By Christina Katsantoni  

Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos
#tourism #business #success #vision #hospitality #hotelmanagement

When he was about 13 years old, his older brother first went to the Civil Engineering department of Aristotle University and his father confidently predicted that five years later Andreas would do the same thing. He was shortlisted 15th and didn’t make his father satisfied. In order to satisfy him, Andreas graduated first from the department.  

The trend and history of over-achieving and of the big vision, even if it seems beyond the possible limits, was a family tradition for the CEO of the Sani / Ikos Group, Andreas Andreadis. He learned to work that way from a young age, he continued it successfully in his later life and he continues to follow it faithfully with the motto "never give up".

The insecurity of childhood

This family tradition was also the cause of the insecurity of his childhood. His father, who had a great love for the land, decided to take the daring step of buying a large monastery area in Halkidiki, in an area where tourism, as a concept, was unknown at the time. There weren’t even roads there, while the swampy area terrified any potential visitor in the face of the risk of malaria.

Despite his mother's objections and fears, the purchase was made, and the effort to carry out a giant project began, putting the family's finances in a difficult and unpredictable pathway. "There is no tomorrow" was the feeling that defined his childhood. At the same time, however, his father taught him that simple strategic thinking, such as the insightful decision to invest in an area of ​​unparalleled natural beauty predicting future prospects, are important in life and can sometimes change the course of history.  

The big dilemma

After completing his studies in Thessaloniki, Andreas Andreadis left for postgraduate studies at the University of London, from where he received his doctorate. Then, a great dilemma arose before him. An academic career seemed to be the safest option, but although he had kept contact with the Polytechnic School, he preferred the other option: the anxieties and insecurity of the family business, which already had a rented hotel in Sani and another one whose work had remained in the middle.

From there on, his great effort began. To start with, he completed the second hotel and then, together with his brother, he created a group of people who step by step supported him in building the famous hotel “Sani Resort”.

The new era 

Things didn’t come easy from the beginning for Andreas Andreadis and his team. He had to live for 15 years in a hotel room, to fight against the prejudices and standards of the time, to work hard and above all, not to stop pursuing the high visions. Business, as he says after all, is like playing chess. You have to anticipate a lot of moves before the competition. 

The constant search and implementation of new goals continues even after the breaking of the limits and the implementation of the idea of ​​Ikos, which made the family business multinational. That’s why the message that Andreas Andreadis wanted to pass on to his children is to find their goal, to find what inspires them and what they actually love, and as his motto firmly says: never to give up.

He believes that the greatest asset of quality hospitality lies in human contact, which is why he believes with confidence that tourism in Greece not only isn’t saturated, but still has much to offer to the country. Because for him, the greatest advantage of Greece are Greeks themselves, who, as he says, have hospitality in our DNA...