Feeling hungry? At the office and in need of coffee? Nothing in the fridge? Bored of cooking on the weekend?
Paminos Kyrkinis and his brother Constantinos have addressed these questions by creating e-FOOD.gr, an online delivery service that lets you order food (in five languages!) in 1’ without extra charge. You can select your meal from 4300 restaurants and shops in 50 Greek cities.
Tell us a little about yourself
Born and raised in Greece, studied Economics and Business at the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick. Entrepreneurial by nature, I started my first online business at 24 and have since co-founded five different companies, e-FOOD being the largest and most successful.
What were the major difficulties you’ve faced in the last five years?
Over the past five years I’ve been actively involved with e-FOOD as founder – together with my brother – and CEO. We have been lucky enough to have experienced significant growth so managing a team that has grown from 3 to 120 people in 4 years has been quite a challenge!
Did anyone in particular inspire you or help you?
Immanuel Kant who said: Strive for the impossible to achieve the best of what is possible.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
At the moment I am 100% focused on e-FOOD and my goal is to change the way people order delivery in Greece. We want to offer the best possible experience to our users and make this the fastest and easiest way to order your favorite food. Online delivery in Greece is growing fast and there is a lot of potential for further growth.
What are your hopes for Greece? What changes do you hope to see happen?
I want the positive forces in Greece that are being overshadowed by mediocrity to prevail. Greeks excel all over the world. There is no reason not to do this at home. e-FOOD is now part of one of the largest food delivery companies in the world with presence in 38 countries and I am proud to say that we are one of the best performers in the group and we started right here in Greece!
Have you considered leaving? If so, where would you like to go, and why?
I have never felt compelled to leave Greece but in my industry San Francisco would be the obvious choice and it is something that I have of course considered and may reconsider in the future. It was after all an informed decision of mine to return to Greece in 2011. There are opportunities in Greece and e-FOOD is proof of that. In 4 years we have created a company with 120 employees and this started in my living room. e-FOOD is now part of Rocket Internet and Delivery Hero – Rocket Internet is one of the largest internet groups in the world – and all this started in Greece in 2012 during the peak of the crisis. There are other companies in the Greek starutup industry that have enjoyed similar success or are on track to achieve it.
If you have already decided to leave what would make you stay?
I have not decided to leave but if I had I would keep in mind that the grass always seems greener on the other side. We have to be the change we want to see in Greece.
Are you actively doing anything to help with the situation? Is there something you would like to do?
I feel I have made a small contribution through e-FOOD and the 120 jobs (and counting) created. I hope to do more. Meanwhile, our cooperation with Boroume* (www.boroume.gr) and other non-profit organizations have allowed us to help our fellow citizens by providing free meals.
How do you see Greece in 5, 10 years?
At the moment there is a trend for certain situations to persist although they have already been overtaken by reality. I believe we will experience the total collapse of mediocrity, and through this a new Greece will emerge.
How do you cope with obstacles and frustrations in your everyday life?
I don’t believe that obstacles and frustrations are unique to Greece. I am aware of tons of obstacles and frustrations even in the most sophisticated countries. Problem solving is part of everyone’s personal and business life so I am certain one will find ways to cope no matter how unnecessary or annoying these obstacles and frustrations may be.
What are the positive sides of living in Greece? Have you had any good experiences lately?
Its people. From time to time we might encounter someone who doesn’t stop at a crossing to let pedestrians pass, or give their place in line to a pregnant woman or their seat to an elderly person on the bus. But these people exist everywhere. I’ve found that people’s honesty, kindness and gratitude as well as the directness of human relations in Greece are unequalled, and I’ve lived abroad for years!
*BOROUME is a non-profit organization that helps combat food wastage.