Marine and offshore
Boris Zhelev of HYDRAVLON, Black Bruin’s new distributor in Bulgaria believes that “bear” resonates well with the Bulgarian mentality.
Cooperation started just over four months ago, making HYDRAVLON of Varna, Bulgaria one of the newest Black Bruin dealers. HYDRAVLON is a family business with Sales & Supply Manager Boris Zhelev now in charge of operations. When Boris’ grandfather started the business 30 years ago, the company was all about marine and hydraulics.
Today, Boris’ vision is to give HYDRAVLON a whole new life with cooperation with Black Bruin as part of his plan. “We expanded to cargo lifting in 2008, which in general was a very difficult time, but at the same time created a chance for HYDRAVLON to do something new. In the same way just as the Bulgarian industry has recessed for a couple of years, and with many big companies closing up, for smaller companies the situation is now actually stimulating. We are eager to move towards more digitalized business,” declares Boris.
HYDRAVLON does all product-related training with in-house resources and supplies the necessary spare parts. They also claim brand independence, with a good selection of stock – by HYDRAVLON itself or its partners – for the fastest response possible. “We do everything in our power to avoid unreasonable 2 – 3 month delivery times, which is not uncommon in the current market situation,” Boris explains his company’s priorities.
Boris Zhelev believes that Black Bruin has much greater potential in Bulgaria than what they have realised so far. “Black Bruin is not at all well presented in certain regions. There are several virgin markets, including the neighbouring countries, for example Ukraine, but we are not marketing there – at least not so far – because there’s a lot to do in our own country,” tells Boris.
Boris explains the potential of Black Bruin further: “The Black Bruin motor is really unique in their niche, designed for the toughest conditions and built to last. When needed, it switches off parts of the motor in an ingenious way. They have gone to great lengths to make them simple and more practical.”
As for the specific applications and industries in Bulgaria, Boris is aware of vast potential in agriculture, where there are also large machinery manufacturers. For the applications in agriculture, Boris believes nobody else can offer exactly the same as Black Bruin: “on-demand drive and compact size, everything fitting on standard wheels”.
Boris understands that in most market areas, Bulgaria included, Black Bruin needs partners who can complement their unique motor offering – with pumps and power packs. “This is the way to new implementations, too,” he says.
There’s a pretty strong recycling industry in Bulgaria. The challenge for Black Bruin motors there seems to be the price. As Boris describes the situation: “Black Bruin is a high-end solution – and reliability has its price – but of course we advise everybody to think in terms of TCO.”
In Bulgaria, most business is conducted face to face. “People are very cost oriented and don’t trust presentations through email; you also need to have all the decision makers around the table, so you need to make appointments, lots of them,” explains Boris.
As Black Bruin is not yet a recognized brand in Bulgaria, Boris and his company are prepared to proceed step by step. “No big media campaigns yet, but carefully analysing and explaining the Black Bruin benefit to the selected target groups,” he explains his strategy. “I think that the bear resonates well with Bulgarian mentality though,” Boris says smilingly about the Black Bruin name and visual identity.
Like most Bulgarians, Boris is a self-confessed workaholic: no generous annual holidays, just a few days at a time throughout the year. Boris is involved in non-profit organisations helping children. “We are only starting with that, thinking that hopefully we can do meaningful stuff in a couple of years,” he says. This man is also keenly interested in psychology – “and human relations”, as he describes it.
Boris is moreover heavily into gadgets, “addicted to them”, he confesses, “constantly looking for new stuff”. His latest hobby is 3D-printing. So far he has printed models of machines, components, what needs to be done. “Very useful for prototyping,” he adds.
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