He is a young developer with extensive technical background combined with a strong experience in business development. He is the founder and CTO of the leading GPS fleet tracking and management platform in Bulgaria - iTrack. He is Plamen Todorov and he joined the Puzl CowOrKing community a few months ago.
In 2013, Plamen and his co-founder Velislav created a full-scale transport management system that makes it easy for managers to make profitable and educated decisions. Since then, their core focus is to exceed their customer’s expectations in terms of cost reduction, vehicle safety, dependability, advanced diagnostics and analytics. A key advantage of iTrack is providing an unparalleled customer service and controlling transport and fuel costs.
During the years, they leveraged their competitive strengths and managed to acquire large and mid-sized companies as clients that use their system and benefit from the optimization of the transport expenses.
As the most of the team is settled in Pleven and we’re only hosting Plamen, I decided to get him to answer a few questions and give us more details about iTrack and share their success story.
How did you come up with the idea of iTrack and how did you start working on it?
Back in 2012, I was a backend developer in a well-known Bulgarian IT company and my father was running a small business utilizing a few light commercial vehicles. He had some struggles with keeping the drivers’ schedule on track and optimizing operational costs and he asked me to find a proper fleet tracking solution for his vehicles. After a few days of scouting the available fleet tracking solutions I wasn’t able to find anything that fits his needs, or was easy for a non tech-savvy person like him and doesn’t cost a fortune. That’s when my brother Velislav and I decided that creating a fleet tracking system will help other small and medium sized businesses keep track of their drivers, fuel and maintenance costs by paying us a fraction of the money we will be saving them.
Tell us more about the system iTrack and the functionality. How is it helping big transport companies?
Companies that transport goods need to move them through different locations in the most efficient way. Profit margins drive their businesses and our sole mission is to optimize their expenses, driver productivity and reduce all costs related to operating a fleet of light, light commercial or heavy vehicles. Our solution boosts our client’s ROI, their fleet lifecycles and gives them the flexibility to test new business models.
What technology stack is the system using? Are you still doing some of the development?
Our stack is scalable, secure, easy to deploy, and compatible with our client’s evolving standards, mostly because we strive to automate most of our server infrastructure management in order to focus on improving our service and satisfying over 300 companies that trusted us with their fleets. I will mention the most important part of it – PHP, Java, Swift, MySQL(MariaDB), AngularJS, Laravel, Nginx, Jenkins, Munin, Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, LeafletJS. I started as totally hands on and operational role, and now my job is 90% management. It was a soft transition, going along with the growth of the company and therefore the team.
How was the system funded?
It was funded solely by our most important assets – time and dedication. Before signing our first customers we used our personal savings in order to not starve to death, but the most important thing was that we believed our product will launch successfully and it really did.
What is needed to create a successful project without the help of the external investment?
There is a simple answer to this question – dedication. Nothing beats hard work. Find people who share your vision, create a product which solves an actual problem and the revenue will come. Many entrepreneurs try to do it the other way round and fail in most cases because they find investors before succeeding in solving an actual problem.
We’ve never met the rest of the team. Could you please briefly introduce them and share how you all met?
We strongly believe in personalities. That’s why most of the people we employ are friends of our friends or friends of our current employees. We have over 25 installation technicians in 15 different cities of Bulgaria, we have 4 developers based in Sofia and a growing sales team based in Pleven.
What about your customers? What type of businesses are using iTrack? Do you have customers outside Bulgaria?
Since our launch in 2013, we won the trust of over 300 companies with thousands of vehicles from a variety of industries ranging from International and domestic truck transportation, fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, utilities, wood processing, just to mention a few. Regardless of the customer’s industry, we have managed to help them focus on other important areas of their business and they let us take care of the vehicles.
What are your expansion plans?
We are available in Bulgaria, USA, Spain and Sweden, we plan to expand in more countries in 2018.