For our interview series, the GCPR-Blog team talked to Gergana Vassileva from GlobalCom’s Bulgarian partner United Partners about the latest trends in the Bulgarian market.*
1. Which industries/markets are booming at the moment in Bulgaria?
We should start with the fact that the business in Bulgaria is relatively young like in the rest of the ex-communist countries. Most of the privately owned Bulgarian companies are not more than 15 years old. The boom of new local ventures started in the 90-ties, most of which are family or friends’ owned. At the same time the international big companies opened their local branches. So there was a huge change and lots of opportunities for expansion. The market was in its first phase – growth. At the moment we are in the second phase where it’s more about keeping the market share and consolidation of the existing businesses.
Businesses that are in the sphere of services, FMCG, tourism, IT, green energy, natural resources have good opportunities for growth. At the same time I envisage some interest from companies that were looking for relocating their business in Asia to come back in countries like Bulgaria because of the work wages and EU quality control and regulations.
The internet space opened new opportunities for boundary free businesses and start-ups. Bulgarians are very good entrepreneurs and are finding opportunities for business in the www space as well.
2. What makes Bulgaria currently so interesting for these industries?
Bulgaria is attractive due to several important factors:
– People – very high educated and reliable workforce, relatively low work wages (in comparison with the Western European countries and US).
– Economic and political stability – being a member of EU Bulgaria adopted most of the regulations and standards of the union, while at the same time the political situation is stable.
– Natural resources – soil and water is pure and unpolluted, which is a great opportunity for organic production – fruits, vegetables, etc. Beautiful nature – mountains and sea.
3. Why should companies from these industries start doing Public Relations in Bulgaria?
While some 10 years ago the companies in Bulgaria were not very much aware of the need of PR for positioning of their businesses and products, now PR is considered the main tool to be seen! PR is gaining pace especially with the boom of the social media. Every client that is coming to our agency is asking for a strategy and campaign in the social media as well.
PR is not only about media but about reaching different target groups using the most appropriate channels. We are flexible and think through the eyes and minds of our clients. We are more than a PR expert, we are a partner.
*The series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.