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The internationally recognized award was awarded for the first time in Cyprus. The winners will represent Cyprus at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Β Awards in Monte Carlo, in June 2022.
EY Cyprus announced that Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou, Co-Founders and CEOs of Hellas Direct, were the winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year ™ Cyprus 2022 competition during a ceremony and gala dinner held on February 17 at the Parkla Resort Spa in Limassol.
The event was attended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minister of Finance, the Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, MPs and other government officials, as well as the business community and the media, while It was also broadcast live to the general public.
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year πρόγραμμα program, presented for the first time in Cyprus, is a unique institution of international prestige that recognizes the business achievements of individuals who demonstrate vision, leadership skills and personal integrity, and work to improve the quality of life and creating long-term value in communities, their countries and around the world. It is one of the top and most widely recognized business awards in the world, with a history of over 30 years, and with participants from more than 145 cities and 60 countries around the world. The national winners will represent Cyprus at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year εία Awards, to be held in June in Monte Carlo.
The winners were selected by an independent panel of distinguished judges, consisting of Theo Paphitis, President of Theo Paphitis Retail Group and one of the Dragons of Dragons' Den, Anna Protopapa, President and CEO of Mersana Therapeutics, and Dr. Nikola Mastrogiannopoulos, Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation of the Republic of Cyprus. The candidates were evaluated based on six basic criteria, entrepreneurship, long-term value creation, strategic orientation, international and domestic presence, innovation and personal integrity.
The Cypriot Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2022
Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou are co-founders and Executive Directors of Hellas Direct.
Prior to Hellas Direct, Alexis Pantazis served as CEO of Goldman Sachs, where he led significant investments and new strategic initiatives for the company in the field of European investment management. A former strategy consultant with Boston Consulting Group, he also worked for Miramax Films in New York and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition in Brussels. Alexis is a Fulbright and British Chevening Fellow, researcher at Robert & amp; Diane Levy, as well as Endeavor Global Entrepreneur.
Emilios Markou, before founding Hellas Direct, was the Director of the European Financial Institutions Group at Barclays Capital. He also served as Executive Director at Goldman Sachs Investment Banking, where he led a number of projects in the company's European insurance practice. Former McKinsey Strategy Consultant & amp; Company, Emilios has been a consultant to many European, American and Asian clients on a range of strategic issues in the insurance, banking, energy and transportation sectors. Emilios is a member of the Institute of Actuaries (FIA) in the United Kingdom, but also an Endeavor Global Entrepreneur.
Commenting on the winners, Stelios Dimitriou, Head of EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM Cyprus Program and Head of Trading Consulting Services of EV Cyprus, said: “As leaders who have upgraded the insurance sector, Emilios and Alexis embody of the year. In an age of unprecedented business challenges, our national winners have demonstrated exceptional levels of resilience and flexibility, and a genuine business leadership spirit, while keeping their commitment to society at the heart of their strategy while building a successful company. raising its people and all stakeholders in the wider community. “
Introducing the event, Ronald Attard, Country Managing Partner of EY Cyprus, said: “The first Cyprus EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards come in a period of dramatic change, which will have a drastic impact on our business, our work, but also our own lives. In this context, we honor the entrepreneurs whose business decisions will contribute to the transformation of our economy and the redefinition of its goals for the coming years. Entrepreneurs who change the terms of the game, who understand the importance of excellence, who invest in innovation, identify opportunities and have the potential to turn them into sustainable business plans. “
Kyriakos Kokkinos, Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, said in his own greeting: “I am very happy to be with you today to honor the best of Cypriot entrepreneurship. The achievements of the entrepreneurs who participated in this program are truly exceptional. You are all the backbone of our economy, supporting and creating jobs, boosting growth and improving the lives of our citizens. These awards are an important milestone in our national business agenda. An opportunity to recognize the outstanding achievements of all entrepreneurs in this room. Achievements that create value for our country, promote innovation and stimulate economic activity. Achievements that complement and support the Government's efforts for rapid recovery and sustainable development. “
The event was also attended by Theo Paphitis, President of Theo Paphitis Retail Group, one of the Dragons on the English TV show Dragons' Den and Chairman of the Jury of the EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM Cyprus program. In a fireside chat, Theo answered questions from Stelios Dimitriou, Head of the EOU Cyprus program, where, among other things, he commented: “I am extremely proud that Cyprus will finally send someone to the final. Cypriots have huge reserves of entrepreneurial spirit. “Being an entrepreneur is important, as it is a career path that drives the economy.” He also spoke about decision-making, overcoming challenges and the importance of work ethic.
The winners were chosen from among the finalists of the competition, who were:
• & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Viktor Efthymiadis, Executive Director, Axiom Consulting Ltd & nbsp;
• & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Michalis Christos G. Charalambidis, CEO & amp; MD, EcommBX
• & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Koulis Fylaktou, Executive Chairman, FFH Farmer’s Fresh & amp; Healthy Products
• & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou, Co-Founders and CEOs of Hellas Direct
• & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Theodoros Kriggou, Founder and CEO of the Infocredit Group
• & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Professor Filippos Patsalis, Founder and CEO of NIPD Genetics
• & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Eleftherios Antoniadis, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Christos Onoufriou, CEO, Odyssey Cybersecurity
• & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Nikos Mesolongitis, Founder of OJO Sunglasses
• & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Despina Panagiotou Theodosiou, joint CEO of the Tototheo Maritime Group