The founder of Olympia, Panos Germanos, stands out for his insight and ability to foresee business opportunities and “build bridges” of development, connecting the present to the future. Since the Group began operating , he has instilled in his partners a spirit of business autonomy, by creating independent business activities. At the same time, he has passed on to his partners his personal vision regarding corporate development and business ethics, creating a modern Group which is financially strong and governed by steadfast rules of corporate responsibility. This philosophy dictates practices of business autonomy, free of commitments and dependence. In this manner, he ensures that the future of the Olympia Group will be equally dynamic and “build bridges” that make the transition into the new era smooth, creative and successful.
Panos Germanos is originally from Milies, in the prefecture of Ilia. He entered the workforce at a young age, while continuing his academic studies and graduating from the Economics Department of the Athens School of Law.
He quickly turned to the technology sector, as his acute business instinct led him to foresee developments and the future. He thus held a number of executive positions at the companies Union Carbide – UCAR.
In 1980, he undertook his initial business venture, opening the first GERMANOS store and initially selling batteries in central Athens. He won his personal bet, transforming the company through a number of major agreements and synergies, and writing a unique success story with more than 1,000 stores in Southeast Europe. By 2006, he had established the largest mobile phone retail network in all of Southeast Europe, with more than 5,000 employees, and branches in seven countries (Greece, Cyprus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and the FYROM). The buyout of the SUNLIGHT Industrial Complex represented a major milestone in his career. Foreseeing investment opportunities with high returns, he acquired a share in a mobile company in Uzbekistan, which he then sold in 2006. 2006 was a landmark year, as he sold his share in the Hellenic Duty-Free Shops, as well as the flagship of the Group, the GERMANOS network of stores. The sale of the GERMANOS stores to Cosmote was the largest business agreement in recent history between two purely Greek companies listed on the Athens Exchange, transforming the scene of the telecommunications market.
At the end of 2006, he founded the company OLYMPIA, which is the main hub for 9 autonomous business operations. The OLYMPIA Group includes: a) the Public chain, with 54 technology and entertainment stores in Greece and Cyprus, b) the company SYSTEMS SUNLIGHT, which has evolved into one of the most powerful Greek export companies, a leader on both a European and global level, c) SUNLIGHT RECYCLING, the most advanced lead-acid battery recycling plant in Europe, d) WESTNET, a leading company in the distribution of technological products e) the private equity company Tollerton Investments Ltd, which operates in Cyprus and focuses on the European telecommunications market. At the same time, the Group is a shareholder in SoftOne, which develops business software in Greece and Southeast Europe, as well as METIS, which specialises in the development of international shipping software. In 2017, the Olympia Group and VNK Capital jointly announced that they would be participating in the share capital of Lamda Development SA. Finally, in the international business arena, he is the majority shareholder in Poland’s mobile phone company PLAY , the largest Greek investment in the Polish market, as well as the Finnish AASA, a company offering consumer loans in Central and Northern Europe.