Can you briefly explain the profile of EMPIST as a company and the services it provides?
Empist derives from the Greek word ‘empistosyni’ which means ‘trust’ and we founded our company at 2000 with our headquarters in Chicago. We have multiple locations in the United States and also in Greece. We take a multitasked approach to technology which includes platforms of IT services, digital services and product development. We have an extensive background in managed IT services, enterprise IT, cybersecurity, business intelligence, digital marketing, application development and web and product development. At the core of our business we focus on people, process and product. We know that we need to have the right people, performing the proper process to deliver the best product. Having that at our core has allowed us to achieve great things.
How did you come to the decision of bringing a branch of your business in Greece?
As a technology solutions company that provides services around the world we needed to find a way to support customers in different time zones. So having this as a main company objective the location in Greece was a very easy decision for us. When we opened our offices in Greece in 2014, Greece was in a crisis and what is also called the ‘brain drain’ was in full effect. So many amazingly talented people were leaving the country for better opportunities. I knew that opening our office in Greece would meet our objective but also help the country and give opportunity to those people whith which a have strong family heritage and love for. To date it is one of the best decisions we have made.
What is your opinion of the Greek Specialized professionals that you employ in Greece?
It’s very positive. I try to figure out ways to describe them but the way I would sum it up is talented, passionate, caring, committed, empathetic. That’s how I would best describe the people that we have here. The team has brought tremendous value to our company and our customers, we have been able to form new departments that are driven directly from Greece managed by key personnel here, and they are integral part of our company today.
In your opinion can Greece eventually become an attractive professional hub for Greeks that live abroad (especially at the field of ICT)? Has your company already attracted Greeks or other professionals from abroad?
I believe it can but it will require a lot of focus and effort from private and public entities to attract people who are currently abroad and have left the country. Historically the main reason why people will leave, and the country will experience brain drain, is due to government and also the lack of opportunity. So although opportunities can be created -just as we have and be able to bring people back to Greece- it is not just opportunities that the people need to have here. It’s really them understanding that there is a good future for not only themselves but also for their families, for growth. So before we start seeing a significant return we believe that those things need to be addressed. It is great to see new programs such as “Knowledge Bridges” who are really involved, focused on bringing about return, bringing people back to Greece, and I am very hopeful and optimistic that this will happen. We have not only been able to bring professionals back but I also believe we have been proactive in keeping people here before they decided to leave Greece. Recently we brought back someone who has lived in London for a number of years and has come back to lead one of the divisions within our company. So for us anytime we have the opportunity to bring somebody back, who sees opportunity and believes in what we are doing and our mission, that is something that we are all for doing.
What are your plans for the future?
So we are still in the growth stage, it is a very exciting time for us as an organization. We have a lot of great people who work for us, we expect growth and expansion to other US markets and also a bigger focus in Greece as well. To support this growth we will be investing a lot: more in people, more in the process, more in the product, as we mentioned earlier, and we plan to make this our best year ever. You will see more focus in product development, such as the product we have developed “Deskware”, which is a big focus and emphasis for us as an organization; and also you will see us making some key acquisitions over the course of the year in order to capture more market share to continue the growth not only in the US but also in Greece. Our focus is really to become one of the top technology providers in the world and that is what our focus is going to be.