The total of 306 teams from 119 companies from various business sectors joined (more…)
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Postbank has entered into another strategic partnership, which is beneficial for its clients, with ClaimCompass, a Bulgarian tech company providing professional protection of the rights of passengers instead of them in case of flight disruptions. ClaimCompass’ services are available to the holders of credit cards issued by Postbank, the only lender on market which provides the innovative services. Only they are entitled to an exclusive option of submitting a request for getting status updates of a future flight and, in case of disruptions, ClaimCompass will contact them to inform them of the next steps of submitting a claim and receiving a compensation.
The partnership with the innovative fintech company corresponds to Postbank’s comprehensive strategy for developing the business climate in Bulgaria and its targeted investment in promising ideas, start-ups and the community in the country. ClaimCompass is a tech start-up, established in 2015. The experience of the company’s founders shows that consumers often do not know their legal rights in claiming compensations in case of issues with the airline they use and this is why the company provides professional right protection assistance. So far, ClaimCompass has processed over 100,000 claims and has helped its clients get over EUR 7 million compensations. An increasing number of people are turning to the company, which processes over 5,000 claims a month on the average.
The cooperation with ClaimCompass is part of Postbank’s concept of adding value to the benefit of its clients and of providing them with attractive extra services in addition to its products. Thanks to the partnership, the holders of Postbank credit cards have an opportunity to better protect their rights when travelling by keeping in touch with the company entirely online and to receive an up to EUR 600 compensation in case of a problem, which is a great convenience considering the increasing number of flights.
“Our main goal is to provide better and better consumer experience and many extra bonuses in addition to our modern financial products and innovative services. Our credit cards are strengthening their position as an increasingly preferred payment method when travelling because they are convenient and provide many different preferences and discounts, including the attractive My Rewards loyalty programme. We have launched our partnership with ClaimCompass so that the holders of our credit cards can enjoy even better security when travelling by, on the one hand, using the various options the bank’s credit cards provide them with and, on the other hand, by being guaranteed they will receive a compensation in case of flight disruptions,” Postbank comments.
“It is a pleasure for us to partner up with Postbank to the benefit of customers. Our goal is to inform each of the bank’s clients, who have used their credit cards to purchase an airplane ticket, of their rights and whom they should contact to receive a compensation if their flight is delayed or cancelled,” ClaimCompass says.
To use ClaimCompass’ services, customers must submit a delayed or cancelled flight compensation claim or submit a request for receiving status update of a future flight via the special section on Postbank’s website. Customers will soon be able to use ClaimCompass’ services via EVA, the first credit banking chatbot available 24/7 on Facebook Messenger, as well. The submission of compensation claims is free, as ClaimCompass charges a commission only when customers successfully receive their compensations. The commission would be lower than the standard one for the holders of Postbank medium- and high-class credit cards such as Visa Gold, Visa Premium, Mastercard World and Mastercard World Premium. The process of getting passengers’ compensation, ClaimCompass is fully committed to, takes 4-8 weeks, apart from the cases when claims are taken to court.
More information about the service is available on Postbank’s webpage, in its special dedicated section.
Achieving the optimal use of water resources in quantitative terms is among the main priorities of Coca-Cola in Bulgaria, it became clear from the Sustainability Report for 2018, presented today. Among its accents are 29 million liters of water saved in the production centers in Kostinbrod and Bankya, recycling 95% of the generated waste and 556 working days that Coca-Cola employees have dedicated to volunteering.
95% of the production generated waste is recycled, according to the Coca-Cola Sustainability Report for Bulgaria
The information in the report presents the objectives, management and results achieved with regard to the most important topics for the company and its stakeholders for the last year, and proves that one of the world’s largest soft drink producers is aiming for reducing the amount of used water to be just as much as it needs.
According to the reported results, Coca-Cola seeks to reduce the amount of water used at each stage of the production and to reuse it. Thanks to the continuous long-term efforts in this direction and improvements in the production process over the last 7 years, the company managed to achieve a record-breaking decline in 2018, reaching just 1.76 liters of water needed to produce 1 liter of beverage. The reported results represent a decrease of 5% in the water consumption, which equals more than 29 million liters of water saved for the whole year or the average annual consumption of drinking water of 800 Bulgarians. In 2018 alone, the company managed to reuse nearly 40 million liters of water.
“As a leading company on the Bulgarian market, we believe that our role is to be environmentally responsible in order to preserve it for future generations. We are proud that in the last decade we have managed to go the long way to improving processes and technologies to achieve the ambitious sustainability goals we set ourselves. We have increased the recycling of waste generated in the production centers and have significantly reduced the water used, “said Juerg Burkhalter, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC in Bulgaria.
Coca-Cola is the first company in the country to introduce the recycling of wet labels from glass bottles. Thanks to this initiative and the recovery of sewage sludge from the Kostinbrod production center, in 2018 the company managed to recycle 95% of generated waste in production, marking a growth of over 24% since 2010.
In addition to rational use of resources, the company regularly identifies and evaluates themes, following good practices according to GRI assessment standards. The report includes an assessment of the contribution of business, the supply chain, trends in local and international markets and policies, and it also tracks how each of these aspects affects the sustainability of the business in the country.
In 2018, the Coca-Cola System in Bulgaria has invested over 360,000 levs in initiatives to support society. In addition, 1,139 employees of the System companies participated in publicly significant projects and dedicated nearly 4,450 hours as volunteers on causes they believed in. This equates to a total of 556 working days or 1 employee for 2 years and 3 months for volunteer activities only.
Employees invested 556 business days for volunteering on causes they believe in.
The initiatives in this direction were honored with seven Corporate Social Responsibility Awards last year, as well as the prestigious award in the category of “Best Partnership #YouthEmpowered Initiative” of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Group. This award placed Bulgaria at the top of all 28 countries in which the company operates. The campaign, which has been implemented in Bulgaria over the past 3 years, aims at building a better future through quality education, developing the potential of young people and their preparation for a successful career path. During the past year 2875 students participated in training sessions for the development of personal qualities and basic business competencies in 13 settlements (Vedrare, Gotse Delchev, Kostenets, Kostinbrod, Lom, Montana, Plovdiv, Parvomay, Samokov, Svoge, Sofia, Stara Zagora and Targovishte). Their mentors became a total of 93 professionals from business, NGO, education and entrepreneurship.
The full text of the report can be found here.
We are very thankful to be awarded for a ninth consecutive year with the TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2019 and to earn again a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame. Now is the ninth year when TripAdvisor celebrates businesses that have consistently received positive ratings, and Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko has been awarded during all of them, from the beginning in 2011 to 2019.
The Certificate of Excellence honours hospitality excellence and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great reviews from travellers worldwide. It accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. The “Hall of Fame” accolade is granted only to those businesses that have won the Certificate of Excellence for five years in a row. Winners include restaurants, accommodations and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.
The General Manager Natalia Kashirskaya commented: “We are extremely happy to have been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence already nine years in a row and to be a proud winner of the ‘Hall of Fame’ prize. The award is really a great achievement and comes as a perfect gift for us as we have just reopened the hotel for the summer season. On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko, I would like to thank our guests for their appraisement and loyalty, and we are looking forward to welcoming them again for a new exciting summer, full of unforgettable adventures, new culinary journeys and remarkable experiences.”
Earlier this year, Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena Bansko was featured in the Travellers’ Choice Awards for Hotels in Bulgaria for 2019, ranking first among the “Top 25 Hotels”, “Top 25 Luxury Hotels” and “Top 25 Hotels for Service”.
Ivan Vutov, PhD, Vice President of Geotechmin OOD was elected Chairman of the Management Board of the Srednogorie Industrial Cluster. He has taken up the baton from Tim Kurth, Executive Director and Vice President of Aurubis Bulgaria AD.
“I want to express my deepest gratitude for this vote of confidence. I will invest my time, energy and effort into promoting the continued successful development of the Srednogorie Industrial Cluster,” Ivan Vutov said.
The cluster was created in autumn 2005. The leading companies in it are: Geotechmin OOD, Ellatzite-Med AD, Asarel-Medet AD, Aurubis Bulgaria AD and Dundee Precious Metals Chelopech EAD. The cluster’s objectives include increasing the competitiveness of the industrial sector in the Central Srednogorie region, supporting sustainable development of regional industries and local communities through the use of innovative technologies, promoting business achievements and social entrepreneurship.
According to the President of Geotechmin OOD, Prof. DSc. Eng. Tzolo Voutov, the Srednogorie Industrial Cluster is the “most successful cluster formed in Bulgaria in recent years”, he declared at the meeting. “Making full use of the knowledge, know-how and professionalism acquired on the topics of better resource efficiency and circular economy is paramount. We must also consolidate the business and scientific efforts as well as those undertaken by the Scientific and Technical Union of Mining, Geology and Metallurgy and the cluster which target the development of innovative projects in the mining industry,” Prof. DSc. Eng. Voutov said.
AUBG member of the Board of Trustees Dimitar Tsotsorkov has established five full scholarships for the four-year course of study of first-year AUBG students. The Prof. Dr. Lachezar Tsotsorkov Distinguished Scholarship is set up in memory of Lachezar Tsotsorkov — a prominent philanthropist and businessperson and father of Dimitar Tsotsorkov — and will support Bulgarian students who have demonstrated a strong commitment towards social causes and community service.
Dimitar Tsotsorkov is Chairman of the Board of Asarel Medet, the first, biggest and leading Bulgarian company for open pit mining and processing of copper and other types of ores. He holds two Bachelor degrees respectively in Economics and Finance and Computer Science from Richmond American University and a Master degree in Information Management and Finance from Westminster University in London.
Dimitar Tsotsorkov believes that it is only through helping others that one can achieve happiness and success. In this interview, he talks about the reasons why he has embraced AUBG as one of his causes, what it means to lead one of Bulgaria’s largest companies and what is the importance of supporting your immediate community as well as acquiring knowledge and appreciation of other cultures.
You and your company have embraced corporate social responsibility and have been awarded many times for your contributions to society. What is the importance of giving back?
Giving back, especially by focusing on your local community, is an essential part of our culture — both our company culture and our family culture — because it is not enough for an institution or ? company to be successful only within its own compounds. An essential part of happiness and sustainable development is for everyone in the community to be happy and to be successful. It is important to give back and support your local community in order to create an environment of successful people: successful people that are not only part of the community but are the community as a whole. This is the best practice from what we’ve seen around the world. You cannot be happy in an unhappy environment.
Why did you choose AUBG, and in particular donating to scholarships, as one of your causes?
AUBG is one of the leading academic and democratic institutions in Bulgaria. We believe that the most sustainable and largest effect that one can have on the community goes through education. When you support leading academic institutions such as AUBG, you create the greatest effect for Bulgarians and for the Bulgarian nation. We believe that helping AUBG creates the largest possible effect for Bulgaria as a whole. I personally know many AUBG alumni and I’ve seen that they have been quite successful entrepreneurs and people. We believe that by helping AUBG, we are helping the country a lot.
One of the requirements for eligibility for the scholarships in the name of Prof. Dr. Lachezar Tsotsorkov is that students have demonstrated a strong commitment towards social causes and community service. Why is it important that students think about social responsibility while still at university?
Starting to instill values in our young ones, in our next generation from a young age — as early as possible — teaches them the importance of social responsibility. Giving back to your community is an important tool to instill values in the next generation of people because it teaches them to respect their roots, their local culture, their local communities. Thus, the youngsters grow up to become responsible people thinking not only egoistically about themselves but about all the people in the community. This reflects, of course, on their success in life. We have observed and it is part of our family’s culture, and our father’s culture, that in order to be successful you have to make other people successful. Teaching that to kids and to our next generation is essential.
At AUBG, we have students coming from over 40 countries and we believe that diversity is instrumental in one’s personal and professional growth. You yourself have an extensive experience studying and working abroad. In your opinion, why does international experience matter in life and work?
Observing other cultures with their peculiarities helps you see the perspectives of others and respect them. A lot of people do not understand why they do not advance in their careers or in their life and it is simply because they only look at things from their own perspective. Understanding other people’s perspectives helps you deal easier with problems and not only think about yourself but about other people as well. This makes it easier to motivate other people and get their support.
What played a role in your decision to return to Bulgaria?
I believe that it is a duty of every Bulgarian no matter how much we travel around and learn about the world, to help Bulgaria advance in one way or another. We have a substantial investment and asset base in Bulgaria and I’m governing one of the biggest companies here so it is our duty to be patriotic and help the country. And Bulgaria needs all the help it could get from all the prosperous companies and individuals.
As a person with a lot of professional responsibility and experience, what would you advice a young graduate on building a fulfilling life and career?
I would advise them to have sound universal humanistic values. And these values – as we have observed in our company and in my family – they are universal and they have not changed since the time of Aristotle. These are: to work hard, to be brave and industrious, to be balanced, to be tempered, to be wise, to learn about the world and always be curious and, lastly, to be just. If you want to be successful you have to be just to yourself and to other people. That is what I would like to wish t? the graduates. And good luck, of course!
Interview by Dimana Doneva
Centroida, a digital journey optimization company focused on Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (“AI”), Machine Learning (“ML”) has merged into ScaleFocus, a professional technology services, software engineering and digital transformation company.
“We are especially excited to leverage their face detection/recognition, robotic automation and data science know-how,” Plamen Tsekov, CEO, ScaleFocus
“We are very excited about merging our team into the largest Bulgarian software company. We have been impressed by ScaleFocus’ growth trajectory and look forward to contributing to its long-term sustainability and differentiation by applying our expertise in Blockchain, AI, ML and Cloud on a much larger scale. We have already identified numerous computer vision automation opportunities in the security and marketing domains where Centroida’s proficiency would prove to be of great value,” Angel Kelchev, CEO, Centroida
Centroida’s team is very ambitions, dynamic, professional and easy-going. Those qualities are fully aligned with the recipe for growth that ScaleFocus has been following over the years. Centroida has niche expertise in Blockchain, AI, ML and Cloud, which would further augment our solutions portfolio and complement our domain expertise. AI and ML in particular have been areas of focus for us in 2019 and we expect those to grow exponentially in the next 2-3 years. Centroida’s expertise in those domains would help us better serve our global enterprise clients through the delivery of bespoke software solutions.
“Building on each other’s strengths, we believe that Centroida’s team would have a meaningful impact on ScaleFocus’ premium client portfolio. For example, ScaleFocus is already partnering with the leading cloud providers, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, SAP, Oracle and Alibaba Cloud, where our cloud specialists would certainly provide a significant boost,” Gavril Tonev and Teodor Savov, Co-founders, Centroida.
In late 2018, ScaleFocus acquired the entire team and brand of the Bulgarian company Upnetix, one of the 50 world-wide certified Google-development agencies specialized in mobile engineering, front-end development and design-driven digital transformation. Since Upnetix’s successful integration, ScaleFocus has continued to pursue consolidation opportunities in the software sector worldwide in order to continually exceed the expectations of its customers when it comes to application of the latest technologies and industry best practices.
ScaleFocus is an European IT solutions delivery center. Enabling our global customer base through technology excellence, R&D and innovation, we are focusing on advanced engineering services and bespoke consultancy in the domains of Digital, Data and Cloud. Through team care and customer success obsession, we are engaging in fulfilling partnership journeys of open communication, respect, trust and drive for tangible business outcomes.
Centroida is a privately held start-up, founded in 2017. The company has been named Tech Startup of the Year by Global Tech Summit for 2018. With a team of 40+ software specialists, the company is one of the leading blockchain-centric organizations in Bulgaria, delivering solutions based on either public (e.g., Ethereum) or private (e.g., Hyperledger Fabric) blockchain technologies, as well as smart contract development and auditing. The company is also well-known for its work on computer vision based automation and NLP.
During Q1’2019, Telenor Bulgaria maintained its revenue and EBITDA growth trends observed during the previous year.
Total revenue for the quarter reached BGN 179 m, growing 5.4% above same period last year, mainly driven by improved ARPU which was 15.0 BGN for the quarter, or 8.4% higher than Q1’2018. The total revenue growth was also positively influenced by an increase in handset revenues, chiefly from a stronger customer focus on high-end smartphones.
Revenue growth, in combination with ongoing efficiency efforts, resulted in an improved EBITDA of BGN 89 m for the quarter, or 19% above Q1’2018 (comparable growth). As a result of the ongoing SIM consolidation trend on the market, the Telenor customer base decreased slightly to 3.04 M customers, of which 20% constitute prepaid subscribers.
Throughout Q1’2019, Telenor continued to provide valuable services to its customers. Along with its ongoing focus of maintaining its high-quality mobile network, the company also launched a new handset insurance service in March supporting a seamless customer experience, even in the case of device damage.
Telenor is a leading telecommunication services provider with more than 3 million active users in Bulgaria. As of August 1, 2018, Telenor Bulgaria, along with Telenor Hungary and Telenor Serbia & Montenegro are part of PPF Group.
PPF Group invests into multiple market segments such as banking and financial services, mechanical engineering, telecommunications, biotechnology, insurance, real estate, and agriculture.
PPF’s reach spans from Europe to Russia, the USA and across Asia. PPF Group owns assets exceeding EUR 38 billion (as at 30 June 2018).
Telenor Corporate Communications Department
+359 898 400 193, +359 893 400 719 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: All Telenor Bulgaria financials reported as per IFRS 15 & 16 standards.