Cost cutters flower in crisis-hit landscape

The global financial crisis may be pushing Greece’s economy into its first recession in 16 years but windows of opportunity are appearing for service providers that are helping companies to get a tighter grip on costs in times of high economic uncertainty. Global Business Services (GBS), which provides managed and serviced office space in Athens, offers customers the ability to set up business operations in the capital for one afternoon or for a few years, offering cost flexibility and better control of spending. «This is what companies look for when the economy is down,» GBS general manager Dionysis Christoforatos told Kathimerini English Edition. «Market conditions are favorable for us. We are expanding.» GBS recently opened its second center in Syntagma Square, central Athens, and works mostly with foreign multinational companies from countries such as France, Germany, Spain and the UK familiar with the concept of paying for office space only when you need it. «Greeks are starting to learn about it now,» added Christoforatos. Secretarial and IT support are among the services offered by Greek-owned GBS to customers in a deal that allows companies to test the local market before permanently setting up shop, involving the hiring permanent administrative employees and installation of IT networks.