Vladislav Iankov, Sales Director, Equinix Bulgaria: Managers need to listen to people

Recently Vladislav Iankov – Sales Director at Equinix Bulgaria, took part in Economy.bg’s project called “The IT Leaders in Bulgaria”. He spoke about the school environment that determined his future path, his professional experience and of course the lessons he learned as a long-time manager.

Here is a part of this conversation. You can read the full interview here.

  • What are the key skills that you believe a manager should possess to successfully run a tech company?

Managers must listen to all people, not just team members. They must be able to understand them and pass on their knowledge. Technology changes every day and so do people’s problems, therefore we need to be informed about everything that is happening around us and our customers.

I think it is very important to be able to pass on learning and wider knowledge with our colleagues. If a colleague is exclusively involved in operational work, this does not mean that they should not have an idea of ​​the bigger picture, outside of their specific activity.

In my opinion, the job of every manager, and every person, is to sow the seeds of knowledge and curiosity in people and to encourage their desire to develop. Nobody wants to be stuck in the same place. An if that happens the reason could be that they simply couldn’t find the right environment to help them develop and make them better at what they do.

  • What have been the biggest challenges so far in your career and what have you learned from them?

In my opinion, the most serious challenge anyone could face is to never forget where they started from, who they were, and which people helped them get to where they are now. I think the path to success is what really matters and what counts.

Unfortunately, there are many examples of the opposite. It is very unfortunate that some people succumb to this. Material possessions cannot buy health, respect and friendship.

I wish I could believe it wouldn’t happen to me. Whenever there is a need, for example, I help TUES – the place that, in my opinion, gave me the necessary knowledge and skills. I’ve been doing this for 27 years and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it. I believe that everyone should help others in whatever way they can.

It is also a challenge to remain as I think I am now – enthusiastic, curious. My profession also helps me a lot – working in sales is one of the most enjoyable things for me. My work is such that literally every day I encounter something new and different. There is no routine, which can often cause zest or enthusiasm to evaporate.

  • If you knew what you know today, what would you change?

I would learn two more languages. Unfortunately, I no longer have the necessary free time to be able to do so. So, I would also add this – to learn to manage my personal time better. I realise now that I could have used my free time years ago in a much more rational way.

  • How do you see the development of the IT industry in Bulgaria in the coming years?

I believe that from geographical  and telecommunications point of view, Bulgaria will remain in a very good position in Europe, as it is at a kind of crossroads – between the Middle East, the Caucasus and, of course, Europe. In fact, Bulgaria is one of the main corridors for data traffic from Europe to the Middle East. Let me clarify – the two main corridors for data traffic in EMEA are Turkey – Europe and Saudi Arabia – Europe. Turkey uses nearly 48% of the volume of international data exchange in the region, making it also the largest user of Internet services in the Edge environment. The main part of this traffic goes through Germany (8,032 gigabits per second) and Bulgaria (5,270 gigabits per second), with the Turkey-Bulgaria corridor especially seeing the greatest growth in traffic.

We will continue to be an affordable nearshore destination with great, educated, young people. Excluding the field of outsourcing, I think that thanks to the already well-established startup environment, it will be possible to create quality products and services. What we lack at the moment is precisely our own, Bulgarian, end-to-end product, but I believe that this will soon change. We have very good engineers, we also have the necessary knowledge, in other words – we have the critical mass of people and knowledge. I believe that there is a great potential in the country to create truly successful products – according to my observations, Bulgarian companies are incredibly practical and efficient in what they do. I’d love it if we could help all these companies reach customers around the world faster and more securely.