Emerging Leader: The Story of Kiril Dimitrov

First place for Schwarz IT Bulgaria

Kiril Dimitrov is a Department Leader in Schwarz IT Bulgaria. This year he took first place in b2b Media Employer Branding Awards in the category Emerging Leader! You can read his nomination and achievement below!

Schwarz IT Bulgaria is a technology company established in 2020 with a recommendation for two high-tech and extremely capable teams in the country - those of Kaufland Service and Lidl Digital.

Schwarz IT Bulgaria serves and offers IT solutions for the four divisions of the global leading retail group Schwarz - recycling company Pre Zero, production company Schwarz Produktion and the well-known in Bulgaria competing retail chains Lidl and Kaufland. With its founding, Schwarz IT Bulgaria started the first company of the global retail group Schwarz, opened outside Germany. The main factor for choosing the country as a location is the well-trained staff in the sector. 

The team is structured in 6 areas: IT development, online business development at Lidl worldwide, infrastructure, second and third level support, cloud services and big data. 
The company is proud to nominate Kiril Dimitrov in the Emerging Leader category. He is a department manager in the Java Expansion department.

Before we introduce you with him, imagine how in the 90s of the last century, in one of the most beautiful Bulgarian cities - Burgas, smart and talented children are born. Part of them are expressed with curiosity about the world, and others - not so much. The curious enter the best schools, such as the Burgas German language high school "Goethe", which turns from children into alert young people with broad horizons and a desire to change the world. Many of these young people, classmates of Kiril Dimitrov, will leave the country forever in search of a better education and better prospects for themselves. Kiril decisides to stay in Bulgaria. To create perspectives for himself and for those who come after him. And to work for the development of a professional IT environment in Bulgaria.

Career development

Kiril began his career from the lowest rung in the field, as an intern. Over the years he went through all the steps of the software hierarchy before joining as a Senior Software Engineer in Schwarz IT Bulgaria 3 years ago.

However, he is not satisfied only with the work related to software development. All the time for him, the leading goal is to develop, to keep up with technological trends, to train his colleagues and help them grow. Thus, Kiril begins his confident ascent up the career ladder.

On the first step of the promotion in the company, the position of Technical Team Lead awaits him. To occupy it, he actively participated as a speaker for two years in a row in the conference "SITCon", organized by Schwarz IT Germany. The main focus of the conference is technical training of staff from all over the world. His efforts were noticed and Kiril was promoted.

His career path leads him to the newly formed Java Academy, which is entirely entrusted to him. His work for the development of the academy gives more than satisfactory results and so within 10 months, he takes a new role - Department manager in Schwarz IT Bulgaria.

Inevitably, every personal and professional journey brings with it difficult moments. Kiril learned the formula for dealing with difficulties from his mentor at Schwarz IT Bulgaria. It reads: the difference in sports and in life between true champions and everyone else is that champions continue to be consistent in exercising, fighting and upgrading, even when everything seems hopeless and they want to give up.

Current role
Kiril is currently the Department Manager of the Java Expansion Department at Schwarz IT Bulgaria. He manages a team of 10 software engineers who develop various projects related to the automation and digitalization of the processes and operation of the Kaufland and Lidl chains, part of the Schwarz Group. His day-to-day responsibilities relate to advising colleagues in the software practices and solutions department. His duties also include the care of the team in a technical and administrative nature, which provides the most favorable environment for the performance of the tasks of the people in the department.

Not a job, but a personal mission
For Kiril, the growth of the people in his department and the development of IT specialists in our country is a personal mission. With managers from other departments in the company, Kiril develops initiatives that support the development of specialists in the company with both technical skills and "soft skills".

For him, a leader's priorities must be related to building a favorable work environment that predisposes people to give their best. When processes are structured and work precisely, like a Swiss clock mechanism, this inevitably leads to high results. For Kiril, a leader should never be satisfied with the status quo, but on the contrary - always seek to optimize work and staff development. As the leader of his team in Java Expansion, he gives priority to the development of staff and processes.

It is important for Kiril to create the necessary preconditions for the employees in his department to lead a balanced lifestyle. His wish is for every colleague to come to work with pleasure and a smile on his face. One of the insidious diseases of the 21st century is the so-called "burn out". Under normal circumstances, and in a pandemic, Kiril feels morally obliged to make sure that the people in his team balance work and personal life so that they are happy and do not burn out.

Kiril is responsible for the development of the Schwarz IT internship program. It is implemented jointly with the National High School of Computer Technology and Systems Pravets. The initiative he leads annually gives a chance to at least 2 students to start a one-year internship at Schwarz IT Bulgaria. And after graduating from high school, young people get the right to start working as software engineers in the company. As part of the initiative, 5 professionals have already started working.

Kiril continues to lead the new Java academy for the company. Although it started in 2020 and during a global pandemic, the academy registered huge interest, and after its completion, six talented Bulgarians are already working in the company.

The internship program and the Java Academy aim to fill the gray area that exists between education and the IT field in Bulgaria. One of the most important priorities of Kiril is to continue to develop the staff coming out of the two programs, so that at some point they become the new mentors of the next generations of interns. He dreams his efforts and those of his colleagues to inspire the next generations so that they pass the baton to those who come after them.

Personal motivation

About his personal motivation Kiril shares:
"I've always dreamed of working in the field of software development. The opportunity to create different programs that make the lives of others easier and that will continue to be used for generations to come, motivates me a lot. It fills me with satisfaction to know that I am leaving a positive mark on the world.

We always take something from the people we meet. In the position I am currently in, I have the opportunity to leave a positive mark in the career of each of the people for whom I am responsible. That is why I strive to grow them as good specialists. There is no greater motivation than to see gratitude in people's eyes.

The team for Kiril Dimitrov

What really sets Kiril apart from the people in his position in the industry is his exceptional talent to be much more than a driving force in the company. He is also a leader who daily leads and encourages the development of his team with emotional intelligence, broad-hearted support.

Here's how people on his team describe it:

"Competent, empathetic and committed."

“He is an inspiration, a trustworthy person. "

"At the end of each of our conversations, he does not forget to mention that I have the opportunity to contact him at any time, for whatever reason. Despite his terribly busy schedule, he is always there.

To the qualities of Kiril Dimitrov we undoubtedly add diligence, a sense of justice, high morals, consistency, dedication and resourcefulness. And his chess skills are just a touch of his strategic professional outlook.

At the end of Kiril Dimitrov's presentation, we share his personal definition of what a leader is: “Everyone is different, so it is important for a successful leader to find an approach through which to develop and lead his colleagues forward. If there is one most important quality of the whole bunch of leadership qualities, it is to be a good person.