Digital transformation is an irreversible process. It hides many risks, but it also offers opportunities. Especially for those investors who manage to find a good niche and catch the wave that gives advantage to the first.
At a Dead End
When one invests looking
through rose-coloured glasses at the future, usually soon after comes a period
of soberness. Then, for example, it becomes clear that the constructed hotel in
a seasonal resort is not the expected heavenly manna. Bansko has become a
world-renown ski destination, but it already suffers from overdevelopment and
from the fact that it currently has only one gondola lift. For a relatively
short period of time, many investors transformed the small town into a large
resort with huge bed capacity and tourists that come occasionally over the
weekend to ski are not enough to fill it. "The problem is serious and its
solution is like finding a cure against cancer", comments Milko Pamukchiev,
owner of Snow Pearl Apartment Complex. According to him, every entrepreneur and
investor must find the right way for their investment towards its new future
and breathe new life into it. But how? For attracting a new customer segment,
it is necessary to offer new attractive products and a new vision.
How to Get Noticed
The Canary Islands have
become a sort of capital for digital nomads. People from all over the world
have gathered there and find excellent conditions to live and work. According
to Milko Pamukchiev, Bansko also has the potential to turn into an attractive
European destination for digital nomads, and there are already such people who
have moved there. Generally speaking, they are looking for a low cost of
living, bio food, fresh air and good opportunities for remote work. Some
freelancers have registered their companies in Bulgaria to take advantage of
the low taxation. They have to be found and convinced that this really is their
place. Their attention can be caught, for example, by conferences and
presentations that would arose their curiosity to the new opportunities.
Traditional advertising methods are unlikely to get them out of their comfort
zone. "If I see an advertisement that simply invites me to go to Uganda
because I will live there very well, I will pay no attention to it and I will
not even consider if it’s worth it," the entrepreneur comments. In order
for the realization of such an idea to become a mission possible, gradually, an
environment suitable for digital nomads must be created. If there are promising
ideas, business angels may be invited who would be interested in the
realization of the new products that some of these freelancers will create
find their own way to get to the digital nomads. They must be prepared to
present the advantages in a good enough way. However, the discussion should not
be focused around the idea that it is cheap here, but around the opportunities
for realization of their ideas, and around the already well-functioning
ecosystem with technological and logistic opportunities in an EU Member State,"
Pamukchiev assures. According to him, the conditions allow for large
multinational companies to situate their employees here and thus optimize their
costs. These people will have a wonderful place for work and recreation - clean
air, skiing in winter, summer tourism, golf, and mineral water.
The Snowball Effect
The region around
Bansko and Razlog has a huge potential to become a technological centre.
Co-working spaces are already being created in Bansko, and the more people come to work here, the more people like them
will follow. So, the snowball effect is already showing results. What is more,
people with different professions will start coming, too, who will settle down
and carry out various business activities.
requires entrepreneurs to reconfigure their thinking and business. The Bulgarian
market is small and it is good for entrepreneurs to seek foreign opportunities.
Whoever fails to adapt properly, will be out of the game. There are tremendous
opportunities for development and we should not be afraid of the coming
changes. In Paris, at the end of the 18th century, there were almost 30,000
water carriers; when water pipes were introduced, the carriers were also afraid
that they would be left without a job.
With a Flying Start
digitalization will draw some new dividing lines. A new stratum is already
being formed, which Milko Pamukchiev arbitrarily defines as digital
aristocracy. Artificial intelligence is becoming more and more widespread, and
this, in his opinion, raises the question of what the future holds for the
"natural intellect" and for those who are unable to keep up with
digital change. Raising and educating a super specialist in a certain area is
an expensive process that takes at least a quarter of a century. Places such as
the Silicon Valley have become a magnet for human intelligence, and countries
like Bulgaria inevitably become donors. This is understandable because
corporations such as Google have development strategies for 50 years ahead,
while governments of countries around the world may see only a 4-5 year
horizon. And still, if Bulgaria does not want to be either lagging behind or
catching up, it must create the conditions for the accelerated development of
the most promising areas related to the development of high technology,
innovation, artificial intelligence. There is an infrastructure; there is also
an entrepreneurial spirit that can be encouraged to enter the digital era with
a flying start.
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