Meet Nikolay Stoev – a skilled Procurement Expert at Solarpro with a background in Electronics Engineering. Excelling in the fast-paced world of procurement, Nikolay has gained much experience since his start in the company and is quick to react to the various daily challenges that arise. His mantra for success in the field – “stay calm in every situation,” ensuring effective decision-making and problem-solving. Learn more about him and his experience below.
Tell us more about your role in Solarpro
Even though by education I’m an Electronics Engineer, my position in the company is a Procurement Expert. As a part of the Procurement team, I’m heavily involved in the supplying part of the projects which the company performs. While performing our tasks we keep in touch with the suppliers, finance department, project managers and site managers. Over the years this position has evolved to encompass a comprehensive range of responsibilities – the different types and volumes of components we incorporate into our large-scale projects can present us with daily surprises that make the role both challenging and amusing. The good thing is that there is always an open door for negotiations which can be leveraged as an advantage when dealing with suppliers.
How does an average day on the job look like for you?
I start my day with a hot cup of coffee and catching up with my latest emails. As the day unfolds, we are in continuous internal conversations with the team – we create action plans together, carefully considering the essential details required to address the various inquiries posed by suppliers and project managers, which can vary in terms of type and complexity.
What are the most important skills to bring to your position?
From my experience I think the most important skill while working in Procurement is to stay calm in every situation. In our field we receive a lot of information every day coming from on-site colleagues – various issues may arise and on-time reaction is often necessary.
What are the most common challenges you face in your work?
The most common challenges in this field often revolve around transportation delays within the supply chain. Even when everything has been meticulously planned and discussed, there is always a small risk that issues may arise during loading, transport, or unloading activities. During such moments, it is crucial to ensure that insurance covers any potential losses while also considering alternative options to secure the necessary equipment for the ongoing installation plans at the site.
Other challenging phases were Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. During these events the market became very volatile, however, we managed to navigate through this period successfully. Currently, we are observing a gradual market recovery and a promising outlook for the upcoming years.
When did you start working in Solarpro?
The journey in Solarpro Holding for me started in July, 2019. I remember the first time when I entered the tiny old office where most of my colleagues then were working literally arm to arm on the projects. At the beginning I lacked confidence because of my limited experience but during the courses I went through and with help from my team manager I gained a lot of knowledge and learned to effectively lead the tasks assigned to me.
What made me join the company probably was the warm attitude during both parts of the interviews. Even though back then while I was still finishing my bachelors degree I was a bit wild in my mindset, the team welcomed me warmly.
Why did you choose solar energy? What motivates you to work within the renewable sector?
As a person of consistency, I will remind the audience that I am an Electronics Engineer but my past experience while working in a manufacturing company showed me that there are also other positions that can bring good for my well-being and worth for a company like Solarpro Holding. The renewables sector is a constantly growing field and depending on the point of view you can continuously keep your mind fresh with the newest technologies on the on-going futuristic vision for life.
One significant factor that influenced my decision to pursue this field of growth was the potential for building connections and gaining valuable information. This is my first job in the renewable sector and I think it’s a matter of time to see how things will grow in the following years.
How do you think the PV industry will change in the next few years?
Size is what matters. Compared to 4 years ago the differences mostly are in the sizes of the projects and the technologies that are used in producing the components /PV Modules, Inverters, Trafostations/. For example before you could install X power in a 100 square meters area and today in the same area you can install 3x that power. This is what brings the added value of the projects in every field of performing – the smaller the product sizes, the bigger the output power capacity that they can provide. In the next few years the focus will be on how to store all this energy generated from the renewable power plants and by this we would use the energy generation from the light hours of the day during the evenings.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a job in renewables / to start a job in your position?
If a person is open-minded and willing to play in a dynamic field this is the right direction for growth. Another advice that everyone should receive when searching for a similar position is to be loaded with a lot of patience. Always start from the small things which later in the course will bring you to the big stuff where you would be able to take care of things with ease.
What are your interests outside of work?
As a summer child in my free time I like to go jogging. Going out on a hike with friends in the mountains is the second favourite thing to do. In the past I used to be up for more extremes – when I was a high school student I used to go downhill with a bicycle in the mountains but it’s pretty dangerous for your health when you are a grown up. On an average day I find time to have a walk in the park doing at least ten thousand steps for body tonus.