#AskTheCEO | Interviews with creative technology leaders | noris

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#AskTheCEO Stelios Gikas
CEO, bei noris M.I.K.E

noris is a high-tech company specialized in IT. It was founded in 2016 in Thessaloniki and it is a subsidiary of noris network AG, which has over 25 years of experience in IT technologies in Germany. The company provides services such as: Cloud Services, Datacenter Operations, IT Services, Network & Security, Design & Architecture and customized IT solutions. Technological basis of these services is a powerful IT infrastructure that relies on noris network’s own high-performance backbone and multiple high-security data centers which are located in Nuremberg and Munich. Our clients are insurance, financial, industrial and other companies such as Adidas, BMW, BNP paribas, DHL, Lufthansa, Nuremberg Airport and more.

Our mission: Performance beyond the standard!

Our vision is to become the leading IT company in Europe providing customized IT solutions that are based on our high-quality services and customer’s satisfaction.

What was the path you took to get to where you are today? What is the story behind your company?

In 2016, while I was still working for noris network AG as a Team Lead DevOps, we had a major problem in finding specialized staff. As I had lived in Greece myself, I know that there are excellent universities here and there are also many talented young people who leave the country in order to find a job and start their career abroad. So, I proposed to the Board of Directors to found a subsidiary company in Thessaloniki in order to find talented IT people with a vision.

Why… Thessaloniki?

A significant number of talented young people who graduate every year from IT schools, motivated us to choose Thessaloniki. Many companies lately have started business here because of the great pool of talented people! Additionally, distances are not toο long so you can cross the city quickly. As a result, you need less time to go to work every day. Thessaloniki, is a beautiful, hospitable city and as we can see has advantages.

What do you hope to accomplish within the next year and what are your future goals?

noris started in 2016 and within the first three years has accomplished to increase its staff significantly. Our future plans are to strengthen our team with even more employees! There are also plans to open new job positions on additional Technologies which means a Greek company can meet the high standards from companies abroad like in our example the German parent company and its global player customers.

How do you assure that the company is ready to meet future challenges like changing demands and technology?

noris is a subsidiary of a German company which also has great experience on old and new Technologies. noris and noris network (Germany) are exchanging Know-How on various topics from which both companies benefit. Also, our Employees are encouraged to propose, test and evaluate new Technologies, many of which became official products of our Company.

From an employee’s perspective, what makes your company a unique place to work?

The best answer to that question would be the happy faces on our workplace. It is important for us to invest in human resources. The company’s success is based on its people. We have created a friendly and flexible working environment providing many benefits to our employees such as opportunities to attend trainings, workshops and conferences, in order to enhance their knowledge. We also organize various events to socialize and have fun during the year like pizza days, grill parties, Christmas events and many other.

“You don’t build a business – you build people – and people build the business.” ― Zig Ziglar, Born to Win

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome while choosing to stay in Greece?

The past years, Greece was not considered to be a place to start your business. The years of crisis had as result many businesses stopping their operation, or forced companies to leave Greece. We had to face many problems at the beginning but instead of letting us down we seized the opportunity to find many young talented people who were looking for α job. Although many of them have left abroad, we will be glad to be the reason for their return to Greece.

Brain Drain vs Brain Gain… Give us three reasons why a tech-oriented employee should stay and work in Thessaloniki or come back after gaining some experience working abroad.

Unfortunately, in the previous year’s many people had to leave because of the crisis as they could no longer have a good work life balance. This was an opportunity for them to gain useful experience abroad, from which also Greek companies can benefit.

Now we see more and more IT-Companies opening their branch in Thessaloniki, which results in many open job positions for tech-oriented employees. They provide good workplaces where someone can develop himself and employees can once again have a good work life balance.

At last: “Thessaloniki is admittedly a very beautiful city to live and there is no other place like Chalkidiki”.

Give us three reasons why a TECH company should choose Thessaloniki as a new TECHstination for opening its next branch.

Thessaloniki is developing to a TECHhub where Technology Conferences, Meetups are taking place. In addition to that there are great opportunities for networking with other TECH companies that have already established their presence in Thessaloniki. And as mentioned before Thessaloniki has great Universities from where companies can get trained employee.

Stelios Gikas was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and is a graduate of the Department of Informatics at the University of Erlangen, Germany.

After graduation he worked at the German company noris network AG as a Developer where during his career, he managed to reach the position of head of the Software Development department. In the course of his career he undertook and managed global Projects from various well-known clients.

During 2016 and after a thorough investigation of the company noris network AG, the decision was made to establish a subsidiary in Thessaloniki. Since 2016 he is the CEO of the company noris M.I.K.E.