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Sunday, 25 Jun 2017

UNCTAD/WTO : ITCs SME Export Success Stories

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International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC) Hyperion Systems Engineering Ltd.: Overcoming the David and Goliath Complex. How does a tiny company on the island of Cyprus convince multinational companies to purchase its services? That was one of the primary obstacles facing Hyperion Systems Engineering Ltd. of Nicosia.

Cyprus Hyperion Systems Engineering Ltd.:


Overcoming the David and Goliath Complex How does a tiny company on the island of Cyprus convince multinational companies to purchase its services That was one of the primary obstacles facing Hyperion Systems Engineering Ltd. of Nicosia. Founded in 1993, Hyperion provides consultancy services in the areas of dynamic simulation and process optimisation, plant information management, supply chain management, enterprise resource planning systems, warehouse management and human resources management. The company says that for a number of years we were too small to be trusted with a sizeable contract, despite the recognition of our technical competence. In order to grow, it needed to attract skilled, high-calibre staff, but there was a limited quantity of qualified personnel on the island; government regulations hampered efforts to import skilled workers; and it was difficult to convince good people to take a chance and sign on with a small start-up company. Another hurdle was attracting capital. Hyperion says: Government support and infrastructure to support advanced technology start-ups was non-existent. Therefore, we had to turn to the private capital market. There, our most important difficulty was to convince Cypriot venture capitalists to take a risk in investing in Hyperion. Today, Hyperion credits persistence, perseverance and enthusiasm with getting it through the hard spots, building its staff from 10 to the current 110 and bringing in US$5.5 million last year, 95 % of which came from exports to the United Kingdom, the United States and Greece. The Cyprus Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism applauds Hyperion for investing in its employees and forming an alliance with a multinational firm that opened access to overseas markets. With this successful track record we are pursuing the establishment of further strategic alliances with other corporations, primarily from the United States and Europe, the company says. Hyperion says it obtained technical credibility when it convinced AspenTechnology in the United States to participate in a joint venture with them and invest in the development of Hyperion. We formulated an extensive business plan and we were ready to address every question and overcome every obstacle. To hire more staff, Hyperion used its contacts in academia, attracting mostly Greek nationals, and then resorted to word-of-mouth to recruit from Greece and expatriates from the United States. We refused to compromise and performed extensive evaluation of candidates. Today, we get referrals from all over the world and in the wider Greek labour market we are considered a desirable employer. Hyperion says that trying to establish Cyprus as a home base for export of technology-based services feels like a crusade. The reason is that while companies like us are competing for top-class human resources, we cannot succeed because even if we can attract and afford the skilled people we need, we always bang on the obstacle of foreign employment permission. A more liberal attitude from the government would help a lot. For more information about Hyperion Systems Engineering Ltd., contact Dr. Symeon Kassianides, CEO and Managing Director Address: 23 E. Papaioanou Street, Office 51, CY-1075 Nicosia, Cyprus Tel.: +357 228 40700; Fax: +357 227 51438, E-mail:v.kefala@hyperion.com.cy

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