In the end of 2022 we opened our 3rd location in Sofia – betahaus Advance Business Center (ABC). The expansion aligns with our company’s future focus on a new business line – providing a flexible working environment for larger teams, offering fully equipped spaces in Class A office buildings, meeting the highest security requirements.

We are more than happy to present you the very first member of betahaus ABC – KBC Global Services.

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Todor Petkov is the General Manager in the Bulgarian branch of KBC Global Services. He played a key role in the establishment in Varna of the first-ever Shared Services Center in the banking and insurance sector, and later led the establishment of the company’s Digital Development Center.

We are delighted to be part of betahaus’ newest coworking space. Here, we have all the facilities and state-of-the-art technology to focus on getting the job done efficiently. I am confident that we have chosen the right location for our first office in Sofia.

why did you choose a coworking space instead of a traditional office?

We generally prefer to rent space in buildings owned by other KBC Group companies (UBB, DZI or KBC Bank), but last year we decided to try a new approach that gave us exceptional speed and brought excellent results. The ability to quickly rent a dedicated space in line with our strict risk level requirements, yet shared with other firms in the IT cluster, combined with the convenience and belief in the hybrid way of working were the basis of our decision to open the Sofia hub of KBC Global Services in the coworking space of betahaus. 

Over 40 employees already work in the modern environment you provide. The flexibility of this type of office space is also an important factor that we considered, given our plans for significant team expansion.

what kind of activities does the team that works from betahaus deal with?

Our company is the engine behind KBC Group’s global business. The colleagues in Sofia will be working on many different, interesting projects. They will largely be related to the digitalization of KBC’s banking and insurance business in Belgium, but not only. For example, part of the team developing KBC’s AI-based personal mobile assistant KATE is based here.

in what direction will your team in Sofia evolve?

The team will continue to support the technologic progress of the company. The people working from the new hub in Sofia are not separated into a standalone unit, but rather work in different agile teams with their colleagues in Varna and other countries. Based on the current and upcoming projects, I expect that in 2023, the team in Sofia will exceed 100 people. We are planning to attract experienced specialists, mostly in the field of IT and software engineering, but also those with a profile in the fields of data analytics and database management, who will work on the SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) model for the industrialization of KBC Group’s planned customer-centric innovations. With our presence in Sofia, we will give many more talented people the opportunity to stay in the country and develop their knowledge and careers here. Last but not least, colleagues from Sofia will also have the opportunity to work from our head office in Varna, which is another benefit for them during the summer months.

what is important for a team in today’s work environment?

Factors such as the overall atmosphere, shared values between the company and the employees, excellent technological and operational support, comfort in the workplace and flexibility of the schedules are particularly important for effective work and collaboration between colleagues in a team. We help our employees to achieve an optimal work-life balance so they return to the office energized and at their best. We face different challenges on a daily basis that could be handled easily when people feel relaxed and confident that the company is committed to their prosperity.

how will the work culture change in the coming years?

There is an increasing focus on flexible working hours and the removal of physical and territorial boundaries in the workplace. The focus will be more on the quality of work rather than the time and place it is being done. People will increasingly rely on artificial intelligence to ease the burden of performing routine and standardized tasks. As the proportion of so-called ‘Generation Z’ employees increases, the role of digital technology in the workflow will grow, but so will the pressure on companies to be socially responsible and committed to sustainability causes. Career development opportunities and team values will come to the fore as one of the main criteria when choosing an employer.

betahaus sofia coworking advance business center

where do you see the place of coworking spaces in this trend? 

This type of workspace meets the needs of both large corporations, looking to enter new territories, and small and medium-sized businesses seeking maximum freedom and flexibility in the face of global economic uncertainty and turbulence. With rental prices for commercial property on the rise, this type of solution is definitely a cost-effective alternative to a long-term office lease, as it offers a complete facilities package with minimal commitment from the tenant in terms of workplace furniture, design and equipment.

About KBC Global Services in Bulgaria 

KBC Global Services is the driving force behind KBC Group’s international banking and insurance business. Since its foundation in 2019, the Bulgarian division of KBC Global Services has been developing and delivering operational and IT solutions in various areas including daily banking, anti-money laundering, back-office services, software development, artificial intelligence and quality assurance, including projects to support digital transformation, thereby assisting other Group companies in delivering on their commitments to clients globally.