George Assimakopoulos never doubted that he would enter the home appliances industry. His parents founded Inventor in 1966 (then called G Assimakopoulos Ltd) to import air conditioners to the Greek market. It was an obvious progression for him to join the family trade when he was of age, but there was another reason George wanted get involved: he had a deep interest in the industry.
Starting out in the company’s marketing department in 1994, George developed a passion for maintaining good relationships with customers and exploring innovative marketing opportunities. He brought these elements to the top job when he was appointed as CEO in 1997. Under his leadership, the company has expanded its product range, with sales and brand recognition increasing year on year.
“We are always looking to enlarge our portfolio of products with more home appliances,” George tells The CEO Magazine. “By paying attention to the market and offering our customers flexibility, freedom and autonomy, we can compete against international brands, and offer complete and diverse solutions to our clients.”
Today, Inventor is one of Greece’s leading home appliance brands, selling a range of air conditioners, dehumidifiers and refrigerators across the country. It has maintained a presence in almost all big retailers and, in recent years, has become the second largest seller of air conditioners by market share in Greece. The Greek economy has proven to be a challenge for the company because, as George points out, it is still in a recession.
“This is Greece. This is who we are. We have to fight in the local market, even though it is struggling,” he says. George has overcome this problem by focusing on opportunities in the market. One such opportunity presented itself in 2013, when the management team at Inventor realised the absence of niche household products at affordable prices in the market and launched a range of dehumidifiers. Between then and 2016, the business introduced more than 20 models of dehumidifiers to the Greek market, with Inventor now holding a 19% market share in the country for this product.
“The most important thing for us is our customers… we must give them the latest technology, and know what they want."
Similarly, in 2014, Inventor filled a gap in the market when it added refrigerators to its range, increasing its market share in Greece. The company eventually expanded its portfolio to include affordable minibars, wine coolers and freezers.
With Inventor’s gross earnings doubling between 2015 and 2017, it is hard to argue with George’s methods for success. By observing opportunities in the market and responding with reliable products, Inventor has been able to maintain and grow its share of the home appliances market.
Despite Inventor’s success, George refuses to be complacent. In 2018, he announced plans to increase Inventor’s market share, further expand its product range, delve deeper into the digital market, and export to more clients abroad. He hopes to achieve these goals by keeping the company focused on affordability, and keeping up-to-date with market trends both in Greece and around the world.
Looking towards the future, George says that Inventor’s long-term success will hinge on how the company approaches the digital market, especially as it begins selling its products through Amazon. “We need to focus on what customers want, and follow the trends and technological innovations in the market. We as a business must then focus on these trends and understand how a digital marketplace can help expand Inventor’s market share,” says George.
“The most important thing for us is our customers. To keep them happy, we must give them the latest technology, and we need to know what they want,” says George. “We must ensure that we do not just give them an excellent product, but also deliver an excellent customer support program.”