Lyubomir Boyanov (EMBA ’08): ‘The AUBG EMBA Program Completely Exceeded my Expectations’

June 18, 2024 Dimana Doneva
Lyubomir Boyanov (EMBA ’08): ‘The AUBG EMBA Program Completely Exceeded my Expectations’

Balancing a demanding executive role with creative pursuits and continuous learning is no small feat, but Lyubomir Boyanov (EMBA ’08) has managed to do just that. The alumnus enrolled in AUBG’s EMBA Program when he was just 24-years-old with the aim to advance his career and expand his professional network. Now the co-owner and managing director at the leading office equipment company OfficeMarket, Lyubomir attributes much of his career growth to the profound impact of his EMBA studies. The alumnus also finds time for his passion for music, acting as a music producer for the RnB and Pop project Chaz’n’Byanka

In this interview, Lyubomir discusses his motivation to enroll in the EMBA program, his career evolution post-graduation, and the lasting influence of the EMBA experience on his professional and personal life.

What motivated you to enroll in AUBG’s EMBA program?

I was looking for an executive program where I can have classes part-time, so that I can continue to work full-time. I really wanted to move to the next level as a business professional and expand my personal and professional network in Bulgaria. I had no desire or option to study abroad at that time and AUBG was simply the best available option. By enrolling in the program, I was hoping to get more up-to-date business education with more strategic and practical cases and fundamental knowledge that I can use in my daily job. 

I didn’t know that this decision would be such a game-changer for me. My expectations were completely exceeded by the actual benefits of the program for my life in general. I was only 24-years-old when I started the program and I feel so lucky to receive such a great value for my investment in time and money at this young age. Now I am 42, co-owner and director at a successful company, with family and two kids, a hobby musician, totally occupied… but if asked, I would definitely enroll again.

How has your career evolved since completing the program? In what aspects does the knowledge acquired during your studies contribute to your current role as managing director at OfficeMarket?

Right after the program, I accepted an offer from HP to join their Managed Print Services Team in Sofia. After the split of the mother company Hewlett Packard, I had spent more than seven years in HP Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) where I have been a Strategic Partner Account Manager and Business Analyst. At HPE, I had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest HPE Partners, visit their headquarters all over Europe and Asia, prepare and present their business reviews, analyze their performance through all available data and help them grow their business. 

The 10 years spent at an international company like HP combined with the knowledge and people that I met during the EMBA program have broadened my business perspective so much that I’m now able to clearly understand the full scale of running a successful company. This know-how has helped me enormously in making high-impact business decisions across departments and the overall organization at OfficeMarket and BigMarket (which is our distribution division). I am happy to share that we are a top 3 company in our segments for Bulgaria in terms of revenue, but also especially proud to achieve this goal with a relatively small team of 35 dedicated professionals that could be more effective than our competitors with twice the personnel.  

The EMBA program has helped me understand the power and dynamics of teamwork, the ability to delegate responsibilities and finally – the importance of promoting and presenting your ideas in the best possible way.

I believe that titles don’t make me a leader across the company, but rather actions do. I admire leaders who lead by example and hard work, and I met a lot of inspirational leaders in my Cohort 6. The option to see how these people think, approach a problem, and find a solution is a lifetime opportunity. 

What were the most memorable aspects of your experience during your EMBA studies, both in terms of academics and interpersonal connections? What did you find most challenging and what did you find most rewarding?

We graduated back in 2008 and still Prof. Akbar and his course International Business was the most memorable academic experience to me. Probably because of my interests in international economic relations, I was amazed with his assignments, cases from Harvard Business Review, and interesting analysis that made me see things from a different angle. Currently, at BigMarket, we are importing and distributing more than 30 world brands like BIC, CASIO, 3M, HP and sometimes it is quite challenging to be their partner and meet their criteria. I believe that a lot of the soft skills that I am using for communicating with these companies today, the ability to sell my ideas to our team and our customers, I have learned during the program. 

The business trip to London and Zurich was simply amazing and probably the most rewarding episode of the program. The most challenging thing was of course the tight schedule where you need to fit the program with your work and family. Let me tell you this for sure – this is not an easy program; it takes a lot of hard work and personal time.

Could you share some insights into your participation in the music project Chaz’n’Byanka? How do you balance your business responsibilities with your artistic pursuits? In what ways do you think the AUBG EMBA program encourages creativity?

Music has always been a significant part of my life that gives me the opportunity to be creative, young, foolish and provides me with a sweet escape from the business world. Yes, I am acting as a music producer for the project Chaz’n’Byanka where I compose the music, make the arrangements, and write the lyrics to most of the songs. I am also involved in the creation, editing and directing of our videos. Music is helping me be a versatile person and an open-minded director. In today’s business you need to be creative all the time. 

My cohort was full of people with artistic pursuits – poets, writers, actors, Djs, painters, yoga teachers. I am still amazed with all the talent that these business people have. This environment at the EMBA program motivated us not only to seek business answers, but to also be creative and free-spirited people. 

What role does the AUBG EMBA alumni network play in your life now that you are a graduate?

Cohort 6 of the EMBA Program is a special network of people. For more than 10 years, we had this Thursday’s tradition to meet every month, which unfortunately stopped during the pandemic. The program and the network has created many business opportunities for me, for which I am extremely grateful.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering enrolling in the EMBA program?

Enroll before you feel ready! Don’t hesitate because there is no perfect timing for this. Start now and  learn new perspectives, create lifelong friendships and be part of this energy called EMBA.