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News and Insight - Kamen Bochev joins Skillwork as a Managing Partner

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Article written by Kamen Bochev – 9 July, 2024

Today, it is with great pleasure that I am officially announcing my new role as Partner at Skillwork. After supporting co-founders, Ali and Jan, in previous ventures, I was honoured that the pair of them approached me with this opportunity and to be a part of this adventure.

In my new role, I will be working closely on an immensely exciting client pipeline, and supporting the team with the delivery of tech projects for big household names in the UK, US and Middle East.

So why now? Personally, coming off the end of my tenure as founder and CEO at my previous company, it was time for a new challenge. I had an innate desire to be a part of something that has the potential to make meaningful change with how corporations look at the planning, delivery and development stages internally.

From a market-perspective, as investment and revenue opportunities begin to slowly rise (coming off from a rough few years in the funding and sales space) founders, executives and managers are frozen in their decisions to execute, simply because the demand is overwhelming.

It’s a good problem to have, until it isn’t.

Having years of experience leading and delivering on projects with huge enterprises such as Centrica, British Gas, Alliance and Vodafone, I have witnessed, first-hand, the decision-making paralysis these teams have when it comes to delivering products and services for their end-customers.

Skillwork has uniquely found a way to bring together the right people, the right blend of experience and the start-up mindset needed to support, which is key to driving true innovation. Because of this, joining the team was an easy decision. And, the most interesting part, they are coming in as outsiders – not just as external partners – the team they have built are working with a mindset that only those who are not native to their client’s own home-countries can bring. Why is this important? Only then can you look at challenges differently and make decisions that really transform the process, the delivery and the end-product.

A little on my own experience and why this type of mindset is so important; tech has always been in my DNA, and my journey begins in the only place tech existed in 25 years ago – hardware. When I was a young teenager, my only goal was to play games with my friends in my hometown, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria. That meant I had to pull and run cables so I could play games with the neighbours, in some cases, taking multiple bus trips with bags of wires so we could ensure enough of us were able to partake. Attending a mathematics school deepened my love for coding and numbers, studying PR at college gave me insight into storytelling, and what came from these early experiences was a desire for building and entrepreneurship.

From running a moving company with my own lorry in Boston, to building my own tech consultancy, the feeling you get when you have a hand in growing a business is like no other.

This perfectly mimics my feelings around Skillwork – we are able to innovate faster, cheaper and much more effectively. The first thing I tell clients is that we shouldn’t fear failure. Despite the human urge from many external partners to say that they can fix everything with a magic wand, instead, I tell them we will fail many times and find the solutions based on that until we get to the end-goal in a timely and cost-effective manner. It’s a big reason as to why I choose to cultivate and retain my Balkan-roots and never strive to anglicise my accent. The Eastern European attitude towards work – find solutions no matter the challenge, stay committed, work hard to reach the goals, and to always outdo ourselves – is something I refuse to unlearn.

This is why Eastern Europe is the perfect place for our development team. It’s got little to do with money, everything to do with quality of talent. Add to that, there are now six flights a day from Bulgaria and Poland to London, making it a match made in heaven for teams looking for brilliant engineers. We constantly feel we need to prove ourselves, over-achieve and over-deliver just because of our origins, and that mentality is demonstrated in our work.

Over the coming weeks, months and years, I am looking forward to seeing Skillwork become just as big as the household names we work today. I have no doubt that this is what the future holds, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be working alongside such a creative, talented and diverse team.

Follow Kamen on LinkedIn. 

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Skillwork

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