By SeeNews team
Q: When did OKIN GROUP enter the Bulgarian market?
A: The group’s Bulgarian subsidiary, OKIN FACILITY BG, was officially established in October 2008. Ever since we have been developing and implementing a strategy for expanding our business in this region.
Q: How is the Bulgarian subsidiary performing? Have you seen any fallout from the global financial crisis?
A: Back in 2008 we started out with no contracted clients in Bulgaria and at that time the concept and the need for integrated facility management was not much appreciated by the local business.
We basically started from scratch and each new account that we acquire over time is a step upwards for us.
In addition to this, our business aims to streamline all operational costs of our clients related to their non-core activities.
This means that our services are highly appreciated in times when all costs should be minimised as much as possible.
Q: The service portfolio of OKIN FACILITY BG is very extensive. Could you point out the most typical services you provide on-site?
A: From the experience we have we still observe the fact that local companies associate facility management mainly with cleaning services. However, they tend to eventually understand that integrated facility management includes far more services related to the proper maintenance of a property and its technical equipment.Most of the international companies operating in Bulgaria are aware of this concept and that is why they cooperate with professionals, who guarantee proper maintenance of their properties. In general, I can conclude that technical maintenance, together with cleaning and security services, are the activities most frequently requested by our clients.
Q: In what way are the services that you offer different from those of professional cleaning companies and of licensed technical maintenance and security companies?
A: First of all, I would like to say that we very often cooperate with the types of companies you mentioned. We have established very close relationships with some of them. It means that we could be competitors but at the same time partners when it makes services more efficient.
OKIN FACILITY BG is an integrated facility management provider and is capable of covering all support services within a business organisation. It means that we are a single point of contact which facilitates the whole communication process with the client.
In addition to this, having many accounts around Bulgaria gives us an opportunity to explore the synergy aspects of our projects, to achieve quick response times and to price our services at efficient levels.
Last but not least, facility management is our business and we constantly improve all process-related activities as well as all other supportive factors that make our job more efficient and client-oriented.
Q: You mentioned that your clients operate in different business areas, could you elaborate on this point?
A: Internally, we split our potential clients into two main segments – Industry (production plants, factories, etc.) and Commercial Centers (administrative buildings, corporate headquarters, trade centers, shopping malls, etc.). Of course there are other types of buildings as well but let’s say that we place highest importance on these two segments.
OKIN FACILITY BG currently provides facility management services to an international utility company with 83 offices and branches in Western Bulgaria.
In addition to this we maintain the two headquarters of a big international insurance corporation. We also provide services to a U.S. – owned food factory as well as to a few administrative buildings in Sofia.
Q: Tell us more about the other subsidiaries of OKIN GROUP.
A: As the company is based in the Czech Republic, it made sense to direct the first wave of expansion towards Slovakia, followed by Ukraine, Bulgaria, Sweden and, this year, Poland and Romania.
The company strategy includes entering the remaining Central and East European markets over the coming years.