Plovdiv strengthens its position as an attractive outsourcing destination

kmet_it_forum2-400x265Three large companies – Scale Focus, 60K and UNIFY are opening offices in the city because of the combination of universities, affordable rents for office spaces and support from the Municipality of Plovdiv for companies willing to open their offices in the city.

Plovdiv 30/10/2014 – More than 250 representatives of business outsourcing sector attended the one-day forum “Outsourcing Destination Bulgaria”. During the opening, the mayor eng. Ivan Totev said that three of the largest outsourcing companies will open offices in Plovdiv in the next few months – 60K, UNIFY and Scale Focus. “Plovdiv has a potential of at least five thousand new jobs in the sector in the coming years”, he said.

At a special press conference today (31/10/2014) 60K representatives announced they plan to open office in Plovdiv at the beginning of 2015 with 100 employees by the end of next year, that number could reach 150 to 200 people. Among the mandatory work requirements will be knowledge of English and in the company the employees will developed specific skills through internal trainings and practices.

Yesterday’s forum “Outsourcing Destination Bulgaria” outlined the trends in the sector in the future, raising the issues of human capital and skills needed, cooperation between IT and outsourcing businesses and educational institutions, as well as the benefits of investment opportunities outside the capital. The focus of the conference was the second city as an outsourcing destination in the country and therefore the level of education and the business environment in the city.

“Good demographics, strategic geographic location, quality of life and developed education system rank Plovdiv as an attractive destination for investment in Information technology and Business process outsourcing,” said the deputy mayor Mr. Stefan Stoyanov. The award of being “European Capital of Culture for 2019” and the development of the city as a tourist and cultural center, makes it even more attractive”, he added.

Speakers at the forum were the executive directors and senior managers of companies in the field of Information technology and outsourcing – Mr. Iravan Hira, CEO of HP – Bulgaria; Mrs. Elena Marinova, President of Musala Soft; Mr. Ivaylo Slavov, CEO of Bulpros; Mr. Stefan Bumov, CEO Sofica Group for Bulgaria and Macedonia, and Chairman of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association; Mr. Alexander Iovchev, managing director of Proxiad and Mr. Methody Georgiev, director of the Center for global services UNIFY, responsible for Central and Eastern Europe.

Among the speakers were representatives of universities and educational institutions in the country, as well as the Executive Director of “Open Society”. Guest in the event was Mr. Boris Georgiev, who manages Google for Work in Central and Eastern Europe.

In regards to the difficulties of human capital were outlined the key issues that needs to be done, namely the need for reforms in the education system, improvement of the learning process, cooperation in project development and attracting faculty with business experience in educational institutions. There were also discussed opportunities for retraining specialists and hiring staff from abroad and changes in secondary education programs – to assess the competence of students, rather than their knowledge and skills. President of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association Mr. Stefan Bumov discussed the state of the education system and the need for a clear strategy to adapt the curriculum to the realities of the market. “This process must be dynamic because the requirements of the business environment are changing rapidly.”

The conference was organized by the Municipality of Plovdiv and “Industry Watch” in partnership with the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association, Bulgarian Investment Agency, ICT Cluster Plovdiv, BAIT and Bulgarian Association of Software Companies.

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