The Art of Doing Business

For Niki Mladzhov, a word given in business relations with partners is stronger than a clause of a contract

The Art of Doing Business

Снимка: EconomyMagazine/Krassimir Svrakov

Автор: Tatyana Yavasheva

He managed to turn business into art and art into business. He is convinced that art cannot exist without business, as business should not be able to exist without art. He believes that to develop your business well is a skill that is close to art. He is the owner and manager of Z&M Private Co. that offers mining, construction and road equipment. In the company’s showroom at the Ring road in Sofia, big machines and great art coexist in harmony. His passion for art found a clear expression in the opening of Nirvana Gallery - Sofia. He is used to not making any compromise with quality and that is exactly why at the beginning of June, he received the big award for quality at KRIB’s Spring Ball, which was handed to him personally by the Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. He is Niki Mladzhov, and we will try to understand what qualities underline the quality that has won this high appraisal by the employers and industrialists in Bulgaria.


After his five minutes of glory, he focuses not on what has been achieved, but on what is yet to be conquered. Because from his partnership with ThyssenKrupp Niki Mladzhov has realised that in business you should never stop: “There is no time to enjoy your success, otherwise it may slip away. You have to constantly be on the race track of Formula 1, and even though you have reached your best time, you have to keep going and improve your achievements.” He learned from the Japanese that trust is extremely important in business. It is not easily won, but if you have it, a handshake or a word given can be stronger in a partnership than a clause in a contract


Z&M Private Co. is a representative mainly of two corporations – the German ThyssenKrupp Fordertechnik and the Japanese Hitachi Construction Machinery. They are different in both mentality and way of work. What unites them is the high quality of their products that is guaranteed. The two giants are leaders in the world of heavy machinery for the mining and construction industries. The task of Z&M Private Co. is to offer their products and services on the Bulgarian market at the respective level - quality of work, attitude towards clients and service provision.


He entered this business as if by accident. He graduated from the German Language High School, and then from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, and later started working for Interpred. He went through numerous negotiations, international meetings and many contacts with foreigners, until, at a certain moment, he received an offer to start his own business. He took the chance and entered the big business. The company was established in 1990, initially, as an exclusive representative for Bulgaria of the German concern О&К. Since 1994, he has been representing the interests of ThyssenKrupp. In 2004, the company started its activity in the mining sector of the Middle Asian markets with its own representative offices and staff in Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Tashkent (Uzbekistan). At the beginning of 2005, Z&M Private Co. also became a representative of Hitachi. In 2012, while looking for new opportunities, the company entered the market of the neighbouring Macedonia and opened a showroom in Skopje.

With the Power of the Big

The large investments in the mining industry in Bulgaria started at the end of the 90s, and ThyssenKrupp managed to created good contacts and to lay the foundation for sales expansion in the country. The German quality in combination with business sense and flexibility managed to open the doors to this market and this is how the long-term collaboration started. Then, the partnership with Hitachi followed, preceded by a long study of the country by the Japanese giant.

Personal Qualities

In business, the personal qualities of a leader are of paramount importance. Some would consider teamwork significant, but it is always necessary for the leadership position to be held by someone who can confidently lead the company ahead. Niki Mladzhov clearly has the qualities, but also the chance to be able to apply them in the best way. Experience taught him that correctness in business relations is appreciated by partners, especially when it is a long-term interaction. What is required is flexibility, high intelligence and timely decision making. Business and personal life should not be mixed up.

Who Wins

In this great competition, the ones who win are manufacturers and traders who listen to the wishes of their clients. A trader stands between the manufacturer and the client, and he is expected to find the balance in relations. Today, aggression is not a drive in a partnership. What is important is not to create a boom, shine like a star and get into the spotlight. Niki Mladzhov’s goal is to have more than short-lived success.

The Other Side of the Coin

Art has entered his life firmly. He grew up among paintings and inherited a collection of works of famous Bulgarian artists. He started expanding it with contemporary authors – among them Genko Genkov, Nikola Kazakov-Nero, Ivan Kirkov. His friendship with Academician Svetlin Rusev, who became his Teacher, gave him the opportunity to develop and enrich the collection and turned him into a connoisseur and Maecenas.

For Niki Mladzhov art is not just business. It is passion, love and a gulp of fresh air. Encounters with the great names in art motivate him to continue to be big in what he can do best - business.

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