The Dream Job: How Moldcell drives digital and financial inclusion in Moldova

'Through its digital tools and high speed connectivity, [Moldcell] has assumed the role of creating the full potential of the Moldovan population,' says Carolina Bugaian


Carolina Bugaian is CEO of Moldcell, the Moldovan mobile network with a long history of firsts and a mission to make the country a better place to live. She is also European CEO’s CEO of the Year in the Mobile Telecommunications Industry; she discusses how Moldcell has shaped both Moldovan society and her own life; its mission to help fulfil the potential of its retail and business customers; and the work of the Moldcell Foundation, including the world renowned ‘Like from Grannies’ project.

European CEO: Carolina, you’ve been with Moldcell since 2006, when you started as its CFO; how has your time with the company shaped you and your leadership style?

Carolina Bugaian: Well, Moldcell was indeed a dream job. When it came to market back in 2000, it really brought connectivity to Moldova. Because before Moldcell, the mobile communication and connectivity was available only to elites.

Moldcell was the first one to bring data services, over the edge technology later on; 3G and LTE and Moldcell brand is about the freedom. It is about new horizons, about contributing to the entire society and adding value to its development.

Being part of Moldcell is a very proud part of my life. Because the team is really extraordinary. And this is what we called ourselves, the team of extraordinary people that will always walk the extra mile in order to deliver the customer promise.

At Moldcell we put the entire world into your hand so that you can enjoy life even more.

European CEO: Moldova is the second poorest country in Europe, and in a challenging position with the war in Ukraine next door – how important is mobile telephony in improving people’s lives and growing the economy?

Carolina Bugaian: Moldcell through its digital tools and high speed connectivity has assumed the role of creating the full potential of the Moldovan population by fostering the creativity of people, by providing support to the education system focusing on creative industries, and the future professions of Moldovan young people.

Moldcell is here to support private networks for the enterprises, developments for the startups, and of course for the mission critical enterprises of the states.

And it is one step ahead forever in supporting the pathway of digitalisation of Moldova. It was the first company in Moldova to launch its 5G services.

It is the only operator that has launched mobile financial services because we really think that we can make a change by driving digital and financial inclusion.

Definitely it will bring new capabilities by providing different implementation of AI tools and making much more efficient operations, more customer centricity and excellence.

And of course not the least is to strive for a net zero economy.

European CEO: Speaking of sustainability, Moldcell was the first company in Moldova to sign up with the UN and the SDGs, and you launched the Moldcell Foundation to focus on your social investment actions; tell me more.

Carolina Bugaian: Moldcell Foundation is very much linked to the core business of Moldcell. It is about the digital inclusion of the society.

And we have a really world renowned project called Like from Grannies, which is about digital inclusion of older people through dialogue between young volunteers who go to the rural communities and teach how to use a smartphone in order to communicate, how to apply to various financial services, how to apply to the government services.

Another very important project is about usage of safe Internet by children. We have developed a platform, ‘Internet Without Worries,’ for the Ministry of Education, and have given access to all of the students, parents and teaching staff through Moldova in order to be able to learn in an interactive manner about safe Internet.

And women economic empowerment of course is another area where Moldcell Foundation is very much involved in.

European CEO: Finally, what is the future for Moldcell? What are the plans and priorities for the next five years?

Carolina Bugaian: Well, first of all, definitely it is the angle of sustainability. We would like to provide this also to our customers so that it is a principle adopted throughout the entire Moldova.

And Moldova to become part of European family, definitely that is a key focus where we as Moldcell and as the Moldovan Society are striving for.

Of course further development of 5G services and digitalisation in the country so that we indeed strive for excellence and being very good citizen of Moldovan society.