Ivan Donev

Sofia, 7. April 2022

From a child of the world to an IT specialist in Black IT Bulgaria - the story of Ivan Donev

Usually, we hear inspiring stories about Bulgarians who succeed abroad thanks to their talent, knowledge and, above all, dedication. The story of Ivan Donev is even more inspiring because Bulgaria is the last country so far and the first destination he has consciously chosen for his personal and professional growth.

A child of the world

In addition to his parents' work, Ivan lived as a child in India, the United States and Germany. From these cultures, so different in values, Ivan can take away some very positive things for himself. He is impressed by how much Indians focus on relationships between with each other, how much they appreciate the smallest things in life, and how they always find a reason to be happy regardless of the circumstances. After a few years in India, he found himself in the United States, the land of individualism and unlimited possibilities. He is amazed by the dynamic life there, develops his adaptability, realizes how different people are, and learns to appreciate the uniqueness of everyone. He also remembers the most important lesson from his American teachers: “It was extremely motivating to hear from my teachers how I can, as long as I pursue my dreams. This was a completely different behavior and attitude towards me, compared to what I went through in Bulgaria in 6th and 7th grade. "

 Coming back to Bulgaria and searching your own way

Ivan finished his secondary school in Bulgaria and began studying Political Science in English. For him, this is a period of trial and error and finding his own path, which he summarizes as follows: “I wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy and to represent Bulgaria in the world, like my parents. But as I studied, I realized that I needed a stable career first before taking such steps. For this reason, I started working in German at another company and after two years of studying at JAVA, I started my career with ABAP at Schwarz IT.”

Start of the career in Bulgaria

Ivan stumbles upon a job advertisement for Kaufland IT Hub on an online platform. He is attracted by the fact that the company is big and its business is interesting. Almost a year after he joined the team, Kaufland IT Hub and Lidl Digital became part of Schwarz IT Bulgaria, the "digital heart" of the Schwarz retail group and a provider of IT services for the Kaufland and Lidl chains. The new company is the first IT company of the global Schwarz Group, which opens outside Germany, with operations in more than 30 countries, serving about 12,500 stores worldwide and more than 7.5 billion customers per year. Ivan remembers the motivation for applying: "I wanted to learn everything about how this huge and successful company works." As an IT specialist, he has an idea of how big technological needs retail companies have. IT solutions are behind all processes in the retail business: logistics, procurement, accounting, finance, control, sales, construction, marketing and communication.

His high expectations of the company are justified. With undisguised satisfaction, Ivan says: “I feel like I am learning something new every day. I believe that I am developing a lot professionally, because the technology I program on is quite rare and not every company can afford it. "

Professional development - without hesitation Ivan formulated that this kept him in Schwarz IT for a year. However, he likes the company in many other aspects: the modern "Western" style of work, the complete freedom without micromanagement, the daily work with colleagues from other countries, the different technologies at their disposal, as well as the growing knowledge of the retail business.

Looking forward

Ivan has a clear vision for his future: "I imagine myself as a CTO (Chief Technical Officer) in a big company." He does not rule out the possibility of staying in Bulgaria. According to him, the IT specialists in our country are extremely well trained and the whole field is developing rapidly.
Regarding the point of view of his long-term contact with other cultures, Ivan shares that, in Bulgaria the main problem that makes it unattractive for realization for young people is lies deeper, at the level of values and thinking. "I think we need to be more positive, believe in the good and strive for it. In Bulgaria, I am very disappointed that we are afraid to try because we do not want to make mistakes. "True to his philosophy, Ivan is optimistic and at the end of the conversation said:" I believe that the more Western companies like Schwarz IT invest in Bulgaria, the more young people will stay here. "