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Ilia Krustev remains Chairman of AIBEST, Natalia Georgieva is the new CEO of the Association

At a regular general meeting, the members of the Association for Innovation, Business Excellence, Services and Technology (AIBEST) elected the new Management Board. The current members of the Board remain Ilia Krastev, CEO of A Data Pro and Ivan Georgiev Co-Founder and CEO of Pontica Solutions.

The new members of the AIBEST Management Board are Ivan Rusev, R&D director at Experian Bulgaria, Yordan Ginev - Chief HR and Supply Chain Officer at DIGITALL, Verka Petkova, partner and director of Business Development at Colliers International Bulgaria, Maya Milanova, CEO of Flow logic and Petar Torneff, Director ATC at Accenture Bulgaria
Natalia Shishkova - Georgieva joins AIBEST as Chief Executive Officer with over 12 years of experience in the field of exported business services for large international companies. She has served in leadership roles and was in charge of establishing and managing high-tech customer operations in Europe and America. She holds a Master's degree in Humanities from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and has specialized in the area of business administration at the University of Warsaw.

At its first meeting, the new Management Board re-elected Ilia Krastev as Chairman of the Association and confirmed the strategic priorities on which it will work in the next two years. The main task of the Board will be the positioning of Bulgaria and the region as a hub for high-value-added services through innovation, and the development of technological products and services.
Creation of appropriate business conditions for the development of the sector, retention and return of local talents, and investment in employee educational programs, as well as attraction of new investments in the "knowledge industry" are among AIBEST‘s priorities. Development of a good partnership with local authorities and designing a common national-level strategy for the growth of the sector are also among the tasks of the new Management Board.

In corroboration of this commitment, AIBEST annually chooses a location outside Sofia for its annual forum. This year, the event took place in Blagoevgrad on October 21, where AIBEST partnered up with the Municipality on the topic “Beyond the challenges”.

The factors and measures that must be taken at a local and national level to attract new investments and to create a favorable business environment for the development of the sector, which according to the latest data forms 6.5% of the country's GDP, will be discussed at the forum. The forecast for 2024 indicates that the industry will continue to develop and be a major pillar in the Bulgarian economy, with its relative share in the country's GDP reaching 11.2%.

During the conference, representatives of the public and private sectors outlined the factors for the development of the Knowledge Industry in the country and its expansion at the regional level. The relationship between the state, large companies, and startups as an opportunity to accelerate business transformations was discussed as a condition for the success of Bulgaria's economic development.

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