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The Recursive podcast is back in Sofia and seasoned entrepreneur Ilia Krastev sits on the chair opposite to Georgi Nenov. Ilia is the CEO of A Data Pro and runs a portfolio of companies in the data economy – the business news provider for Southeast Europe SeeNews, the media monitoring company Perceptica, the business platform for renewable energy – Renewables Now, and the scientific unit, based on AI solutions Identrics.
Ilia Krastev is also the chairman of the Association for Innovation, Business Excellence, Services, and Technology, that represents the companies of the high value-added business services in Bulgaria, but also aims to build a bridge between these industries in SouthEast Europe.
In the podcast, you’ll hear the story of how Ilia’s first student job as a coder, indexing news articles, turned into his lifetime calling. He quickly moved into different positions within the company and rose to CEO, a role he’s been occupying for the last 13 years.
Trying new things and learning about people have been main drivers in his entrepreneurial journey, so Ilia has been experimenting with different ventures – some very far away from tech. He used to own a restaurant and an agriculture business and he admits they taught him much more about listening to people than any corporate training.
In the episode, Ilia also shares how important is to embrace change and own it in the ever changing world of data. As a leader his job is to make sure his organisation can adapt fast to changes. He also explains why it is important for him to encourage an intrapreneurial mindset within the company.
Ilia also talks about one of his greatest lessons as a leader – to learn to let go of control and give opportunities to people to lead and feel free to make their own mistakes.
Watch the previous episode with Gergana Stancheva from LAM’ON, who is building a product that eliminates the need to use plastic in the packaging industry, and learn what it takes for a Bulgarian manufacturer to go global.
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