Plamen Toshev, Managing Director for Bulgaria, on the company's new office and why its main R&D centre is in Sofia
When cybersecurity is concerned, Acronis is a household name all over the globe: virtually all of Fortune 100 companies use its products and its avant-garde solution, #CyberFit. Acronis, however, is not focused on helping only the corporate world. The company provides reliable protection to companies of all sizes and individual users, all of which need a safe, accessible, private, authentic and secure online environment.
Founded in 2003 in Singapore and incorporated in 2008 in Switzerland, Acronis stepped in Bulgaria in 2018, when it acquired a local software company, T-Soft. In just 3 years its Bulgarian office grew into the company's main R&D centre and rapidly expanded. This September, it moved into a new office, in one of Sofia's newest and hottest office buildings. The stunning NV Tower stands out with its high-tech working environment that fits the newest standards in sustainability, comfort, safety and green architecture.
A lot of changes in just 3 years. This is the reason to talk to the man behind them. Plamen Toshev was the owner and managing director of T-Soft and is now the General Manager of Acronis Bulgaria. He has over 14 years of experience in the software industry, a track record of successful projects and extensive management skills. He is focused on expanding the company presence and its R&D centre in Bulgaria and is directly responsible for the development of some of the major products of Acronis.
Just 3 years after Acronis arrived in Bulgaria, the company opened a new office here. What provoked this change?
When we opened our office in Sofia in 2018, we had 20 employees. We had forecast a workforce growth of about 200-300 people and had chosen an office space that would accommodate a team of such size. Today, however, about 500 people work for Acronis. The need of a new office became self-evident.
What amenities for your talents and partners were you looking for when you decided to settle at NV Tower?
We, at Acronis, have always prioritised our employees' safety. In the past 2 years the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically changed our understanding for a safe environment. The air conditioning systems in our new office use UV light to filter and effectively eliminate all types of bacteria and viruses. We also took care of many other aspects connected to cleanliness and hygiene, such as self-cleaning toilet seats. The location near one of Bulgaria's top universities, the Technical University, is also key for us as we plan to significantly increase our cooperation with them. The accessibility via Sofia's metro, the availability of parking lots and, of course, the building's incredible quality and architecture were the other factors that helped us to make this relatively easy choice.
How, in your opinion, will Acronis grow at NV Tower in the near future?
Currently we are renting 3 floors, but we plan to expand to 6. This is connected to the rapid growth of our Sofia team that will probably reach 1,000 people in the next 2 years.
What are the main factors behind this impressive growth?
First are the efforts of the whole Sofia team that does a great job. Then comes the quality of Bulgarian IT specialists who are on a par with their international colleagues, Bulgaria's EU membership and its low taxes. We also attract a lot of talent from Eastern Europe; currently they make about 25% of our Sofia office. We take care of their relocation and we help them integrate into Bulgaria, as they can only help the development of our IT industry. I hope that this will become a state policy; Bulgaria needs highly qualified professionals like them.
It is impressive that Acronis's main R&D centre is in Bulgaria. Why is this so?
Our fast growth in the past 3 years and the successful attraction of talent from the region are the basis of this. Things work out when we attract top talents who work on all Acronis products and prove their skills on a daily basis. This is why we were hardly surprised when in the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year the Acronis leadership decided to build the company's main R&D department in Sofia.
How does the Bulgarian office of Acronis select quality talent in the highly competitive local labour market?
Acronis is a global product development company. Our employees work with top professionals from all over the world and create products that compete with the best known and popular solutions. Acronis is also one of the most innovative companies, applying for more than 60 new patents each year, including from Bulgaria. The excellent work conditions, such as our new office, also motivate the talents.
Sofia, 59 G.M. Dimitrov, NV Tower