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In Tune with the Local Connected to the World Special Edition E X P Oto recovery A driving force R TS JUNE 2012 The Online Executive News for Corporate Leaders “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he In 2011, Greece achieved a 37% increase in exports, a figure sensibly higher than the European Union average which stood at 11.3%. Contents has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” In absolute terms exports reached 22.4 billion Euros and contributed Andre Gide 10.4% to the country’s GDP. It is needless to say that there is still p1 Editorial In the light of the adverse current international economic plenty of room for improvement; 35% of exports executives, who environment, this newsletter, will try to show a glimpse of how Exports participated in our survey, work for companies whose exports p2,3 First National through its people, can and certainly will play a key role in the growth contribution is less than 10% to the total turnover. In real numbers, Exports Survey strategy of Greece. 12,000 companies are exporting, only the 2% of the private sector. The major challenge for Greek exporters is to deliver high quality p4 Skinos Exports represent one of the most important sources of foreign exchange income that ease the pressure on the balance of payments products and services that can compete for significant share in global and create employment opportunities. Exports can increase intra- markets. A strategy combined of syndicated efforts and synergies p5 Korres between Chambers of commerce, commercial attachés, trade industry trade, help the country integrate and compete in the world associations, increased funding and of course less bureaucracy, must p6 Gaea economy and reduce the impact of external and internal financial gear this effort. shocks. Specialized multi-cultural executive profiles, continuous training, p7 Kallimanis Indicatively, the exports as a percentage of GDP among the wealthiest advanced technology, optimum production capabilities, innovation countries in the world varies between 17% in UK, 20% in France, 21% and R&D, are the enablers for a National Export Strategy that will p8,9 Panhellenic in Italy and reaches an overwhelming 27% of GDP in China and a 37% consequently create an Export Culture in our country. Exporters in Germany. Association I am very confident that Greek Exports will be a significant On a corporate perspective, a solid path for a company to optimize its contributor to the GDP of Greece in the next years and quite global dynamics is to achieve a 20% exports share on total revenues optimistic for the future of our country. When p10,11 Folli-Follie and presence in more than 2-3 countries. In this context the size the dust settles down, Greeks will turn the of a company is not an obstacle for exports as there are plenty of page and move on as they have done at p12 Chipita successful small-medium scale companies with huge success abroad numerous instances back in history. (“the invisible champions”). “Made in Greece”, p13 Pharmathen In the era of globalization of economic activities, Greek exporting companies, regardless of their size, sector, capital and managerial valued worldwide. p14 Sidenor structure, face the issue of optimum model of internationalization. I would like to thank all partici- Greek companies nowadays have serious motives to expand their sales pants in this issue; it is an honor p15 Alumil abroad including the significant decline of the domestic market and and pleasure hosting you in our the intensification of the competition. The company’s extroversion Newswire. facilitates risk diversification, boosts innovation and application of p16 Corallia new technologies, creates new job opportunities, enhances access to Enjoy your reading! clusters initiative global practices and finally, guarantees company viability. Harris Pezoulas, President 72 offices in 46 countries
First National What competencies are required for a successful Exports Management team? Flexibility/adaptability 56.8 % Strategic orientation 45.8 % Exports Survey 2012, Customer orientation 45.8 % Multicultural experience 39.8 % Communication skills 33.9 % Strongh commercial/ 31.4 %by Stanton Chase Athens marketing background Networking 23.7 % Ability to work skillfully 19.5 % with teams In which sector do you expect major exports development? Results orientation 19.5 %In those turbulent times for Greece and in continuation Creativity 18.6 % management ability Agricultural 78.0 %to a series of surveys conducted either functionally or Other Responses 7.7 % Energy 49.2 % 0% 20% 40% 60%sectorially, Stanton Chase Athens took the initiative Greek gastronomy 42.4 % Overall there is great opportunity in the development of exports It is also interesting which sub-function of Exports will be in demandfor the first time to explore the “world” of Exports and its Services 31.4 % across sectors as the current % contribution of exports to the total during the next 12 months: First comes Area Exports with 55.1%. company’s turnover is still relatively small. Indicatively 35.6% of Second comes Customer Service with 39.8%, third Logistics 39% andupper and senior Executives. Industrial 25.4 % respondents work for companies whose exports contribution fourth Sales operations by 34.7%, while respondents believe that the is less than 10% to the total turnover. It should also be em- available job opportunities are more likely to be found in the sectors of:E Consumer products 22.9 % phasized that there is potential in the geographical coverage as 1. Energy (58.5%) 2. Consumer products (55.1%) 3. Pharmaceuticals xport expansion and economic development are closely related. The high-growth countries are characterized by rapid well. Key exporting areas are right now: Eastern Europe (79.7%), (39.8%) 4. Retail (28%) 5. Logistics & Transportation (26.3%). Technology 7.6 % expansion in exports. Here again it is important to note that Western Europe (72%), Asia (50.8%), Africa (44.1%), US (42.4%), Australia (31.4%), Russia (28%) and CIS countries (25.4%). Exports executives would consider a career move provided that they willexport expansion is not confined to those countries fortunate in their Other (please specify) 5.1 % undertake a more senior role with increased responsibility, increased com-natural resources, such as the oil-exporting countries. Some of the To which geographical areas does your company export? pensation and benefits and an implied international relocation assignment.developing countries were able to expand their exports in spite of 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%limitations in natural resources by initiating economic policies that The percentage of Exports Executives who wish to explore the possibil-shifted resources from inefficient domestic manufacturing industries In which product categories do you expect major exports development? Eastern Europe 79.7 % ity of a new career is quite high: 54.2% The most known and effectiveto export production. 80% Western Europe 72.0 % way to achieve change in career, with a significant percentage of 56.9%, is through Executive Search companies. After that, follows the Network-Nowadays, more than ever, Greek exporting companies must target, Asia 62.7 % 50.8 % ing, meaning the expansion and development of the private network ofset as their priority and achieve a long-term competitive advantage in 60% Africa acquaintances and contacts (56%).the international markets. 44.1 % 50.8 % How interested are you in investigating a new carrer opportunity? USThe survey took place in April 2012 among 450 respondents. 60% 42.4 % 39.8 %were at a Managerial/Director level, 6.4% were General Managers 40% 37.3 % Australia 31.4 % Very much(with double role), 6.4% were Owners while the rest were Marketers 28.8 % Somewhat(3.2%), New Business Development Managers (9.6%) and upper-mid- Russia 28.0 % 25.4 % Not at alldle level executives. Furthermore, 83.9% were male and 1 out of 2 in 20% 20.3 % CIS 25.4 %the age group of 40-50. Most respondents are employed at Consumer 12.7 % 9.3 %Products (42.4%) while Pharmaceuticals absorbs 11%, Retail 7.6%, 5.1 % 5.1 % 3.4 % 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%Energy 5.9% and Logistics & Transportation 3.4%. 5.9 % 0% Fish farming/ Pharmaceuticals Aluminium Other (please specify) Tubes/Pipes With regard to the priorities of the Exports Department, in the firstThe vast majority of Exports Executives believe that Greece will see Aqua culture Fruits, Vegetables Cheese, Daily Oil-Petrochemicals PDO products Cotton All Other Responses place is the Identification and Assessment of distributors. Second 54.2 %the first signs of economic recovery after 2 years (46.6%) while a comes the Access to International market information followed44.9% foresees recovery after 3 years. However, they are quite opti- Undoubtedly nowadays executives in Exports are required to manage by Product availability, Specialization of products and Back office Huge willingness is observed in exploring opportunities for relocationmistic regarding the positive contribution of exports to the coun- complex problems in an unstable and quite difficult environment. support. abroad (70.4% responded positively to this possibility). With greatertry’s total recovery. More specifically 75.4% of respondents claim There are though certain reinforcers which can accelerate exportsthat exports will contribute significantly to the recovery of Greece and During the last year the performance of Senior Export Managers ease, the Exports executives would move to the nearest more familiar development and the research concludes that these reinforcers are:83.9% agree that exports can be a leading contributor to the GDB of have been affected by Pricing pressures, Cost consciousness, Com- markets of Eastern Europe (71.8%). Furthermore other regions consid- Quality of products (50.8%), Access to emerging markets (43.2%),Greece in the next 5-10 years. petition, Recession and Restructurings. ered are: the Gulf region (67.9%), CIC countries (41.0%), Asia (37.2%) and Trend for Mediterranean diet (37.3%), Tourism experience on to a lesser degree in Africa and Latin America (24.4%). Finally respond- Greek products (36.4%), Skilled and available workforce (32.2%),A key topic is the key sectors where the major developments are The role of an Exports Management team is extremely crucial during ents have spotted those skills needed in order to achieve their career Product customization per market (26.3%), Government / bankingexpected and in that question respondents replied in Agricultural the recession. But which are the competencies required? Flexibility/ goals and the first two are related with their “own brand develop- support and subsidizing (25.4%).sector (78%), Energy sector (49.2%), Greek gastronomy (42.4%), Adaptability is by far the most important (56.8%). Other compe- ment”, in other words to increase the ability to become more visible inServices (31.4%), Industrial sector (25.4%) and Consumer Products On the other hand there are various obstacles which constrain the tencies are: Strategic orientation (45.8%), Customer orientation the market (69.3%) and to develop their own marketing plan (51.8%).(22.9%). Concerning the respective developments in product catego- development of exports in Greece with Bureaucracy rated as by far (45.8%), Multicultural experience (39.8%), Communication skills Last but not least the development of personal skills, the alignmentries, those are expected in Fruits/Vegetables (62.7%), Fish farming/ the number one obstacle. Respondents also mentioned other obsta- (33.9%) and Strong commercial/marketing background (31.4%). with Executive Search consultants, the development of technicalAqua culture (50.8%), Cheese/Dairy (37.3%), Pharmaceuticals cles such as lack of specialized exports marketing, not sufficient export skills and the enrichment of their academic background were also(28.8%), Oil/Petrochemicals (25.4%), Aluminium (20.3%). If it was required to rate the capabilities based on their importance, rated as quite import for career advancement. culture and experience, competition forces, cost issues and production the hierarchy would be as follows: Customer Service, Sales Man- capacity issues. agement, Marketing and Key Account Management. ExecutiveNewswire 06/12 3
Chat with Nancy Mathioudaki, Partner On the other hand Mastiha is indigenous competition and currently is the number to Greece and there is no other place in the one Greek liqueur brand in exports. world that this unique aromatic raisin could be found. Do you market the brand differently in Greece than abroad? Skinos was launched in 2005 in Greece and soon enough became one of the fastest Exports marketing requires a level ofDemetre Steinhauer, Managing Director growing brands in the spirits business in the adaptability to the needs and specifications of any given market. Within this perspective market. we always try to adapt our strategy to theYour decision to leave the corporate world: Exports started in 2006, initially in Europe local needs and to the profile of the market.I joined IDV Greece in 1994 initially in the and then in US, Canada and Australia.finance department and then moved into Barriers to exports:the marketing department as a Brand What does the brand stand for: The country’s of provenance brand equity,Manager. The ultimate definition of Skinos is truly in this case of Greece, is reflected on the a Mediterranean spirit. A contemporary product brand equity that is exported.In 1997 I moved in PILLSBURY (DIAGEO premium brand based on a uniquesubsidiary) as Market Manager for Haagen The truth is that the perception of Greece as ingredient –with great history- thatDazs business in Greece, Middle East & an exporting country is characterized by a flourishes on a small island of the eastNorth Africa. My key responsibilities were to good range of authentic quality products. Mediterranean.develop the Haagen Dazs brand either by Red tape procedures is always an issue thensetting up from zero or restructuring already Sales Channels: again with good preparation this can beexisting organizations. Skinos has a wide distribution both in the easily resolved. Another significant barrier isIn 2000, I made a shift in my professional retail as well as in the HoReCa market. weak support of exports from the state.career by joining the leading strategic Achievements of the brand so far in Greece: The perception of a Greek entrepreneurcommunications and public relations Skinos is exported in more than 15 markets abroad:agency in Greece, BELUGA & ASSOCIATES, with great success. Major markets for the I do not think that the Greek entrepreneuras a General Manager. At BELUGA & brand are US, Canada, Australia, Cyprus, is stereotyped abroad. I believe that GreekASSOCIATES I had the chance to work with Lebanon, Switzerland and Germany. What is entrepreneurs are generally flexible andsome of the major FMCGs and service amazing with the brand is that we managed, resourceful and if I had to point out a majorcompanies of Greece as well as to be the in a very short period of time, to take the weakness then this would be the capacityleading communication partner on the brand beyond the Greek communities and to focus on our targets and build a plan toVolunteers Communication program of penetrate the local audiences on each of the achieve them.ATHENS 2004. above markets.I have always had an entrepreneurial Future challenges: Skinos is the only Greek liqueur that got theattitude as a professional but I made We have just launched the first Gold Medal at San Francisco World Spiritsthe decision to start my own business in Mediterranean value added sparkling water2004 setting up, with my brother Alfred, with Mastiha, a product that we believe willCONCEPTS an imports / exports company in have a tremendous potential in the foreignthe alcoholic beverages business. markets as well as in Greece.Leaving the “safety” and the structure of the Opportunities for Greek exports in general:corporate world was not an easy decision. I believe deeply on the potential of the Greek products as long as we, the exporters,History of the brand: understand the need to implement longWe were always looking to build our own term brand building strategies and thebrand in the world of spirits to drive our government employs contemporaryexports business. techniques to support the exports.Mastiha liqueur was an unexploited Are your optimistic about the future of ourterritory, a rather forgotten category, mainly country?represented by some artisanal brands with The major pillar in entrepreneurship ispoor presentation and non existent exports optimism, the faith that tomorrow thingstrack record. will be better than today. From that point of view, I am passionately optimistic.
A Success Story in Beauty. An article by Dimitris Vidakis, CEO By Andriana Theodorakopoulou, Consultant the first cosmetic worldwide based on to activate specific biological paths that the Nobel-awarded discovery of the enable cells to prolong their healthy Proteasome - a result of primary research life-cycle. Korres realizes science and on ‘Proteasome & Ageing’; the first natural technology today have made possible the cream to achieve higher scores on all use of several raw materials in a way that comparative crash-tests with the market’s allows us to develop clinically effective, top-selling anti-ageing creams. natural and sustainable formulations that are as good as conventional solutions yet The Korres portfolio now includes over more skin and environment compatible,The beginning 400 natural and certified organic products, without compromising on performance. with brand presence in 30 countries. InThe Korres story begins at the oldest To that end, the company has just addition to stand-alone Korres stores –homeopathic pharmacy of Athens. George strengthened its anti-ageing and hair care 25 stores in cities such as Athens, Paris,Korres joined the pharmacy team in portfolio [2012 launches] consistent with Madrid and Singapore – products are also1989 while still studying Pharmacology its continuous effort to introduce natural in exclusive department stores in Tokyo,and though skeptical at first about problem-solving products addressing key Los Angeles, Milan, Berlin, Sydney,homeopathy, he was soon overwhelmed concerns. In terms of its global presence, Hong Kong and in over 6,500 pharmaciesby the power of natural ingredients. Korres is set to continue growing, through in its homeland, Greece. From one singleDriven by his own passion and deep targeted initiatives focusing on its top pharmacy, one product and a team of two,understanding of herbs, George envisaged international markets, aiming to further Korres has grown to an over €40 millionthe development of a natural skincare strengthen the brand’s presence in both business (the company ended 2011 withline, which was realized soon after, led mature markets [US, UK, Germany, approximately €42.6 million sales).by the pharmacy heritage, his knowledge Spain] and those that present greatand understanding of over 3,000 herbal Korres is currently developing its potential [Russia, Scandinavian countries].remedies and his quest for a more natural diversified expansion abroad, movingapproach. In 1996, Korres was born. The from the initial ‘global awareness’ phase Crisisbrand’s simple philosophy was rooted to a deeper mature-market penetration Despite the adverse financial environ-in four core principles that remain the strategy. The brand’s natural retail ment, 2011 closed with sales and marketsame as in its early pharmacy days: environment due to its roots, herb heritage share growth [Pharmacy Network] innatural and/or organic ingredients; skin and research focus, is the pharmacy Greece for the KORRES Group - Theand environmentally-friendly products; distribution network for markets where Group achieved a 6% sales increaseclinically-tested efficacy; affordable natural cosmetics are predominantly in in Greece alone [Pharmacy network],and of interesting aesthetics. These core pharmacies. Due to the brand’s equity enhancing its market share by 50 bps,principles remain the same since the – natural and clinically efficacious, reaching 10% in 2011 vs. 9.5% in 2010.initial pharmacy days; and due to their ethical, pleasing to use, affordable and of Outside Greece, the Group has furtheruniversal appeal, they helped establish interesting design – Korres sits equally strengthened its international presenceKorres as a global brand, despite not well in high-end, luxury department stores with its export sales increasing by 15% [inhaving an international customer in mind as well as specialised cosmetics retailers fact the sales growth for priority marketswhen it first started. and independent beauty/perfumery shops. such as Germany, Spain and Russia was In department stores, products are usually 18%]. The crisis is partly an opportunity in the natural cosmetics section or in theToday para-pharmacy area where available. mainly due to an exceptional shift in con-Korres grew into a respected brand by sumer buying behavior; not only because In some cases, the brand has managedfocusing its research and development of the bias towards Greek brands but more to secure shop-in-shop areas within theefforts on addressing skincare needs with so because of the need for affordable and cosmetics hall.natural ingredients without compromising efficacious skincare; the number of con-the benefits associated with conventional sumers going to the pharmacy in search The future of affordable dermocosmetics - instead ofskincare, and developing natural productsto help solve conditions that traditionally Research will remain fundamental to the expensive, luxurious creams found in therequire heavy chemicals. Within its 15 year company’s growth in terms of product selective market – is constantly growing.history, the Greek skincare brands count development; identifying natural waysthree worldwide innovations including ExecutiveNewswire 06/12 5
Out to lunch with Harris Pezoulas, PresidentOverview of Greek exports and of yet our focus is in N. Europe and the US.Greek companies’ extroversion Our major markets are: Germany, UK, USA, Russia and Scandinavia. According to NielsenAlthough Greece produces a wide variety statistics Gaea is: number 3 brand overall andof top quality food products thanks to the leading Greek brand in the olive oil category inexcellent climate that makes the earth fertile, Germany, number 3 brand and leading Greekmost Greek food companies until recently brand in the olives category in the UK, numberwere either trying to make some short term 1 brand in the olives category in Norway andprofit by selling their products mainly bulk or number 2 brand in the olive oil category inwere focused in the domestic market which Norway , number 1 brand in the organic olive Aris Kefalogiannis, CEObefore the crisis used to be a very lucrative oil and organic olives category in Greece,market. Nowadays, a substantial number of number 3 brand in the olive oil category ingood Greek companies producing excellent Russia, while it is the fastest growing brand inproducts realized that they cannot rely any the olive category in the US.more exclusively or predominantly to theGreek market for survival. At the same time Future challenges / opportunities forthey realized that exporting is not easy, nor developmentcan you develop distribution networks and Gaea is now expanding in Austria, Slovenia,sales internationally in a fortnight by a change Poland, Cyprus, China, Italy. Our goal is to gainin your priorities. The realities of the crisis wider market share in all other countries inwill change mentalities, and will eventually which we do have presence as well as to entercreate a dynamic group of Greek companies new markets such as the Balkan countrieswith strong export orientation and strategies and the Arabic peninsula. In addition,geared for the international markets. our company is now moving forward inCompany presentation and expanding our range, entering into new,corporate actions abroad exciting product categories in cooperation with Greek companies and producers of highGaea was founded in 1995 upon the quality products under our new conceptrealization that Greek agricultural food “cooperation – synergasia” and dual branding,products, despite their inherent high quality who are struggling to survive the collapse of with one goal – to create a basket of authenticand good taste, were absent from the the domestic market. Given Gaea’s interna- – quality Greek products and to promote theinternational markets. Our company’s vision tional distribution network, consisting of the best of Greece in the entire world.and mission is to offer high quality, authentic absolute market leaders in the distributionGreek products with the aim to make the Challenges for the exports’ of specialty food products in their respectivebrand name “Gaea” the leading Greek brand market, the company is working with other executivesinternationally synonymous to quality, Greek businesses that supply the very best The biggest challenge that an executive from authentic food products in developing jointtraditional, authentic and innovative Greek Greece faces today in the international markets, ventures with them with a long term viewspecialty food products, promoting “meze” – is the poor image of Greece and the low morale of taking these products to the internationalthe culture of sharing as the authentic Greek of Greeks, as a result of the economic crisis and market. At the same time Gaea keeps ex-Mediterranean culinary experience. Gaea sells the bad publicity on our country. panding the sales of its core product range,its products in most developed markets ofthe world and exports account for 82% of our The other major challenge relates to the growing our sales in all international marketscompany’s annual turnover. The other 18% short-termism of the strategies adopted by despite Greece’s poor image internationallyof its turnover is achieved in the domestic Greek companies that have been spoiled in because of the crisis.market, where Gaea is the number one brand the past by the easy profits made in the Greekin the organic olive oil and organic olives market. On the contrary, export markets Ways to overcome the crisiscategory. Gaea manufactures all its products require long term strategy, consistency, reli- The deep economic crisis is the result ofin its state of the art factory using the highest ability and focus on the values and goals of bad practices, consumerism and statequality natural and organic ingredients the company. bureaucracy and control of economic activity,available. All of our products are 100% natural plus a society that lost values and vision. Theand free from additives or preservatives Current situation - impact of the reforms are an absolute necessity as well assupporting consumer wellness through a crisis on the specific sector the transformation of our society and thehealthy tasty and balanced diet. Gaea has Gaea is seeing the crisis as an opportunity inspiration that a new vision and values willstrong presence in most international markets to expand and assist other Greek businesses bring. If the reforms take place I believe that then Greece will positively surprise the world with strong and healthy growth.
Discussion with Andriana Theodorakopoulou, Consultant Overview of Greek exports and of Greek companies’ extroversion Company presentation and corporate actions abroad Future challenges / opportunities for development Challenges for the exports’ executives Current situation - impact of the crisis on the specific sector Ways to overcome the crisis Konstantina Kallimani, Executive Director Every cloud has a silver lining; crisis has urged the Greek Greek Export Managers have the unique opportunity to entrepreneurs to «reinvent» their market position and, by cross the country’s borders and work in an international boosting their national identity, to make their entrance in the environment; however at the same time they are challengedforeign markets that are still fans of the Greek culture and nature. to enhance the level of their professionalism and become moreConsequently, during the last years, Greek exports not only have they sophisticated for they are automatically considered as spokespersons offlourished but they have also made a small miracle in 2011 when the the Greek spirit and consequently any lack of professionalism from theirexport increase reached 37% while the value of Greek exports over the side will inevitably affect our country’s image in the global markets.same period was estimated at 22.4 billion Euros. This is a historic record,since Greek exports have never before surpassed 20 billion Euros. In the Financing difficulties and overall lack of liquidity due toforthcoming years, we expect this upward trend to be repeated with economic recession is a significant challenge for the exports.double-digit growth rates in Greek exports. Furthermore, the export enterprises face additional disincentives that prevent their smooth financial operation, the severe KALLIMANIS Group of Companies is a Greek corporation with bureaucracy being one of them. Currently, the main problem that an unrivalled reputation as a national leader in the Greek directly affects the liquidity of the exporting firms is the complex frozen fish and seafood market for more than half a century. procedures for VAT exemption and the delays of the repayment of theToday, the Group has 200 employees, headquarters and two factories VAT return. Moreover, the delay and inflexibility of customs procedureslocated in the city of Aegeon in Peloponnese, branches in Athens and is an equally important factor for the decrease of competitiveness ofSalonika and annual turnover of 60m euro. Over the last few years, the the Greek products in the international markets, and, due to this, GreekGroup has realised successful exports in both the retail and HO.RE.CA products become more expensive and business more unreliablechannels that are expected to represent 15% of the annual turnover by because of the length and the low reliability of the procedures.2012. The Group has already achieved a strong and holistic presence inBalkans and SE Europe, Germany, Italy, and Spain and prepares its The current Greek export model is irrelevant to modernentrance to new emerging markets. Regarding exports, KALLIMANIS requirements. Today, Greece is being asked to develop a newGroup is investing in long term cooperation with reliable onsite agents strategy for its export policy; a strategy which will be alignedas well as in the branded demand of its export products. Its export with the new developmental model that is applied in the economy forplans include the launching of new products in the existing markets, the confrontation of the recession. The ultimate goal is to support theenhancement of the export activities and expansion in new markets. Greek companies, and within this frame Greece must develop new policy which should be primarily focused on removing administrative Greece has not yet fully exploited the export opportunities barriers to exports by simplifying legal requirements for export-related arising from the single market and SE Europe -an area of activities as well as by financing their extroversion. However, taking strategic importance to Greece and a main destination for its into consideration the unforeseeableexports that has embarked on a dynamic growth path, despite short- financial environment interm difficulties. Moreover, Greece has globally a strong national identity, Greece, Greekwhich, if stressed out by the marketing of their export brands, can entrepreneurs should bebecome a significantly competitive asset. In specific, regarding the food ready to lead their ownsector there are significant yet unexploited opportunities to promote the way abroad based mainlyMediterranean diet in destinations such as Russia, USA and Canada. on their own forces. ExecutiveNewswire 06/12 7
Panhellenic market. The elimination of these trade Exporters Association into the Greek Development Agenda the Topic of Extroversion, as the only and the barriers should be a top priority of every Greek government. Hopefully soon we will see some results. Christina G. Sakellaridis fundamental choice for the rebound and sustainable development. Cash flow, on the other hand is the main out to lunch with issue. Heavy taxation, delayed VAT refunds, There was a broad consensus, in a political, coupled by the problems of Greek private social and entrepreneurial basis, for the banking system consists a kind of a timeProfile of PSE Nancy Mathioudaki, Partner importance of the support of export enterprises, in terms of transferring know- bomb threatening the exports growth. The NSRF (National Strategic ReferenceThe Panhellenic Exporters Association how, of boosting cash flows and dealing Framework) 2007–2013, or ESPA can provide(PEA) was established in 1945 and with red tape barriers. useful tools in that direction. Programs What are the needed requirements to become one in exports are always the petroleumrepresents the entire body of Greek an exporting company (certifications, member- goods, but the big protagonist of 2011, was As a result of this consensus and the like “Extroversion & Competitiveness” Christina G. SakellaridisExporters. It is the main export and “Extroversion ECIO” are some good Born in Athens (Plaka) ships etc)? the aluminium, rising to the second place, entrepreneurial reflexes for survival, moreorganisation in Greece, and its members examples of funding export activities. The Studied Law at the Athens University and at the FACULTE DE DROIΤ Christina Sakellaridis: Today, it has been surpassing pharmaceuticals. Fish and rods of that 2.000 Greek companies tried for theare enterprises, cooperatives and European Investment Bank Programs will of Paris estimated that the export formalities involve steel-iron complete the TOP 5 and the rest 5 first time to export their products abroadorganisations engaged in exports also be a great relief for export enterprises She speaks French and English fluently 5 different ministries, 28 departments and places belong mostly to the agricultural sector in 2010 and 2011. These companies eitherof various export sectors from all for the months to come. She is married with George Sakellaridis-businessmangeographical regions of Greece organizations, and require almost 30 different and food. With the exemption of pipes, we find were focused in the domestic markets or in the TOP 10 ranking products like vegetables, are new, start-ups with international market FINANCIAL SECTOR ACHIEVEMENTS certificates, permits and approvals. This results Last but not least, effective ways to transferMembers of PΕΑ produce, manufacture apricots & cherries, cheese, cotton, olive oil and orientation. know-how especially to SMEs will also be an Chairperson of Board of MARGIN GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT according to a research by the Pan-Hellenic MFMC [2011-present]and export a large variety of industrial furs. indirect boost of extroversion with long- Exporters Association, to an extra charge on Now we are estimating about 12.000and agricultural products to practically President and CEO of INTERINVEST (One of first Investment the cost of production of exportable Greek Generally speaking we could point out as main companies trying to compete in the global term benefits for the Greek Economy. In this Companies in the Athens Stock Exchange) [1991- 2010]every country in the world. context, the PEA will put in to effect a big products of the levels of 15% of their value. exporting sectors, with the exemption of fuels, market each year. Former Member of General Board of the Bank of Greece [1994-2004]Contact with interested parties According to the World Bank, in 2009 the export foods & drinks, pharmaceuticals and construc- nationwide program of vocational training Co-Founder and Vice President of FACT HELLAS SA (1st Factoringabroad tion materials. What are the opportunities that Greece by the second semester of 2012. Enterprise in Greece) [1995-1997] of a cargo of Greek products required 20 daysPΕΑ’s scope is to promote the interests of might demonstrate (medium term and long Co-Founder and CEO of ELLINIKES EUROPAIKES EPENDYSEIS and its cost was $ 1,153. The OECD memberexporting enterprises, to bolster export Are you optimistic about our future in Greece (Investments and Tourism) [1989-1992] states’ averages are accordingly 10 days and What are the top 10 countries where Greece is term)?activity and to assist all interested parties highly accepted for its exporting products? given this unprecedented crisis? INTERNATIONAL TRADE ACHIEVEMENTS $ 1,032. ChS: Greece has some great advantages: itsabroad in familiarising themselves with ChS: The French philosopher Emil Chartier President of Ch.G.S, Strategic Export Management & Business ChS: In 2011 there have been significant position between West and East, its role inGreek export production and in finding The consequence of these distortions is Development Consultants [1966- to date] changes in the TOP 10 export markets for the Med Basin, the climate and the people. used to say that “optimism is a matter of will”.the products they are looking for and the impaired competitiveness of Greek products Co-Founder and Vice President of INTRADE (Trading Company) Greek products. Italy has become the No 1 These are all factors of successful inter- We, the people of trade, are optimists bypeople or companies who sell them. over competing countries, but also overall [1997-1999] destination, overtaking Germany for the second national trade. Greece can trade with the nature and by trade. Furthermore the data deterioration of terms of trade, since the Exclusive representative of MARKS & SPENCER and JAEGER OFPEA is in a position to inform foreign time after 1945 (the first was in 2008) and world its renowned foodstuff and traditional of the Greek exports show a dynamic that corresponding distortions involve the import LONDON for Greece [1977-1986]importers about export opportunities Turkey, gaining 3 positions, has risen to the products, such as olive oil, feta cheese, fish, cannot be overlooked. Products of technol- of raw materials, the refinement and the re- INSTITUTIONAL ACHIEVEMENTSfor all products exported by Greece third place, above Cyprus. In the 5th place we fruits & vegetables. Its soil is rich in raw ogy, know-how and expertise are steadily exportation of products. President of the Panhellenic Exporters Association (1992-to date)and to provide its services in arranging find the SUPPLY of SHIPS, that in international materials, such as aluminium. And it has also gaining shares in the world trade since 1988.meetings between interested enterprises The Panhellenic Exporters Association has trade terms consists of a totally differentiated proven that it is competitive in fields of high Greek foodstuff is strongly identified as part President of the Export Credit Insurance Organization-ECIO (1994- to date)and Greek exporters. For that reason already submitted proposals both to the market itself, pointing out the significance of tech, innovation and know-how. Renewable of the Med diet. Greek exporters have comeit has launched: Τhe Greek product Ministry of Development and the Task Force for a long way in terms of branding, packaging Former President, Now Vice President of the Hellenic Foreign Trade the geographical position of Greece and its energy resources, pharmaceuticals, software Board-HEPO (2010- to date)Importer File Service. Greece, in order to facilitate external trade and advantages in maritime. applications and constructions expertise are and promoting their products. Member of the EURO 50 Group exports. some good examples of big Greek achieve- Bulgaria comes 6th, followed by the US, while Of course there is a lot more to be done. Member of the Greek National Exports CouncilPEA issues: Gladly, some of these proposals will be UK has dropped 3 places to 8th. The TOP 10 finds ments worldwide. Some should have been done years ago. Former Vice President (1987-1994) and Now Member of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1994- to date)• Newsletters for the progress and prospects of the Greek implemented both to e-custom procedures also France (9th place) and Romania (10th), both We should never forget that 62% of Greek But as the Chinese say “the best time to exports Former Vice President of the International Chamber of Commerce- of ISISnet, starting from April 2nd 2012 and the losing one place since 2010. products are exported in developed coun- plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second• Alerts, Key Notes and Circulars on export issues ICC (1983-1994) Single Window for Exports by 2013. tries in the EU, almost 70% in the OECD best is now”.• Researches, Studies, Case Studies for goods and services, Former Member of Board of the Greek-Arab Chamber of Commerce By then, for an enterprise to export, the first member states. These are markets that select The only thing I would like to emphasize and Development (1994-2004) key markets What are the current trends within these turbu- step will be to enlist in the Chamber Commerce, their imports in a firm cost-value analogy. is that today exports are not a risk, they lent times?Furthermore, PEA undertakes DISTINCTIONS: to the Exporters Annex. In the Panhellenic are a wise entrepreneurial option andactivities such as: ChS: Since 2009 when Greece experienced a What about the challenges? “Les insignes de Chevalier de l΄Ordre national du Merite”, by Decree Exporters Association everyone that is steep decline of its exports, losing in 12 months choice. They are the answer to the crisis of the President of the Republic of France, Nicolas Sarkozy (2009)• Networking and clustering businesses and promoting cooperation interested to be an exporter should address to time, all the gains from a 5year rise between ChS: A survey of the Panhellenic Exporters and the means to recovery. In the time “The International Chamber of Commerce Award”, for her services• Special events for the promotion of the Greek exporters our 24/7 Helpdesk, through our website www. 2004 and 2008, there has been a shift towards Association between Greek Exporters of information and IT, we possess the as Vice President of the ICC, 1983-2004• Seminars, conferences and galas pse.gr . a new kind of openness of the economy, a new pointed out 3 main challenges for export necessary tools to find the right partners, to “The Europe 2003 Award”, established by the President of the• Meetings, consultations and round tables of exporting kind of what we call extroversion. enterprises: secure our payments and to fund our export Republic of France, Jacques Chirac and the European Counsil (2003) companies region, by exporting market and by product/ What are the top 10 exporting sectors? Have 1. Red tape barriers businesses. “Self Made Entrepreneur Award for 2002”, of the Athens Chamber service The crisis of the Greek economy has resulted 2. Cash flows of Commerce and Industry there been any significant changes / shifts within We at the Panhellenic Exporters Association• Vocational training activities to a significant drop of domestic demand and 3. Transfer of Know-How. “Woman of Europe Award”, by the Greek Committee (1994) the last couple of years? will stand side by side to each and everyone• Promotion of goods and services consumption. Greek enterprises of all sizes “Le Diplome d’ Honneur de l’ Ordre Europeen”, (Brussels 1998) ChS: Last year was also a period of changes faced the same dilemma: where and how do The red tape cost is estimated to 15% of the that wants to expand abroad, regardless of West Attica Rotary Club (1995)• Joint participation in Exhibitions, Conferences and Seminars in the ranking of export goods. Number we channel our products. It was the time when Greek products value, making them more company size, sector and experience. Athens – North Rotary Club (1993)• Access and support to UN and EU procurements the Panhellenic Exporters Association put expensive and less competitive in the global ExecutiveNewswire 06/12 9
A globalsuccessstoryInterview to Nancy Mathioudaki, Partner Folli Follie Shanghai Flagship Store Group has grown over the last 30 challenge with an “external” and an “internal” side to it. In terms The campaign has received very positive comments in China, years from an innovative, ground- of how a Greek corporation needs to deal with the crisis, the Spain, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea where the respective press breaking jewellery brand into a challenge is to identify the opportunities, adapt and aim for presentations have already taken place. global power in the fashion scene. The Folli Follie Group, apart further growth. In terms of how others view a Greek corporation We are positive that the whole world and the Folli Follie fans from the brand Folli Follie, comprises of Links of London, the within this crisis, the challenge is to reverse the negative climate. will embrace the new campaign, when it is officially launched, successful and awarded British Jeweler and Official Jeweler of And this is something that we aim to accomplish and prove with allowing it to transfer them at that iconic Greek summer. the London 2012 Olympic Games, a strong wholesale/ retail our hard work and positive results and we aspire to accomplish sector, the travel retail sector and a fairly new Cosmetics and with the “Crazy for Greece” campaign. The global appeal of In Folli Follie we have always promoted the extroversion Perfume sector. Operating in 28 countries worldwide, with ap- the campaign enhances Folli Follie’s efforts to promote positive of Greek corporations, acknowledging their dynamics and proximately 700 points of sale and more than 6,000 employ- connotations about Greece, especially during a period when it is appealing to the “Ulysses spirit” that is imprinted in the DNA ees, Folli Follie Group products reach millions of consumers. more necessary than ever. of every Greek. Greeks, if any, know how to set a goal and stay loyal to it, overcome It is worth mentioning that the Folli Follie brand has a very The international “Crazy for Greece” campaign, both print any difficulties that may come across strong presence in 24 countries globally and an established and digital, will be featured in newspapers and in the biggest the way, learn from their mistakes, turn presence in the travel retail sector and in-flight retail. With more fashion titles worldwide, will run online, will be hosted on obstacles into opportunities, ultimately than 50 points of sale in the travel retail sector, its impressive Flagship store in the New York’s SoHo neighbourhood TV shows, and will be featured on billboards in Europe, Asia succeed and do so “enjoying” every bit progress has been acknowledged by the DFNI magazine in the and North America. Creative media in the most esteemed of the “journey”. Greece is already a global 2010 product awards, when the brand was awarded with “Best publications globally such as the South China Morning Post that invest and establish our presence in the strategically important power in industries, such as shipping, Watches Campaign at Asian Airlines” and “Best New Jewellery bears impressive readership, sensational outdoor presence and markets of Greater China, North America and the UK. and we should not underestimate Store at Hong Kong International Airport”. It is important to groundbreaking digital campaign set the ground for the launch the possibility of seeing Greece as an mention the in-flight presence of Folli Follie that started with The economic crisis that has affected the global scenery and of a project that brings forward the very spirit of the Folli Follie emerging power in sectors, such Eva Airlines and British Airways has evolved in a collaboration Greece in particular, should be viewed as an opportunity brand, linking strongly with its brand heritage. as fashion, where Greek with more than 40 airlines reaching more than 1,000,000 rather than a setback, despite the fact that it has a very Moreover, through the Folli Follie stores the campaign will be corporations and passengers on a daily basis. powerful impact especially in the fashion industry. Folli Follie featured in 480 points of sale in some of the most hi-fashion individual designers The Folli Follie Group long term strategic objectives are of course as a brand has always had an excellent brand positioning that streets in 24 countries. demonstrate for the two brands of the Group, namely Folli Follie and Links of has helped it come through the crisis even stronger. The fact impressive that Folli Follie is marketed as an affordable brand that at the The “Crazy for Greece” campaign was also presented in London, to become world brands, to strengthen the product initiatives with same time comes in a luxurious “package” that the Folli Follie Baselworld, the world watch and jewellery show, in Basel, portfolio of the Group’s retail/wholesale business and to global appeal. shopping experience and feel-good factor offers, is one of the Switzerland, from 8th to 15th of March, in the context of Folli gain market share especially on the back of the recession in many reasons why Folli Follie has so far come intact from this Follie Group’s participation to the show. The visitors of the show Greece and the opportunities that come from this environment. strenuous global financial condition. welcomed the new campaign with enthusiasm, For the travel retail sector we view the expansion of selling making very positive remarks. space for all channels, but also expanding opportunities like e.g. marinas. And of course, our immediate goal is to further In the context of the recent global financial developments George Koutsolioutsos, we have also been asked to answer a big twofold challenge; a CEO Folli Follie Group ExecutiveNewswire 06/12 11
Pavlos Katsivelis Interview to Regional Managing Director South & East Europe – Nigeria, Nancy Mathioudaki, Partner Turkey and Joint VenturesWhat’s your opinion about Greek exports and PK: Everybody is talking about going global, but PK: The development of new businesses requiresGreek companies’ extroversion? hardly anyone understands what that means. companies to transfer their skills, and expatriatesPavlos Katsivelis: Greek export performance I strongly believe that the only way to gain continue to be the most effective means to thatcannot be characterized as impressive when only lasting competitive advantage is to leverage end. Especially in emerging markets, wherea small number of the Greek companies report your capabilities around the world so that the establishing relationships, adapting to localsales from export activity. This picture reflects the company as a whole is greater than the sum of its cultures, and transferring skills and technologieslimited competitiveness of Greek products, and parts. Being an international company—selling all take a lot longer than they do in developedtheir inadequate differentiation and penetration globally, having global brands or operations in ones, the need for expatriates is particularlyinto foreign markets. Furthermore, we should not different countries—isn’t enough. pressing, even when a joint venture is the chosenundermine the psychological factors – absence In fact, most international manufacturers entry vehicle.of confidence - that holds back most Greek aren’t truly global. They may have acquired or So, one of the main difficulties for us has beencompanies. established businesses all over the world, but and remains human resources. It’s been quiteBeing a small economy located at the periphery their regional or national divisions still operate as difficult orienting our people to work internation-of the EU, we have benefited greatly from autonomous entities. ally. We need our best people abroad, peoplethe opening up of South-Eastern European To us, competitive advantage means having who are good with people and who can translateeconomies in the early ‘90s and the related the best technologies and processes for into the local market Chipita values.increase in trade links with this region. The designing, manufacturing, selling, and servicing Based on our expansion model, we rely onredirection of Greek exports towards these your products at the lowest possible costs. relatively few expatriate employees. What we trymarkets was reinforced by the high growth of Our objective at Chipita is to integrate our to do is have an operating platform that providesthese economies, the “first mover” advantage, geographical businesses wherever possible, so the systems and key processes to run theand the “privileged” position due to its that our most advanced expertise in any given business. Through this way we get direction ingeographical proximity. area—whether it’s bakery technology, financial terms of how we go about doing things and how reporting systems, or distribution strategy—isn’t we manage people.Could you share with us some information about confined to one location or one division. WeChipita’s international activity? How did current economic crisis affect export- want to be able to take the best capabilities wePK: Chipita has laid the foundations for creating ing activity and what could companies do to have and leverage them in all of our operationsan innovative company with a strong interna- overcome it? worldwide.tional footprint. We consider ourselves as a «born PK: As I have already mentioned, until the begin-global» firm since during the last 20 years we What is Chipita’s future plan regarding interna- ning of the crisis, Greece was a relatively closedhave managed to grow rapidly mainly through tional expansion? economy. However, the economic crisis has led toglobal expansion. Today we have manufactur- PK: In Chipita our strategic choices are based an internal market shrinkage and consumptioning operations in ten countries with facilities in on the following principles: Growth in existing reduction. This spells bankruptcy for the majoritythe United States, Europe, and Middle East and markets and expansion into new markets on a of Greek firms if they do not go international.sales throughout the world with Greece currently global scale; rapid and widespread geographic Consequently, over the last two years, the exportrepresenting less than 15% of Group’s sales. distribution; emphasis on close, long-term activity was remarkable despite dire economicFor Chipita it was critical to grow big enough and business collaboration; and constant reappraisal conditions reflecting the growing tendencystrong enough in its home market—in Greece be- and improvement of distribution methods in of domestic enterprises to look beyond thefore expanding abroad. Building a strong domes- tune to changes in the market. country’s borders in an effort to offset the drop intic base before venturing into overseas markets Talking about international expansion, company’s demand in Greece.provided us with the level of strategic thinking growth strategy is based on brand development, A major barrier to international expansion as aneeded to manage an international organization innovation and emerging markets penetration. result of economic crisis, is the lack of liquidity.as well as managers with the necessary breadth Our success is very much based on inventing, Even the healthiest companies have seen the bankand depth of experience. consumers’‘lovemarks’, such as 7DAYS, that credit lines either closed or at predatory rates. An-Our international expansion over the recent become the source of competitive advantage. other major challenge is the Greek image. Greekyears has been fueled by joint ventures with local This year we started commercial activity in exporters are making huge efforts, to convincecompanies. Choosing partners that can make tan- Nigeria, one of the fastest growing economies potential foreign buyers not only of the quality ofgible business contributions, aligning strategic in the world, a market with an extraordinary their products, but also for their credibility.priorities, safeguarding intellectual property and demographic profile that is ideal for our products. More importantly, Greek companies’ immediateensuring operational control are critical for joint In parallel, we are working hard to be able to enter challenge is to break out of the mind-set thatventures success. Turkish market – the 5th BRIC - within 2013. we couldn’t compete successfully on the globalWhat’s the key lesson you’ve learned about how a What are the challenges companies are facing stage. Once freed of that burden, we have tocompany builds a global competitive advantage? in the area of Human Resources when talking find and implement strategies in which being a about going global? late mover is a source of competitive advantage rather than a disadvantage.
Exports and Extraversion of the Greek Businesses By Nelly Katsou, Vice President & Managing Director to Virginia Argyratou, Principal ConsultantGreece historically has been a country were trade and exports India, which give us the advantage to be the only vertically integratedplayed a vital role to the development of the society and the Greek company, from the API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) to the finishedcivilization in general. product, in Greece and one of the few in Europe.Unfortunately, over the last decades, we forgot our heritage and instead, Over the last years the company also had to face and respond to the effectswe became more introvert due to several factors that had to do with the of the global and in particular the Greek economic crisis. Pharmathenpolitical and social evolution of the Greek society and state. So very nevertheless achieved an increase in both its domestic and internationaloften, business and industrial profitable activities were “demonized” and presence, and despite the crisis the company has grown by 22% sincein many occasions had been even sabotaged for the benefit of state-run 2009 and in 2012 we also anticipate 27% organic growth. The factcompanies. We never had in place a coherent national exporting that our exposure to the Greek market was well balanced even before thestrategy, a plan of methods or incentives, or any support of any kind to financial crisis, allowed us to take all the necessary strategic actions inthat direction. As a result many Greek businesses developed a “Home- order not only to secure, but also to reinforce significantly our position insweet-home mentality” preferring the comfort and safety of the local the local and international markets. New products were added to ourmarket, instead of taking the risk of international expansion. With this pipeline, new strategic alliances with large pharmaceutical firmslack of exporting culture, even the businesses that wanted to have an were pursed, new geographies were added to our internationalinternational expansion lacked both the recourses and the track record to presence and by streamlining further our existing operations we managedattract professionals with international business knowledge and mentality. to provide immediate results for the company. During 2011 alone, moreFurthermore, Greek businesses, operating solely in the local market, were than 1000 marketing authorizations were acquired, more than 10 newmore often unable or unwilling to commit valuable financial resources to generic products were developed, over 20 new patent applications wereresearch and innovation, which could give them the necessary advantage submitted and 2 projects regarding innovative products were completed.in the international markets. All the above have resulted in continuous growth in all levels and for 2012 we target revenues at around €175 million, while at the same time we haveFor us in Pharmathen those were the elements in mentality but also secured a very strong cash flow position.operationally, that we needed to overcome in order to pursue a course ofinternational expansion. In the mid 1990s it became apparent to us that Furthermore, through this growth Pharmathen has been able to employdue to the size of the local market and due to the framework of the Greek a more diversified and skilled workforce to keep us moving forwardpharmaceutical market, the international expansion was the only vi- innovatively. Over the last 2 years we successfully integrated moreable way for sustainable growth. The three most important factors than 150 new employees into the structure and philosophy ofthat have contributed to the overall success of Pharmathen, are in the company. Specific to our growth strategy, key persons with vitalthe core of our philosophy for global expansion, the philosophy of market knowledge and experience have been employed and they are ablethe three I’s: Innovation – Integration – International expansion. to feed back this market knowledge in order to maximise our potential in each and every market – on a global scale. This increased globalComing from Greece, an EU country, we knew that we would not be able expansion therefore, which was already monitored through our Businessto compete in the international market in terms of price. The solution Development headquarters in the UK, was also further facilitated withwas to try to provide the international market with added-value the recent establishment of new offices in key regions. In particular,products, which possessed some kind of differentiation and could be over the last 3 years, Pharmathen has established regional officescompetitive. We invested heavily therefore in our R&D activities in Jordan in order to penetrate more effectively into MENA region,and simultaneously we worked into penetrating important and established permanent representation in South America andtargeted markets like the EU and North America. R&D therefore was recently established regional offices in China (Shanghai) aiming tothe first and most important step towards international penetration and further expand and reinforce its presence in the very promising APAC andsustainable growth. The increased international presence of the company, Far East markets.especially over the last decade, has resulted today in that more than75% of Pharmathen’s sales turnover is generated from its exporting Overall, the aggressive strategy we adopted in order to deal with theactivities in more than 85 countries worldwide. This had a great Greek financial crisis has also significantly strengthened our positionimpact on the organization and its operations, as Pharmathen had to deal in relation to our competitors, particularly in Greece, but also in thewith ever increasing manufacturing and logistics needs. Indicatively, international markets. The success of our strategy, especially over thePharmathen exported more than 16 million finished packs (tablets, last years was repeatedly recognized publicly through several awardscapsules and injectables) in 2009, while in 2011 the exports surpassed 30 and distinctions (True Leaders Greece 2011, Best Workplaces 2012,million finished packs. This rapid international expansion also led to Diamonds of the Greek Economy 2011, EBA Ruban d’Honneur Import/the construction of our new state of the art manufacturing plant Export Award 2011 etc), for our performance in the international marketswhich was inaugurated in 2010 in Sapes, Northern Greece, and the and the creation of an exceptional working environment.establishment of three R&D centres in Athens, Thessaloniki and ExecutiveNewswire 06/12 13
Nikolaos Mariou interview to Nicholas Vasilikiotis, PartnerPlease describe us a little about your company’s activities, basic fiscal and North Africa as our main markets and our sales expand to more thandata, and participation of export activity in the overall company 40 countries worldwide. It is noteworthy that we export not only in theoperation. region but also in demanding markets like Germany, UK, Singapore etc.Νikolaos Mariou: SIDENOR Group represents VIOHALCO’s steel Also, we are proud to say that Sidenor and its affiliated company AWM of Italyproduction, processing and trading arm and is currently the largest sell innovative patent-protected technology and machinery internationally.producer of long steel products in Greece and Southeast Europe. This is clearly exemplified by the development of the new Synthesis™SIDENOR’s dynamic corporate history dates back to 1962 with the technology for the industrial prefabrication of reinforcement.establishment of VIOHALCO-SANITAS, which has been the foundation for Synthesis™ machines have already been a major success since theircreating a vertically integrated Group of companies with 20 subsidiaries introduction in the Greek market 2 and-a-half years ago by SIDENOR,and associated companies in Greece, 16 abroad and production plants in leading the reinforcing industry to a point where currently more thanGreece, Bulgaria, Russia and F.Y.R.O.M. 80% of all constructed stirrups are being made in Synthesis™ machines.SIDENOR Group’s activities are fully vertical, aiming for optimal By perfecting the manufacturing process with a fully integrated singleoperational efficiency and they are distinguished in the following sectors: production line, mass production of highly fragmented prefabricatedMini-mills, Pipes, Tubes and Hollow Sections, Downstream operations, reinforcement of any complexity is now achieved at very low cost.Sales and Distribution. Since the official launching of the Synthesis™ machines, some monthsThe products cover even the most demanding needs of SIDENOR ago, sales have already been accomplished to very important andcustomers in Greece and abroad and stand out for their excellent quality, respected customers worldwide – NATSTEEL and BRC of Singapore.high reliability and particularly innovative features.Given the technological advantage on a production level and the Do you believe that exports have helped you survive and develop in theextensive sales network within and outside of Greece, SIDENOR middle of the global economic and local crisis and in what way?group maintains its leading position by investing in state-of-the-art NM: Sidenor has been expanding abroad since its establishment. Ourtechnological equipment and by offering a completely customer- export oriented policy was further enforced after the crisis (2009) andorientated approach to its activities. the significant decrease of the Greek steel market. Our established sales network combined with our top quality product range were our keyThe Group’s established production base includes plants in Thessaloniki, competitive advantages that supported our significant increase in exportAlmyros in Magnesia, Kilklis, Thisvi, Pernik in Bulgaria, Nikolic in F.Y.R.O.M. sales and helped us recover the decreasing volumes of the local market.and Polevskoy in Russia. These production plants encompass all stagesof production, processing, sales and distribution of an extensive range of Which are the main obstacles and barriers for your further internationalsteel products giving SIDENOR and its subsidiaries the opportunity to pro- expansion? How could the Greek State facilitate your company induce high quality products, that cover any relevant need of its customers. achieving your exports activities targets?When did you begin expanding abroad and what is your company’s NM: Today the main obstacle is the deep economic crisis in Europe whichcurrent export status? What are your countries of main focus? affects the demand for the steel products, not only in the European countries, but also in other areas of the world. As the demand is low,NM: In order to maintain the competitive advantage on the production there is overcapacity and overproduction in the area and this leads tolevel and market presence, SIDENOR group remains focused on intense competition and therefore limits our export sales potential.continuously upgrading and expanding its plants and its distributionnetwork. A proof of this commitment is the implementation of an We should also have in mind that transportation expenses is a key factorextensive long-term investment program, which exceeded EUR 730 to steel exports, as steel is mainly commodity product at relatively lowmillion between 1998 and 2011. price vs other more expensive metals.Today SIDENOR Group is oriented as an export company with 20% of Within this context, the Greek state although declares with pride thatthe local Greek market and 80% abroad. We consider Balkans, Europe our exports are increasing, not only is not helping this dynamic industrial sector, but on the contrary increases the energy costs, (tax on natural gas, high electricity cost), ports are expensive and inefficient, there is lack of Νikolaos Mariou, sufficient state credit insurance for exports, currently the banking system Strategic Business Planning Director and Commercial Director lacks liquidity etc. Mr. Mariou, is a Chemist, graduate of Athens University and holds a Moreover business diplomacy and expansion plans to new developing postgraduate degree (M.eng.) in Biochemical Engineering from University markets should take the lead. College London, as well as an MBA from Imperial College London. For example, Libya will be in the near future an interesting market His previous experience was as Area Sales Manager in our neighborhood. A lot of industry segments (construction at VIORYL SA, as Category Marketing Manager materials, construction companies, food etc.) could benefit from this at COLGATE PALMOLIVE HELLAS, as Marketing & development. The Greek business diplomacy should be active to promote Exports Manager at P.D. PAPOUTSANIS SA and collaborations. Turkey is a good model for such activities. as Deputy General Manager at APIVITA SA. Mr. However, SIDENOR having invested for years in modern production Mariou joined Sidenor in 2004 as Commercial facilities, sales networks and international business relations is able Manager and since 2007 is Strategic Business to compete among the strong Turkish, Italian, Spanish and other Planning and Commercial Director of the Group. competitors in the region.
Discussion with Vana Mehleri, ConsultantThe Largest Privately-Owned However, Alumil is a global company and its focus is international. In 2011 we hadAluminium Extrusion Group in an increase 4% in sales due to focusing inSouth-East Europe markets such as West Europe, Russia, NorthAlumil S.A. is the largest privately-owned Africa, Turkey and Middle East.aluminium extrusion group in South-EastEurope (2000 employees), in terms of Development Barriersproduction, distribution network and range The upturn in the industry is not possibleof aluminium profile systems. It is among the in an economic environment such as thattop suppliers of branded aluminium systems prevailed in the country during the periodfor architectural use in Europe. With more September 2011 - February 2012, where thethan 30 years of experience, Alumil is one actions and policies of the principles thatof the most advanced companies globally determine the economic development in thein the design and production of aluminium country, resulted in an extremely low level Lambros Yannouchos,extrusion products (100.000 tons) with state – of consumer and business confidence. Real Commercial Corporate Directorof – the art production lines in its 20 factories estate investment decreased -23% in 2011(14 in Greece, 1 in Albania, 1 in Serbia and and is expected to further decline in 2012 at a1 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1 Romania, rate of -15%. Mastering leadership since many years,1 Egypt, 1 Bulgaria). Alumil produces The significant decline in real estate Alumil plays a significant role in the domesticaluminium systems which are designed investment has contributed to a GDP by industry attempting to reverse the negativeand developed in the Group’s Research & about 0.95 percentage points in 2011, climate and the aggregate demand. TheDevelopment Department and then tested compared to negative effects by -1 company keeps investing in innovation andand certified by internationally accredited percentage point in 2010, by -1.4 percentage in new promising areas such as renewablecertification institutes and laboratories, such points in 2009 and -2.3 percentage in 2008. energy, bioclimatic architectural designas Ift Rosenheim (Germany), A.A.M.A (USA), and safety. In all these growing parts of the Additionally, banks –compared to the past -Instituto Jordano (Italy), etc. market, Alumil is the leader not only in Greece treat all new loan applications submitted forIt has an extensive international sales network but in S. E. Europe. real estate investment with an increasing rigor,in 42 countries worldwide and 27 subsidiaries resulting in an increased rejection rate that Lately, Alumil has developed a series ofcompanies in Europe, Africa, Middle East, further impede the already stagnant market. specialized aluminium support systems forRussia and the United States of America. photovoltaic structures (fields, roof etc). The Finally, and due to the unstable political company already holds a leading position situation, Greece’s image is described asAlumil International “uncertain” affecting thereby any outward- amongst other competitors since all theAlumil International is Alumil’s business unit largest photovoltaic parks were made with looking attempt of Greek exportingwhich promotes its worldwide advanced companies, left alone in managing all the Alumil’s Helios support system.architectural aluminium systems. Almost 50 consequences of the almost non-reversedexperienced engineers support large construc- Challenges for executives situation.tion projects all over the world and we are a engaged in internationalmember in European Aluminium Association. Future challenges / activitiesMarket Overview today – opportunities for growth In the era of market globalization and Alumil Group can be easily characterized as internationalization of economic activities,The impact of the economic an outward-looking company since nearly all companies - regardless of size, sector,crisis in Aluminium extrusion 80% of its business activity derives from origin, composition of capital or institutionalcompanies foreign countries. and administrative structure face problems Taking into consideration Greece’s market associated particularly with the organizationThe construction activity in Greece has and optimizing of their international activity.been experiencing a constant decline as a conditions Alumil intensifies its exporting efforts as these remain a strong growth Nevertheless, Alumil as a leading, innovativedirect effect of the harsh economic crisis. and intercultural character group withInevitably, Aluminium extrusion companies as development factor since the early days of the economic crisis. The company’s strategic corporate culture characterized by teamworkmany other related industries, suffered from and collective effort encourages initiative,negative growth. planning emphasises in strengthening its market shares in Russia and Southeastern freedom and participation in decisionThe following indicators vividly depict the making, constantly offering new challenges Europe, along with continuous developmentindustry’s negative growth: in 2011 the for managers who want to advance of its commercial network in Western Europe.construction activity in Greece reached the professionally and deal with internationalextremely low level of 23.14 million m2 when A short notice for the Greek Market: ALUMIL is activities.in 2005 it was 102.24 million m2 and 59.41 always looking after the Greek market despitemillion m2 in 1999, without any emerging its orientation to the international markets.recovery evidence. ExecutiveNewswire 06/12 15
clusters initiative:Innovation made in GreecePresentation to Nicholas Vasilikiotis, Partner & Stavros Daniel, ConsultantWhat is Corallia? How it was created? By whom? tive use of and promote Hellenic innovation atWhat types of companies are your “partners”? both national and international level. It portraysWhat is the vision for such an initiative? the mutual vision of all innovation ecosystemVassilios Makios: The Corallia Clusters Initiative actors, undertaking systematic actions to support-or in short Corallia- is the first organisation the: acquisition of third party funding (R&D andestablished in Greece for the structured and non R&D projects, VCs, BAs, Banks), operation of asystematic management and development one- stop-shop (consulting, mentoring, coachingof clusters, with the strategic aim to develop Antipolis Foundation and the Hungarian Pole -mainly- for founders), organisation of networkingcohesive and productive innovative ecosystems Programme Office. events (networking days, user days, open days,within which actors operate in a coordinated webinars), internationalisation events (trade fairs, Given the turbulent times in which young Greeksmanner, in specific sectors and regions of the exhibitions, roadshows), manage the web pres- live, should they stay here or should they movecountry and where a competitive advantage and ence (social networks, knowledge base, virtual abroad to pursue a career?export orientation exists. exhibition area), operate incubation areas (office VM: It is undisputable that innovation can offerIn those clusters, Corallia acts as Cluster space and amenities, data centres), business areas solutions to critical problems facing society today.Facilitator (cluster initiative/organisation) (meeting rooms and amenities, printing services), Our country’s future is clearly in the hands of theimplementing specific support actions, which exhibition areas (physical and virtual booths) and young generation, and it is for that reason thatinvolve all innovation ecosystem actors, conferencing facilities, match job needs (career Greece can’t afford to lose more of its brain powerincluding industry, academia, research labs, days, career matchmaker platform), implement a and talent. We are strong supporters of youngventure capitals, business angels, regional and PR office (newsletter, news-stream, news-watch, people and believe that Greeks are flexible andcentral governmental stakeholders and creates branding) and organise training events (business creative, with an innate talent in sciences.favourable conditions for growth, exploitation acceleration programme, patenting, etc).and promotion of innovations developed within With our work at Corallia, we aim at providingclusters at both national and international level. Do you collaborate with other countries for young generations with a vision and inspire them similar programs and if yes are there any Greek to join us in our efforts to establish “InnovationWith a vision to amalgamate the brand name companies participating in those efforts? Made in Greece”. Our continuous efforts for theInnovation Made in Greece, Corallia primarily creation of favourable business conditions, wherefocuses on the development of innovation VM: Corallia has been working continuously different actors interact, share experiences andclusters, which have the potential to compete towards raising the level of cluster excellence and work towards meeting common goals, may bein international markets and assist the country management and in transferring its operating proven to be useful for the rising generation oftowards gaining global market share in value model within Europe via its participation in the Greek young entrepreneurs.added services and products. European Cluster Alliance and its involvementFrom its establishment up to date, Corallia has both in the European Cluster Observatory (in Acknowledgmentssupported the development of highly-specialised its Advisory Board), and the INNO-Net TACTICS Corallia Clusters Initiative is hosted at the Research Centerclusters in knowledge-intensive thematic sectors project (in its Reflection Group). To achieve «Athena», under the auspices of the General Secretariat forwith a strong exports-orientation, possessing transnational and interregional cooperation, Research and Technology of the Hellenic Ministry of Education,examples of success stories, such as the the Corallia participates in EU Programs: LEAD-ERA, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Economy,mi-Cluster (microelectronics), si-Cluster (space POOLING4CLUSTERS, SEENECO, ClusterPoliSEE Competitiveness and Navigation.technologies & applications) and the gi-Cluster targeting the formation of a common policy Corallia’s activities are supported and co-financed by the European(gaming and creative content). framework for the collaboration of cluster Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and National funds under the members in Europe. National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), the private sector,Founders of Corallia are Prof. Vassilios Makios, the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship,Dr. Jorge Sanchez and Dr. Nikolaos Vogiatzis . Corallia has also initiated collaborations and the Regional Operational Programmes for 2007-2013, the Public In- international business relationships on a bilateral vestments Programme, the 7th Framework Programme for ResearchHow do companies benefit from their basis with other clusters and cluster initiatives, and Technological Development of the European Union, the Interre-participation in this initiative? incubators, business parks, regional and national gional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, the CompetitivenessVM: Corallia acts as a catalyst creating favourable offices related to cluster policies, for example, and Innovation Framework Programme of the European Union, andconditions for clusters to expand and make effec- through the signing of an MoU with the Sophia- donations from private organisations and benefactors. Vassilios Makios is a Professor Emeritus at Jorge-A. Sanchez-P holds Dipl.-Ing. & Dr.-Ing. Nikos Vogiatzis holds a Ph.D. in the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering of degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is Communication Electronics & Information Systems, the University of Patras, Greece and at the Dept of co-founder and the Director of Strategy and Cluster a Masters certificate in Professional Project Electronics of the Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, Development at Corallia Clusters Initiative. Prior to Management, and a Diploma in Electrical and has been involved in numerous scientific projects, has Corallia, he had participated in numerous research Computer Engineering. He has accumulated a lengthy publication record and was influential in the and development projects and directed teams in the international experience in managing high-risk R&D establishment of prototype development companies Academia, Research labs, Industry and Governmental projects and has been instrumental in forming alliances in the telecommunication industry in Greece and abroad. organizations in the EU and the US. among industrial and research partners across Europe. 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