Atanas Germanov has been the Head of the Finance and IT department at Festo Production EOOD since November 2010, and was previously the Financial and Administrative Director of Renault Nissan Bulgaria for more than 5 years. In the period 2003-2005, he was the Budgeting and Financial Analyses Manager at Carlsberg Bulgaria after holding various positions in the financial department of Nestle Bulgaria for 7 years. He was trained at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, uses English, French and German.
Our connection with a large German manufacturer… gives us the advantage of selling our products around the world, exchanging experiences with other divisions of the Group, gaining access to new technologies and ways of working.
The growth of our business depends on… our ability to deliver the right product to the client on time, at the right price and with the right quality. We have to be better than both external and internal competition within our group, in order to attract investments and new products.
The Financial Director is a person who… is the company’s navigation system – they indicate if we are following the right course, or whether we are to expect turbulent or sunny days. They are an alarm when risks arise.
The power of the Financial Director stretches to… presenting the information in a useful way, the ability to see what’s ahead, participating actively in decision-making, speeding up, but also hitting the brake when necessary.
It should not be expected of them to… always say “yes” and open the purse for any expense.
I build my style of management… with the effort to do what is required of my colleagues – if we are on a hike and I stop for a break, soon, the rest will do the same. Employees expect clear assignments and deadlines; some need regular nudging, while if you give wings to others, they will fly.
The rules I keep as a financier... I pay attention to the pursuit of deadlines and goals. We can find one hundred excuses in case of failure, but without conclusions what we have done wrong or without measures for catching up, the situation will not change.
My experience as head of financial departments of companies from different areas of activity has taught me… that although there are common principles, there are no universal solutions. It all depends on the environment, the peculiarities of the activity, the stage of development of the company and the priorities it has.
The challenge of being responsible for the cash flows of a production company... the development of new products or the significant expansion of the capacity take time and money. Production companies have longer reaction periods for large changes in business volumes than a purely commercial company.
One of the most important lessons I have learned over the years is... that people prefer to work under clear rules. Even difficult tasks are better dealt with in a normal atmosphere. Scandals don’t help for anything; they come back as a boomerang.
The factors that may “tie” the hands of a financial director or mislead them... overly ambitious plans without good provision, as well as focusing on the details, which prevents seeing the overall picture.
In times of dynamic technological changes… the one who is well-orientated in the situation and adapts well will survive.
The world of figures is… a sea where we can drown, but which can also take us to a safe coast.
Money in digital era… moves a lot faster and chooses the shortest way.
The most difficult decision I had to make… was at a previous job when I had to collect a large receivable from a client with financial difficulties. We managed to do it without any loss for the company.
I chose to be a financier because… when the facts speak, the gods remain silent, and in finance, the facts are well-grounded.
I stayed in the profession because… I had the chance to work in big companies, which gave me freedom and opportunities for constant learning.
A financial director usually changes the company when… they need to develop, or do not find their place under the sun, or when they do not agree with the taking of reckless risks.
I invest in… education and training – the investments always have a good return.
The saying that best reflects my views on life and the profession... If every day we do something more than the rest, in a few years, we will go much farther than them.
Festo Production EOOD is a company of the Festo concern in Bulgaria. The plant in Sofia is the world leader in the production of electromagnetic sensors for pneumatic cylinders. The main production program also includes flow and pressure sensors, communication modules, controllers and connecting cables. The annual revenues exceed BGN 147 million, and the products are entirely for export. The production is complemented by a Technical Engineering Centre, which serves the Festo Group in its R&D activities. The company employs directly and indirectly more than 880 people, who attend more than 18,000 hours of training each year.
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