Business & Technology Review

Enabling digital transformation

Mitchelle D'Souza
Filed on May 24, 2021

With a presence in 10 countries, Generation Y offers ultimate digital solutions as well as help setting up new e-commerce platforms in a rapidly growing digitised world

Generation Y International's story began with two men working out of a garage in Greece at the turn of the millennium. For Anastasios Spanidis, Co-founder and CEO, the ultimate goal was simply to fill that garage with a car. Twenty-one years on, he has overshot his original target considerably, as Generation Y has become a truly international heavyweight in digitalisation, with a presence in 10 countries, exporting to 25. Spanidis describes the company as a "360 one-stop-shop for digital transformation". The company's nine business units include: market research, web design, web development, mobile, branding, business consultancy, performance marketing, data analysis and reporting, and insurance - with each unit performing almost as a company of its own - whilst feeding back into 'the collective wisdom' which sets Generation Y apart. The diversity of its knowledge has allowed it to break into challenging European markets including the UK and Germany, across the Atlantic in the US, and for the last three years, in China as well.

Of course, the elephant in the room when speaking about Generation Y, is that it is a company made for modern times, which is to say, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the necessity for rapid and effective digitalisation has been more imperative than ever. The 'cultural mindshift', which is taking place, still has a long way to go according to Spanidis, and we are in fact, only in "the first steps of digital transformation." Nonetheless, whether it be changing content management systems or setting up new e-commerce platforms, this digital acceleration has been well and truly ramped up by the pandemic.  The impact on companies such as Generation Y? Demand for its services shooting through the roof, up to levels higher than anyone can offer at the present moment. As for the difficulties and hardship posed by the pandemic, Spanidis points out that the years of crisis which Greece has faced have meant that resilience is "implemented in the DNA of Greek businessmen and businesswomen" such as himself. Following the crisis, the "strongest and most adaptable stayed in the market so when another crisis came it was like a walk in the park (business-wise, not socially)."

Spanidis outlines the company's goal as being of both support and educate as it tries to "educate the market, "provide smaller companies with technology," and "support the digital ecosystem as well."

In pursuit of these objectives, he highlights three pillars which drives his company towards its achievement. The first of which is bordering on clairvoyant, success-assured approach to digitalisation investments, as he says "we just need you to mention the goal." Its information-centric approach means that for Generation Y, "everything is measurable." The result of this, as Spanidis explains, is that "we can help any company do anything they want because we can calculate what the costs will be before they invest, calculate what the results will be and monitor it by day." This day-to-day communication of how your investment is manifesting itself means that you do not face a long wait before seeing whether your technological investment has worked out, each day you will be able to track the effect it is having.

The technology itself is of course another cornerstone of the company's success. As well as being exclusive collaborators with global tech companies, which it has scouted, Generation Y creates and develops its own products. These include an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform, which allows for 'laser targeting' in the advertising sphere, owing to mass data collection, which is legal and does not only factor in demographic elements, but also behavioural ones. It has also developed a system which will construct a customised e-commerce platform within three days - a technology truly tailor-made for the post-pandemic era.

Finally, Spanidis makes it clear that it is not just cutting-edge technology, which the company focuses on investing in, culture is equally important given that it is not only technology which is ever-changing. "We have created a culture where people can really flourish, their ideas are heard. We love making mistakes so we try things and we invest in supporting the dreams of our people, and when you do that, they actually do grow their mindset and skillset." The company's commitment to the growth of its team members is perfectly exemplified in an internal programme in which any member of the Generation Y family can ask a C-suite executive for personal coaching.

As companies both big and small continue to wrestle with the obstacles imposed by the pandemic, Spandis encourages companies to be proactive, "Choose your perspective. Choose to wait and see what happens or take action now."

Taking action is what companies all around the world have indeed done when it comes to digitalisation, and with the continuation of those processes showing no signs of slowing down, the likes of Generation Y are clearly going to play a central role in the ever-evolving, ever-accelerating digital transformation of the global market.

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