VHG Group Marketing Manager: I discovered what work/life balance means in Cyprus

Originally from France, Celine Cabannes, Group Marketing Manager, Vino Hospitality Group reveals what brought her Cyprus and why she continues to live and work here.

Describe your current job in Cyprus.

I was recruited by the owners of the Vino Hospitality Group (VHG) to build and develop the entire marketing department as Group Marketing Manager. This was – and still is – a huge challenge since the Group is involved with so many brands and projects. But that is what makes it exciting! VHG owns 3 restaurants: Rous, Vino Cultura and Mouson, a delicatessen with Vino Deli. It also imports and distributes wines all over Cyprus and retails 950+ labels from both the Vino Cultura cellar and e-shop. The Group, and specifically our wine director Andreas Kyprianou, are behind Tethys, a wine created to showcase Cyprus’ indigenous varieties in the best possible way. Additionally, VHG has launched Vino Hospitality Catering, which offers our savoir-faire – service, food and wine – to guests who want catering for special events like christenings and weddings from our restaurants. So, my job is about driving the sales and marketing strategy of the Group to achieve our goals. More importantly, it is about helping to create a culture where all the staff can grow.

What led to your move from France to Cyprus?

I believe that it was my destiny. I learned and heard about Cyprus while doing my MBA in the United States and moved to follow my love. Although that love story didn’t last, a bigger one started: I fell in love with the island of Cyprus. Here, I have built a life and career and I’m raising my children. I love it!

How does the professional environment in Cyprus differ from that in France?

I do not know first-hand about today’s professional environment in France but I have really discovered what work/life balance means in Cyprus. While working as a consultant for a big company in Paris, I would definitely try to conceal anything of a personal nature. For example, I remember when one day my mother called me at work on my mobile phone. My immediate reaction was, “Why are you calling me at work? Someone might hear us.” Today, when I think about it, it makes me both cringe and laugh! I know now that we can have multiple roles that overlap – we can be professional, deliver impeccable work, and still care for our children, parents, friends and relatives. Cypriots care for their family, which is one of the values I admire very much here.

How do you view the business environment in your particular industry?

I see the hospitality industry as the last “human” frontier. In a world where AI is slowly replacing us, our business world still relies on the human touch. After all, it’s this human connection that makes it extremely challenging and interesting at the same time.

How do you find working and living in Cyprus? How easily did you adapt to life here?

Two decades ago, good job opportunities were scarce, and working in the private sector was not really highly regarded. It required quite a lot of adaptation. I had to learn the language while finding and creating a career path. It took a lot of perseverance, but looking back, I’m pleased with all my decisions. I’ve had so many different experiences and I’ve grown both personally and professionally; Cyprus is really a beautiful and ideal place to work and live.

  • Country of origin: France
  • Job Title: Group Marketing Manager
  • Company: Vino Hospitality Group
  • Office Location: Nicosia
  • Time in Cyprus: 19 years
  • Other countries she has lived/worked in: France, USA
  • Favourite restaurant in Cyprus: Rous Restaurant, Nicosia
  • Favourite bar in Cyprus: Vino Cultura, Nicosia
  • Activities she enjoys in Cyprus: Exploring Cyprus’ beautiful nature, from the beach to the mountains, going on excursions.

This interview first appeared in the March issue of GOLD magazine. Click here to view it.

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