Hristo Marinov, 46, started at Militzer & Münch in Bulgaria in 1996. Today, he is Deputy CEO of M&M Militzer & Münch BG Co. Ltd. and knows the company and the Bulgarian logistics market like the back of his hand. In this interview, he tells us how he made it from courier to the top of the company, what distinguishes Militzer & Münch in Bulgaria, and how the company is preparing for the future.
Mr. Marinov, you have been with Militzer & Münch for 27 years. What was your start in the company like?
I joined Militzer & Münch in 1996, right after graduating from school. As a courier, I took documents from our warehouse to the customs office. At that time, they were at different locations. But I only had this job for five months, because then I did my one-year military service. After that, I went straight back to Militzer & Münch, and I’ve been happy to stay until today.
From then on, it was a steep career path for you. What were the most important stations?
Parallel to my re-entry at Militzer & Münch, I started studying at university. First, I did my bachelor’s degree in accounting, then my master’s degree in international economics. At the same time, I worked in the warehouse at Militzer & Münch. At that time, a large supermarket chain opened its first stores in Bulgaria, and we stored the entire non-food product range for them. In that project, I was more or less the team leader. So, I knew how logistics worked in practice – and that was not always the way it was taught in theory at university.
Later, I switched to our road department. It was divided into three segments at the time, and I became head of the groupage export department. Later, we split the road department by country rather than by service, and I was in charge of Central Europe with Germany and Scandinavia. Again a few years later, we decided to combine all the Road segments into a joint Road Transport Division. I took over responsibility for this division and became Deputy CEO.
What are your main tasks at the moment?
Today, among other things, I am responsible for many operational areas of our business, for example for our automotive customers. I also oversee the IT department here in Bulgaria and take care of our partner network – especially CargoLine. As an official partner of the LTL cooperation, we carry out groupage transports with all 72 companies in the network as well as the main hub in Germany.
Although we are a small partner in the network, we offer very high quality services. Thus, over the past few years, we were awarded the CargoLine Quality Award three times in a row for our excellent and reliable service. These are achievements of which our entire team is very proud and which spur us on to continue giving our best to our customers every day.
What’s the secret of Militzer & Münch Bulgaria’s success?
I think there are a number of factors that have a very positive impact. On the one hand, we are very well-established in terms of performance, and offer the entire range of logistics solutions from a single source: road and rail transports, contract logistics, as well as airfreight via our subsidiary M&M Air Cargo Service BG Co. Ltd. On the other hand, we have a very experienced and stable team, which, together with our air cargo company, counts about 150 employees. They are our company’s greatest asset. Many of them have been serving our customers for 15, 20 or more years. This testifies to our very good working atmosphere and to a management that genuinely cares about its employees. And last but not least, we are ready to break new ground, find innovative solutions and grow together with our customers.
What does that look like in concrete terms, can you give us an example?
In recent years, for instance, we have significantly expanded our portfolio in the area of 3PL logistics solutions in collaboration with a major automotive customer, and are increasingly offering value-added services. We acquired the tier 1 supplier from Germany with a large plant in Bulgaria as a customer two years ago. We operate an integrated bonded warehouse for imported goods from China for this company. We receive and store the goods, pick them, take care of customs management, and deliver them to their destination. The level of service and quality is extremely high, and the KPIs are constantly being developed. Which makes the project very demanding, but also very interesting. Because the know-how we acquire here we can also use in other projects.
What are Militzer & Münch Bulgaria’s plans for the future?
As I said, we want to further expand our value-added services. Having recently put a completely new cross-dock terminal into operation, we are planning to modernize our existing terminal in Sofia for this purpose. Our CEO Sacho Todorov is driving the project together with me. We are planning state-of-the-art equipment, including a narrow-aisle storage system, to make the most efficient use of the available space. We will probably start modernization work before the end of the year.
You have many tasks and carry a lot of responsibility. What do you do in your free time to compensate?
I naturally spend a lot of time with my family. My wife, who by the way I met at Militzer & Münch, our two boys and I do a lot of sports. Together, we go in for outdoor activities, such as mountain biking. I also discovered CrossFit for myself.
Workouts are constantly varied and incorporate weightlifting, gymnastics, running and more. It improves my strength, stamina, and mobility skills.
Thank you very much for the interview, Mr. Marinov!