Describe yourself in a few sentences?
My name is Ivaylo Ivanov. I was born in 1969 in Vidin, in the family of an international driver and veterinary technician. Apparently the idea of the transport business came to me from being close to my father, who worked in Somat. I graduated from a Mathematical High School, then graduated from Economic Institute with a major in Economics and Transport Management. At the end of my 4th year at the University, I started working as a representative of a Swedish company for transport and logistics.
I had the opportunity to develop in the largest Austrian logistics company in the world. Thanks to the experience and partnership with Italian forwarding company, in 2001 I founded Maranata Transport Group Ltd.
You synthesized years of your life in a few sentences. How did you focus on forwarding sector as an industry?
Things have developed by destiny – my desire was to learn marketing. I was accepted to study Economics and Transport Management. I did not see a great perspective at the transport industry, but after the first year I had to go through an internship. The choice was clear – SOMAT Vidin. After a month in practice, I managed to realize that there is a future in international transport for me too. I continued my studies at the university, and in 1995 I got married. My wife had an acquaintance in the Swedish company where I started an hourly practice. From day to day it became more and more interesting and dynamic, then the company hired me to work for them.
Important lessons you have learned over the years?
I learned many lessons, most of them interesting. In our forwarding and in our company as a whole, human relationships are on the first place. Business must be organised in such a way that there is a correctly and fair redistribution of the resources acquired. People in the company must be happy to work in it. Regardless of what success and proceeds are – there is no need to shift the focus from the collective and the person in particular.
Another important lesson I learned is about the inefficiency of a ‘one man show’. There is a lot of strength in the teamwork. As it is written in the Bible, ‘Two are better than one, for they have a great reward in their labor.’ Man is a human, he cannot be good in everything and be everywhere – he has a limit of education, intellect and culture. While a good team can really be like an orchestra – with responsibilities, duties and goals. A well-oiled machine with working parts.
What comes to you when you hear the name Maranata Transport Group Ltd?
I know what was my aim with founding this company. The basis of our company, ideology and worldview is Christianity and God, described in the Bible. The very name “Maranata” means “He (Jesus) is coming… “. The idea that the second coming of Jesus Christ is close reminds us constantly that we are temporarily on this earth. Our business, our whole life, must be set up in such a way, that when we stand before God to report our deeds – not to be ashamed.
How have 12 years passed since the founding of the company?
If we look at the future, this period seems long. But for me the time before those 12 years seems like yesterday. I remember very clearly how we started: two people on one desk, in the accounting room of another company. Now we give work and living to 20 people.
What is needed to build a good team?
It cannot be explained in a few sentences. For every single person who joined the company I’ve been looking for a guidance from above. I‘m not so much influenced by business theories of recruitment or what I learned at university. At the right time, the right people have joined, thanks to God’s mercy.
What are your expectations for the end of 2013?
For 2012, we have double-digit growth, compared with the previous year. Despite all expectations for crisis, election and ambiguity – I feel like it will be successful, no matter the difficulties.
What are you doing outside the office?
I have a wonderful family with 3 children – two girls at age of 17 and 11 and a boy at age of 15. One of our children is adopted. Apart from the family, I have two more businesses – we are importing suitcases and bags through Digital Partners Ltd. The other sphere I have invested in is coffee – Lavazza is a preferred brand in Bulgaria.
In my spare time I play basketball, tennis, football, I ski – I love sports very much.
Your wish to the readers of the blog of Maranata Transport Group Ltd?
I will end with the words of one of the wisest people that loved on the earth – Solomon. In the past, he was king of Israel and wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes: „Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.“ Therefore, as I have mentioned, let us be careful how we live our lives.