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Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Class of 2022, Cyprus

Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou, Co-Founders and Executive Directors of Hellas Direct

Meet the dynamic duo revolutionizing the insurance market in Cyprus and Greece.

During the depths of the Eurozone debt and banking crisis, Cypriot businessmen Alexis Pantazis and Emilios Markou seized the opportunity to transform insurance. In 2012, the pair founded Hellas Direct, a full-stack, vertically integrated digital insurance company. Using artificial intelligence and capitalizing on customer data, the company focuses on highly personalized, easily accessible insurance products for cars, motorcycles and homes.

Launching with car insurance in the Greek market, Hellas Direct has introduced a series of innovations, including “by-the-day” insurance and algorithmic pricing. 

Today, Hellas Direct dominates the Road Assistance space in Cyprus with a 55% market share. It is also one of the top 10 insurance companies in Greece, holding 4% of the market. The business is backed by major investors including the European Investment Bank and is predicted to become the next Greek unicorn.

Alexis and Emilio are proud of their success but say they are only beginning their journey. They are eager to help others achieve similar success: “To be truly successful, we would like to see a number of new companies launched by our own employees.”

With education high on their agenda, the two entrepreneurs provide support to universities in Cyprus and Greece by offering scholarships and pro-bono lectures to students. 

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