It is obvious that something is changing in Greek business, for the better. The so-called start-ups dealing with new technologies, digital applications and software, based on Greek minds and young scientists, are proving in practice that not only is nothing lost but the country can count on them for the future.
It is not only the latest deal of the global banking giant JP Morgan that has chosen a Greek software developer Viva Wallet to invest huge sums of money for Greek standards.
There are many others, with great potential in the Greek start ups incubator that keep surprising us and we expect a lot from them in the near future.
When global giants such as Facebook, Microsoft, etc. have put Greek companies’ discoveries on their radar and pay whatever it takes to acquire them, when international funds and domestic funds alike rush with great ease to finance dozens of research efforts made by Greek start ups, it means something.
They believe in the serious work being done and of course they don’t throw their money away. They invest mainly in Greek minds looking for new applications useful to the world at large in the new digital age that is taking shape.
Friends and groups of young scientists with a common vision who unite and try to implement their ideas and visions, without even capital at the beginning, but with passion, stubbornness and faith in what they do. And in recent years it has been proven that many of them succeed wonderfully as it is not long before they attract the interest of global giants who throw millions at the feet of the founders in order to acquire the product of their labour.
Let us recall Beat, which was acquired by Mercedes the year before last, or Skroutz, which recently acquired the large CVC fund as a partner, and so many others.
What is also changing is the corporate culture that is developing in these kinds of businesses where executives and employees are not treated as employees but as fellow travellers and stakeholders in success. A prime example is Viva Wallet which through its agreement with JP Morgan has secured for its 200 employees a 100 million bonus to be shared through stock options they receive from the company. An important incentive that motivates each employee to contribute their maximum potential for the success of the company. A success that will have a tangible and tangible impact and not just the intangible feeling of working in a large organization but the goodwill generated is only for the shareholders.
This change in culture and social responsibility I believe it is time for this to be passed on to the whole spectrum of healthy and profitable businesses regardless of the subject matter. Because so far a lot of ink has been spilled on the need for corporate governance but in practice even in the fat cow days, only the bigwigs in management had a stake in profits through bonuses. And it is a global phenomenon that the heads of companies are richly rewarded when they achieve profitability and growth targets as if any result is achieved only by the CEO and not by a wider group of employees in each company.
In addition, and this has its merit, is the fact that this kind of business absorbs young high level scientists and is a good reason for many of our young people who emigrated during the crisis years to come back, and an example to some others to try and pursue their own dream and vision of creativity.