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The Bulgarian should learn discipline and quality

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The Bulgarian should learn discipline and quality

One of the most successful managers in the world - Phil Filipov, visited the Bulgarian Industrial Association, where he was officially certified as an honorary member of the institution.

Phil Filipov is the president of Terex Lifting, which is part of the Terex Corporation with a capital of $ 1 billion. Filippov has factories in 15 countries, including Germany, China, Mexico, France and Bulgaria. One of his recent investments is the purchase in 2017 of the French metallurgical plant TIM, which was declared liquidated, but Philipov saved nearly 500 jobs, and TIM's main customer is the American giant heavy construction equipment Caterpillar ). Despite his success in the Western corporate world, Phil Filipov is not very well known in Bulgaria, but is among the few Bulgarians who have reached the top of the corporate hierarchy in the United States.

He was born in Strelcha. At the age of 17 he runs from Bulgaria, goes through a refugee camp in Greece, then emigrates to the United States. His career goes from the lowest step as a worker to the top of the government, true to the view: "Take control, take the risk! Achieve success." In 1966, Phil Filipov started working as a sweeper in the International Harvestar Lifting Company. Gradually he rose and in 1979 was sent to the company's office in Paris. 10 years later he leaves and starts his own business - he buys companies in a bad state and heals them with brutal discipline. His specialty is the revival of losing enterprises. He has worked successfully in France, the UK, Germany, Italy and the United States, using untraditional and original approaches. He has recovered 49 businesses in 15 countries around the world, and one of the latter is the Atlas in Germany, which later became the owner of the Tatra Motor Company (Czech Republic).

That's what Phil Filipov shared in his conversation with the chairman of BIA Radosvet Radev.

Tell me, is there anything in the Bulgarian's gene that makes him a good manager, a good manager?

The Bulgarian for 30 years is changing. Many Bulgarians are as blushing, they learn quickly. The joy of the Bulgarian business is that we here in Eastern Europe are beginning to pay attention to what they are doing in the west, and as the Japanese did in the postwar years, it is impressive that many of our companies and managers are performing quite well in the west . But there are people in Bulgaria who are still in the past. We need a little more to copy the Germans and the Japanese - we lack the discipline and the nuance of quality. We are not permanent neither in discipline nor in quality.

In your successful path to a manager you have always made it different from the common ...

I'm very good when it's bad weather. I've always said, "If you want to love you, buy a dog!". I do not want to love me, I go where it is to be saved. But I do not think I'm hated. I'm respectful. I can not hate someone who sees that I want the good of the company. And salvation is in one that can cut deep enough if you need 15 times because it hurts. You must be able to prune deep enough to be able to save.

Tell the story of your battles with the unions - it is very instructive.

Syndicates are the result of poor management. When there are bad managers there are strong trade unions. When there are strong governors there are no unions. I always say to the trade unions: "I will work with you, but I will not work for you." I've had strikes in 15 different countries. 49 companies I bought in 15 countries. The most employed was "Tatra" - 12,800 people. The most difficult were my dealings with the trade unions in Germany, and the most undisciplined are the trade unions in France, because there you do not know when they will be in strike. My toughest strikes were in Germany. Three factories had blocked me for six weeks and a half. I took a helicopter to take parts for my customers. They brought me to court in Germany 980 times - I am one of the most judged in Germany. The national sport in Germany is the court because they have lawyer insurance. They have judged me to be extremely ridiculous. For example, I bought a house next to the establishment and, because they hated me, that I wanted to cut them down, I threw paint in the garden. I set up security cameras, but they brought me a case because I did not ask them if I could put cameras. Another example - I buy an enterprise that loses one and a half million euros per month. They come to my unions and they want me a plan for the next three years. I tell them that I can not know in the next three years what will happen to this enterprise. And they brought me a deed.

7-8 years ago I was the most hated manager in Germany after I made the cuts in Atlas. Then the papers thundered. Why do not they write now that companies are running perfectly and workers get more than Mercedes?

Why do you call yourself a "doctor of sick companies"?

I call myself "doctor of sick companies" because no one wants them. I never search and never compete for buying companies - companies come to me to buy them. I'm not a human doctor, I'm a veterinarian. Taking a firm, nobody tells me where it hurts - like a dog that does not tell you where it hurts. I am a dog doctor - I come, look, read and know where their pain is.

How long do you need to know the defects in a sick company?

It depends. 2-3 hours going through the factory, seeing the financial reports of recent years, and I already know where the mistakes are.

Is there a repeatability of mistakes, some typing?

Only one - bad management.

Where is the most comfortable doing business for you?

In Germany. I love France because I have a business in France for 40 years, my wife is a Frenchman, I know the French, in France life is very pleasant. Earlier, the French Finance Minister called me to Chicago to ask me to heal a company, 24 hours before bankruptcy, with 440 workers. They lost 1.5m euros per month. A year and a half later we are now at zero. For the first time, the unions did not strike me for a minute, because they themselves were part of wanting me to come because they knew other companies in France had recovered.

I love France and the French, but in Germany business is business. Nobody is confused. Only 24% is the insurance burden. They are disciplined and hardworking. Japan and Germany recognize them as industrial countries that have achieved economic growth only after two warms - discipline and quality.

What is most important for good management?

The personal example. The manager must be the first in the factory if he wants to have discipline. I'm going to the factory at 5.30-6.00. No one has died of labor. There is no other way. When you take a company that does not go, you can not go to a church to pray - you have to go to the spot to see what's going on. The other important thing - I've never brought new people into an enterprise I've bought. I always find someone from the business that rises and takes over. I do not care who he is, what kind of ethnicity he is, how old he is, what kind of education he has, etc. - it is important for me to be responsible, motivated and able.

 

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