In our focus


Добрина Илиева

Varna beyond the seasonal business - a new location of technology companies

The sea capital is increasingly in the focus of business news in our country with the growing number of companies such as Siemens, Coca-Cola, Paysafe, Sitel, Scalefocus and Pontica Solutions, which chose the city to expand their business operations. It is the combination of the large number of qualified staff, coming from Varna universities and elite high schools and the tendency of companies to look for opportunities beyond the borders of Sofia, that make Varna the new location of technology companies.

Dobrina Ilieva, Regional Perm Team Leader shares how this changes the labor market in the city and what further contributes to the formation of an innovative business environment for the IT community:

What changes have occurred on the labor market in Varna in the last two years?

Typically known for its seasonal business, in the last few years on the market, Varna has attracted many foreign technology and outsourcing companies. This definitely moved the labor market and changed the structure of the industries represented in the city. The opportunities for the people in the region are many and there is an increasing interest in relocating to the sea capital from people who until recently lived outside it.

What are the main reasons for the city to become a center of attraction for technology companies?

One of the main reasons remains the human factor - the availability of relevant educational institutions and qualified staff. Some of the companies have difficulties finding employees in Sofia and therefore choose to open offices in other cities in the country, Varna being the logical choice for many organizations. There is a desire in young people to stay in the city, as well as trends for the return back to Varna from those who left it in the first place, looking to go back to a calmer living environment, away from the dynamics of the capital. From the point of view of the companies - their operating costs for investment and business expansion in Varna are still significantly lower than in Sofia.

How does this change affect other industries in the region?

The entry of new companies offering better levels of remuneration, above the standard for the city, has led to increased competition for talent between organizations, respectively "taught a lesson" to some of the local companies that they need to take better care of people, with whom they work, listen to their needs and  provide them with opportunities for development.
There is also an outflow of employees who speak foreign languages in the field of tourism in favor of the new job opportunities offered by technology and outsourcing companies. Regarding the IT sector, there is a natural gradual increase in the levels of remuneration caused by the increasing competition in the sector at local level.

What are the future forecasts?

Varna is expected to remain an attractive destination for outsourcing and technology companies in the next few years, as well as to maintain the tendency for more people to want to return from the capital, from abroad or other regions of the country to find realization in the sea capital. The practice of remote work on some projects will also continue to provide additional opportunities for professional realization in Varna. And now, when more than ever attention is paid to the effective balance between work and personal life, working close to the calming waves of the sea seems like a pretty good idea.