Ekkehard Neureither: Bulgarians are Becoming More Green Oriented
Ekkehard Neureither is the Country Manager of the automation and power technologies giant ABB for Bulgaria.
He is also the Local Division Manager for Low Voltage Products in Bulgaria, Romania, and Moldova.
Neureither has been in the company since 1992, when he started as a production and project engineer. From 1996 to 1998 he was appointed as General Manager of the newly founded ABB Control Ltd. in Petrich, Bulgaria.
In Novinite's "Personality in the News 2013" poll, Mr. Neureither received the award in the Business category, together with Ivaylo Penchev, founder of Walltopia.
What does it take to be a successful manager, especially when managing a business in a foreign country?
Being a successful manager takes the full range of realising the responsibilities, calmly leading and at the same time being an example for many people. ABB in Bulgaria has over 1,500 employees and for me the chance to work with them is a great opportunity. Managing a business in a foreign for me country brings up the chance on first place to learn a lot of new lessons, to get to know better the culture and the expectations of the people. The importance of how and where you manage a business is equally significant. And finding the right balance is a task of priority for each successful manager.
What are the positives and negatives for a foreign company operating in Bulgaria?
ABB has local companies in all countries where it operates and by being in Bulgaria, I believe that we, as well as other foreign companies operating in Bulgaria, are bringing international expertise locally and help the people to develop themselves and to receive the know-how of international processes. That's why I strongly believe that we are bringing more positives for ABB and for Bulgaria than negatives.
How far are we from a “green world”?
Living in a green world is a matter of culture and common understanding. My observations so far for the time being in Bulgaria is that people are getting more and more "green" oriented. Of course becoming green is not something which happens for one day or one month. As part of ABB's global commitment to develop a cleaner world, we are doing our best to maintain the group policy in our country. In order to do that, we took on local level active participation in developing several photovoltaic and wind parks. We have developed a monitoring centre in Sofia from where we are operating all these plants remotely. This is so far ABB's contribution towards the requirement for all European Countries to produce 25% of its energy consumption from green energy sources.
How can Bulgaria become a leading country in the high-technology sector?
First of all, innovation means a huge step forward. More companies like ABB - which are focusing on research and development- should be active in Bulgaria. Also, talent management and the HR development are an important factor which can be developed by the companies in Bulgaria, leading to a more competitive environment and to superior results.
It is always helpful to show some good examples. I’d like to refer to examples in the software segment or also ABB, and attract potential investors with the relatively good conditions in Bulgaria like competence, skilled and motivated people, state financial support and the attractive corporate tax.
What would you like to say to young entrepreneurs in Bulgaria, as a country in need of fresh business ideas?
Of course, starting a business takes a lot of courage and responsibility at the same time. But do not forget that many businesses have been started with great ideas by students. What I would recommend is, firstly to do what they like, in a field which they like; to know exactly what they want, to be radical in the sense that they can try something that nobody had never tried, but to make sure they follow certain rules and that they act in an ethical way. Also, in such initiatives time management is essential. It would be also recommendable to have a mentor and to explore the online resources which are of a great value nowadays.
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