We Want to Create an Academy for Qualified Tourism Specialists

We have been investing attention and care for our clients and employees for 20 years now

Boyana and Eva of the Sharlopov Family:

We Want to Create an Academy for Qualified Tourism Specialists

Boyana Sharlopova and Eva Sharlopova

884 ~ 5 мин. четене
Автор: Niya Ilieva

Eva Sharlopova is the Executive Director of Sharlopov Group. She studied in Switzerland and Austria, and then returned to Bulgaria to join the family business. She went all the way from the lowest levels in the hierarchy to the highest management position.

Boyana Charlopova is a member of the board of directors of Sharlopov Group. She graduated in Microbiology and Genetics at the University of Plovdiv and at the end of 1999 began working as a microbiologist at one of the brand companies (Royal Cake AD). She is actively involved in creating the interior design of the hotels of Sharlopov Group.  

What businesses does Sharlopov Group unite today?

ES: Sharlopov Group is a sustainable growing family brand that brings together the companies owned by the Sharlopov family – companies with different activities (jewellery, rental of commercial and warehouse premises, hotel services), but united by the common purpose of dynamic development and inspiring ideas.

We created the first private hotel chain in Bulgaria in 1999. Sharlopov Hotels is also the first Bulgarian hotel chain to expand its presence in Europe with the opening of the Palmenwald Schwarzwaldhof SPA and Wellness Hotel in Freudenstadt, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, in 2010.

BS: Over the years of development, our main goal has been to establish Bulgaria as a year-round tourist destination with its exceptional natural riches, climate, mineral waters, cultural and historical heritage.

What distinguishes Sharlopov Group from its competitors?

BS: Ever since our first hotel was created, we have been trying to provide our guests with a sense of cosiness, of family-like atmosphere and warmth. It is really important for us that they feel comfortable and at ease in their “home away from home.” 

ЕS: For us, success has never been a reason or an excuse to stop in one place. On the contrary, the successes and recognitions we receive motivate us to continue to develop and invest in improvements, in higher quality, in more diverse services.

BS: We create all our projects with a lot of experience behind us and professionalism, but also with a lot of love. Our main goal is one – happy and satisfied clients who would come back to us.

This year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our company, and we hope that the next 20 years will be even more successful and inspiring.

How would you describe the company’s credo?

BS: It may sound as a cliché, but for us, the client comes first. We have always been driven by the desire to offer our guests the highest quality of service, personal attitude and attention. Let me quote Mahatma Gandhi’s words, which perfectly fit our vision of what is valuable and important in our business:

“The client is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us - we are dependent on him. 
He does not an interruption of our work - he is the purpose of it. He is not a rank outsider to our business - he is a part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him, but he is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to serve him.”

What is your vision for the future of the company? Do you envision new projects and investments and improvements to existing ones?

ES: Sharlopov Group is already a well-established and recognizable brand on the Bulgarian market. The products we offer have been speaking for themselves for years. We have the task of keeping and upgrading everything created so far. We are happy that in the last 2 years, we have been able to finalize two large-scale projects for the overall renovation of the Devin SPA Hotel and the construction of a brand-new hotel quarters in Pirin Park Hotel, Sandanski, which was not easy and took considerable time and resources. But I think the results are well worth it.

BS: We have had an ambitious idea for a while, which we hope to be able to implement soon. We would like to create Sharlopov Academy – a place for training and development that creates highly qualified specialists in the field of tourism. This is our way of contributing to the industry, which is in dire need of well-trained professionals.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your business today?

ЕS: One of the big difficulties we often have to deal with is finding well-trained employees. The personnel problem in Bulgaria, in particular in the tourism sector, is serious and continues to deepen, which is why it should not be underestimated, but specific solutions should be sought.

In addition, the human factor has always been at the heart of our business. And as we know, it is a complex, often unpredictable matter, a set of different emotions, values, ideas. It is important for us that employees feel motivated and committed to the company in order to be satisfied and efficient enough in their work. This is important for both parties. In this sense, we are trying to invest the necessary care and attention in order to show our employees that they are valued and that we need them.

BS: Every company is meaningless without its employees. It is a challenge to be able to build and subsequently retain a well-functioning and united team with which to meet the difficulties and successes together. Tourist services are constantly developing, which requires upgrading and uncompromising quality of the services we offer. The challenges are daily, but they are the ones that motivate us to improve ourselves and move forward.

What does success mean to you?

BS: Success is not something to think about every day and make it an end in itself. It is a logical consequence of your efforts, of the work you do with enthusiasm, pleasure and dedication. For me, it is a success to walk the path of your life without losing yourself and your values.

ES: Success has different dimensions for different people. For me, it is finding happiness in the simple things that make your day better – waking up with a smile, being satisfied with a completed project, a new idea, coping with a new challenge. I do not understand success as a one-off event in our lives. Success means continuous development and movement – you set a goal, you achieve it, and you move on to the next one.

Is it easier or harder for women to succeed in business and does gender matter?

ES: In today’s business, there is no place for gender stereotypes. I don’t like the division of women and men in business. Yes, women and men in business, and not only there, are different in terms of emotionality, way of thinking and decision-making, way of communication. However, it is important for these differences to be understood and used rationally in different situations.

BS: It seems to me that one of the mistakes that we, women, often make is trying to imitate men when we do business. This, in addition to being difficult, is in most cases useless and does not produce the results we want. I am convinced that when you see yourself as a leader, when you know where you are going, and when you stay true to your principles and ideas, the fact that you are a woman makes no difference. I think that the love of a woman is a great advantage, which, when directed and transformed into a business endeavour, is the fuel that every successful business needs.

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