Plovdiv is the second IT and BPO center in Bulgaria in terms of both number of companies and employees, which exceed 7,000. Given the trends, this number is expected to increase by nearly 5,000 people in the coming years.
The Outsourcing sector is one of the fastest growing in Bulgaria and the pandemic not only did not change this, but also accelerated it. In November 2021, the Association for Innovation, Business Services and Technology (AIBEST) published its annual report on the sector’s development, according to which by the end of 2020 outsourcing and IT companies in Bulgaria have revenues of EUR 3.3 billion, representing 6.6% of the country’s GDP (for comparison, in 2019 it was 5.5%).
The vast majority of these revenues come from Sofia, but with the overheating of the capital’s labor market, more and more companies are moving to other major cities – and here Plovdiv occupies an important place. According to the AIBEST survey for 2020, 90 companies have offices and operate in Plovdiv. Of these, 39 are headquartered there, and the remaining 51 are the second office of a company with HQ by another city in Bulgaria, most often Sofia. According to the Municipality of Plovdiv, the companies in the city exceed 200, both Bulgarian and international, and there is a potential for 5,000 new job openings in the next 3 to 5 years.
Plovdiv, of course, is the most preferred second city – according to the indicator of companies with a secondary office, it is a leader in the country. Around 7,000 people are employeed in the city, which puts Plovdiv in second place after the capital.
Top 10 outsourcing companies in Plovdiv
|Field||Revenue in thousands of BGN for 2020||Employees as of November 2021|
|SBTech Global||BPO||96 634||1025|
|Reward Gateway||ITO||9 335||272|
|Bulanet (Delasport)||BPO||6 886||202|
|m+w MediaNetworks||ITO||5 453||212|
|SIBIZ Bulgaria||BPO||4 765||90|
|SQA Service||ITO||3 597||34|
Georgi Grozev, founder of Plovdiv’s Viscomp, established in partnership with the German company Euroweb Group, shared his experience with Capital – “We founded an outsourcing company together with the company I worked for in Germany. There were problems finding staff there, and Bulgaria had just entered in the European Union and it was a logical step. There was still almost no one on the market, at least in Plovdiv, and I am also from Plovdiv and that was one of the reasons. It was fashionable then to do it in Sofia. We thought that there was a better potential here to find better staff. It is more important to find capable people and train them for the job,” Grozev said. As one of the first IT companies in Plovdiv, Viscomp has launched a number of specialists in the city. He expects the company to increase its staff by about 30 more people in the next two years.
The rapid economic development of Plovdiv, driven by positive population growth, has made the city an attractive place for local entrepreneurs and foreign investors, and the IT&BPO sector is expected to continue its rapid expansion.
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