IT&BPO Potential in Plovdiv

Plovdiv is the second most important city in Bulgaria, according to its demographics. The city attracts workforce from a region that is populated by about 1.3 million people living in the city itself or in commutable distance. A highly developed educational system of nation-wide renowned high schools and universities serves as a good sourcing pool for over 40 IT&BPO companies that have already settled in Plovdiv. Moreover, the education system is getting more adaptive and open to cooperation with business, introducing joint courses, internships and industry-oriented programs. The fairly recent process of emerging favorable ecosystem for IT&BPO has been recognized by the local authorities as a major development path for the city

Great possibilities for staff sourcing

The demand for highly qualified labor in the outsourcing sector sets
the base for tight collaboration between educational institutions and
outsourcing companies. High schools in Plovdiv have traditions in
offering a high-quality education. Among the best schools operating in
the city are: Mathematics High School, Foreign Languages High School
(with emphasis on English and German), French Language High
School, National High School of Commerce. Most employees in
companies requiring high-level language skills or highly developed
analytical and mathematical skills have graduated in one of the above
high schools. There are over 40,000 students attending the 9
universities in the city. Plovdiv University and Technical University of
Sofia (Plovdiv branch) both have traditions in the preparation of good
mathematicians and programmers. The Academy of Music, Dance and
Fine Arts in Plovdiv is a source of professionals working with images
and design. As a general practice, companies select their staff in early
stages of higher education.

Advantages compared to Sofia and other big cities

Compared to the capital, as in other outsourcing destination countries,
the second biggest city offers a number of advantages. Most importantly,
Sofia concentrates most of the higher-end jobs in the state
administration, finance, and B2B services, which is a factor for a tight
competition in the labor demand. In contrast, Plovdiv labor market is not
characterized by such strong competition for talents, as well as for the
middle-skillset employees. Moreover, Plovdiv seems to be appraised as a
city of higher quality of life than Sofia (due to less traffic and urban stress,
possibilities to reach work place by bicycle, good public transportation,
etc.). Employees in Plovdiv enjoy the city and its opportunities for
wellbeing, sports, culture and arts. Those are factors - together with the
famous “local patriotism” - for a much more loyal employees. Compared
to the big cities on the sea coast, employers in Plovdiv in the mid-skillset
segment face no fierce competition for employees from the tourism
industry. Last but not least, Plovdiv is just a bit more than an hour drive
from the Sofia International Airport.

Emerging IT&BPO ecosystem

IT&BPO is still an “emerging” industry in Plovdiv. The potential of the city
has become to materialize since fairly recently. Dynamics in those
industries in the past few years went hand in hand with the birth of the
first co-working hubs, business clusters and specialized events. The
municipality of Plovdiv has recognized its role as a first stop for new
investors, providing valuable assistance especially in the relations with
universities. Currently, one of the key priorities for the city is
development and promotion of an IT&BPO business-friendly ecosystem.

Published by Plovdiv Municipality
In partnership with Industry Watch Group Ltd.

Copyright Plovdiv Municipality