from abroad, but I was fortunate to find people in Romania with whom I could implement projects. I noticed that outsourcing is still prevalent here, and I want to show that there is also the possibility of domestic production. We are not just exporters of intelligence and raw materials but also of finished products. I believe there is a lot of work to be done at home, and there are other ways to have contact with the outside world, not necessarily by changing your permanent residence.
C&B: Why artificial intelligence?
Cosmin Carvaci: As a technology lover, I quickly realized the potential of artificial intelligence and the direction it was heading, able to contribute to the development of future cities where life becomes much simpler for residents. Many current issues in areas such as transportation, health, construction, etc., could be addressed with its help, and I want to contribute to facilitating this progress. Because entrepreneurship is in my blood, it is not in my nature to stop at answers like ‘it can’t be done,’ so where human capabilities are limited, robots can intervene, but still with our assistance.
C&B: How was 2023 for Bitcom, and what challenges did you face?
Cosmin Carvaci: After a soft launch in 2022, last year was defining for us. We doubled our turnover, expanded the team and production spaces, and prepared to serve clients from both the public and private sectors.
The main challenge was to make our approached partners understand what we offer and how we work, armed with patience because we were at the beginning, and all our processes needed refinement. Fortunately, we surrounded ourselves with trustworthy partners who were understanding, allowing us to deliver quality services.
C&B: How do you perceive the evolution of Smart City in Romania?
Cosmin Carvaci: We are heading in a positive direction, with several cities that can be examples for the rest. In this organic rhythm, more smart environments will emerge, setting the tone for national change. There is still much to be built, but the foundation has been laid, and the options are clear for those who want better infrastructure, competent health and education services, environmental management, or improvements on any other level.
C&B: How have recent global events influenced your activities?
Cosmin Carvaci: Even during the pandemic, the idea for the Bitcom project came to me because I noticed that almost nothing could be produced in the country, aside from software. I saw it as an opportunity and developed the hardware aspect internally. Therefore, even wars have not directly affected our business so far.
C&B: What makes a CEO also a leader of his team?
Cosmin Carvaci: A common direction. Finding a way to motivate everyone toward the same goal and empowering them to get there through their own resources. The Bitcom team does not have a strict working schedule, but everyone knows what and when they need to do. I have been transparent with each team member about expectations, allowing us to have a relaxed working atmosphere where people come willingly.
C&B: What are the most important skills for your role?
Cosmin Carvaci: Every day, the ability to work with a large volume of data and draw conclusions that contribute to the automation of systems is required. Knowledge of adaptive design and adaptability to keep up with industry changes is essential. However, without creativity, perseverance, optimism, and the ability to form and motivate a team, I don’t believe one can withstand the market.
C&B: How do you keep up with industry news, being in a rapidly changing field?
Cosmin Carvaci: I use a lot of technology in my personal life, and I’ve learned to think like my target audience to identify needs and opportunities. Additionally, I read industry news and participate in international events as often as I have the opportunity.
C&B: Are there ethical and social issues in your sector that concern you? How do you address them?
Cosmin Carvaci: We face distrust due to privacy and data protection issues because we handle a large volume of information. However, this process is carried out in accordance with legal provisions and only for the benefit of the user.
Moreover, our field is targeted from a security perspective, so there must be increased attention to the dangers of a cyberattack targeting information, devices, and users. Our allies in these situations are security measures such as encryption, complex authentication processes, or testing.
And the biggest, often unjustified fear, in my opinion, is related to the ethics of managing IoT devices. Certainly, decisions based on algorithms can have consequences for users or society, so they must be framed by principles that respect human values and rights.
I believe technology is a tool that can work in our favor, and with the right limits, it can improve our quality of life and prospects.
C&B: What is an achievement you are very proud of?
Cosmin Carvaci: The fact that we are gradually changing the practice of exporting raw materials and importing finished products at a higher cost, at least in our industry. Our latest achievement was the collaboration with Craiova International Airport for a smart parking system, where, in addition to providing the software solution, we also contributed the first proprietary equipment, produced and assembled in Romania.