Gotmar specializes in the processing of thermoplastics and has been operating on the market since 1992. Since then, the company has been developing steadily, with its financial indicators pointing to stable growth, reaching BGN 182 million in revenue for 2021 and over BGN 10.5 million profit. The company, whose base near Plovdiv, employs over 1,300 people.
A beginning outside of the sector
Shortly after the opening of the Bulgarian market to the world, Georgi Tuchev began his entrepreneurial journey by founding Gotmar. The main business of the company at the time was to produce oil for the local market. Subsequently, Tuchev decided that it was better to bottle his own production, which was the first step towards the current business model for producing plastic products.
This is proving to be the right path for the young company, which now processes 120 tons of plastic, or six truckloads, a day. Products include bottle caps and handles, thermoplastic polymer products, packaging for the cosmetic industry and tools. Customers are mainly international partners such as Liebherr, ABB, Schneider Electric, Sanmina, which are also present in the industrial zones around Plovdiv.
Market and raw material – abroad
According to the financial director Ivan Ivanov, Gotmar’s main market is outside Bulgaria. “About 50% of our production is for export. If we add the production for our corporate customers – here and abroad – production that is exported through the finished products of our customers, then our exports are about 90% of our production,” he commented.
The company imports raw materials entirely from abroad, as the industrial quantities it needs per day are within the capabilities of few companies in Bulgaria. The company’s strategy is not to be dependent on a single market of manufacturers, diversifying its sources for this purpose, but mainly they seem to be from Asia.
A company resilient to crises
“Covid was more of an opportunity”, says Maria Tucheva, general manager at Gotmar. For the first year and a half, the company not only did not stop working, but increased the number of employees by about 100 people. A move driven by increased demand for plastic packaging and products, particularly for hand sanitiser gels. For the production of these products, the company also invests additionally in production machines. “We bought a new installation for preforms, so we expect to increase their number in 2023,” Tucheva also says.
Investment in growth
Every year, the company prepares investment strategies for the following year, as well as reviews the investment intentions of Gotmar for the next three and five years according to the state of the market. The main short-term investments are for machine renewal, staff development and business needs. According to Ivanov, in the last 5 years, Gotmar has invested approximately BGN 80 million back into the company.
One of the main problems in the country does not escape Gotmar – that of the workforce, specifically engineers. Maria Tucheva explained that they encourage their young employees to start engineering training, after which they are transferred from lower-qualified positions to the engineering team, which numbers about 30% of the company’s staff.
Apparently the company’s employment policies are effective, as staff turnover is low at all levels.