ELIAS SPYROU. CEO & CO-FOUNDER OF PRESTIGE GROUP OF COMPANIES
- “One of my greatest realisations is that the inspiration for our vision comes from our continual effort to plan ahead. This approach, supported by our commitment to quality, has been reflected in the rapid growth and diversification into a range of different fields that continues to drive the Prestige Group’s marketing and strategic management.” Elias Spyrou.The Prestige Group has rapidly evolved over the years and has successfully established itself as a pioneer and leader in the luxury services market. The rapid growth and solid development is attributed to the building and strengthening of local and global partnerships and the continual increase of high-net worth and corporate clientele. The Prestige Group’s divisions comprise; Prestige VIP Services, Tokio Restaurant Bar, Prestige Investments, Prestige Publications and Prestige VIP Events, Services and Fights.
Elias Spyrou is a respected Cypriot entrepreneur, who is well known for exercising correct business practices and for contributing to the positive economic development of his country (Cyprus), by further developing strategic alliances with other countries in the EU and Middle Eastern region.
Driven by his strong and passionate views, on a personal and professional level, Elias Spyrou promotes social and corporate responsibility and sustainable development. He is a member of several national and international professional organisations and committees, with which he has gradually affiliated, through his multi-cultural and communication networking skills.
Does your philosophy of education and family life play a significant role in your personal ethos? Are any of your family members part of your business?
Absolutely! My philosophy of education and family life are the reflection of my personal ethos. My parents have worked hard to secure the well-being and education of my sister and myself. My father is the founder of Arto Estates; a Limassol (Cyprus) based real estate company, which pioneers in the luxury residential and commercial property real estate market in Cyprus and in Europe. The invaluable support I received from my father was complemented by the nurture of my mother, Themis Themistocleous, who lovingly instilled in us the ethical values and culture of the Greek Orthodox religion and tradition. Valanto Spyrou, my younger sister, holds the position of Managing Director of Arto Estates and has deservedly acquired a reputation in the real estate market, as a respected entrepreneur for her sales and management skills.
Do you feel that you have made sacrifices in your personal life for the development of your career?
I have always been driven by the vision for the Prestige Group to become a leader in the luxury services market, thus to contribute further towards the promotion of Cyprus as a centre of financial and investment opportunities. This vision has required tremendous sacrifice and commitment of my personal life, particularly during the entry period of the organisation into the luxury services market, which coincided with the outbreak of the global economic crisis. Over the years, I have succeeded in finding a harmonious balance between my personal and professional life.
- What and who is your inspiration? Are you self-motivated?
My family have always been an inspirational driving force. I also draw a lot of inspiration from the ancient Greek scholars and philosophers, which contributed further to my pursuit of a degree in law at the National Kapodistrian University in Athens (Greece), the historical capital of culture and wisdom.
The Prestige Group of Companies has established a brand identity within VIP services. What was your vision in the creation and development? Was the concept a niche in the marketplace or competitive when you launched?
Having assessed the need to create a niche market for the provision of luxury services on the island, in particular targeted to high-end consumers, coupled with my years of expertise in the rentals industry, I concluded that I should establish the Prestige Group of Companies. My vision was to become a leader in VIP luxury services. At the time, there was an absence of a luxury services market on the island, and the creation of this niche market, would enable affluent consumers to spend their money locally rather than abroad.
How do you define the values of leadership?
I define leadership through the expression of honesty and integrity, through inspiring others, through sound decision-making capabilities, through exercising accountability, through good communication, delegation and vision, and finally through deep commitment and passion.
How do you see yourself and your company in 10 years? Any new plans for expansion?
I see the island reaching higher levels of economic development, in particular in the sectors of tourism, real estate, maritime and business services, which I believe will be attained through the increased investments by private and foreign companies in Cyprus. I believe that the private sector will be the driver of this growth and that the Prestige Group will continue to pioneer and develop in the provision of luxury, bespoke services and projects. Our expansion plans will include the empowerment of business services to satisfy the increasing interest of foreign investors.
In your opinion, what does Cyprus have to offer new corporate businesses and investors?
Cyprus has entered a period of sustainable economic growth, and has been ranked as one of the fastest growing EU economies. Foreign investors, further consider the island as a solid and trustworthy platform for economic development, with favourable tax incentives with respect to intellectual property and enterprises. It is therefore not by chance, that the initial investments made by the Russians on the island have been followed by investments from the Israeli and Chinese markets. The rapid development of Limassol in terms of mammoth investments and in infrastructure projects is an example of this development and of the economic recovery following the 2013 financial crisis. The luxury marina complex is greatly contributing to the regional and national economy. One of the most spectacular developments is the integrated luxury casino resort, which is expected to increase annual tourist numbers by up to 500,000 and to create hundreds of employment and local trade and service opportunities.
You have corporate commercial relations with Russia. Please elaborate?
The Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation have had close cultural business ties, mainly due to the common religious beliefs and due to the business transactions that unify the two nations. The relations between the two countries are further empowered by the local, flourishing Russian community as well as by the common political and financial factors of the two nations, the geo-political status-quo in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle-Eastern region.
What is your professional view and that of Prestige Group of Companies for employment satisfaction and inter-relationship management policy?
I am an avid believer in the empowerment and in the continual capacity development of all our valued Prestige Group members, who are the ambassadors of our brand and share the community contribution, spirit and drive.
What advice would you give to others launching a new business in Cyprus?
Cyprus has a free-market, service driven economy, with a sound record in successful economic performance. I advise new business owners to keep abreast with national trends and demands and always to adopt a socially responsible attitude, and to work towards safeguarding a sustainable work direction and environment.
What is your view in a political context of the Cyprus divide?
There is no doubt that every Cypriot is concerned about the prevailing situation on the island. Over the decades, many efforts were made to overcome the divide, without success. However, we should always bear in mind that there is a key factor in the Cyprus problem, and this is Turkey. Turkey could solve the problem overnight, by removing its military troops from the island and by allowing the two communities to work out a functional and democratic solution that would safeguard Cyprus’ independence and sovereignty. Unfortunately though, it seems that Turkey’s real objective is to maintain (and legitimize, through an agreed settlement) her control over the northern part of the island and to gain a strong foothold in the southern part as well. I fear that unless this fundamental change is materialised, there is little hope for a real solution of the problem.
Contact: Elias Spyrou Prestige Group of Companies