Sofia, Bulgaria — On April 26-27, CEED Bulgaria organized a Balkan business forum “For Your Success – Experience of TOP Managers from the Region.” The event presented best practices from enterprises in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia and provided market analyses and advice on business development. The forum sought to help entrepreneurs from the Balkan region draw on the experience of managers of big regional producers and exporters. Among the most discussed topics during the forum were “New Management Tools and Approaches,” “Leadership, Management, and Staff Motivation,” “Business Processes for SMEs” and “Navigating New Technologies for Online Presence.”
- “Search for demanding customers — they can drive your business development” was the advice of Mr. Zahariev — co-owner and CEO of the manufacturer of aluminum caps “Herti” that grew from a microenterprise to one of the top 10 cap manufacturers in the world.
- “What is the road from bankruptcy to becoming the largest manufacturer of packaging in Bulgaria?” The answer came from the Executive Director of Dunapack Rodina, Stanislav Razpopov, winner of the 2011 Manager of the Year award of the Bulgarian Manager magazine. “Business success comes as a result of the balance among four components – (i) total customer satisfaction, (ii) product quality, (iii) market speed and (iv) cost
minimization,“ Mr. Razpopov said.
- Nikolay Yarmov, CEO of CEED Bulgaria, presented a report of doing business in the region. The study compared current business conditions in different countries to show which actions for overseas expansion make sense given the economic and fiscal environment.
- US investor and consultant Les Nemethy outlined five common mistakes that can bankrupt companies which are otherwise promising: (i) when the entrepreneur is a “one-man company,” (ii) lack of uniqueness of the business model, (iii) lack of ambitious goals in the business strategy, (iv) decisions based on avoiding taxes and (v) lack of exit planning.
The presentations from Macedonia, Romania and Serbia focused on sharing best practices for successful business. The audience was very active during the forum, participating in the discussions and sharing experiences and expectations for future growth. The participants gave very positive feedback on the presentations at the event and the opportunity
to make valuable acquaintances.