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Fortune Greece article: “Success story with a start up cleaning company.”

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Article to the Fortune Greece

February 2004. A 26-year-old enters a meeting with directors of a multinational company. He wears a fake wedding ring on his finger, to look bigger and more serious. His jacket “falls wide”. He has learned from a friend that the multinational, which is starting to operate in Greece in the cosmetics sector, is looking for a company to undertake the cleaning of its 40 stores in 10 cities across the country.

He tries to persuade them to work with him. When he realizes that the “game” is probably lost, he decides to take a risk: “look”, he tells them, “the job you want, we can do it better than anyone. In a short time, however, we will be too expensive to pay us. This is the offer and this is my card “.

 

The young man leaves the meeting with a heartbeat. Shortly afterwards he receives a positive answer. He stops his car on the side and starts crying, firstly out of joy, because he and his mother were saved and secondly, because he had no idea how to do the job: he had no people, no materials, no tools; he had nothing. The story of Dionysis Ammolochitis , founder of the Facility Management company “Manifest”, which started from scratch – essentially from that meeting in 2004, when all of Greece was waiting for the Athens Olympics – today reached its services in more than 1,100 buildings (75% of foreign multinationals), to employ almost 700 people, operating in eight countries abroad and generating a turnover of over 10 million euros at group level last year (compared to 7.5 million in 2017), with pre-tax profits of about 206,000 euros (against a loss of over 70,100 euros per year 2017).

The Manifest Services , which explains Dionysis Ammolochitis, aims to become the largest employer in its sector in Europe in the coming years, providing cleaning services, technical maintenance, renovations, catering and security, having entered into an industry with great potential internationally: the Facility Management, which is estimated to represent 3.5% of GDP in developed countries and “loosens” the hands of companies, which want to deal exclusively with their object, without having to take care of e.g. for the cleanliness or technical maintenance of their building.

“This is the way: take the risk”

In the context of an interview with Mr. Ammolochitis at APE-MPEwas asked about the story of that February and the role that audacity plays in entrepreneurship. “At that time I had nothing to lose, because είχα I had nothing. The truth is that (…) I pursue what I want to achieve. So, when I saw in the conversation that the whole thing was going to be lost, I took a risk and played it all, saying that we are the best company in the market and that in a little while they will not be able to pay us. I knew then, from books I read, but now I am sure from experience, that the interlocutor welcomes the one who has faith in himself and believes it and expresses it and it is true λοιπόν Riskara and through that I learned – and now I believe that “It’s one of the basic facts about a stomp pad and it’s still there, and it’s the right thing to do.”

But how did you smell the opportunity in the market? What gap did he see?

“I had the opportunity, trying to achieve my goal, because it was nothing accidental, to work as a salesman for a few months in a company that provided similar services (cleaning and rodenticide). So I saw a lot of things, I got in touch with the market and I tested its needs and what I realized then was that there was a gap: there were very few companies that provided services with high standards, but also very high prices. And beyond that there were too many companies with low prices, but also low standards. So there was no middle ground, a company that could provide services with multinational specifications and Greek market prices and there I found the gap and I entered and we had this rapid development “emphasizes Dionysis Ammolochitis, who did not hesitate to resign from his position as a salesman in an IT company, in order to work in a lower paid position in the field of cleaning, because something like that brought him closer to the goal. In fact, when he resigned from this second position, to do something of his own, he asked his mother to leave her job as a supervisor in a brochure distribution company, to start the business together. All this was done in four days. Friday to Monday. to start the business together. All this was done in four days. Friday to Monday. to start the business together. All this was done in four days. Friday to Monday.

“Seller, to get the ‘smell’!”

After all, is it important to have someone as a salesperson in the industry you want to be in before you decide to start your own business? “I think it is very important to have an idea of the job. I’m not saying you know it perfectly well, but you must have come in contact with what you want to do. “Especially if what you want to do is something very innovative, you have to get in touch with similar objects before you try, to get the smell,” he explains, while being asked if something counts more than the resume in hiring someone in Manifest, he answers: ” I do not see what a resume says, no matter how special it sounds, what I look at is the time spent in a company and the way the resume is set up, which shows me the style and aesthetics of the candidate. This is a first feeling, in which I count neither studies nor anything other than a resume. Considering that man as a character is a – I do not distinguish between professional and personal life – I like stable people, those who make a decision and try to implement it, no matter how many obstacles life sends them. “A person constantly changing company, changing jobs every nine months or a year and a half, does not show me stability.”

The “flaw” of the procedure freak can attract multinationals as customers

Multinationals and large customers – such as those served by Manifest, including Nestle, Cosco, Mercedes-Benz, COCA COLA, Siemens, Samsung, Athens International Airport, Intracom, Marina Floisvou – are usually demanding. So how does a company that has just been established win them over? “I have a lot of flaws and one of them is that I am a procedure freak, I put a lot of emphasis on the process. Any process that takes place in the Manifest is recorded in a document, certified by all those involved and ends up being a process for which comprehension exercises are created, in order for those newcomers to study and understand it, so that they can quickly enter the company culture. This element made me fall in love with the multinationals, because they work that way too. So, “Starting the company and working with that logic, I could only work with these companies – as I did,” he says. The interval of course required a lot of nights and a lot of work, but when the first multinational “unlocked” and entered the clientele of Manifest, then one big company brought the other and gradually the company became a leader in its industry.

“To build such contacts and attract such customers, you have to be very extroverted as a company, with very developed marketing and very good public relations. Obviously you have to have super sales skills, but also to take risks in your speech, that is, to raise the bar, but also to deliver what you say. Also, be in love with quality. “No matter what happens, no matter how much the customer certifies that you are good, not to be happy with what you deliver, to eat all the time and even to take care of even the little things and to correct them as much as you can”, he points out .

Do you want to become a startu per? Learn the simple math of finance

In his opinion, what is the most catastrophic mistake made by the founders of start-ups in Greece? “I think the worst mistakes have to do with two shortcomings. First, the lack of how to sell. People need to be extroverted, create sales themselves, be the best sellers in their company. And the second is the lack of knowledge of financial management. From day one, startupers need to get into concepts like cash flow and budget, because companies with this kind of shortage close to the truth and not a lack of sales. I believe that a startuper can not and should not pay dearly for someone who knows financially well. He should learn all the basic principles on his own, since all finance is clearly based on common sense,

Ensure the support of your own people, do not wait for the perfect moment, go out to sell, learn to communicate

Asked what would be the three most important tips he would give to someone who wants to turn to business, he puts in the first place the consent of the family. “The first and most important thing for someone starting a company is to go to his / her parents, wife / husband, children, friends and get their consent, in the sense that they are the ones who should support. Entrepreneurship is a way of life. The businessman should for many years forget about vacations, eight hours of sleep, many more things… I do not want to make them black, but he must have the support of his own people, so that he does not have side problems, he can is dedicated to what he does.

According to Dionysis Ammolochitis, it is equally important to know that the ideal moment never comes. “The second thing I keep saying is’ I start today, man. Do not wait for the perfect moment, because it simply does not exist and will never exist. Go to your accountant and start activities tomorrow morning “. Let the matter end. And third: people who want to become entrepreneurs need to be trained in extroversion. To learn to communicate, to express themselves. I was lucky and started my career doing door-to-door salesmanship and this is the perfect method of learning extroversion. Go out, get chips or cloths or your product and go sell them yourself. Learn to communicate! ” suggests.

Goal: The largest employer for Facility Management in Europe

What is the next big goal for Manifest? “We have immediate plans. First, for the country’s largest industry, tourism: we have made a turn and are helping hotels better organize their support services. In fact, we have started with very large collaborations and our bar is very high. Secondly, for technology: we are developing our own software (software) the Trulios application at the moment and we are creating a system that can make us unique in our industry, offering our customers an overall and clear picture of their building. Thirdly, the goal is to become the largest employer in Europe in our industry, but not only in terms of numbers, but by positively influencing and inspiring people, nurturing them to bring out their professionalism, so that

Decriminalization of profit with low taxation for high profits

If Dionysis Ammolochitis took over as finance minister tomorrow, he says, the first thing he would do the next day would be to reverse the country’s tax culture in order to decriminalize profits. “Did you make too much profit? Enjoy a very low tax rate. Learn to make a profit, that’s the point. The state should encourage the creation of profitable companies and reward good results, profitable companies. This way, tax evasion will be combated and people will not be afraid to show profits! “If this changes, the private sector can drag the whole of Greece into development,” he estimates.

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Interview with Dionysis Ammolochitis, CEO of Manifest, on CriKos: “The story of a successful businessman who started his empire from scratch, simply believing in himself!”

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My interview at Crikos

Interview with Dionysis Ammolochitis, CEO of Manifest, on CriKos: “The story of a successful businessman who started his empire from scratch, simply believing in himself!”

Do you wake up every day and say to yourself “I am the luckiest person in the world”? Do you know many people who can say that? Let me answer for you… with a big NO!

Today, however, I met a young, successful and charming businessman who started his story by saying “I am very lucky” and his name is Dionysis Ammolochitis! Do not confuse me though as luck has absolutely nothing to do with his success. The result is due to hard work, self-confidence, zeal, perseverance, patience and all the positive “essentials” that you can find in the dictionary! A man who punches  “It’s not possible”  and turns it into  ” Do you want to bet it “?

But why does he think he is lucky? Well, she happens to have a mom who brought him to life in her teens, believed in him from the first moment and supported him in every way possible. In short, what most of us take for granted, he praises and is grateful for! Raising a child alone and taking care of their survival by doing any work was a very difficult and wonderful task… I guess he is lucky in the end.

It all started when, having already worked for a few years, Dionysis at 26 asked his mother to stop working and start their own business. She of course accepted it without a second thought! They sold a small asset, raised € 9000 and in 2003, Dionysis and his mother founded Manifest, a facility management company that they did not know at the time would be a leader in the Greek market in the coming years!

A few months after the founding of Manifest, working 24 hours a day and doing all the work on their own, Dionysis was informed about a large retail company looking for facility management services. He immediately closed a meeting with them and appeared with his team (his mother and her friend) having a very professional presence. He made a very competitive offer, but what secured him the deal was the imposing and proud attitude of a winner! As he told me:  “I told them … look gentlemen,  this price we have given you is very good and you have until the end of the week to answer us  as after that,  this agreement  ceases  to be valid! If you do not close  the deal now, in a few years you will not be able to afford us “!!! Even if you say confident or let me say… “many guts”! And of course, they got the deal the same day!

They flew to the clouds of joy and at the same time cried because they had neither the experience, nor the human resources, nor the assets to serve 60 stores all over Greece! Of course, they successfully completed the project and still have their clients to this day. At present it is by far the leading company in their field in Greece, providing facilities management services, such as cleaning, technical maintenance of buildings, renovations, relocation, security and catering services.

Believe me, I have left many painful details and all the challenges he has faced so far! One would expect to be a tough-inaccessible businessman with everything he has achieved and gone through, but instead, Dionysis Ammolochitis is a true gentleman… polite, generous, open-hearted, approachable and willing to contribute to society! He has delivered many speeches and seminars helping young entrepreneurs, giving them his valuable knowledge, as well as know-how and tools to make their ideas and dreams come true easier and faster without going through everything he has gone through.

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The Greek who took the mop and built an empire

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Read the article of News247.grThe Greek who took the mop and built an empire“.

The greek dream of Dionysis Ammolochitis of Manifest, trusted today by the biggest multinationals and has a presence in 10 countries.

The dream has no homeland. You do not need to cross the Atlantic to live the “American dream”, you can live it and here it is enough to identify the gaps in the market, to have insight, courage and a little audacity. Figures that fit well in the case of Dionysis Ammolochitis, President and CEO of Manifest, which currently holds a leading position in the facility management industry.


At the beginning of the last decade, as a salesman in a large IT company, shortly before he turned 25, Dionysis regularly visited a customer who was active in building cleaning. Shortly afterwards he received an offer from the owner of the company to come and work as a salesman in his own company. A difficult decision considering that you have to leave a large group in the most dynamic industry, that of IT, to go and sell to customers cleanings and rodenticides.

Dionysis Ammolochitis dared it but sat in his new job for only six months. So many people needed to understand that in this particular job there was a huge gap that the companies operating until then could not fill. What was this gap? the cleaning companies did not meet, or rather did not even know what they are, the quality standards required by the multinationals operating in Greece.

He studied what the big players in Facility Management abroad do and somehow he decided to resign, and with his mother as his first employee he founded the Manifest. He wore strict suits and a fake wedding ring to look older as he was afraid that the young man of his age [had not yet turned 25] and his presentation would not allow his interlocutors to take him seriously and began to close appointment. As he mentioned in a presentation of the company, at first he wore both hats, that of the president of the company and the man who took the mop and cleaned the stairs.

What is the Manifest today ? It is a company with more than 500 employees providing specialized services in 1,000 buildings with customers such as Coca Cola and Nestle. The years of recession, in the last five years managed to double its size while 2015, one of the most difficult years in the Greek economy for Manifest was the best year both for turnover (about 7 million euros) and for profits that increased by 300% compared to 2014.

In its activities in addition to cleaning, technical maintenance and security services, it provides landscaping, waste management, consumables and catering services.

Investment found SouthBridge recently invested € 3.5 million, giving Manifest the opportunity to accelerate growth and expand. Now Manifest through the 21stFM alliance of which it is a founding member is the only Greek company in the industry with a presence in almost 10 countries in Europe.

As far as the employees are concerned, the company follows a regular reward program with cash prizes while it also organizes events such as children’s parties. In the past, the ratio of foreigners to Greek workers was 80% -20%, something that has changed to 60% -40% in the last year as more and more Greeks “admit” to catch the mop.

Source

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Manifest: New record increase in turnover and employee recruitment

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For 2019, the forecasts for the financial course of Manifest are equally impressive as the founder of the company, Dionysis Ammolochitis, points out to insider.gr, the turnover with the new projects undertaken by the company, will increase by 30% compared to 2018 .

Interview here::

Manifest , one of the leading Greek building management companies (Facility Management), continues to record rapid growth .

The company that in recent years has managed to multiply its size, despite the crisis, set a new record in 2018, dramatically increasing both sales and the number of its projects and employees.

In particular, in 2018 the turnover of Manifest amounted to 10.09 million euros. from 7.59 million euros in 2017, recording an increase of 32.9%.
Equally spectacular is the increase in the number of its employees by 53.3%, which last year amounted to 690, from 450 in 2017, with a corresponding increase in its staff by 54.5%. 

Finally, the Manifesto, whose clientele includes large companies such as Coca-Cola and Nestle, the International Airport “El. Venizelos “, IKEA etc, recently added another large client to its portfolio. 

This is a luxury hotel in Vouliagmeni, one of the largest investments made in our country and is expected to be operational in early April. 

For 2019, the forecasts for the financial course of Manifest are equally impressive as the founder of the company, Dionysis Ammolochitis , points out to insider.gr, the turnover with the new projects undertaken by the company, will increase by 30% compared to 2018 .
Today, “we are a productive and growing team of professionals, with 690 employees that provide specialized services to 1,100 buildings,” says Mr. Ammolochitis.

One of the comparative advantages of Manifest is Trulios the most modern system of real-time digitization of control and evaluation of integrated facilities management services. 

Trulios is a comprehensive tool for managing, monitoring, communicating and collaborating between clients, companies and workgroups.

A software that increases efficiency, productivity and reduces the costs of business operation by offering speed, transparency and simultaneous information by monitoring online the effectiveness of our services for each installation of the client company.

Its innovative function optimizes the business at the touch of a button either on the mobile or on the computer, offering the possibility to all its customers, for each installation and for unlimited users, to have access to the control of the services delivered at that time, as well as and requests – issues that have been recorded. 

“The private sector needs more attention”

But how does Mr. Ammolochitis judge, who, as mentioned above, employs dozens of employees and believes that they are the driving force of any company, the government’s decision to increase the minimum wage? 

“I think the private sector needs more attention and reward. The increase in the minimum wage is positive, but it should be part of a more general assistance to the private sector. 

“The constant changes in taxation and insurance do not help entrepreneurship, while a meritocratic policy is needed from the banks”, he states characteristically. 

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Interview with Made in Greece: “One afternoon I decided I could do it alone at 26”

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In the interview I gave to MadeinGreece.news, I shared my journey with its difficulties and successes, as well as my future plans.

https://madeingreece.news/homepostmain/made-in-greepse-h-manifest-o-dionyshs-ammoloxiths-ena-apo

A story full of dreams, ambitions, passion and audacity, but also countless difficulties. The route of Dionysis Ammolochiti to entrepreneurship and success far was walking. He started with zero capital , having quit his job at a cleaning company as a salesman and asking his mother to quit her job as well. His story from now on was one way. There was no room for error or repentance.

At the age of 26, he already ran his own company , which goes by the name Manifest and today has more than 600 employees and a presence in more than 8 countries . The secret of success, according to Mr. Ammolochitis, is the well-organized plan, the passion that is necessary for the young entrepreneur and the people who will make up the company’s development team.

Manifest is active in the field of facility management and offers services such as security, cleaning, technical work and catering.

Even before closing a year of operation, Dionysis Ammolochitis knew where he wanted to lead the Manifest in the future and this vision has expanded today and will not stop “burning” inside him until it reaches 2,500 employees and a turnover of € 40,000,000. What does he have from then on? Even higher expectations!

Having erased an important course in the business world and with the supply of important experiences gained throughout this journey, Mr. Ammolochitis writes today in his blog ( http://ammolochitis.gr/el/blog ) on issues of self-improvement and business action.

MadeinGreece.news spoke with Mr. Dionysis Ammolochitis, who shared with us his own path with its difficulties and successes, as well as his future plans.

The main points of the interview:

  • From a young age I was destined to take on my father’s job
  • My father left us and my mother – my sister was married – suddenly we had to survive alone
  • One afternoon I decided I could do it alone ! I wanted to create my own company and thus complete my project
  • I had too much passion and audacity , two elements which whenever I left them since then lead to a dead end and with meager results
  • We serve over 1,100 buildings in Greece , while 75% of our customers are multinational companies
  • what makes the Manifest special are its people
  • There is no greater satisfaction for me than overcoming the obstacles and problems they put in front of me, continuing to thrive and leading to the achievement of my goals.
  • My main goal, as an entrepreneur, is to see the percentage of great people employed in my business grow
  • The environment in Greece may not be conducive to business development, however we experience 15 years of continuous growth
  • I envision a Manifest which will provide employment to 2,500 people, will have a turnover of € 40,000,000 and will be a model company for the whole of Europe

What is the story surrounding the creation of the Manifest? When and how did it all start? What are the stages, the inspiration, the reason?

From a young age I was destined to take on the job of my father , who had a small craft of industrial products; and my mother devoted her life to raising me and my sister (14 months younger) and at times worked, more like hobby, not having technical knowledge for something more systematic.

At the age of 20, many of the above ceased to apply. My father left me and my mother – my sister was married – suddenly we had to survive on our own, without secured work and income, without the issues of our survival solved, not knowing what to do. Somehow our calm and confident life came to an end.

The truth is that this whole scene, the details of which are not at all attractive, created a lot of negative emotions for me and I can say that I was experiencing a constant anger. I considered everything we were living unfair and I felt very hurt seeing the concern for our future in my mother’s eyes.

At that time I found a way out in self-improvement books, which I bought and “sucked” in dozens. Somehow the flame of success and faith in myself was rekindled in me. So I sat down and made plans, wrote down my goals and began to discipline my plans.
It is worth mentioning that my main plan was to set up a cleaning company.

At 26, I was still living with my mother, who by the way was then 42 years old, and we were somewhat comfortable. I had been working for a cleaning company for six months as a salesman (I had given up my career as a photocopier seller in which I made three times as much money). And then something law-abiding happened. One afternoon I decided I could do it alone ! I wanted to create my own company and thus complete my project. So the first thing I did was quit my job and ask my mother to quit hers too and come with me to help me with the Manifest (I had already made a name for myself when I asked her). My mother accepted at once and the Manifest was just beginning.

How was the beginning? What obstacles did you encounter?

Every beginning is difficult. I do not need to go into details, because I do not think they are very important. What matters is that I had too much passion and audacity, two elements which whenever I abandoned them since then lead to a dead end and with meager results. On the contrary, whenever I was passionate about my job and took risks, things took off. I am talking about the absolute and clear importance of being passionate about what you do, living and breathing about it . That’s the only way for me to succeed.

What services does Manifest provide today & what is the response?

We provide Facility Management services in areas such as cleaning, security, technical maintenance, renovations, green projects, disinfestations – rodenticides, organization of corporate events, management of corporate restaurants, etc.

We serve over 1,100 buildings in Greece, while 75% of our customers are multinational companies . Examples include Athens International Airport, Intracom, Nestle, COSCO, Mercedes-Benz, Marina Floisvou, COCA COLA, Siemens, Samsung, and many others which you can see on our website.

What are the key features of Manifest that make it special?

The main features of Manifest are focused on the undivided interest that I show myself, as well as people – pillars within my company. Given the opportunity, I feel the need to thank in particular all my collaborators, as well as all the people who belong to the staff of our projects, with whose contribution our goals become a reality.

So, what makes Manifest special are its people.

What was the best and what were the most difficult moments of your business activity?

The best moments were definitely the most difficult. Yes, you got it right. You know, for me happiness is not to live a calm but mediocre life, nor the absence of obstacles, but to live the life you dream of. The only sure thing is that when someone progresses, there will be many obstacles and many will try to stop him. There is no greater satisfaction for me than overcoming the obstacles and problems they put in front of me, continuing to thrive and leading to the achievement of my goals.

Manifest is among the 21 companies that will receive support from the “OPAP Forward” program. How do you feel about that, what is the significance of the award?

OPAP is funding a very worthwhile program in collaboration with Endeavor to help selected companies do even better.  I am very proud that out of the hundreds of companies that applied we are among the 21 that were selected, and in fact we are the only service company out of the 21 companies in the program. It is also worth mentioning that even now, at the beginning of the program, we are excited about the size and quality of the data we receive. I really thank them very much!

Innovation, competitiveness and extroversion are the three key words that lead to success. How did you manage in your field to integrate these three elements that have placed you in the top positions in the field?

These elements, innovation – competitiveness – extroversion, are created by positive groups. It was there and it will always be my attention. The intention and commitment of the people of a business to achieve their goals is what leads to success and is one of the most difficult issues that all businesses face. Unfortunately the percentages of people in our society who are passionate about their work and who fulfill their personal goals through their work are low. That is where our effort focuses, since the value of any business is directly linked to the importance of the people who make it up.

My main goal, as an entrepreneur, is to see the percentage of great people employed in my business grow. And when I talk about great people I mean those who set goals and achieve them both professionally and personally, those who have the ability to accomplish a mission without many words, those who do not just work to pay their bills, but who want to earn enough money and leave their mark on the space.

We created the site “Made in Greece.news”. How Greek is your creation?

First of all, well done for your site! Anything that has the word Greece in it is welcome. I also love my country very much and I have a strong intention to help it. I know that our negatives are many, but, as paradoxical as it sounds at the moment, I know very well that our positives as a country are more and in the end they will prevail. This has nothing to do with optimism, it is based purely on logic. Let us not forget that we are one of the most cordial and hardworking people in the world, we have a very high family institution, we have high self-confidence and many other positives.

And yes, my creation is 100% Greek and I am proud of it! The environment in Greece may not be conducive to business development, however we experience 15 years of continuous growth .

Today, after all this journey that you have described to us, you have managed to make a great opening in the international market. In how many and in which countries do you have a presence?

As a founding member of ” 21stFM Alliance “, we are the only Greek company in the industry with a presence in 8 countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia) in Europe.

Where do you dream the Manifest will go in the future? What are your next plans?

There is no limit. Imagine that today we employ over 600 employees in Greece. Our turnover for 2018 is estimated to exceed € 10,000,000 , with our company having doubled its size in the last four years. Therefore, I envision a Manifest which will provide employment to 2,500 people, will have a turnover of € 40,000,000 and will be a model company for the whole of Europe. Once I achieve this goal, I will increase it fivefold.

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Reaching the top with a mop

Category: Interviews-en

I gave the following interview to Oneman.gr and to Mr. Kostis Christodoulou. In the discussion we had I told him how he made the decision to create the Manifest and what followed in my course so far as well as what I believe for the future. See below what was said.
 

It is as unlikely that you do not know the Manifest but it is so probable that you have been served by one of its 600 employees, whether they are the cleaners at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport, or the security at a large multinational, or the man who served you at a private canteen hospital. Behind this ‘invisible’ empire, hides a 40-year-old who has written kilometers with the mop in his hand, the talented Mr. Ammolochitis.
 

His business story begins in 2003 when Dionysis was 26 years old and lived a laid back life. He lived in the same house with his mother, his father had ‘left’, his sister had moved in and had opened her own house. Every morning, Dionysis and his mother set off for work. His mother worked as a supervisor in a brochure distribution company and Dionysis as a salesman in a cleaning and rodenticide company. He was in this job for about six months and had agreed to leave, leaving behind a corresponding position in an IT company.

(photos: Theofylaktos Michael)

And a nice Friday, Dionysis takes the decision that in the process proved to be the most critical of his life. He quits his job and with zero capital but a well-crafted plan begins to build the Manifest. The first person he announces to is his mother. He asks her to resign from her job and start a company together from next Monday. “In fact, I had found the name of our company as all Saturday I was flipping through an English-Greek dictionary and stopped at m when I saw the word Manifest.” His mother reacted ‘outside the trampled’ to a Greek mother saying “yes my child, to resign”.

“I was paralyzed there. I say, he can not put an end to it. At that moment I felt I had my mother’s responsibility. Plan-B did not exist. There was only one way of saying that there had to be income to survive and pay off “We had a loan. And I did everything to achieve it starting from scratch and with zero income now.” For the record, Dionysis’s mother is currently vice president of Manifest and continues to be active in the company’s HR sector.

On Monday morning, Dionysis, with the Yellow Pages under his belt, started spying on potential customers for the cleaning company he was starting. He had made an A4 commercial and faxed it to 60-70 companies daily. The next day, he wore the seller’s hat and called to find out if they had received the fax and if they were interested in cooperating. If they were positive, he made an appointment for them.

These appointments were very ridiculous. I have a ‘disadvantage’, I generally look small. So then I was 26 and I was looking for 20. So I had taken a fake wedding ring and I was wearing bone glasses and some wide jackets to look a little bigger

“At first, there was no choice, even if it was a 50 euro job, we would not let it go. ‘Hard work’ is a mediocre expression. The first five years, and at a high cost in personal matters, the good days were what I managed I slept for 3 to 4 hours, my schedule was office and appointment in the morning and then over the suit, so as not to waste time, I wore the cleaner uniform and together with my mother and the people we worked with for each contract, I took the mop or whatever else I needed and I kept going. “

With the first money that Dionysis made, instead of buying a car, he invested to get to know his job better. He visited international exhibitions all over Europe and saw what the industry had to offer and how they worked. In one of these exhibitions he heard about facility management, which went a few steps further than what it already did. Offering services such as security, cleaning, maintenance and catering, facility management (estimated to account for 3.5% of GDP in the western world) enables companies to focus on their business by providing all third party jobs. to an external partner.

Even before closing a year, Dionysis Ammolochitis knew where he wanted to lead the Manifest in the future.

“In February 2004 I boldly closed our first big job. I learned by chance from a partner that the Sephora cosmetics chain would make a tender for the cleaning services. In the meeting I had with the directors of the company, I had, had not, closed the 27. At the end of our discussion, I got up and as an epilogue I said to them, look, we can do the job much better than you do now.It is your only opportunity to work with us at this price, as in In a few years these prices will not be offered by us. Ή now or never ‘. I left the table and when I returned to the office, I received a positive answer.

I cried from my joy but also suddenly realized the size of the work we had undertaken. Without having any staff, we had to undertake in a month the cleaning of a chain with more than 40 stores in 10 cities throughout Greece. “With a lot of ridiculous situations, overnight, a lot of work and a van going up and down left and right, we did a job that was beyond our capabilities and we managed to get on the map.”

Today, the Manifesto is ‘running’ with 40% growth, seeing its turnover in 2017 close at 8 million euros, employing 600 people, with 124 of them having been hired in the last month, as new big jobs are constantly coming, such as the Athens International Airport and Intracom. At the same time, Manifest has other large partnerships, such as those with Alpha Bank, Coca-Cola and Nestle.

Since 2016, the private equity SouthBridge has also invested in Manifest, estimating that both the company and the sector in which it operates have significant potential for development.

In Oneman, Dionysis Ammolochitis admits that audacity was one of the elements he had at the beginning of the Manifest and states through his own experience what are the other ingredients that one must have to proceed with the creation of his own business. “He should have a clear goal for what he wants to do and he is aware that he will make sacrifices. You usually make sacrifices for the most valuable things you have. He should grow through the part of responsibility. Things and situations that you can neglect in a first stage you can not overlook in the second stage of expansion of your activity: Responsibility to all parties, to your work, your associates, society, the state, everything.

The most misconception about entrepreneurship is that the one who steals, the one who steps on corpses is the one who will survive. What I say to young children when given the opportunity is that quite the opposite happens. That is, whoever operates on the basis of his personal values ​​and ethics, he is the one who will succeed. The system does not work at all otherwise. “

For what he sees the Manifest after 10 years, he sets the bar high. “It will have already conquered the top in Greece either through acquisitions or organic development and will employ 3,000 people. Why not, it can have a leading position in Europe, at least in the countries where it will be active.”

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Interviews-en

The rising power of the economy is Facility Management

Category: Interviews-en

In the interview I gave to Capital.gr and it was published on April 13, 2017, I present the characteristics of the Facility Management sector, the size of which exceeds 3 billion euros, while at the same time I analyze the philosophy and goals of Manifest Services. Also, in the interview that follows, you can see what exactly 21st FM serves and the reasons why the company became an investor. 

– Mr. Ammolochitis, the field of Facility Management is showing an increase in its relevant activity in recent years. What are your predictions for the course of the industry?

The branch of integrated Facility Management services is constantly developing in recent years worldwide, while in Greece it is still in an initial stage of development. We really believe that in the country we are laying the foundations for the proper development of the industry.  

It is worth noting that facility management is the rising force of the economy and in the near future, the modernization of the industry and the development of innovative services, as Manifest realizes, will give impetus to this sector and will really help our country on many levels. (economically, socially, fight against corruption, etc.).  

It is for these reasons that Facility Management is a rising force in the global economy.  

It is characteristic that the turnover of the sector constitutes 5% -8% of GDP in European countries, while it is worth noting that in 2014 it increased to 2.94 billion Euros and has now exceeded 3. billion.

– What is the philosophy of Manifest Services?

Manifest, creates the industry in which it operates, constantly improving the company itself and its services. Following the most modern practices and constantly focusing on the improvement of the services provided, it has managed on the one hand to provide one of the best final products and on the other hand to contribute to the progress and development of the industry in our country.  

The philosophy of the company is centered on the human being. The experienced human resources that make up the different branches of the company can provide quality, high level services. At the same time, the purpose of the company is to take care of the people of the companies it undertakes to give their best, creating added value for businesses, society and the economy. Our goal is to create added value for our customers, supporting the smooth operation of companies and contributing to the creation of a suitable working environment to maximize employee performance and at the same time reduce business costs.

The Southbridge investment fund recently made a significant investment in the Manifest. Tell us a few words about this investment and the future course of the company.

The continuous upward course of Manifest, as well as the growth prospects of the company caused strong investment interest, given the dynamics recorded by the industry.  

Thus, SouthBridge, an investment fund that supports companies in Europe to enhance their sustainable growth, invested in us by recognizing our value and giving Manifest the opportunity to accelerate growth and expand its operations.  

The results of the investment are already reflected in the increase of the executives, in the new technologies that we adopt, as well as in the big projects that we have undertaken or are claiming.

– What is the activity of Manifest Services outside Greece and what exactly does the organization 21st FM serve?

One of the advantages of Manifest is the ability to provide high quality services with flexibility in 7 European countries through the 21st FM consortium.

The increase of the demand for our services in the general context of the global supply by 60%, but also the extroversion that characterizes the Manifest were the main parameters for this initiative.  

Named 21stFM, the association was formed by five leading European market players aiming to offer specialist, tailored solutions based on essential corporate needs, infrastructure projects, facility management and related services for global corporate clients. at European Regional level.

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Interviews-en

Cost reduction with quality terms

Category: Interviews-en

Below you can see the interview I gave to the magazine self service (April 2015 issue) on the topic of cost fusion with quality terms. As you will see, I explain the advantages ofFacility Management, referring to how the Manifest manages to grow, despite the unfavorable economic environment.

What functions do companies usually choose to outsource to Facility Management and what are the criteria for selecting a provider?

In Greece, Facility Management mainly refers to the health and safety services of buildings and employees, such as cleaning, storage, technical maintenance, landscaping, green maintenance, catering . In more mature markets, such as Central Europe, these services extend to administrative functions such as human resource management, accounting, marketing, or anything else that may involve a company’s non  core activities.

The selection criteria are those that apply to the selection of any external partner for a company, such as its financial soundness and proven experience. I point out, however, that the most basic selection criterion should be business ethics. We must not forget that Facility Management companies deliver services through people.

Some time ago you participated as a speaker at the CEO Forum 2015 – and I even wrote the title of your speech “Words fly … numbers stay”. Why did you choose to turn to the retail industry?

The title was a last-minute inspiration due to one of the main, in my opinion, benefits, namely the percentage reduction in operating costs of the business. We decided to participate in this conference because we believe that supermarkets are large organizations that can easily reap the benefits of Facility Management . On the other hand, they have many and large facilities and are very interesting potential customers for our industry – I would say they are a “challenge” as customers for our industry.

That is, what could be the benefits of a supermarket?

We did a study for a supermarket store with an area of ​​2,000 sqm and found that the reduction of operating costs on an annual basis can be from 24 to 26 thousand euros.

It should be noted that this reduction has no negative impact on the quality of services provided either on the part of Facility Management to the customer, or on the part of the supermarket to its own customers. On the contrary, I believe that the quality of the supermarket services will increase, as well as productivity and efficiency, as, having ensured health and safety in its daily operations, it can seamlessly engage in its core business , ie provide quality products and services that exceed the needs of its customers.

The Facility Management has adopted a practice by the retail sector?

The Facility Management is a new branch in Greece and has been adopted only by multinational companies at present. I believe that this is due, on the one hand, to the Greek culture of running a company and the difficulty observed in changing procedures and, on the other hand, to the fact that there is no information about its services and thus there is often confusion about what it is. Also, many companies may have had some unpleasant experience from Facility Management providers , and this may have discouraged them. But this is true of all service industries. If a company clearly sets the selection criteria and looks carefully at the market, I am sure it will find the right partner for it.

But the benefits, at least financially, are clearly significant. Why do you claim that the management procedures of Greek companies are difficult to change?

For the simple reason that they are not properly informed about the cost reduction in day-to-day operations and the overall benefits they will reap from Facility Management . The right information – and I emphasize the “right” – is the key to making a decision. The information about the services and the benefits of using Facility Management providers is one of the main issues that concern our association, the Hellenic Facility Management / HFMA .

But I’m sure the times call for business reorganization, and to achieve that, business will find us an effective ally.

I agree with you that companies do not exactly know the services and usefulness of Facility Management . Until recently, I also thought it was exhausting in cleaning services.

Yes, and this is an issue that concerns us as an industry. Cleaning services are part of Facility Management , but cleaning is not a Facility Management that offers a comprehensive business support solution.

I visited your company’s website and saw that the Manifest is steadily rising. How do you do all this cool stuff on the market?

First of all, even in times of lean cows there are companies on the rise – this is a rule that is confirmed by historical data. Indeed, we note continuous growth with an annual turnover increase of 15-40%, depending on the year, since 2003 when the company was founded. In fact, Manifest is on the rise, although the demand for building maintenance services fell by about 5.5% in 2014 in the domestic market due to unfavorable economic conditions. We have positive results in a negative market environment. The company also employs about 550 employees directly and indirectly, operates in 30 cities in Greece, already serves 1,100 buildings and delivers 3,000 hours of service daily.

Where is this thought to be due?

There are a number of reasons why this happens. I will mention the most important ones in my opinion.

First: we apply a specific way of exchanging with everyone who exists in the “world of Manifest “:employees, customers, partners, suppliers. Our principle is to always be in a state of “excess exchange”, ie we always offer more than what is required by the contractual agreements inside and outside the company. We give more value than the amount of money we receive, or, in the case of our employees, we provide them with more than what is agreed in the employer obligations. For example, the monthly training since the start of the company has helped us to have a uniform level of knowledge, to increase the level of commitment and faith in the company’s vision, to increase initiative and self-efficacy. In the Manifestno idea is underestimated, no point of view is rejected. We recognize everyone’s efforts and that is why everyone tries even harder.

Second : from the day the company was founded, my main goal was a company with financial strength. Today we have managed to be a reputable company that constantly invests in providing better services for its customers and in the best environment for its employees.

Third: our administration is based on ethics . This is how we inspire and set an example to everyone who works in our company, this is how we create a sense of trust in everyone we work with and make them enjoy the experience of working with us and want to repeat it. The best solution to any problem will always be to apply some form of ethics, and that is our professional belief.

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Interviews-en

Manifest strategic partner in FM

Category: Interviews-en

Below you can read the interview I gave to HR Professional magazine (November 2011 issue)  about the importance of facility management and  the reasons that justify the remarkable course of the company of which I am CEO as well as my plans for the future.

1. What is facility management and how does it relate to the current economic situation?

Facility management arises as a view and practice, according to which, all services in an industrial, manufacturing, administrative, storage, etc. facility, related to maintenance, care, safety and orderly its operation is assigned to an external body. Practice successful and widespread internationally, both in the US, which is the metropolis of the system, and in Europe.

Of course, the system generates spectrum savings with the natural consequence of serious savings, however, perhaps the most crucial, is that it enables the management of the facility to transfer, to assign specialized needs and maintenance requirements.

In conclusion, the adoption of the FM system does not depend on the current economic situation, but is an autonomous necessity which, however, is decisively favored by it.

2. What is the “version” of Manifest-Services on the facility management;

For Manifest-Services, a fundamental factor that explains our physiognomy is the commitment to the Total Quality of the result, which is an integral part of our strategic operational planning.

We provide flexible, evolving solutions, constantly improving, with an in-depth understanding of relevant processes and maintenance requirements as well as alignment with the philosophy of the i n-house management team.

Each new project is for us a new challenge in full swing, which requires holistic know-how for the operation of the facility. We propose the desired specifications at the optimist cost, without endangering or questioning the Total Quality.

3. What benefits do your customers get from this service?

The f acility management, for Manifest-Services, a structured, coherent and designed in every texture, business proposal as an integral and critical part of the operational planning of the installation.

We analyze, design, coordinate, implement and optimize solutions from international innovative practices achieving:

  • Reduction and fixed costs regardless of changes in the socio-economic environment.

  • Reduction of operating costs through the overall management of the service package.

  • Unblocking the installation from introversion in areas not related to our client’s main activity.

  • Enrichment in know h ow with an exemplary example of the prevention of failures and emergencies, by consolidating favorable conditions of calm and security for the people of the facility, which allows them to perform to the maximum of their potential.

Thus, the facility has a person to communicate, a single, dedicated team, a process, a single control system, a single service system.

4. Is f acility m managing a fashion or a situation-imposed decision?

The f acility management is the new landscape, the new reality is a basic need and highest priority facilities. It is an adaptation to global conditions, demands and evolving needs.

This new model is first introduced by the multinationals established in Greece. As a fashion, companies perceived individual services industry, companies aftanagorefomenes f acility management.

5. Manifest-Services, despite the difficulties of the times, is charting a remarkable course in its industry. What are the main axes and components that compose this course?

We are going through a period where we enjoy the recognition of the efforts and the work we have done in the last 9 years.

This remarkable course of the f acility management industry can be explained and summarized in one component. A component that is clear, persistent, with a strong position, Total Quality, in which we invest continuously for the benefit of our customers, who reciprocate it with long-term and stable relationships of trust. Trust that is an honor and at the same time increased responsibility, with the scope of our devotion to their needs and their service.

6. What are your future plans and goals?

Our future plans and goals are reflected in the articulated Vision of Manifest-Services:

“To become world famous as a company of excellence in the field of f acility management”.

So, taking advantage of the opportunities, adapting our organizational structure and financial structure, we move as follows:

We are creating a business unit as a headquarters in Northern Greece (Thessaloniki), not only for the development of our network, which is already strong with 27 service points. But, mainly as a basis for expansion in the direction of the Balkans and as a second step in Western Europe.

7. We are at the center of a crisis, how does it affect the course of Manifest-Services?

We are going through a really difficult economic situation, of indefinite duration, in a fluid global setting. Through the crisis, two persons emerge, of difficulties and, respectively, of opportunities.

However, the landscape is changing. It is certain. Anyone who does not adapt to the new requirements will be left behind. This happens in life, in society, in business – everywhere. And in this field the exceptions have no place.

Through the realistic assessment of the capabilities of Manifest-Services and the reasonable assessment for a significant increase in demand for integrated solutions, as market trends show that there is a shift of facilities in the choice of f acility management solutions , we strengthen our optimism to increase the pace our development.