Despite the rising unemployment levels in
Bulgaria, one sector is in need for more people, comments Stela Tocheva, Sales
Director at Modis
In times of pandemic and a recession knocking on the door, there is a
wave of bad news concerning health crisis, damage on businesses, bankruptcies,
and unemployment. However, in contrast to cutting staff and closing factories
all around the world, there is a group of companies that are meeting stable
demand for their business. Recently, Forbes announced some of the industries that are growing in
the midst of COVID-19 and even a list of American companies that are still hiring like
crazy, despite Coronavirus.
The situation in Bulgaria is not that far from this. In addition to the
evident growth in demand for human resources in pharmacies, grocery stores and
e-commerce, there are sectors like ITO and BPO, still offering a good number of
employment opportunities. Here are some of the reasons for that explained by
Stela Tocheva, Sales Director at Modis.
Mrs. Tocheva, what type of companies remain stable in today’s economy?
Most industries have been seriously hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. We
have witnessed the closing down of thousands of factories and the lockdown of
over a billion people around the globe – something that nobody expected. All
this has narrowed the demand of consumers mostly to essential goods and
services. As a result, very few other industries and companies have maintained
the normal levels of production
they had before. In my opinion, they have been flexible enough to adapt, to go
online, to introduce home office workflow or to transform and enter new markets
that are growing today.
Is this the case with the ITO / BPO sector?
Not everywhere in the world. However, Bulgaria is one of the most
popular destinations for outsourcing IT support, service desk, administrative,
HR, and other activities. The sector employs around 70 000 people in the
country and is a significant contributor to the national GDP.
Why are companies outsourcing to Bulgaria?
Cost-efficiency is essential but is not the only factor. We are lucky to
have so many talented people with good educational background and IT and
language skills in Bulgaria. Thanks to them, we can provide quality service and
support to our multi-national clients – automobile manufacturers, tech giants,
financial service providers and so on. Many of them are in a difficult
situation but are still in need for our service and even seriously consider to outsource
greater part of their workflow to partners in Bulgaria. Our observations show
that the sector remains stable and in our company we have even experienced
increasing demand for managed IT solutions.
Does it mean you are hiring at the moment?
Yes, we are onboarding on average 20 new colleagues every week.
Fortunately, we have kept the relationships with our clients and we will even launch
some new projects in the next months.
What type of people are needed in the sector?
Currently we have open positions for people with one or more foreign
language skills – German, English, Italian, French and Spanish speakers,
software developers and technical engineers. Other companies in our industry
are in need for people to support administrative, financial and HR operations
for their clients.
How has the pandemic changed your business in Bulgaria?
The current situation has been a great challenge both for society and
businesses. We showed instant reaction to the upcoming danger and organized the
smooth transition from work at our premises to home office for all 1400 Modis employees
in Sofia and Plovdiv. At the moment all business operations – recruitment,
delivery, administration, etc. are being done online. My respect to all other
companies who also managed to do so for their staff. Of course, the pandemic
has changed our life and work but having in mind the feedback from our clients
and employees, we have done a great job so far.
Your advice for keeping a business stable in the current situation
Take care of your people first. Make sure you do your best for their physical and mental health and safety. Only then should you think about business. I believe companies that are flexible and smart enough to adapt, would get out of this even stronger.