ECONOMY

Christophoros Papachristophorou: The crisis as a springboard for a new dynamic course

christophoros-papachristophorou-the-crisis-as-a-springboard-for-a-new-dynamic-course

PRODEA – INVEL

The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped many aspects of the economy, the way business is done, but also our lives in general. It has led businesses to change their way of operating, to reflect and to discover new internal strengths to overcome the difficulties.

The extent to which companies investing in real estate have been impacted depends on the composition of their portfolio. Companies with high exposure to tourism and retail obviously experienced an immediate impact; we will have to wait and see how the trend unfolds in other commercial real estate categories.

At Prodea and Invel, we entered a remote work model from the onset of the crisis, immediately proceeding with the digital transformation of our operations and making the protection of our human resources our first priority.

We did not face the crisis with the attitude of business as usual, but of business unusual. We were among the first to contribute to the great battle of the health services against the coronavirus, both in Greece and in Cyprus. At the same time, we are taking advantage of the high quality and diversification of our portfolio, while addressing the challenges posed by our limited exposure to industries that have suffered the most, such as hospitality and retail.

The overall recovery of the economy is directly linked to the uncertainty that continues to exist at the health level. At Prodea we are proceeding with our investment plan, taking into account, more emphatically, the parameters that were already the pillars of our development, such as sustainability, investment in bioclimatic office buildings, high-quality workplaces with natural ventilation and modern air-conditioning systems that comply with the highest specifications and health standards.

The quarantine period has shown that teleworking is not only feasible, but also effective as an alternative. However, it can in no way substitute the importance of human coexistence, of close cooperation, the fostering of corporate understanding that arises through the daily osmosis of our ideas in a safe and quality work environment.

Greece has won the bet of the pandemic, breaking down negative stereotypes about the potential of the Greeks and significantly boosting the country’s international brand.

The international perception for Greece has significantly improved as has our internal faith in our strengths and prospects. The recent crisis has highlighted our positive features which we must take advantage of so as to overcome the impact on our economy and return to a growth trajectory as soon as possible.

Real estate is a fundamental key to the economy’s restart, but it is important that the necessary policies to support the industry are implemented – with tax incentives, bank financing and the optimal utilization of the new opportunities provided by additional European funding and investment tools; with an emphasis on infrastructure projects that were put on hold during the financial crisis of the previous decade and which today can provide a critical boost, as they directly offer jobs and multiplier benefits to many sectors of the economy.

In conclusion, major crises highlight leadership at every level. Prodea, the largest real estate investment company in Greece, saw the crisis as the starting point for a new dynamic. With complete awareness of the new circumstances, it is fully prepared for the next stage, implementing significant investments that will contribute to the overall effort to restart the Greek economy.

THE COMPANY AT A GLANCE

Sector: Real estate investments
Value of Real Estate Portfolio under Management: €2.2 billion
Annualized Rents (31.12.2019): €135 million