AIBEST hosted the most significant event in the knowledge industry in Bulgaria and presented technology Oscars in 9 categories

The annual conference of the Association for Innovation, Business Excellence, Services and Technology (AIBEST) took part in one of the fastest developing cities in Bulgaria – Burgas, on the 2 nd of October 2020.

The most significant event for the knowledge industry in Bulgaria brought together the leaders of the high-tech sector for strategic discussion about the factors and measures that must be taken at local and national level to attract new investments and to create a favorable business environment for the development of the sector, which according to the latest data forms 5.2% of GDP.

The event was attended by close to 200 representatives of the largest technology companies in Bulgaria, local authorities and institutions.

“This is one of the most prestigious forums in Bulgaria and the fact that for the second time we host it in Burgas is significant enough. Over the years our partnership with AIBEST has grown into a real friendship, which led to the opening of the Vocational School for Computer Programming and Innovation in the city 2 years ago, the establishment of IТ academies, and by the end of this month we expect another large company to open its office in Burgas.”, commented the mayor of Burgas, Mr. Dimitar Nikolov at the press
conference held before the start of the event.

“What we witness the recent years in our sector is 20% growth on an annual basis and we expect it to continue this way. We would like more and more companies to expand beyond the capital of Sofia, because we believe that this is the future of the industry in Bulgaria and will enable young people to develop in their hometowns. We are working on attracting not only Bulgarians but also foreigners in the sector of business services and IT.”, said Mr. Ilia Krustev, Chairman of AIBEST Management Board.

During the event Ilia Krustev presented the preliminary data from the Association’s report for the Development of the Knowledge Economy in the country:

  • The number of companies is growing by 5% on an annual basis, as by 2019 610 companies operate in the knowledge industry;
  • Employment in the sector increased by nearly 8% compared to 2018. Wage costs in the industry amounted to 1.463 billion euros – an increase of 18.3% over the previous year. Insurance expenditures also followed a growth rate, reaching EUR 204.3 million or 19.02% growth compared to 2018;
  • The companies in the sector generated EUR 2.87 billion in total operating revenues in 2019, marking an increase of 19.4% compared to the previous year.

Contrary to popular expectations for a decline and loss of projects, 54% of companies in the sector in Bulgaria report an increase in the number of new projects and launched products. There is an increased demand for software and social media platforms, e-commerce, contactless payments, direct deliveries to the user and other online services.

At an official ceremony AIBEST awarded the best companies and projects in the high-tech business field in Bulgaria.

The Employer of the Year award was won by the technology company SoftServe Bulgaria, which has been offering modern technologies and solutions for customers for 27 years. The award was presented by the Mayor of Burgas, Mr. Dimitar Nikolov, who in return received a special award for best partner in creating the ecosystem for high-tech business.

Experian Bulgaria was announced as the winner in the categories Project of the Year and IT Company for 2020. The company is a global leader in providing information and analytical solutions for business clients and consumers. Experian Bulgaria employs over 1000 specialists and the office in Sofia is a strategic center where operations from data analysis, through product development, to their implementation with customers are performed. The company impressed the jury with the developed cloud-based Software as a Service platform for credit solutions, which accelerates customers’ access to the latest innovations, providing exceptional adaptability to their needs.

The Innovation of the Year award went to technology company BULPROS for the Power Teams 365 product they developed. The digital solution allows team members and customers to interact and access real-time information and processes. This streamlines key processes throughout the organization and improves the use and allocation of resources.

Sutherland Bulgaria was named Business Process Outsourcing Company for 2020. The company has 4 offices in Bulgaria located in Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas and Varna and over 2500 employees. In the last year, the company has achieved great growth, continuing to serve over 20 global brands and adding new services to its portfolio.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Award was given to Telus International, which revised its overall strategy in less than a month to help local communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The award for Best Business Sustainability Strategy in Crisis was presented to A Data Pro. The campaign emphasizes its strategy in three areas: process automation and efficiency; ensuring the continuity of services to its customers; maintaining sustainable motivation and commitment of employees.

For Technology Business Building 2020, AIBEST members awarded Building 3, Garitage Park.