Interview with Zhechko Kyurkchiev – Founder and CEO of TESY

In the fourth edition of Noblesse Oblige 2019, an interview with Zhechko Kyurkchiev was held on the topic of the past and future of the company and how the employees are the driving force behind its success.

The title of the interview is: People from 12 Nationalities are the engine of the company.

The link to the Bulgarian version of the article is this:

Below is the full translated interview:


Mr. Kyurkchiev, the usual question is what has changed for these 27 years. However, we ask you what has remained unchanged from the very start of the company until today?

My answer can be in one word only – the spirit. Yes, our spirit remains unchanged throughout this years. I believe it will be the same in the future. At TESY we often say that we love to work with passion. We put our minds and hearts in everything we do – so it was in the beginning when we could only dream for today’s equipment and technologies, so it is today. We do not know how we could work if we don’t put part of ourselves in what we do. Yes, indeed, TESY project will be 27 years old in 2020 and there are people in the team working with us during all these years – from the very first day until today.

What is the most valuable business advice you have received?

I love to learn every day from everyone I’ve been in contact with, and from everything that surrounds me. I am always very attentive to any information I define as useful and important for my personal development or for the business as a whole. That’s why I usually find it hard to remember from whom, when and where I have read, heard, understood, or realized something. Thus I could not quote a tip that is a highlighter in some particular way in my memory.

What are the three personal skills and competencies that helped you turn TESY into a European leader?

I don’t like to talk about myself. That’s why I would rather not give you a specific answer. I would better explain the effect of a certain set of skills and competencies. The first is that I manage to turn my dreams and ambitions into a goal that attracts and engages plenty of knowledgeable and capable people, full of energy and readiness to succeed together  –  most of TESY’s people are having this trait. Secondly, I would say the ethics, values and business philosophy that I profess and share with my people in the company. We take one and the same level of responsibility to our contractors, no matter how big our suppliers or customers are. Thus today we pride ourselves on our ability to create long-term business partnerships – almost being at the same age as our company’s. Finally, I believe that the personal example is the most convincing way to support your words and calls to action to people. When you are responsible for a business that is generated by a team of hundreds, you must not have questionable or doubtful behavior in each individual course of action or decision.

What do you define as the engine of the company?

The People, having the TESY spirit. Here is the place to say that TESY already employs people of 12 nationalities. We understand each other very well thanks to the TESY language we all speak.

What kind of person is the perfect TESY employee?

Energetic, clever and innovative, talented, honest and open-minded, always ready to be change agent.

Being an entrepreneur with such solid experience, what year do you predict for the Bulgarian business?

Another good year if the macroeconomic situation remains as it is today. I see more and more examples of many good Bulgarian projects created and developed by Bulgarian entrepreneurs and this is normal. There are still many niches in our country. It is much more difficult to find niches in the developed markets.

NOBLESSE OBLIGE is a magazine of the business for the business. On the threshold of 2020, what would you like to wish you to our readers?

First of all, health and physical well-being on a personal level. Second, much more wisdom and ingenuity. I will try to explain what I mean. There is so much wisdom in our folk art. I often like to serve with examples from the tales I have read as a child. For example, “The tale of the woe.” For those who have read it, it should be clear – let’s stop wasting time in the so popular Balkan trait to complain how it is always someone else’s fault, how someone else has to do something for us. Instead, let’s just roll up your sleeves. We often give developed European countries as an example. Today travelling on the globe is so accessable. It is quite normal to touch the different culture achievements – we see impressive work in infrastructure, education, health, social environment, society, etc. I wish everyone who do business in Bulgaria to try to do at least one thing from what we have seen and liked somewhere in the world. To bring back the good business concept to our homeland as the great Bulgarian entrepreneurs did – Atanas Burov, Pencho Semov, Dimitar Apostolov Tsenov, Georgievi Brothers and many others – prior to the unfortunate political change that happened in Bulgaria in 1944.

TESY will turn 27 years in 2020. Today the company sells in over 54 countries and is the third largest European manufacturer of electric water heaters and heating appliances. The production is distributed in 4 factories on the territory of Shumen and Smiadovo. TESY has a production capacity of 1.5 million units per year and the turnover for 2019 will be over 72 million euro.