Note: This interview was originally published on Vagabond.bg
Sutherland Global Services has more than 38,000 employees worldwide in 60 locations, speaking 21 languages, and arrived in Bulgaria in 2008. Eight years later, the company has four offices – two in Sofia, one in Burgas and one in Varna, and provides its employees with a friendly atmosphere and plenty of opportunities for personal and professional development.
Dimitar Galabov, Country Manager, shares more on the Sutherland strong points and the future business plans for Bulgaria.
How the services of Sutherland Global Services help businesses?
In Sutherland we know how to combine experience with innovation – we follow the latest trends and mature our approach and service models accordingly. A key factor is the solid expertise that Sutherland has in the business processes and technologies in the industry, accumulated in a span of 30 years. We combine passion and strive for excellence with best practices, industry know-how and latest technology in a magic mix that adds strong value to our clients. Another solid element is the special attention and focus we put on our clients and their success. We understand the objectives of our clients and the needs of their customers and develop efficient and high quality solutions that not only satisfy, but go beyond their expectations. Our exceptional performance, adaptive approach and continual improvement helps us build long-term partnerships with our clients and grow together with them. All this in a combination with the talented and passionate people in the company has established a strong reputation of Sutherland and positioned the company as a partner of choice for multiple clients.
Does size matter for a business in order for it to become a client of Sutherland Global Services?
The clients are the ones that make the selection and choose Sutherland. On our end we evaluate their business needs and determine if we can fulfill their objectives, exceed what they expect and add value to their business – only then we enter into a partnership. We have clients from various industries, with different scale of operations and numerous business services we operate on their behalf – therefore I would say that the size of the business is not a significant factor.
Sutherland Global Services operates in Bulgaria since 2008. Why did the company choose this country? Why did it decide to open its third Bulgarian office not in Sofia, but in Burgas?
Bulgaria proved to be a source of well-educated and capable people that are very successful in handling complex business processes and cope with services that require strong technical expertise.
The vast availability of talent with excellent technical and customer service skills, combined with the variety of fluently spoken languages were crucial for the decision of Sutherland to step in and open doors in Bulgaria eight years ago.
Our team in Bulgaria has doubled over the last two years and reached 1200 employees at the beginning of 2016. We deliver services to 17 clients and keep on adding more in a rapid pace. We do plan an expansion from both – growing further our existing clients and attracting new ones over the years ahead. I can confidently say that our decision to open an office in Burgas two years back was a right one. The city has proven to be a great source of highly talented people, with strong motivation and passion. We believe the city has a big potential for further development of our business model.
Do you need to hire foreigners sometimes?
Yes, indeed we have been doing this successfully for more than five years. We attract and employ foreigners from various countries – the majority are the ones that come from the Nordic countries, like Sweden and Netherlands. We offer a good relocation package, which helps us attract, relocate and retain talent from other countries.
What qualities should people in your Bulgarian branches possess?
We are looking for people with advanced verbal and written skills in European languages. The candidates should also demonstrate interest in the field they will be working in (technology, retail, hospitality, travel, financial services, etc.). Experience is a plus but is usually not required – we have a robust process of training, onboarding, supporting and developing the new comers through their journey with Sutherland. There are incredible opportunities for learning and development. Our employees are given the chance to progress not only vertically, but horizontally as well by taking assignment for different clients and industries – this develops them further and gives them a chance to acquire new knowledge and competences.
How, in your opinion, will the BPO sector develop in Bulgaria in the following few years?
Following the development of Sutherland and other companies that operate in this field, makes me believe the business will continue its growth in the years ahead. Bulgaria offers attractive conditions for continual business development of our industry – stable fiscal policy, low inflation, low corporate taxes, etc. All this, in combination with the highly qualified talent and the already established traditions and reputation of the BPO industry in the country, will support the continual growth. According to the latest reports, the outsourcing sector generates about 6 percent of the Bulgarian GDP, and employs around 24,000 professionals. The projections are that this number will raise further up to 60,000 by 2018. These figures speak well enough about the future of the sector.
How do you plan to develop until the end of the year?
We plan to continue our expansion and open about 300 additional positions by the end of 2016 – this is required to meet the growing business of our existing clients and add some new services to their portfolio. Everybody who has proficiency in foreign languages and passion to work and develop is welcome to come and join our team!