Ioana helps innovative brands grow sustainably. She has led growth strategies in scale-ups and established businesses, at global and regional levels, for worldwide brands like Blacklane, Montblanc, and Kia. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences, writes about leadership, and champions diversity on boards.

In your own words, what’s your role in the app business right now?

To drive sustainable business growth by keeping customers enthralled with a brand and engaged with their app.

How did you end up working in apps? / get started?

In my role as Head of Retention at Blacklane, I have mainly been focusing on app growth.

What are you most excited about in apps right now? (tech, trends, people, verticals)

I see an increased need for convenience and relevancy, fostered by people getting used to fast answers from generative AI, fast payment options, etc. The overall customer experience needs to be simplified, making it faster, more convenient, and with less overall friction.

What other companies in the app space do you rate/ inspire you and why?

Spotify, because of high personalization of the overall experience, without being intrusive.

What do you like most about working in apps?

The main advantage of apps is that you have an audience at hand who is already willing to constantly engage with you.

What one thing would you change about the app industry / market?

Apps stand for convenience and therefore the focus should be on increasing personalization and automation while minimising the need for user input. Reducing friction should remain a priority.

Where do you think there’s an opportunity for apps / or unmet needs?

Any app that can have an impact on the 17 United Nations’ sustainable development goals while answering consumers’ needs is an opportunity in my view.

If you weren’t working in apps what would you be doing?

Growth for non-app-based businesses.

What’s on your Spotify / Music party playlist?

My son’s favourite songs: Makeba by Jain, Happy by Pharrell Williams, and Waka Waka by Shakira.

Is there anything else we should know about you?

I am passionate about art and I genuinely love nature and people.

Do you know someone driving change and growth in the app industry? Nominate an app leader here.