Cobuilder is implementing an accelerated growth strategy

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Modified on October 1, 2021

Nikolay Todorov, Group CFO at Cobuilder

What changed in Cobuilder in 2020 when the pandemic happened and what did you learn from it?

I learned that big changes in short period of time are more often imposed by outside factors. An example for this is the transition to working “home office”. Before the pandemic we were all working from our offices and when we had to change that, we were 100% ready to do it. This is because Cobuilder is a digital company, our technologies allow that, and the team is fully dedicated to the work.

It is known that software developers can work from anywhere but there is a myth that the finance department must operate from the office. Many people think that we have desks full of folders, documents, invoices and that everything is done by hand. This is not true. We have invested in very good ERP and CRM software systems, all the processes are digitalized and automated, and we can work efficiently from anywhere in the world.

The conclusion is that Cobuilder as a company, not only the finance department, was 100% ready for entirely remote work and the pandemic was the main reason for that.

How did the finance department help the company during the pandemic, what were the risks and how did you manage them?

In the beginning of the pandemic, we created a forecast for the main risks. The first one – decrease in the market sales in Norway, didn’t happen due to many reasons – we have a stable business model there, many clients, and very good added value to our products. We also have strong business relationships with our clients, which is very important during a crisis. The second risk materialized but not entirely. The rest of our international sales, outside of Norway, decreased because in such uncertain times, some companies freeze their software budgets, but this wasn’t fatal for us. The third risk was a decline in the exchange rate of the Norwegian krone (NOK) to the euro, because most of our income is in NOK and our expenses are in euros. The fourth risk was having difficulties with collecting our income, which didn’t occur because our Norwegian clients were financially stable and we optimized our processes for collecting.

We didn’t just evaluate the risks, we did more than that. Based on the models and forecasts that we created, we started to review different scenarios (what if analysis), having in mind the above-mentioned risks and the management board established an action plan. The uncertain period was only for about 6 months, due to the insecurity on the market and the fluctuations of the exchange rates. Despite that, in mid-2020 the NOK was stabilized, there was an increase in the income from Norway and shortly after the summer we returned to our growth phase. The covid situation was a proof that Cobuilder has a stable business even when the international markets are shaken by a global pandemic.

Is there a change in your financial strategy after the pandemic?

At the end of 2020 Cobuilder had great opportunities for expansion. In the final months of last year, we created a strategic planning team consisting of different department managers who developed an accelerated growth strategy that we will follow for the next few years. It’s already implemented, and we started to complete some of its points. We’ve hired more than 20 people since the beginning of this year and we plan to grow more.

I am grateful for all my colleagues’ devotion and hard work during those uncertain times that Cobuilder went through. We managed to achieve around 10% increase in consolidated revenue during 2020 and we secured resources for the accelerated growth strategy execution. Cobuilder will definitely continue to grow and develop as a company.

*This is a translated text from an interview that Nikolay Todorov gave for the Bulgarian media – Capital. Link to the original interview here