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Lefkios Theodosiou on how ASBIS Group’s Cyprus office plays a crucial role in serving the local market and beyond

Currently marking his 17th year at the company, Lefkios Theodosiou, Director of ASBIS Kypros Ltd & Director of PrestigioPlaza Ltd., recently spoke to CBN about the exciting milestones reached over the period.

While elaborating on the company’s activities in Cyprus and future plans, Theodosiou also shares his view of the local IT scene.

Congratulations on your 17th anniversary at ASBIS group (ASBIS Enterprises PLC) as Director of ASBIS Kypros Ltd & Director of PrestigioPlaza Ltd. What do you consider to have been some of the most significant milestones achieved over your time at the company so far?

I would begin by saying Geographical Expansion. Since 2007, ASBIS Kypros Ltd (ASBIS Mediterranean Region) established three more new served countries from Cyprus (Greece, Malta and Israel). This expansion allowed the company to reach new markets and enhance its global presence. In 2023, the group realised the opportunities that are in Greece and in other 6 countries; therefore, invested extensively in Greece by establishing a new Subsidiary company in the country.

I would also mention the company’s Strategic Partnerships and Brand Development. ASBIS expanded its cooperation with Bang & Olufsen, a renowned luxury audio brand, into Cyprus, Greece, Malta countries. This collaboration led to the opening of two B&O flagship stores in Cyprus.

The company’s Corporate & Integrators division, expanded its product offering to major brands among others DELL, DELL EMC, UBIQUITY, ASUS, PURESTORAGE, SUPERMICRO and others.

Also, the company’s Retail & Reseller division, expanded its product offering to major brands among others LOGITECH TPLINK, SPECK, AENO, CANYON, LORGAR, SANDISK, AQARA and others.

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Further to the above, are there any particular goals you would still like to achieve during your time at ASBIS?

While I don’t have personal goals or aspirations that are not interconnected with ASBIS Mediterranean region, I can share some potential areas where ASBIS could continue to focus on growth and innovation.

Firstly, Sustainable Practices. ASBIS could explore ways to enhance its environmental sustainability. This might involve reducing the company’s carbon footprint, promoting recycling, and adopting eco-friendly packaging solutions. Also, implementing energy-efficient practices within the organisation and encouraging partners and customers to do the same could contribute to a greener future.

Next, Digital Transformation. Continuing to invest in digital transformation is crucial. ASBIS could explore advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and automation to optimise processes, improve decision-making, and enhance customer experiences. And, expanding e-commerce capabilities and streamlining online sales channels would also be beneficial.

I would also list Innovative Product Offerings. ASBIS could focus on introducing cutting-edge technologies and solutions to its portfolio. This might involve collaborating with emerging tech companies or investing in research and development. In addition, exploring areas like edge computing, IoT, and cybersecurity could position ASBIS as a leader in the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

Then, there is also Talent Development and Diversity. So, nurturing talent within the organisation is essential. ASBIS could invest in training programs, mentorship, and leadership development to empower employees. Also, promoting diversity and inclusion across all levels of the company would contribute to a more vibrant and creative work environment.

Next on my list is Customer-Centric Approach. ASBIS could continue to prioritise customer satisfaction. Listening to customer feedback, anticipating their needs, and providing exceptional service are key. In addition, strengthening relationships with existing clients and expanding the customer base in other countries should remain a focus.

ASBIS Group has been a trailblazer on the local IT sector scene. What are some of the ways the sector in Cyprus has changed over the past 17 years?

Over the past 17 years, the IT sector in Cyprus has undergone significant transformations.

Let’s explore some key changes, starting with Robust Growth. The Cypriot IT sector has experienced remarkable growth, with an average annual growth rate of 15% over the last decade. This growth has outpaced many other sectors in the country.

Also, the sector’s contribution to Cyprus’ GDP has been substantial, making it a vital driver of economic activity.

Second on my list is Increased Relevance of Technology. Technology has become increasingly relevant across various economic activities. The surge in the ICT sector’s performance reflects this trend. Also, organisations in Cyprus have recognised the importance of digitalisation, leading to greater adoption of IT solutions.

Then there is Government Initiatives and Strategic Measures. The establishment of the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy in Cyprus has played a pivotal role in shaping the sector. It focuses on promoting research, innovation, and digital transformation. In addition, Governmental strategic measures have encouraged investment in technology, fostering a conducive environment for IT companies.

I would say Technological Advancements is next. The adoption of new technologies has accelerated, driven by factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for remote work and digital services.

Also, cloud computing uptake has increased, enabling businesses to scale efficiently and access flexible IT resources.

Moving on to the IT Services Market. Spending on IT services in Cyprus has seen consistent growth. In 2022, IT services spending reached €156 million, representing a 10.1% year-on-year increase.

We should also note that key areas within IT services include support and training services as well as project services.

Next is Talent Shortage and Digital Transformation Challenges. Despite growth, the sector faces challenges related to IT talent shortage. Organisations need to invest in skill development and attract top talent.

Also, digital transformation remains a priority, and companies must navigate challenges related to legacy systems, cybersecurity, and organisational change.

In summary, the Cypriot IT sector has evolved significantly, becoming a driving force for economic progress and innovation.

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ASBIS Group incorporated in Cyprus in 1995, also moving its headquarters to Limassol, from where ASBIS MEDITERRANEAN (ASBIS Kypros LTD) today provides a wide range of IT products to customers all over Cyprus, Malta, Israel and other countries. Can you tell us more about the Cyprus office, for example its main activities and how many employees are currently on site etc.?

ASBIS Group has a strong presence in Cyprus, and its Cyprus office plays a crucial role in serving the local market and beyond.

Let’s delve into some details, beginning with Location and Address. The ASBIS Cyprus office is situated in Limassol, specifically at 1 Iapetou, Ayios Athanasios, 4101. Limassol is a vibrant city known for its business-friendly environment and strategic location.

The Main Activities for ASBIS MEDITERRANEAN cover Cyprus, Malta, and Israel. The office is primarily engaged in IT distribution. It acts as a bridge between technology manufacturers and local customers, providing a wide range of IT products and solutions. Key activities include procurement, inventory management, sales, and logistics. ASBIS MEDITERRANEAN ensures that products reach customers efficiently and effectively.

Moving on to the Employee Count. As of 2023, ASBIS Group employed an average of 2,673 employees globally. Within this, approximately 350 employees were based in the Cyprus office. The workforce is distributed across various functions, including sales and marketing and administration and IT.

When it comes to Office Hours and Operations, the ASBIS MEDITERRANEAN office operates during regular business hours, typically from Monday to Friday, 08.30am to 6pm.

Employees collaborate to ensure smooth operations, handle customer inquiries, manage orders, and maintain strong relationships with partners.

When it comes to Growth and Vision, ASBIS continues to expand its reach, aiming to bring new technologies to more places. The Cyprus office contributes to this growth by serving as a hub for IT distribution and innovation.

The company’s vision aligns with providing cutting-edge solutions to meet the evolving needs of businesses and consumers.

In summary, the ASBIS Cyprus office is a dynamic center for IT distribution, connecting global technology suppliers with local customers and contributing to the company’s overall success.

Can you reveal any future plans for expansion or the introduction of new products and/or services in Cyprus?

ASBIS Group recently launched a new business division called ASBIS Robotic Solutions (AROS). This division focuses on selling solutions based on Collaborative Robots (also known as Cobots) and building its own robotic platforms.

Here are the key points:

Distribution of Collaborative Robots (Cobots): AROS will distribute collaborative robots from leading global brands in the sector. These Cobots are designed to interact physically with people in work, office, or public places environments, making joint work and interaction between robots and humans easier.

Own Robotic Platforms: In addition to distributing Cobots, AROS will develop its own robotic platforms under its own brand. These platforms aim to address various needs in production, cleaning, services, security, and logistics areas.

Market Expansion: AROS plans to enter the Central and Eastern European (CEE) markets, including Poland, by the end of 2022. The company also intends to expand its presence further in 2023, focusing on distribution through a selective network of Authorised Value Add Resellers.

Distribution Agreements: ASBIS has already signed distribution agreements with several companies, including Aubo, Dobots, DH-Robotics, and Gausium.

Upcoming Collaborative Robots: The first collaborative robots under ASBIS’s own brand, CRON Robotics, are expected to arrive in the European markets in the first half of 2023.

How important does the company consider engagement with the local community (ESG, CSR etc.)? Are there any recent or upcoming projects you would like to elaborate on?

ASBIS Group places significant importance on engagement with the local community through Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts.

Let me elaborate on their recent and upcoming projects:

When it comes to Sustainable Practices and Environmental Stewardship, ASBIS is committed to minimising its environmental impact. They actively promote energy efficiency, waste reduction, and responsible resource management across their operations.

Also, ASBIS has invested in and is currently developing a global project called Breezy which focuses on trade-in, recycling, and refurbishing of electronic devices. ASBIS also places great emphasis on environmental sustainability and has consistently organised events aimed at protecting the planet by cleaning forests and other natural objects.

The company, in addition, invests in energy-efficient infrastructure, such as data centers and warehouses, to reduce their carbon footprint.

ASBIS also collaborates with suppliers and partners to ensure sustainable practices throughout the supply chain.

In terms of Community Engagement and Social Responsibility, ASBIS engages with local communities by supporting various social causes. They believe in giving back to society and making a positive difference.

Also, initiatives include educational programs, scholarships, and vocational training for young people. They aim to empower the next generation with skills and knowledge.

ASBIS actively supports local charities, healthcare institutions, and cultural events. Their employees often volunteer their time and expertise to community projects.

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When it comes to Employee Well-Being and Diversity & Inclusion, ASBIS recognises that its employees are its greatest asset. They prioritise employee well-being, professional development, and work-life balance.

ASBIS opens offices in developing countries, creating new job opportunities and providing fair working conditions. They ensure gender balance by having women in management positions.

The company promotes diversity and inclusion, ensuring equal opportunities for all employees regardless of gender, ethnicity, or background.

Moving on to Upcoming Projects, I would mention Tech for Good whereby ASBIS plans to launch a program that leverages technology for social good. This may involve partnerships with NGOs, startups, or educational institutions.

Also, within Green Initiatives, ASBIS aims to further reduce its environmental impact by implementing green practices in logistics, packaging, and transportation.

In addition, when it comes to Local Community Partnerships, the company is exploring collaborations with local organisations to address specific community needs, such as digital literacy programs or environmental awareness campaigns.

In summary, ASBIS Group actively engages with the local community, emphasising sustainability, social responsibility, and employee well-being. Their commitment to ESG principles aligns with their long-term vision of creating positive impact beyond business profits.

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