The co-founders of Hellas Direct are the Entrepreneurs of the year

Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou stood out among the finalists of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Cyprus 2022 competition

The co-founders and executive directors of Hellas Direct Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou are the Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2022, in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Cyprus 2022 competition, which was held for the first time by EY in Cyprus.

Having the first place in Cyprus, they will now claim the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year award, in the global part of the competition, in June 2022 in Monaco.

The executive directors of Hellas Direct were selected among nine candidates, who reached the final stage. The award ceremony took place on Thursday evening, in Limassol, in the presence of the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus, the Minister of Finance, the Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy and other government officials as well as the business community.

“We thank the organizers and the other candidates, they impressed us and inspired us with what they do.We thank our families for supporting us. You know you need strong partners to build a business, and we have an amazing team.”, said the co-founder and executive director of Hellas Direct Alexis Pantazis.

“The journey of entrepreneurship is wonderful but very lonely, so in order to make it enjoyable you need an amazing team and a wonderful family. Every day you have to have your own team and your family by your side. Thank you very much”, stated the co-founder and executive director of Hellas Direct, Emilios Markou.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program is a unique world-class institution that recognizes the entrepreneurial achievements of people with vision, leadership skills and personal integrity, working to improve the quality of life and create long-term value in their communities, countries and around the world. It is one of the top and widely recognized business awards worldwide, with a history of more than 30 years, and with participants from more than 145 cities and 60 countries around the world.

Who are the co-founders of Hellas Direct

Alexis Pantazis is co-founder and executive director of Hellas Direct. Prior to taking up this position, he worked as Executive Director at Goldman Sachs where he led investments and new strategic initiatives on behalf of the company in the field of European investment management.He has also served as a strategy consultant at Boston Consulting Group and has 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, Robert & Diane Levy fellow and Endeavor Global Entrepreneur.

Emilios Markou is the co-founder and executive director of Hellas Direct.Prior to taking up this position, he served as Director of the European Financial Institutions Structuring team at Barclays Capital. He has also served as Executive Director of Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Division, where he has led a number of projects within the company’s European insurance division. Previously, as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company, Emilios advised clients in Europe, the USA and Asia on a number of strategic issues in the fields of insurance, of banks, energy and transport. Emilios is a Member of the International Actuarial Association (IAA) in the United Kingdom, as well as an Endeavor Global Entrepreneur.

“As leaders who have upgraded the insurance sector, Emilios and Alexis embody many of the values of Entrepreneur of the Year. At a time of unprecedented challenges for businesses, our national winners have demonstrated exceptional levels of resilience and flexibility, and a true spirit of entrepreneurial leadership, keeping their commitment to society at the heart of their strategy, while continuing to build a successful company that aims to elevate its people and all stakeholders to the wider community,” said Stelios Demetriou, Head of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Cyprus program and Head of Transactional Advisory Services at EY Cyprus.

“The first Cyprus EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards come at a time of dramatic change, which will have a drastic impact on our businesses, our work, and our lives. In this context, we honor entrepreneurs whose business decisions will contribute to the transformation of our economy and the redefinition of its goals for the years to come. 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.”, stated Ronald Attard, Country Managing Partner of EY Cyprus.

Kyriakos Kokkinos, Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, described the awards as a milestone in Cyprus’ business agenda. “The achievements of the entrepreneurs who participated in this programme are truly outstanding.You are all the backbone of our economy, supporting and creating jobs, boosting growth and improving the lives of our citizens.”

“I am extremely proud that Cyprus will finally send someone to the final. Cypriots have huge reserves of entrepreneurship. Being an entrepreneur is important, as it is a career path that drives the economy”, stressed Theo Paphitis, President of Theo Paphitis Retail Group and President of the Jury of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Cyprus program.

The selection and the rest finalists

The winners were distinguished by exceptional judges, Theo Paphitis, President of Theo Paphitis Retail Group and one of the Dragons of the Dragons Den, Anna Protopapas, President and CEO of Mersana Therapeutics, Dr. Nikolas Mastrogiannopoulos, Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation of the Republic of Cyprus.The six benchmarks were entrepreneurship, long-term value creation, strategic orientation, international and domestic presence, innovation and personal integrity.

The other finalists were:

•Viktor Efthymiadis, Executive Director, Axiom Consulting Ltd.

•Michalis Christos G. Charalambides, CEO & MD, EcommBX

•Koulis Fylaktou, Executive President, FFH Farmer’s Fresh & Healthy Products

•Theodoros Kringou, Founder and CEO of Infocredit Group

•Professor Philippos Patsalis, Founder and CEO of NIPD Genetics

•Eleftherios Antoniades, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Christos Onoufriou, Managing Director, Odyssey Cybersecurity

•Nicos Mesolongitis, Founder of OJO Sunglasses

•Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, joint CEO of Tototheo Maritime Group

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