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.