Benefits include tech know-how, geographic proximity and favorable tax conditions


In this article produced in partnership with the awesome team of ConnectNordics.com, we will discuss why Bulgaria, in particular, is an attractive destination for Nordic companies looking to meet their software product development needs.

As a software product development firm from Bulgaria, ITIDO has a unique perspective on the advantages that Nordic companies can reap when they choose a software partner from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Yes, Scandinavia and Finland are already well digitized. The 2022 Digital Quality of Life Index ranks Denmark (#2), Sweden (#5), Finland (#7) and Norway (#17) among the leading countries globally. Yet they can still benefit from the CEE know-how as well as from factors like ease of business transactions within the EU/EEA single market.

Here are some of the reasons to look into this corner of Europe:

1. Highly-skilled, inclusive talent pool

Bulgaria has a strong reputation for producing highly skilled software developers and product managers. The backbone is formal education complemented with ongoing training programs.
Some 76.1% of the employed in ICT in Bulgaria have higher or tertiary education, well above the EU average of 64.6%. In the past decade, private training institutions like the Software University and Telerik Academy have trained over 300,000 students in total. Many companies, including ITIDO, have developed internal training programs to keep abreast with the latest web and mobile technologies.
Our own experience complements the numbers with insights on the quality of the workforce. As a software contractor for two large enterprise companies headquartered in Finland and Sweden, ITIDO consistently ranks in their respective top vendors rankings, outperforming suppliers from India and other East Asian countries.
Furthermore, Bulgaria’s IT sector is remarkably inclusive in terms of gender distribution. Women represented 28.2 % of all ICT specialists in Bulgaria in 2021 — the highest percentage in the EU, according to Eurostat data.

2. Product development know-how

CEE is widely-known as an outsourcing hub. However, the region also creates world-class digital products that rest on full-blown organizations with distinct sales, marketing, engineering, product and support departments.
FITE, a leading pay-per-view platform for global sports and entertainment, comes to mind. Founded by Bulgarian entrepreneur Kosta Jordanov, the current CEO of Bianor Holding, FITE boasts 7 million registered users and has streamed over 5000 live events globally. The product successfully attracted international investors.
At ITIDO, we also nurture our expertise in product development and end-to-end software solutions. A notable portfolio company of ours is Agriniser, a UK-based digital marketplace for grains, that serves some 2000 farmers, food processors, and grain traders in CEE. Along with software development and system administration, the joint ITIDO – Agriniser team performs data analysis to define and execute the product roadmap. Our success story with this SaaS marketplace is already three years in the making. Currently, we also partner with start-ups in Norway, Finland, and Germany on their product growth going forward.

3. Closer than you think

Bulgaria’s time zone is close to the Nordics, making it ideal for nearshoring. Sofia is just one hour ahead of Stockholm and Oslo and lies in the same zone as Helsinki. As a result, Scandinavian and Finnish organizations do not have to worry about significant inefficiencies in scheduling day-to-day work. You can say goodbye to far-off development teams with zero overlaps during business hours.
Bulgarians are known for their proficiency in foreign languages, making communication closer and collaboration – seamless. English is the most widely spoken. This is particularly true for the younger generations like Gen Z and the millennials.
In the 2022 edition of the EF English Proficiency Index, Bulgaria is ranked 21st globally, two spots up from its 2021 standing. This position is based on data for 111 countries. Nordic companies can expect to work with local software industry professionals who are fluent in English.

4. EU and NATO membership

Bulgaria, as a member of the European Union, does not apply Value-Added Tax (VAT) on transactions between companies legally established in the EU. This means that companies can enjoy VAT-free outsourcing of their software development needs to Bulgarian entities, reducing the overall cost of their projects.
Bulgaria’s membership in the EU and NATO, as well as its upcoming membership in the OECD, Schengen, and the Eurozone, reduces risks and enables frictionless transactions. Nordic companies can have confidence in their business partnerships with Bulgarian counterparties, knowing that they are operating within a stable and reliable business environment.

Wrapping it up

We all know Northern Europe is very strong in terms of digitalization as different rankings demonstrate. Hiring a software services company from Bulgaria actually complements this progress with a range of benefits, from product and engineering know-how to geographic proximity and favorable tax conditions.
With our expertise in product software development, we are confident that we can help Nordic companies achieve their business goals. If you are looking to meet your software development needs without compromising on quality, we encourage you to drop us an email. Or get in touch with the ConnectNordics.com team.


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