ECONOMY

Dimitris Maniatis: The pandemic as a reference point

dimitris-maniatis-the-pandemic-as-a-reference-point

UPSTREAM

As the world’s economies attempt to restart, we are seeing signs of a return to the human behavior of the pre-pandemic era. This cultivates the illusion that the recovery could be complete, as in the case of a person returning to life after a shock to the heart. We see this in the US stock markets, which seem to have recovered to a great extent. But look below the surface, and you’ll see that the effect of the interruption has already become catalytic. We were given the opportunity to experience a version of the future, of the possibilities that the technology we already have can bring. We have experienced remote education, work, entertainment and of course shopping on an almost universal scale without precedent. We may choose not to continue in this way of life as much as we did during the lockdown, but we have seen it, we got to know it well and it has influenced the direction that human creativity is now taking.

Whether as employees or consumers, people already have different behaviors. We have seen trust tested between employees and businesses, between consumers and businesses – with positive results for some and negative for others, but undoubtedly a point of reference. This is the given legacy of the pandemic. The pandemic as a point of reference, as a basis for development.

Businesses may look the same and offer the same services, but they are not. In their next plans and through their new investments, they are already looking for ways to “vaccinate” the services they offer and to develop functional “antibodies,” in order to reduce their dependence on a physical presence or to take advantage of them due to location if their services are already offered electronically. The expected growth both in Greece and in the world will be achieved on the basis of this reference point, by companies and leaders who interpret the abrupt transition to remote transactions and experiences as a lifting of restrictions. For someone in Greece to work for a company outside Greece was a privilege for a few and the specialized. The same goes for a business attracting talented professionals from all over the world without having to relocate them.

And while there will by no means be a universal transition, we have clearly seen what a world without these limitations looks like, and we have seen the possibilities unfold before us. The geographical constraints that companies have so far experienced in terms of the range of talented people they can attract locally will be reduced and the real constraint will now become the degree of ambition for growth that can be demonstrated and how powerfully their mission is transmitted, attracting the right people. In this world we are approaching, the opportunities for the people of Greece will increase depending on our level of digital literacy and digital infrastructure. And that, in my opinion, is the most important basis for us to be able to participate in global developments either as employees, but, even more importantly, as entrepreneurs who attract the interest of talented people with our values and the perspective we offer to them and society.

THE COMPANY AT A GLANCE

With a presence in more than 45 emerging markets, the Greek technology company cooperates with 60 mobile phone companies and addresses 1.2 billion consumers. Its capacity is 330 employees, with more than 25 nationalities in nine offices around the world.