A Cypriot Is Heading the European Brewers

Five Photiades, headed by the “Patriarch of the Cypriot Business”, manage the family business empire today

A Cypriot Is Heading the European Brewers
Автор: Branislava Bobanats

An economics graduate from Harvard, who has been managing one of the largest and most dynamically developing business groups in Cyprus and Southeastern Europe for 28 years now, re-elected for a second term as president of over 8,500 European brewers and beer distributors, the 54-year-old Pavlos Photiades can confidently propose a toast for another business success story of his family. Photiades is one of the most famous entrepreneurial families and a legendary name in Cyprus. And the toast is, of course, with a glass of beer - own production.

The Drink of Choice

Cyprus is not known as a “beer nation,” but is obviously trying hard to get closer to the European standards on this indicator. The local consumption of the amber drink and the exports from breweries on the island are constantly rising. This July, Cyprus’ residents and their guests drank 5,135,439 litres of beer, and another 225,884 litres were sent to their “colleagues” in other countries. The total domestic consumption and exports in this summer month, which reached 5,361,323 litres, is 3% more than in June 2018 and 6.3% more of what was drunk last year in July, shows the official statistics of Cyprus.

The Photos Photiades Group, a leader in the production and distribution of beer in Cyprus, has made an undeniable contribution to this growth. Last June, it celebrated a remarkable anniversary - 75 years of successful presence on the Cypriot and international business scene. For 28 of them, since 1990, Pavlos Photiades, a second generation Photiades, has been the managing director of Photos Photiades Breweries and the whole Photos Photiades Group conglomerate. A total of five Photiades are members of the board of directors of the group, whose chairman is Dr. Photos Photiades, the founder of the first company of the future family empire in 1942. In October, the “patriarch of the Cypriot business”, as he is called in Cyprus, will turn 98.

Photos Photiades Group is best known in Cyprus for its two beer licenses. It has been holding the Carlsberg beer license in Cyprus for 51 years. When receiving the license, the company became the first one outside Denmark, authorised to produce beer of this brand. In 2003, Photiades’ brewery also restarted the production of the first Cypriot beer. After an almost 40-year break, once again, it offered on the market the original local malt beer, Leon Beer, using the traditional recipe from its creation in 1937.

The family business group is gradually expanding its area with a variety of drinks. In 1997, it started the production of 100% natural fruit juices with different flavours under the Ena brand without adding any sugar. A year later, it put into operation a modern bottling plant for mineral water, which entered the market under the Agros brand, named after the mountain village where its source is located, and soon the new product became No. 1 in consumer demand. In 2004, the Kyperounda Boutique Winery was added to Photiades’ portfolio, whose vineyard of 4 ha has the highest altitude in Europe.

The business group defends its leadership position in the Cypriot and international drinking industry and represents over 150 leading brands of spirits and other drinks from world-renowned companies.

Apart from this sector, the company develops businesses in the tobacco products trade, the energy industry, the real estate market, and offers insurance and financial services.

Today, Photos Photiades Group unites 42 companies that work successfully in Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovenia and Croatia, achieving an annual turnover of EUR 340 million. And with its 1,100 employees, it is one of the largest Cypriot private employers. 

“Long-term strategic planning, commitment to quality and adoption of the highest international standards, continuous investments in state-of-the-art technologies and human resources, and respect for society are the basic principles that our company follows and that lead to its success,” the Managing Director Pavlos Photiades says. 

Born in 1964, he is the second of the five children of the company’s founder, Photos Photiades. Pavlos studied economics at Harvard, where he graduated in 1988 with an award for academic achievements. He holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the INSEAD Business School in France. According to representatives of the Cypriot business, he is the one responsible for the exceptional expansion of the family business into new sectors.

The highest acknowledgement of Pavlos Photiades as an international ambassador of Cypriot entrepreneurship was his unanimous re-election in June 2018 for a second term as President of the European Brewers of Europe. His first term was won in 2016. The professional organization is called “the voice of the brewing industry in Europe” as it unites the national brewer associations of beer producers from 29 European countries and represents over 8,500 breweries on the continent that hold over 90% of the European beverage production.

Besides beer and business, Pavlos Photiades is also known for his diverse interests in other areas. He was the president of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, a member of the Executive Council of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, former chairman of the Cyprus Ski Federation, chairman of the Harvard Alumni Association in Cyprus, a former member of the Board of Directors of the University of Cyprus. He is a father of 4 children - the third generation that will take over the Photiades’ family business.
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