PN Gerolymatos SA, a family-owned company, was one of the most traditional, historical and well-esteemed businesses in the Greek healthcare industry.
In recent years, a series of developments and changes have occurred that have marked that history of the company. I would like to take this opportunity and share them with you.
The history of the Gerolymatos family business dates back to 1923, when my grandfather, Nikolaos Gerolymatos, established one of the largest pharmacies in down-town Athens. Twenty-one years later, in 1944, the pharmacy was burned to ashes. As a consequence, my late father Panagiotis (Takis) Gerolymatos, was compelled to become an entrepreneur. Under his leadership and his relentless drive for growth and development, the company which in 1955 had just three employees, in 2008, evolved into a business with 1.100 employees, a turnover of 300 million euro and a leader in numerous areas in the health and beauty industry, both in Greece as well as in international markets.
It was at the end of 2008 that bigger changes begun. In October 2008, all activities associated with only the Greek operations were divested to Alapis S.A., a listed Greek company. A few months later, in May 2009, the company’s founder, a charismatic and visionary leader –my father- passed away.
2009, was a year committed to the restructuring of the operations, both local and international, that were not divested. As part of this reorganization, Harry Balanos has recently been recruited as the new CEO of the company, while I remain the President of Gerolymatos International. Harry Balanos, who is a Chemistry graduate and holds an MBA, has had both extensive entrepreneurial and multinational experience. His previous position as Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe for Omega Pharma –a listed Belgian OTC company– has given him significant multinational experience at top management level. I have known Harry for a number of years and I know that he shares my aspirations, that is, to achieve rapid yet manageable growth, exploit opportunities while maintaining focus on strategy, combining entrepreneurial flexibility with sound corporate governance.
Myself -3rd generation Gerolymatos- together with Harry and the new management, carry together, and will safeguard as our most valuable asset, the values and principles that made the company remarkably successful in the past.