MEET FILUET – SOTIRIS KAMBANELLAS, CFO
Tell me a bit about yourself: family, Hobbies, Fav. Beverage & meal, Favorite way to spend time?
I consider myself a family man, married to my beautiful wife Christina for 14 years and having two great kids. My son Markos will be turning 12 in the summer, and my daughter Eva just turned 3. With work, kids, family, and crazy busy life, I find peace in going out with friends for drinks. So, I would say that my real hobby is afternoon drinks with friends 😉 I am also a foody, so my two interests complement each other.
We’ve noticed that your Academic & Professional background is really interesting, can you please tell us some more?
Academically, I entered the accounting path, studying Accounting and Finance and continuing with ACCA qualification and training with a big 4. However, in my professional career, I was always fascinated with roles more involved in strategy and business development. I always thought that the role of the CFO is a strategic role that needs to be involved in the center of the business and not a back-office role, and I have always strived to build that profile. I am currently finishing up my Executive MBA at Warwick University, which in a way, helps me consolidate this thinking with the right skills and tools.
Please tell us about your on-boarding to Filuet; How was your journey since joining, especially on time of a global crisis? How does it feel to join as a CFO to a 30 year’s old company?
Filuet is a unique company with a strong DNA infuse of its founder and the core team, which is really appealing. The onboarding process was very smooth and seamless, making me feel welcome and needed from day 1.
Being a new employee during a global crisis can be a scary feeling, even more, if you are in an Executive position where you are expected to exert leadership and solutions. This is a make-or-break time for any individual. Luckily for me, the Filuet DNA is resistant to crisis panic. Early on, we had some exciting meetings to appraise the situation and make initial plans which was a great stress release. How we have been dealing with the crisis and the everchanging global environment allows people in all positions of the organization to remain focused on their job and be motivated and creative. Crisis aside, being a new CFO of an established and constantly growing company like Filuet is a huge challenge. In my capacity, I have to ensure that the Financial Management of the company is in great shape, but at the same time ensure its transition to a more digital and connected environment. Digital transformation is the priority on the agenda of most CFOs, and it is even more crucial in technology companies like Filuet, which operate in the global arena.
What person, real or imagined, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with and why?
Fascinating question; I have actually never thought about this until now; I would say Frank Sinatra. Despite my age (40), I have always been a big fan of Frank and his timeless style. I am sure he would have been a great company to hang out with, and he should have some crazy stories to share from an entire life in a significant era. It would have been great to see Frank’s way “I did it my way…”
As these strange times lead us to digitalize our internationality, we would like to ask you what is your favorite/ dream destination for vacation & ultimate destination for work?
I love traveling, and there are still many destinations on my bucket list, but the Caribbean is a more dreamy and exotic destination than others. When it comes to working, I choose Cyprus! I think Cyprus is a great place to live and work, ideal for a family but also fun and exciting. Plus, a minimum of 300 days of sunshine, fantastic sandy beaches, and all year-round swimming. Also, safe, accessible, and not very expensive. It is no wonder that so many people and companies around the globe choose to relocate here.
Where are you seeing Filuet in 10 years from now?, you know what – in your case we would like to also ask you what are your plans for the next 5 years?
10 years from now, I see a great future for Filuet- which was the driving force for choosing to join the company. The company is very well positioned to continue its geographic expansion in APAC and the development of new services and markets. As a technology company, I see Filuet moving more into software and added services sales, which can influence huge growth potential.
My five-year plans are somewhat tight to the company’s goals and plans. I want to complete the transformation of the Finance function in the next year, enabling me to focus on supporting the company with its greater transformational and growth goals.
That’s it, would you like to use this opportunity and forward a message to Filuet team?
The future is great for forward-looking companies like Filuet, and we are lucky to be a part of this great family. Thank you all for working with me; I look forward to challenging and rewarding times ahead.