Questers is a London-based software development company, integrating processes and services to deliver on organisations' strategic IT agenda. We present to you its story as told by its founder and CEO - Alexander Drangajov.
Questers design, build and manage dedicated teams over a diverse set of technologies in various industries. Since 2007 we have created high-potential positions and employed more than 1000 engineers in Sofia and the region, most still fully engaged with Questers or our clients' spin-outs and helped dozens of respected foreign companies to choose, invest and grow in Bulgaria long-term.
We started work in Bulgaria more than 12 years ago. In 2007-2008 we began as an independent company – a provider of a global organisation. Then later in 2012 we merged with its UK division and began to focus entirely on Eastern Europe and the UK. As we developed in 2018 together with three other UK companies with primary focus on the public sector there, we listed the group on the London stock exchange.
Products and services
I like to think of Questers as a platform and a model, not just software service provider, as an accelerator helping variously sized companies quickly grow and expand by integrating technology and talent with teams in Sofia. At the same time, we bring high-potential long-term career opportunities to the local market. We’re not a traditional outsourcing company as many people think of the word. Yes, all our teams are nearshore and remote, but very tightly integrated into the core of our clients with a long-term commitment to their projects and strategic agenda. I believe nearshoring to Sofia is the best and most efficient alternative within the European Union to find and grow tech talent and the whole industry here continues to contribute for the development of this environment.
Value and creation
It’s important to mention the core principles we follow for value creation. First, of course we support the UK and the UK companies we service and help them expand capacity, but choose carefully our projects in order to also create high quality job positions for the people joining us and third - consciously support the growth of the whole industry, and this makes me feel good about what Questers is doing.
Bulgaria and Sofia is our prime location, although we do have some satellite operations or partnerships in neighbouring countries. Our operations are above 50% aimed at the UK market and on a group level we are a public company in the UK servicing the public and commercial sectors there.
We like to see ourselves as ambassadors for business in Bulgaria and there are many historical reasons for this. For example: the well-developed education system, and the economic growth in the 2000’s. We always aim to give back to Bulgaria and to make a difference by developing new talent and creating opportunities. There are some great initiatives and partnerships in our industry aimed at sustaining the competitive advantage that Bulgaria historically had in this sector.
Historical legacy of the tech sector in Bulgaria
Even before the fall of the Berlin wall, Bulgaria was focused on technology for one reason or another and this is still the case. After the changes many companies from abroad came here and created good practices that helped the industry here to grow. Many of the people who are now working in this sector continue to think long term. As a result the Bulgarian IT sector is still years ahead from those in neighbouring or comparable countries. My primary objective, when bidding for a prospect to come to Sofia, is to make them comfortable with the location as we’re competing with the whole world.
There is still an urgent need for innovations and good examples coming out of Bulgaria to help us progress to next levels as an industry. I’m always happy when a Bulgarian start up or established company is recognised or marks an achievement – after all that’s a selling point for the whole sector. Questers is as much a people organisation as it is a technology company. As innovators in the field we were the first company to offer such type of collaboration 12 year ago. Obviously, a lot has changed, but we have remained focused on the way in which we manage our processes and the transparent and open way in which we engage with our clients and our own people. We stay committed to creating a high-performing environment and a platform where these clients and engineers can grow, develop and achieve more together.
Flexible working with people
Currently we employ over 200 people in Bulgaria. In fact, quite recently one of our large teams working for a UK public company was spun out and is now under their direct employment. By doing so we helped establish a fully owned subsidiary of a global tech player and we already have done this numerous times, directly fuelling the local economy through such large-scale foreign investments. Unlike typical outsourcing we don’t want to keep employees ‘locked’ with us but enable them persue and build global careers and give our clients the flexibility to scale in Bulgaria in the way they want. Typically we do not build short-term teams which are then dissolved as we don’t see this as sustainable. The intention is to create multi-year projects, which are then fully integrated at some point.