Who inspired me?

I am inspired by different people and their actions on a daily basis. It can be a woman struggling to survive by selling fruit, a movie or a book, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, my parents, my grandparents, friends….anyone really. And when I read the stories of Frixos Papadopoulos, Marco Turco, Richard Branson and Massimo Annoni, to be honest, I couldn’t find similarities with me, but we share the common ground-entrepreneurship, so I used these stories (and all other from entrepreneurs) to learn something new that i can use later in life, which means I got inspired by each one of them in a different way.

Sir Richard Branson is a famous a multimillionaire, he is an inspiration, he started from scratch, and built and empire! Everyone can take him as a role model, but the entrepreneur that truly inspired me was Frixos Papadopoulos. Frixos was not successful with his idea of selling Greek souvenirs in Sweden, but after being disappointed, he didn’t give up, he found the “gap” in the consumer market – Greek products that didn’t exist in Sweden, and he made an excellent business out of that. He satisfied the needs the consumers didn’t know they have, and they started using products they lived without until then perfectly well! Moreover, his wife presented the Greek products to the Swedish people, how to cook them, which only spiced up the business which grew and expanded overtime together with the demand for the products. With this story I learned that I should get up and continue after I fail, I should explore the market before I start to see where my product and idea fits the best, and I should use my communications skills and approach the customers to explain how they can use the product in the best possible way!

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6 Responses to Who inspired me?

  1. mmmanasieva says:

    It’s getting funny-the more I read about Frixos, the more I like him and what he has done! 🙂
    The ”gap”-that’s the thing I like the most and I will definitely remember this word from your review on his story! 🙂

  2. ninadonia says:

    Frixos is great, but sometimes I wonder whether he has ever doubted whether Swedish (nordic) people wouldn’t like the mediterranian food? I know entrepreneurship involves taking risks, but I wonder how you over come these kind of doubts? (This question was motivated by my experience with the horrible Dutch food which I would never buy where ever I live – except the stroopwafels 🙂

    • Great remark Nina :). That is why I mentioned the market research. Frixos failed there, he didn’t make any research whether the products would sell or not. His idea succeeded, because luckily he chose to sell products that lacked on the market, and that people liked. When someone makes the market research, he/she would know what would could “sell”, and that way, if they see that 90% would not eat Greek (or in your case Dutch food) they will not try to sell it in that area or country. On the other hand, marketing sells, and people have long history of buying things that they don’t need 🙂 But that’s another subject 🙂

  3. Vanessa says:

    Hi Elena,

    Frixos’ story have many interesting points!
    “He satisfied the needs the consumers didn’t know they have”; do you think that a business like his will work in other countries? Why yes/no?
    Maybe there was a generic need in Sweden and he made a plan on make it clearer; what do you think are the main points of this plan?

    See you soon!

    Vanessa

    • People don’t know they need a phone, until it is publicized on the market, they don’t eat food from other countries, until someone opens a restaurant with foreign dishes.

      Frixos did not wish to make 100% of the people in Sweden eat his food, but he tried with 1 truck of products to see how the business will go. It was sold, so he bought two, three, etc. Swedish people didn’t eat feta cheese, simply because they had never seen or heard of it. They couldn’t know if they like it or not, so Frixos brought it to Sweden, and his wife showed them how to eat and cook it. With time, the word spread, and people started buying the products, although they didn’t need that exact food to survive, they can survive easily eating only bread and butter from any manufacturer, so in a way he developed a lifestyle of eating Mediterranean food in Sweden. In another country, he may be able to sell less or more products, depending on many factors, but he can always focus his strategy based on the basic human needs and the lifestyle people wish to have, and of course logistically will observe and accordingly coordinate the supply chain and offer more what people tend to buy more. He can not have the same success in Greece with Greek products, but in Greece he can find the gap and satisfy the Greek needs about something else. I never thought of Frixos in another country, but I think the smart thing he did was offering Mediterranean products, not only Greek. And yes, in every country you can find something that people will buy, a gap, and then offer your products to the people, with a marking plan accordingly, and definitely it is not possible the same idea to work the same everywhere (Google has different popularity rang in every country, so do Coca Cola and McDonald’s).

  4. Luca says:

    The gap, the gap – yes, let’s remember the GAP! Gap means a need, and a good business starts where passion meets a need, that id, when you find someone that needs what you like to do…

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