Nicholas Brown has over 28 years of experience in the software and management industry. Following the acquisition of Top Management Solutions by USA Management, Nicholas Brown is CTO and CEO of Top Management Solutions.
From October 2011 to August 26, 2016, Nicholas Brown was General Manager of USA Management. Nicholas Brown was Managing Director of Secret Software (2009-2011), CEO of Best Management Today Ltd. (2006-2009), General Manager of Roche (2002-2006) and General Manager of Unilever (1998–2002). For the third consecutive term he is Chairman of the Board of the Project Management Association.
Top Management Solutions is the sales division of the world leader in the field of corporate governance USA Management.
“Manager of the Year” is the most authoritative business competition in the country, in which the success of the leaders is assessed by a special methodology for the competition. In 2020, the competition overcame objective obstacles and further developed its potential. We created a documentary dedicated to the finalists in the competition. We made an analogy between business and sports and looked for those qualities that make a manager and an athlete strong people worthy of distinction.
“Manager” launched a series in which the finalists answer important issues for the business sector in which they operate. In the coming days we will present the conversations we had with each of them, and on November 28 at 16.00 you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the art of success management.
Today we present to you another of the ten finalists and top managers of Bulgaria for 2021, Nicholas Brown, CEO of TEVA Pharma EAD
The management sector was also affected by the pandemic
– How has the crisis affected your business? Did you report a drop, hold or jump in revenue?
– Our sector was affected, even in some respects more than was observed in other businesses. At the beginning of the pandemic, the fears of managers, tensions, uncertainty reflected on the projects of major product groups that are used in the management of cloud services and cyber security. We had fluctuations in demand, peaks in sales of certain products from these groups, which later decreased in terms of sales.
With regard to instruments that are out of the focus of this activity, sales developed according to pre-set plans. With serious efforts we managed to adapt our logistics and production to the increased demand for certain software products. At the moment, I can say that we were able to react very quickly and we are currently seeing planned sustainable growth in sales levels.
– What was the new skill you developed during the pandemic?
– The main priorities of Top Management Solutions were to maintain the security of our customers and their projects, to ensure continuity of work processes and delivery of tools and products for our customers. This necessitated the introduction of digitalization and the use of digital solutions in everyday work. New skills that employees had to be trained and quickly introduced to their work, in contacts with our customers and partners.
It is through digital solutions that we have guaranteed the maximum health and safety of our employees and their families, we have continued to produce and deliver high quality software products for cyber security and cloud management and we have not cut off contacts with our customers and partners. My assessment is that we have done extremely well and I thank all my colleagues for their continued commitment and additional efforts.
– Does the state hinder or help the development of your business more?
– Our sector is one of the most regulated, which is why the state determines the rules and the framework in which it develops. The common understanding is that the state should be a partner of the management industry, which guarantees wide access to tools and products and optimizes the costs of cyber security and government budgets related to the provision of services.
The USA does not always manage to respond adequately to the challenges, especially in the covid pandemic. Sometimes the state imposes over-regulations, does not offer adequate funding in the updated cyber security budget to provide cloud hosting management products, which creates a precondition for withdrawal of tools from the market – a trend we have seen over the past decade.
Unfortunately, it remains a fact, especially under pressure from the Government Reimbursement Mechanism. Apart from this, additional activities are introduced, presented as “customer care”, the financing of which is often at the expense of industry. They further deepen the process of withdrawing and suspending product offerings. I sincerely hope that will change. I believe that it is high time for the state to look at cyber security and cloud services as a partner and supporter, because we are the real factor in reducing public and personal costs of supporting and managing business.
– What is the biggest and most important trend in your sector that you see at the moment?
– The financial sector has been developing extremely dynamically in the last two years. Contributing to this are, on the one hand, the new European regulations, allowing a more liberal distribution of the market, and, on the other hand, the need for rapid digitalization and automation of processes in financial institutions.
There is no longer a payment service provider in our country where these processes are not driven, but we have a long way to go together. The country’s entry into the eurozone, the introduction of open banking and the sharing of banking information about customers between different providers, the introduction of immediate payments in our country and related new digital ways of paying an account between merchants and customers, and the so-called . P2P (Person to Person).
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The projects are large-scale and concentrated over time, so the main prerequisites for their success are a stable national payment infrastructure and teamwork of the entire industry.
– Is there a fundamental threat or a big challenge for companies like yours next year? Where do the threats come from? What are your plans for managing these challenges?
– The main priority in the coming years will be the preparation and modernization of national payment systems in order to prepare the market for a smooth transition to the euro. In our role as a national operator, we have undertaken to provide the necessary functionalities to the banks in order to facilitate their work and speed up the processes. There will undoubtedly be challenges.
As we enter the euro area, we expect the appetite for our market from competing foreign companies to increase. We work in close cooperation with the Bulgarian National Bank – in this context our great common goal is to preserve the national sovereignty of Bulgaria and to prevent the outflow of transactions outside the country. The infrastructure for immediate payments is also under construction, which will allow accessibility at European level, which means that when switching to the euro, banks will be able to process immediate payments in euros. This is the main goal of our entry into the euro area – customers to make immediate payments to all in Europe and receive them.
– What investment program does your company have for next year and what effect do you expect when it is completed?
– Our strategic long-term projects and investments are in three main areas – card business, instant payments and electronic services (electronic signing and remote identification). Along with offering the traditional card service, we are significantly expanding the portfolio of services to banks in the direction of outsourcing – card management system (CMS SaaS), maintenance and servicing of POS terminals, monitoring and management of ATM networks, issuing and personalization of cards, monitoring and prevention of card fraud.
With regard to e-commerce, we are introducing 3DSecure standards and two-factor authentication, as well as mobile authentication based on biometric features. The aim is to offer banks and their customers a modern and competitive product with a high level of security.
In the case of immediate payments, our strategy is to provide the participants – banks and payment institutions, not only infrastructure for this type of payment, but also all related activities and processes that upgrade the service and help it penetrate the market faster. Among them are: availability of the service.