Head of Engineering: Adrian Birlogeanu – Interviewing our experts


Adrian Birlogeanu - Head of Engineering at Terms.Tech

Enter the dynamic world of Adrian Birlogeanu, the Head of Engineering at AREA42 and Terms.Tech, whose career trajectory navigates the complexities of software engineering, banking, insurance, FinTech, TradeTech, and leadership.

Adrian shares insights into leading a team of brilliant minds, the exhilarating challenges of innovation, and the future of B2B payments. Our chat with Adrian isn’t just a peek into the mind of a tech aficionado; it’s a pathway for those daring to dream big in the digital era. 

Buckle up and let’s go – a journey through the realms of technology, leadership, and transformative solutions. Without further ado, over to Adrian…

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to be Head of Engineering for AREA42 and Terms.Tech?

I began my career as a Software Engineer within various software development companies, where I honed my technical skills and gained a solid foundation in product development. 

After a decade, my career path took a pivotal turn as I transitioned into consulting within the Banking and Insurance sectors. This shift marked a significant change from a product-oriented approach to a more project-focused strategy, emphasising the delivery of specific outcomes over a set timeframe. 

My journey through these industries allowed me to develop a deep understanding of both technical and business analysis, as well as architecture. It’s this blend of technical knowledge and strategic insight, coupled with my extensive experience across different facets of IT, that set me up to be the Head of Engineering role at AREA42 and Terms.Tech.

What excites and motivates you in your role?

This is easy to answer! Leading a team of incredibly smart and motivated individuals! Together, we tackle complex challenges and develop innovative solutions tailored to our customers’ needs. 

The dynamic nature of our work means every day is different, promoting an environment of continuous learning and growth. I love the flexibility and problem-solving that comes out of these challenges. 

As Head of Engineering, I find great satisfaction in mentoring emerging talent and influencing the future of technology within our industry. It’s rewarding to contribute to the company’s technological and developmental direction, helping us stay ahead. The fact is, things change so quickly in tech, so this is really important to me.

What are the key challenges in your mission?

One of the key challenges at AREA42, where innovation is fundamental, involves developing solutions that facilitate a smooth and risk-savvy B2B trade environment. Unlike traditional project or product delivery, we sometimes operate without a direct customer feedback loop during the development phase. So, we need to anticipate market needs and create solutions that potential clients will find valuable. 

Additionally, upon launching a product, we encounter the diversity of our customers’ processes and operating models. This diversity necessitates continuous adaptation and evolution of our solutions to accommodate varying business practices. This is the best part of the job – really exploring and meeting customer needs. 

Our approach is to stay agile and customer-focused, ensuring we can swiftly iterate and refine our offerings based on real-world usage and feedback.

How do you inspire your team and what’s your approach to pushing innovation forward?

Ultimately, our goal is to enhance people’s lives through technology, driven by the belief that our work is impactful. As a relatively small team, I cultivate an environment of mutual respect and actively encourage everyone to share their ideas, fostering a rich soil for innovation. 

Recognising that we are all consultants, our aim to remain market-relevant underlines the importance of taking pride in our achievements – that’s our passport to future success. 

I inspire my team by promoting a culture where continuous learning is not just encouraged but required. Where creativity and experimentation are the norms, and where both successes and the lessons learned from failures are celebrated. This approach not only propels innovation forward but also ensures we grow collectively and individually.

From your perspective as Terms.Tech’s engineering lead, what differentiates this B2B payment solution from the competition?

Our approach at Terms.Tech sets us apart by being deeply customer-centric. We begin by thoroughly understanding our clients’ business operations, enabling us to clearly demonstrate the added value our services bring. This commitment doesn’t stop once our services are in use. We continuously engage with our clients to ensure the value we offer is maximised. Otherwise, what’s the point?

A distinctive aspect of our solution is our willingness to fully absorb transactional risk for our customers. Our ability to accurately assess and manage this risk underpins our success. To enable this, we have a robust risk assessment framework at the core of our operations. 

Our ability to manage risk effectively enables us to provide a reliable, efficient – and scalable! – B2B payments solution that addresses the specific needs of our clients, distinguishing us in a competitive market.

How do you see the B2B payments sector evolving over the next few years?

A few ideas jump to mind around integrating technology more deeply in payments:

  • Electronic invoicing
  • B2C expectations transferred to B2B
  • Leaving manual, error-prone payment methods in the past

Electronic invoicing

The B2B payments landscape is poised for significant transformation in the coming years, primarily driven by the integration of technology in transaction processes. Electronic invoicing is a key trend. That’s expected to enhance the transparency and understanding of payment rationales between businesses. This shift aims at not only simplifying the payment process but also at providing detailed insights into the financial flows.

B2B meeting B2C expectations

Moreover, there’s a growing expectation among businesses for payment transactions to mirror the ease and convenience found in B2C transactions, but without the proportional costs. Given the typically higher transaction values in B2B, businesses are increasingly resistant to high transaction fees. And this is totally understandable! The result is that the sector is adopting more cost-efficient payment solutions.

Avoiding manual, error-prone payment methods

Additionally, the move away from manual, error-prone payment methods is becoming evident. Innovations such as SRTP ‘Request to Pay’ systems are gaining traction, offering a more secure and streamlined payment process. These systems enable businesses to manage and fulfil payment requests with greater accuracy and less operational risk.

The B2B payments sector will likely be characterised by greater efficiency, transparency, and a shift towards digital and automated payment solutions. These changes aim to address the current pain points of high costs and manual errors, indicating a future where B2B payments are more seamless and aligned with the fast-paced digital economy.

And, just for fun, what have you been listening to, watching, and reading lately?

Recently, I was deeply inspired by the Netflix documentary on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life and career. It’s a fascinating look at his journey from a small town to becoming a global icon. Sure, we know him from his weights, films, and political career. But, the story isn’t just about his achievements in bodybuilding, Hollywood, and the governor’s mansion! 

More importantly it focuses on his insights around perseverance, vision, and making a significant impact. And, the synergies of team working. I highly recommend it for a dose of inspiration. It’s a compelling reminder of the importance of staying driven and purposeful.

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