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Elena Kirova: If you do not make innovations, you are already late in your development

Digital & Technology Platform Director at Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria in an interview about the secret ingredients of the timely innovation for Forbes Bulgaria

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Elena Kirova is Digital & Technology Platform Director at Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria. She started her career with the company in 2008 as an expert “Application support” in an IT department. During the next years she goes though different positions with increasing responsibilities in the field of information technologies, by becoming the main drive for numerous functional and cross-functional projects. In 2020 she took the lead role in the Department “Business systems and solutions” in the country, and since the end of 2021 she has become Digital & Technology Platform Director. Elena graduated Computer Science in UNWE, she is married, with two children.

Coca-Cola’s business seems like a combination of several well-developed processes, in which there is little space for innovations. After all, what is the role of innovations in the company development?

In order to talk about the role of the innovations in Coca-Cola HBC, it is better to make clear how we understand the innovations and what our attitude towards them is. It can be said that in general we look at them as a different point of view to the current situation, processes improvement or new solutions implementations. This is the catching of every possibility, that would lead to business benefits, despite of their nature. When we talk about digital innovations or innovations in the field of technology, even the transition from slow paper process to faster, more efficient and digital one, it is a king of innovation to us. So, the implementation of new technologies, with the help of which we mark and lead the way ahead is a digital innovation.

The speed of the constant development of the business is tangible for all of us, especially when we add new categories, markets and distribution channels, which, of course, creates additional complexity. The environment outside is more than challenging and is also developing rapidly: diverse competition, new regulations, more demanding consumers. And last but not the least with the results that we accomplished our ambitions grow too. All of this challenge us to stimulate the innovations in two main directions. On the one hand in uncovering new opportunities for business growth, on the other – in the working processes optimization, answering to the constant growing resources needs. And here is one of the main roles of the innovations. We are focused on the utilization of every possibility that can add “oxygen” and can catalyze positive changes in every process and in every level in the organization.

Innovations and more specifically the digital innovations, as well as the overall business digitalization, are our key and long-term priority because we believe in every opportunity and in constant upgrading and development. It is also engraved as a moto for our team: „Innovate or you are late”, meaning that if you are not innovating then you are too late in your development.

You can read the whole interview with Elena Kirova here.

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