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Relationships are the basis for everything

Inga Rudusa, Head of Product Development
Inga Rudusa, Head of Product Development

Inga Rudusa has worked in different areas: treasury, middle-office, finance, CFO, project management, and business development. Most recently she has taken the position of Head of Product Development, leading a team of more than 400 development professionals in the Baltic division.

As a Product Development team, they are responsible for the development and management of all product offering portfolios.

What do relationships mean to you personally?

“Everything I do is with and through people, so relationships are the basis for everything. My job requires aspects of building strategy and brainstorming about the future and solutions for our customers. Through co-creating with people, the vision is created. I’m leading quite a big team and I see myself contributing to my team’s growth; I only succeed if they succeed. My working day is full of meetings; very little silent sitting and much more focus on speaking and listening to people to understand and support them. Everything we do requires building personal relationships.”

In what way does SEB create a welcoming and friendly environment?

“For me, my experience with SEB has always been very democratic. The company welcomes and appreciates opinions and I have never felt it is heavily hierarchical. It’s a really engaging environment and there is so much encouragement to contribute and co-create. In SEB, irrespective of your position, people are speaking directly to you and asking for your input in a warm way.”

How important is curiosity and growth at work?

“Even today, I just learned about three new products! That’s a perfect illustration of how exciting SEB is and I’m always able to learn something new. I have spent 26 years with SEB, and I’m always asked how I spent so much time here, but my main reason is that I am able to change and evolve within the same company. SEB is a universal bank with international presence and as an employee you can gain very broad experience, especially if you show interest and engagement.”

What has been the biggest driver of your personal development at SEB?

“At the beginning, it was my managers who saw something and believed in me more than I believed in myself. I had a positive push from those leading me to step out of my comfort zone, and it built my self-confidence. After I finished off a very large project I approached my managers and said I’m open to work anywhere they need me, and I’m curious to learn in new areas, and that feeling was a strong driver for me.”

How do you feel challenges create opportunities at SEB?

“SEB is a very strong position bank with a big history, which creates a strong identity, but also legacy. It’s sometimes more difficult to question things we are doing because we’ve been doing them forever. For example, I had someone joining our team who was continuously asking why we do things a certain way. If your answer is “historically”, you start to question yourself. We should ask that question ourselves much more often, and when you are open and honest with yourself, this creates opportunities.”

How has SEB innovating for a sustainable future impacted you?

“I have been positively triggered by the new SEB purpose: 'We exist to positively shape the future’. This is an extremely positive driving force for me. It’s much easier to find satisfaction when you work in production and can see and touch a tangible result, but in the service business it can be more difficult. Our impact comes through the success of our customers. If we can create a better future for our customers and society, through our responsible advice and capital, we steer customers to make better choices which is a really appealing message to think about.”

What is something you feel is on the horizon that will be impactful in the world of finance or sustainability?

“There are multiple things that will come, some closer and some further down the road. Our expectations from customers will start to change drastically, to a focus on digital and mobile solutions, they will be looking for comfort and convenience. Another is a focus on sustainability, we have had to redefine our business models, our risk mitigation routines, anti-money laundering and so on. It will be exciting but also very heavily regulated.”

How do you practice sustainability in your everyday life?

“I would love to set ambitions for zero-waste in our family, but currently we are very far from it. We do small things, for example: recycle everything that can be recycled. And if some things can still be used they are either used by us, donated to someone in need or repurposed. I have also started my personal fight against consumerism. With 3 fast growing teenagers at home, I cannot really stop buying clothes. At the same time, I am super happy that we picked up the tradition of replacing physical presents (gifts) for adults in our extended family with donations to a good cause. This Christmas we will donate in support of the Ukraine.”