Maria Vlachou: "Innovation Partnerships are most profitable"

BusinessAge va propune un interviu inedit din mai multe puncte de vedere. Maria Valachou are o ferma de melci in Grecia, tara ce a trecut printr-o severa ccriza economica. Prezenta in cadrul Conferintei Femei in Afaceri care a avut loc pe 17 octombrie la Bucuresti, Maria a vorbit despre importanta parteneriatelor de afaceri si a nisei in prosperitatea unui business. Mai jos, un interviu in exclusivitate, marca BusinessAge.

BusinessAge: What are the most important things to take into consideration when you start a business?
Maria Vlachou
: Before you start a business you need to understand your market. To fully understand the market you need to know who will buy your product or use your service, how to sell to buyers, the amount they want to buy and the right price. Therefore, it is essential to conduct a market research so as to define the target markets for your products , before you take any risk.
Moreover, you must have determination, patience and passion. If you love what you do you will do it right.

B.A.:How important are in this ecuation partnerships? What kind of partnerships are most profitable?
I believe that Innovation Partnerships  are more profitable because we stimulate innovation, creativity and through this dynamic interaction we create new ideas and solutions  for our customers.
We already have  created ongoing Win-Win partnerships with our key suppliers from our snail breeders network. We seek to create transparency from “farm to fork” with respect to production, planning, sourcing, ingredients, product safety and efficacy in order to bring to market the safest highest quality products available.

B.A.: You have an organic snail farm. How complex is your business and what was the most difficult moment so far? How did you manage to get past it?
Actually, up to now, Fereikos Helix has a network of 175 snail breeders (172 in Greece, 1 in Germany and 2 in Cyprus). My business is complex due to the fact that I have to manage an increasing snail breeders network and transfer our know-how of snail farming by means of mentoring, training, documentation etc.
The most difficult moment so far was because of the instability of greece. We were all very stressed about the situation, but finally we decided that we should go on and invest no matter what.

B.A.: How important is to establish a niche on the market, knowing that snails are a delicacy, but also important in pharm and cosmetic industries.
As a delicacy snails are still a niche market, but we believe that the demand for snails will continue to grow.
We want to create and market successful products and services, thus, we need to focus on finding a niche, not just once, but over and over again, to be able to create countless business opportunities.  And snails give us many opportunities because they are not only used for food but due to their beneficial attributes they are also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical sector .
Our vision is a world in which people live and eat healthy, respecting the environment, taking full advantage of the extraordinary nutritional value and taste of snails making them an integral part of their diet.

B.A.: Have you been to Romania before? Do you have strategic partnerships with Romanian companies?
On October 16th I will come for the first time in Romania due to the International Conference  organized by Romanian Association of Women in Business. I would really like and look  forward  to establish new strategic partnerships toward a win-win outcome.

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