16 April 2024

The Immense Economic Impact of the Demographic Issue in Greece 2025-2050 | Delphi Economic Forum IX

The pressing matter of the demographic crisis was the key theme of the panel discussion “The Immense Economic Impact of the Demographic Issue in Greece 2025-2050 ” on the last day of the Delphi Economic Forum IX.

Orestis Tsakalotos, Executive Chairman of Qualco Group, moderated the panel alongside distinguished individuals from the political, social, economic, and academic scenes:

  • Domna Michailidou, Minister of Labour & Social Security
  • Alexandra Tragaki, Professor at Harokopio University
  • Byron Kotzamanis, Research Director at the Institute of Demographic Research (IDR)
  • Eva Papadaki, Project Manager of HOPEgenesis
  • Panos Xenos, Assistant Professor at the Department of Statistics and Insurance Science, University of Piraeus
  • Apostolos Gkoutzinis, Partner at Milbank LLP

The discussion highlighted the complexity and persistence of the demographic issue, spanning decades without a clear starting point for resolution. Foundational reforms are needed from the country and its citizens to address it and work towards long-term solutions.

At the same time, it became evident that several initiatives and policy decisions are underway across all ministries, although their effectiveness remains to be seen in the future.

The multifaceted nature of the demographic challenge was emphasised, with socio-economic and behavioural dimensions. Additionally, the “silver economy” emerged as a positive demographic trend involving the production of goods and services by individuals over 65.

Lastly, the moral aspect was underscored, emphasising that addressing this issue brings together political, social and ethical principles that guide personal and social behaviour. Optimism and cherishing future generations’ well-being were identified as the key factors in shaping the next day.

Tune in to watch the full discussion.

Tech & Innovation
12 April 2024

Innovation Made in Greece: Social and Economic Impact | Delphi Economic Forum IX

Optimism and significant positive messages about the impact of innovation on the economy and society were the key outcomes of the “Innovation Made in Greece: Social and Economic Impact” panel, during the 2nd day of the Delphi IX Economic Forum on April 11.

Laura Ioannou, Chief editor and political analyst at ALPHA TV, moderated the panel alongside

  • Our very own Spyros Retzekas, Chief Operations Officer of Qualco
  • Maximos Senetakis, Deputy Minister of Development, Hellenic Republic
  • Alexandros Paterakis, Deputy Managing Director of Digital & Advanced Services of PPC Group
  • Spiros Margaris, Venture Capitalist and Founder of Margaris Ventures
  • Antonis Tzortzakakis, CEO of 5G Ventures and Phaistos Investment Fund
  • Michalis Tsarbopoulos, Chief Digital Officer of Alpha Bank and
  • Christophoros Anagnostopoulos, Partner of Quantum Black, AI by McKinsey

They shared their insights, creating a very fruitful discussion.

Mr. Retzekas pointed out the importance of the tech sector for Greece’s economy to stay strong, sustainable, and growing. He said, “People working in tech can enjoy better living standards, which helps Greece’s economy.” He also talked about how Greek tech companies can sell their products abroad, like Qualco, which generates 70% of its revenue from international clients, boosting Greece’s economy at home. He also mentioned how AI could accelerate Greece’s economic growth even more by making IT companies more competitive and innovative.

People working in tech can enjoy better living standards, which helps Greece’s economy.

Mr. Margaris discussed how Greece could become a top player in the global FinTech scene. He said, “It’s good for a country if the government and regulators support not only small startups but also big tech companies.” He believes Greece has what it takes to be known as a country where startups thrive, not just for its tourism. He also talked about the kind of leaders Greece needs to prepare for the future, saying, “We need leaders who can inspire people. Managers and government officials should inspire others to succeed.”

We need leaders who can inspire people.

Watch the full panel discussion:

Tech & Innovation
8 April 2024

Qualco Group welcomes renowned venture capitalist Spiros Margaris to its Technology Advisory Board

Qualco Group announces the appointment of Spiros Margaris, the venture capitalist behind Margaris Ventures and global pioneer in Fintech, Finance, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to its Technology Advisory Board. His comprehensive grasp of global technology trends and dedication to promoting financial inclusivity through AI will contribute to the organisation’s strategic trajectory and further growth.

Mr Spyros Retzekas, Chief Operating Officer at Qualco, commented: “We warmly welcome Spiros Margaris, the Founder of Margaris Ventures and a distinguished venture capitalist, to our Technology Advisory Board. Mr Margaris is a leading figure in the global Fintech, Finance and Artificial Intelligence (AI) sectors. His valuable advisory background, experience guiding two unicorn Fintech companies and unwavering commitment to democratising financial technology make him an indispensable asset to our management team. His involvement will be pivotal in ensuring our leadership as pioneers in the financial services industry.”

I am honoured to join the Qualco family, a step that resonates with my path and vision,” stated Mr Spiros Margaris, venture capitalist & Founder of Margaris Ventures. “Qualco’s dedication to reinventing credit management aligns with my commitment to accessible innovation. Together, we aim to lead global financial services into a new era, setting unprecedented benchmarks.

Spiros Margaris Bio

Spiros Margaris is a venture capitalist (Margaris Ventures), futurist, senior advisor and investor in several companies in the Fintech, Insurtech, Cybersecurity, Health Care, and AI sectors. Two Fintech start-ups he advised have become unicorns, with over $1 billion valuations. Mr Margaris is the first international influencer to achieve “The Triple Crown”, the No. 1 International FinTech, Blockchain, and AI influencer ranking by Onalytica. He is acknowledged for his publications and keynote speeches at international conferences.

Tech & Innovation
10 May 2023

Qualco Group expands in intelligent Maritime Technology by acquiring a majority stake in Synthetica

Qualco Group today announces it has acquired a majority stake of 51% in Synthetica, a Data Science and IoT company specialising in the Maritime sector.

Using the “Digital Twin” concept combined with a consultative approach to complex problem solving, Synthetica monitors the operations of a vessel, identifies potential issues and offers decision-making tools that measurably improve asset efficiency and profitability, with its products installed in some of the industries most prominent fleets.

Qualco Group and Synthetica aim to expand their joint propositions and international client footprint through this strategic move.

Mr John Gikopoulos, Chief Innovation Officer & Head of Applied Intelligence at Qualco Group, commented: “We are excited to announce our partnership with Synthetica, a pioneering data science and IoT company. This strategic move will enable us to leverage our combined advanced technologies and expertise to drive industry change and benefit our Maritime clients significantly”.

“We are confident that Qualco Group’s vision, reach, and expertise will enable us to deliver even more innovative and scalable AI-driven solutions to the international market. We are excited about the opportunities this acquisition brings and look forward to working together to unlock its full potential”, Mr Damianos Oikonomidis, CEO of Synthetica, stated.

5 May 2023

The evolution of ESG: The role of electrification and the digital agenda in mobility | Delphi Economic Forum VIII

It was revealing to watch the panel discussion “The evolution of ESG: The role of electrification and the digital agenda in mobility” at Delphi Economic Forum VIII on April 27. Experts came to enlighten us regarding the current state of electromobility in Greece alongside future challenges.

Michael Georgiadis, Director, Nemo Digital at GOCAR, was the moderator of the panel, along with Miltos Georgantzis, CEO of Qualco Group; Ioannis Xifaras, Secretary General of Transport Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport; Alexandra Sdoukou, Secretary General for Energy & Mineral Resources, Ministry of Environment and Energy; Dimitris Papastergiou, President Central Union of Greek Municipalities; Nikos Giannousas, CEO & Chairman of the Board at VOLVO Car Hellas; Joost Vandomme, CEO of ERTICO-ITS Europe, Belgium; and Tassos Manos, CEO of HEDNO sharing their insights concerning the evolution of electromobility, challenges, and opportunities.

Regarding how the financial sector can help car companies, Mr Georgantzis said, “Let’s focus on the why instead of the how. Reaching the goal of 800,000 electric vehicles by 2030 means that every car sold should be electric. And it’s not enough to convince the consumer to use an electric car instead of an IC engine one. It’s the cost that should be reduced to achieve competitiveness.”

“Regarding financing, we should first consider the user and then turn to alternative ESG-labeled funding sources.”

About financing innovation in electromobility, Mr Georgantzis highlighted, “First, we should consider the user experience. Granting a car loan in Greece from the traditional banking sector is still difficult due to regulatory constraints. Instead, we should turn to alternative sources of capital like the rest of the world, namely green or ESG-labeled funds.”

Watch the full panel discussion:

Tech & Innovation
5 May 2023

Envisioning blue oceanic affairs with emerging technologies | Delphi Economic Forum VIII

Will emerging technologies bring a paradigm shift to the maritime industry? The “Envisioning blue oceanic affairs with emerging technologies” opened the 2nd day of the Delphi Economic Forum VIII on April 27, with experts sharing their insights.

Aspasia Pastra, Associate Research Officer, World Maritime University, Sweden, was the moderator of the panel, along with our very own John Gikopoulos, Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Applied Intelligence; Yoss Leclerc, President & CEO, Logistro Consulting International Inc., Canada; Steven G. Keating, United States Observer to the IHO/IAG Advisory Board on the Law of the Sea, USA; Tafsir Matin Johansson, Assistant Professor, World Maritime University, Sweden; Panos Zachariadis, Technical Director, Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management, Greece; Thomas Aschert, Remote Survey Global Operations Manager, Marine & Offshore, Lloyd’s Register, Germany.

Regarding how Artificial Intelligence will bring the paradigm shift in the maritime sector, Mr Gikopoulos stated: “We are talking about one of the largest and yet, unpenetrated sectors, in terms of technology. Consequently, there is a massive opportunity for change. Focusing on innovative technology, the ability to understand, monitor and predict what happens on a vessel is where AI can make real difference.

In such a traditional legacy field, the biggest challenge is the human factor.

What about the challenges related to these emerging technologies in the sector? “The biggest challenge is the human factor. Maritime is traditionally a legacy field. Things have been done in certain ways for the past 50 years. Thus, change is extremely challenging. A complete shift won’t come within 3 or 5 years. There is high fleet utilisation right now, making it difficult to change how vessels are run.”, Mr Gikopoulos said.

Tune in the whole discussion:

12 April 2023

“Modern corporate culture: The human face of success”

Over the past few years, and in a rather volatile business landscape, organisations have been gradually considering their employees as a key factor for their growth and success. Corporate culture is practically a new entry into the business world, sectors, and the academic community.

Our 5th Experts Talk, “Modern corporate culture: The human face of success” sheds some light on this respect, featuring Maria Vakola, Professor of Human Resources Management and Org Psychology, Athens University of Economics and Business; Ioanna Kounoupi, HR Director, Qualco Group; George Mavros, Country Director, Great Place to Work Hellas, who highlight the importance of adopting a corporate culture by organisations.

Mrs. Vakola describes how the definition of corporate culture was born while defining it as a manner of getting things done in an organisation, its values, and beliefs that everyone shares and passes through to the newcomers. “Corporate culture is the glue that binds and differentiates us from our competitors”, she mentions.

Our very own Ioanna Kounoupi analyses how corporate culture relates to CSR issues, while at the same time, she focuses on the criteria that showcased Qualco Group as a Great Place to Work organisation. “We spend 1/3 of our lives at work. Thus, it’s vital for employees to feel that they are part of a working environment, where they share the same values.”

Finally, Mr. Mavros analyses whether the corporate culture can be measured. Specifically, he shares indicative elements that compose it, such as the credibility of the management team, respect toward the employee, and pride. “Creating a good working environment has become of major importance in recent years, due to the competitiveness among companies to attract the best new talents”, he indicates.

Tune in to the discussion.

31 January 2023

“Applying ESG criteria: Which are the benefits for organisations?”

Organisations’ environmental footprint, their practices to support society, and their transparent corporate procedures are three criteria that define their value. The threefold ESG is not just a trend; it’s here to stay, embracing human, physical, and social capital. This is the key point of our 4th Experts Talk, “Applying ESG criteria: Which are the benefits for organisations?” featuring Eva Gkenakou, ESG Advisor at SEV; Loukas Spanos, ESG Project Leader at Qualco Group; George Stamatis, General Secretary for Social Solidarity and Fight Against Poverty in a discussion on how the collaboration between the state and organisations can contribute to more sustainable societies.

Mr. Spanos defines ESG as a framework for measuring the organisation’s performance across the three pillars of Environment, Society, and Governance. At the same time, he describes how Qualco Group has leveraged the adoption of a concrete ESG framework. “Companies’ operational model creates a social footprint that ultimately returns to them,” he mentions while indicating that organisations’ positive impact on sustainability paves the way to new investments.

Mrs. Gkenakou analyses the ESG adoption path by Greek businesses. At the same time, she emphasises the importance of ESG as a critical investment indicator, “In a few years, organisations that haven’t yet applied ESG criteria may be excluded from the business ecosystem.”

Regarding the state’s contribution to the sustainable development of Greek society, Mr. Stamatis explains: “Gazing to a sustainable social ecosystem, the state implements a welfare policy while focusing on inclusion when it comes to the recruitment process.” Finally, he describes the state’s benefits from organisations’ ESG adoption, stating, “The challenge in the state-businesses cooperation is to specify the goals of sustainable development; How will vulnerable groups actually become part of social inclusion.”

Tune in to the discussion.

9 January 2023

Episode #6 – “What are the main areas of concern for gender equality nowadays?”: A new podcast by Women on Top, supported by Qualco Group

How do we define intersectionality? Where do we stand concerning the cancel culture, and how is financial literacy linked to domestic violence?
The final episode of the women empowerment podcast series sheds light on the burning issues of gender equality that concern our society.

Penelope Theodorakakou and Stella Kasdagli moderate the discussion along with Maria Stratigaki, Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy and Director of the cross-functional Master’s Program ‘Gender, Society, Politics’ at Panteion University; Giorgos Nikolaidis, Adult Educator, Playwright, and Co-founder of the Gender Alliance Initiative; Maria Apostolaki, Lawyer before the Supreme Court/Legal Services Coordinator at Diotima – Centre for Research on Women’s Issues sharing their views while revealing what they expect from 2023 with regards to gender equality.

Ms. Stratigaki explains why domestic violence constitutes a hot gender equality topic, emphasising that we’ve been left behind in terms of awareness. Furthermore, she elaborates on the findings of the “Men’s Attitudes and Perceptions of Sexual Harassment” research, conducted by Panteion University in collaboration with Action Hellas: “Men have a completely different perception of sexual harassment of women in the workplace.” At the same time, she suggests that organisations may contribute to this awareness by adopting zero-tolerance policies on sexual harassment.

Mr. Nikolaidis explains the purpose of the Gender Alliance Initiative. Specifically, he describes what it’s like to be a male feminist in Greece nowadays while sharing his insights on the cancel culture: “It’s an emotional state without critical thinking or taking logical responsibility.” Moreover, regarding the year to come, he wishes that we all do things that fill us with joy and set us free from stereotypes.

Finally, Ms. Apostolaki expands on the challenges Greek women face depending on the geographical area while highlighting the multiple vulnerabilities of female refugees. In parallel, she defines economic violence as a form of violence against women noting that “It’s imperative to address economic violence through public policies for every woman to claim a decent standard of living.”

Listen to the podcast on Spotify, Google & Apple Podcasts platforms.