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People of KDI: Get to know Nikolay Kolev

Meet Nikolay Kolev (33) who lives in Sofia, Bulgaria. Nikolay still remembers the thrill of programming on an old Bulgarian computer as a child. He made his hobby a profession and is as passionate about programming today as he was back then. When he finishes his double espresso – that is when his day starts!

Nikolay led the division of Digital Energy in ICB when the company was acquired by Kongsberg Digital, but his relation to the Kongsberg Group goes back many years. Nikolay was a developer for Kongsberg Maritime before getting involved with Kongsberg Digital in 2017. Today, Nikolay is head of our division Digital Energy in Bulgaria.  

Who is Nikolay?  

“I’m a social person who likes to meet new and interesting people. I have been interested in programming and mathematics since I was a little child. My family had an old Bulgarian-made computer with a command line interface and monochrome display. It was a long time ago, but I still remember how much fun it was to program. This interest continued to develop over the years, and later I graduated in Informatics at Sofia University. You can say my hobby became my job. I am now leading a division called Digital Energy in Kongsberg Digital. Programming is still (or even more) as exciting as when I used the computer with the monochrome display as a child.” 

What was the most important thing for you when you were looking for a new employer?

“An employer who is not only open to innovation but is an innovative force, working with cutting edge technologies close to the solution’s business domain, being flexible and transparent – these are fundamental aspects to me when considering an employer. We live in exciting times where technology is constantly moving at a fast pace, so I wanted to be employed with a company that was up-to-date and prepared for future challenges. Kongsberg Digital continues to impress me in this area and checks all the boxes. I hope to expand my horizon and get interesting new opportunities and projects. Last, job stability is important considering the current geopolitical situation.” 

What does being agamechanger” mean to you?

“I truly believe game-changing mentality and innovation are strongly connected and intertwined. If you want to be a game-changer, you must have patience for innovation and be prepared to fail. So many game-changing innovations are the result of prior learning from failures.”

"By being patient and not afraid to fail – as well as being allowed to fail by your employer – you can succeed and might revolutionize whole industries. I believe Kongsberg Digital is a locomotion in thinking outside the box to solve some of our biggest challenges.

What are your biggest expectations for the coming years? 

“I´m excited to lead the division Digital Energy and be able to shape the form and way forward with lots of outstanding people by my side. I would like to expand the business domain competencies of the development teams to ensure successful and useful products, as well as dedicate more time to research and development. In combination, this will nurture innovation, great products, and results. That is something I am looking for in 2023 and the next coming years.” 


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