Theory in Practice: the Exciting World of Bottling Natural Waters

Thirty-two kilometers away from Smolyan, the province town, in the city of Devin students from the 12th grade of the local High school for electrical engineering are experiencing first-hand the business of bottling water. Each Wednesday of the first term of the academic 2019/2020 the doors of the production facility of the most recognizable water brand in Bulgaria open for up to 8 students to come and see in practice how does an FMCG company of the highest standards operate. Special attention to the pupils is given by the top management team of the company. On their first day they were welcomed personally by the Production Мanager Martin Georgiev and were given strict safety instructions how to behave on the territory of the plant. While the students are at the plant, the team of Devin JSC is explaining a broad range of topics – production, logistics, quality, health, safety, environment and maintenance. At the end of January all the students will have an exam covering everything they have been taught at the production site which is fully compliant with the requirements of Ministry of Education.

The weekly visits are part of the practice curriculum the students have in their school – most pupils are studying Computer equipment and technology while others are studying Business Administration and in their final year, all of them need to have practical hours to order to successfully complete their education. Since there are not many local opportunities, Devin is a company offering a lot more than just a regular internship. Rather than that it is more of a practical training and a rare close look into the operations of a market leader with international background.

This project is yet another example of Devin JSC’s long-term commitment to supporting the development of young people in this economically not so well-developed region and giving them sound preparation for starting successful careers and professional achievements within the country.

“This is what we as a company stand for and what our team firmly believes in – education, people development, opportunities for additional knowledge and qualifications in a real business environment. We are optimistic for the future of the region and would really like to play a significant role in securing it. Therefore, we are dedicating both financial and non-financial resources to give young people at least the chance to stay and develop in the region.

We want them to get knowledge and access to our international know-how, the company’s rich history and expertise, connect personally with senior leaders in one of the most dynamic and exciting businesses in the FMCG sector. Hopefully, some of them will decide to pursue a career in our industry and within our company”, said Thomas Krennbauer, CEO of Devin JSC.

Most recently, Devin in cooperation with another company from the region launched together a special class in the same school to train the next generation of automation technicians – a discipline, protected within the Vocational Education and Training Act due to acute national shortage of qualified personnel. Graduates of the Automation Technician’s Degree will be able to organize and control activities for the maintenance and operation of technical devices within different types of automated systems and with a shortage of such skilled personnel in the Devin region, the demand from companies is growing. Students are offered a monthly scholarship, planned paid internships and even opportunities for hostels for students who do not live in Devin. After completing the first class, with excellent performance and mutual interest, children will be given the opportunity for professional development in one of the companies. The initiative has the support of the local authorities and the Regional Inspectorate of Education and carries the ambition to expand in the future and attract more students to apply.

Since its establishment in 1992, Devin JSC has been a leader in the bottled water market in Bulgaria. The springs and bottling plant are located in an ecologically clean area in the Devin region, in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains, where products with the brand DEVIN come from – spring, mineral and carbonated water, as well as Divna table water. The company is the exclusive distributor of Red Bull energy drinks and Granini fruit juices for Bulgaria.

The company is based in Sofia, has its own sales and distribution network with national coverage and employes over 500 people. Devin JSC is a responsible corporate citizen who invests in the economic, social and cultural development of society through initiatives aimed at regional development, environmental protection and education.

As of 2017, the company is part of the Belgian Spadel Group, a leading bottled water producer in Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and France.